5 days in New York: the perfect itinerary (first time visitors)


How to spend 5 Days in New York: The Best Itinerary + Where to Stay

You’re planning to spend 5 days in New York and you’re looking for the best things to do?

You’re at the right place!

In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared for you this 5-day itinerary in New York.

I will start with my best tips to save time and avoid waiting in line in front of New York’s must-see attractions. Then, I will give you the day by day program, perfectly optimized to make the most of your stay.

In addition to the best places to visit and activities for each stage of your itinerary, I will also give you all my best tips and accommodation suggestions depending on your budget.

So, what are the best places to visit in New York in 5 days? Where to stay?

Let’s find out!


How to avoid waiting in line (and save a lot of time!) at New York’s tourist attractions

With more than 56 million visitors each year, New York City is one of the most tourity city of the world.

And they all want to discover the incredible attractions and activities the city has to offer!

Maybe you have been to the Colosseum in Rome, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona or the Alhambra in Granada?

If yes, you already know what it means: endless waiting lines at all the must-see attractions!

At the Empire State building or the Rockfeller center “At The Top” observation platform for example, if you don’t have a ticket, you will often have to wait in line at the ticket booth for an hour or two.

But don’t worry, there are 2 very simple solutions that will allow you to save a lot of time (and money!) during your 5-day trip to New York.

1. The New York Go City Explorer Pass

The best way to skip the lines during your New York itinerary is to buy the “New York Go City Explorer Pass”.

When purchasing it, you can choose to get the NY Go City Explorer Pass for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 10 attractions.

Unlike other city passes that are duration based (24h/48h/72h), for the New York Explorer pass, the only thing that matters is the number of activities you want to do.

It’s just perfect to enjoy the activities and visits at your own pace during your 5-day stay in New York 😄.

And with about 90 activities to select from, there’s no shortage of options.

Of course, all top-rated attractions such as the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty ferry, and the Top of the Rock observation deck are part of the package!

To buy the city pass, it’s really simple: you just have to click on the green button below.

After your purchase, you will receive your New York Explorer Pass via email.

In this email, you will also find a digital guide with handy information to help you organize your visits: operating hours, directions, and the details on how to book a time slot for most New York City attractions.

Here are some of the most popular attractions included in the New York Explorer pass:

  • Empire State Building
  • Ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
  • Top of the Rock
  • 9/11 Museum and Memorial
  • Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • One World Observatory
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Circle Line Sightseeing
  • St Patrick’s Cathedral Tour
  • And the list goes on…

For a 5-day trip to New York, you should opt for the New York Explorer Pass that includes 10 attractions. This allows you to experience a wide range of activities and sites.

To buy your New York Explorer Pass, simply click on the green button below:

You might also have heard about the New York City Pass, however it’s not the best choice for a five-day trip as it only includes 5 attractions.

2. Skip the line tickets for New York’s best tourist attractions

Second solution: To avoid wasting your time waiting in line, you can also buy skip-the-line tickets in advance for any attraction or activity.

While the New York Go City Explorer Pass offers an excellent value for money for your five-day visit, you might prefer to visit only a few specific sites.

In that case, buying skip-the-line tickets for each attraction individually is the perfect alternative!

You can buy priority tickets online for all of New York’s best attractions, guided tours and activities.

Here are some of the best skip-the-line tickets you should consider for your 5-day stay in New York.

To book them, you simply need to click on the orange links below (you’ll also find them throughout the article):

5 days in New York – All the best places to visit

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you want to book other activities in New York, you should always use these 2 reliable and safe websites:

One Last Tip for a Perfect 5-Day Stay in New York

If you already know your travel dates (or as soon as you will have them!), you should really book your accommodation.

As New York is one of the most touristic cities in the world, the hotels offering the best value for money are often fully booked months in advance.

As a seasoned traveler, I can assure you that it’s always by planning as far in advance as possible that I’ve found the best hotels or apartments deals.

You agree that it would be a shame to somewhat ruin your stay in New York by ending up in a not-so-great hotel that costed you a fortune, right? 😅

So your best bet is to take 5 minutes now to have a look at traveler’s favorite hotels in New York.

And if you like one of the hotels you find, book it!

It’s fast, it’s easy and most accommodation offer free cancellation. That’s the best way to protect yourself from the inconvenience of finding nothing but mediocre rooms at exorbitant prices.

To check the best hotels deals in New York, simply click on the green button below:

After securing your dream stay, it’s time to continue reading this guide!

5 Days in New York: The Best Itinerary

Let’s now start your 5-day itinerary in New York!

For each day, I will give you all the details you need to plan your visits + a map that will allow you to visualize the itinerary a bit better.

I’m assuming you will be staying in New York for 5 full days and that you will be using the New York Explorer Pass or Skip-the-Line TicketsIt’s the best way to save time and money during your 5-day stay!

If you still have questions after reading this guide (or need help organizing your holiday), don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section located at the very end of this article.

I will be glad to help you plan your trip to New York 😄.

Day 1: The Heart of Manhattan

visiter New York en 2 jours Jour 1
5-Day New York Itinerary – Day 1

Day 1 visits:

A. Central Park
B. Museums
C. Fifth Avenue
D. St Patrick’s Cathedral
E. Top of the Rock
F. Times Square

A. Exploring Central Park

To start your 5-day trip to New York, There is no better place than the iconic Central Park!

Take a stroll, go for a picnic and explore New York’s largest public park famous locations.

In particular, you should pass by the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain or The Belvedere Castle.

But that’s not all, Central Park is huge, so there is plenty to see:

  • Central Park Zoo: Kids will love it!
  • Shakespeare Garden
  • The Bow Bridge, an Instagram-worthy locale
  • Alice in Wonderland Statue
  • The Mall and Literary Walk”, a picturesque pathway adorned with statues of literary figures.
  • The Strawberry Fields, a memorial to John Lennon.

And if you don’t want to visit Central Park on foot, you have several other options (click on the orange link to book):

Voyage Tips - Advice

To reach Central Park, your best bet is to take the subway to the 72 Street, 81 Street, or 86 Street stations.

Central Park
Central Park

B. Visit to one of New York’s most famous museums

The 3 most famous museums of New York are conveniently located just a stone’s throw away from Central Park.

Based on your personal interests, you can select from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, or the Guggenheim Museum.

If you are fascinated by the world of science, the American Museum of Natural History will definitely be worth your time, while the Metropolitan Museum of Art is home to numerous art masterpieces.

And if you prefer modern and contemporary art, the Guggenheim Museum is the place for you!

You should note that both the Guggenheim Museum and the American Museum are included in the New York Explorer Pass.

Remember, if you do not have the pass, you should book your tickets in advance by clicking on the buttons below:

  • The American Museum of Natural History:

  • The Guggenheim Museum:

For the Metropolitan Museum of Art, tickets are only available on the official website. You can also opt for a guided tour by clicking here.

American Museum of Natural History
American Museum of Natural History

C. The Prestigious Fifth Avenue

Let’s continue your 5-day New York itinerary and head to the world-renowned Fifth Avenue.

Renown for its luxury shops and noteworthy landmarks, it’s the perfect place for a bit of shopping or window-shopping!

Here are some of the most popular shops on Fifth Avenue in New York City:

  1. Bergdorf Goodman: A luxury goods department store known for high-end designer clothes, shoes, and handbags.
  2. Saks Fifth Avenue: This iconic high-end department store offers luxury items including clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, and housewares.
  3. Tiffany & Co.: This world-renowned jeweler has been a part of Fifth Avenue since the early 1940s. It’s the perfect place to admire some exquisite diamonds and fine jewelry.
  4. FAO Schwarz: One of the oldest and most famous toy stores in the United States. It’s a wonderful place for kids and adults alike!
  5. Apple Store: The flagship Apple Store recognizable by its iconic glass cube.
  6. Gucci: Known for its luxury Italian fashion and leather goods.
  7. Louis Vuitton: The French fashion designer is another icon store on Fifth Avenue, offering high-end trunks, leather goods, shoes, watches, jewelry, accessories, and sunglasses.
  8. Prada: The Italian luxury fashion brand, specializing in leather handbags and travel accessories.

Fifth Avenue
Fifth Avenue

D. St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Your next stop on the Fifth Avenue should be the breathtaking St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a remarkable symbol of Gothic Revival architectural style.

Admission to the St. Patrick’s Cathedral is included in the New York Explorer Pass, granting you an excellent opportunity to appreciate the interior of the cathedral and the elegant stained glass.

And if you don’t have the pass, you need to purchase your ticket by clicking here:

Saint Patrick's Cathedral NYC
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral NYC

E. The Top of the Rock

For an incomparable view of the city, you should visit the Top of the Rock.

Located at the top of the Rockefeller Center, this observation platform offers a full 360-degree panorama of New York City.

From up there, you especially have a great view over the Empire State Building and Central Park – It’s really impressive from this vantage point!

Access to the Top of the Rock is included with the New York Go City Explorer Pass.

If you don’t have the pass, you need to purchase your skip-the-line ticket here:

Rockfeller Center Top of The Rock
Rockefeller Center Top of The Rock

F. Times Square

To end your first day in New York in style, let’s now go to Times Square.

This legendary square, famous for its huge bright billboards, is one of the most famous areas of the city.

There are several iconic stores in and around Times Square, including the M&M’s World, Hershey’s Chocolate World, and the Disney Store.

In and around Times Square, you’ll often find people dressed up as pop culture characters. For a small tip, you can take a picture with them.

Times Square has also a variety of food options. You can for example try a meal at the Hard Rock Cafe or at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. 

Times Square
Times Square

Second day: Brooklyn and Downtown Manhattan

Visiter New York en 3 jours Jour 2
5 days in New York – Day 2

Day 2 visits:

A. Brooklyn district and DUMBO
B. Brooklyn Bridge
C. Statue of Liberty
D. Financial district
E. 9/11 Memorial and museum
F. One World Observatory
G. Little Italy and Chinatown

A. Brooklyn District and DUMBO

On your 2nd day of your 5-day trip to New York, get prepared to explore Brooklyn, one of New York’s most dynamic boroughs.

Start your day in the hip neighborhood of DUMBO (an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass).

While in DUMBO, seize the opportunity to capture your version of the famous photo of the red bricks buildings with the Manhattan Bridge in the background.

To discover the secrets of Brooklyn, you should really book this walking tour (click here). It’s the best way to make the most of your visit!

Voyage Tips - Advice

To reach Brooklyn, hop on the subway and stop at York Street station. You will be very close to Washington Street, where the photo spot I mentionned above is located.


B. The Brooklyn Bridge

You simply can’t spend 5-days in New York  without taking a walk on the famous Brooklyn Bridge!

This remarkable architectural feat has stood proudly since 1883, linking Manhattan and Brooklyn across the East River. With its Gothic arches and network-like cables, it ranks among the top photography spots in NYC.

As you cover the 1.3-mile length, you can soak in panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and the Freedom Tower.

Voyage Tips - Advice

Did you know the Brooklyn Bridge was the world’s first steel-wire suspension bridge?

At the time of its opening, it was also the longest suspension bridge in the world. A true architectural feat!

Brooklyn bridge
Brooklyn bridge

C. Ferry Ride to the Statue of Liberty or Cruise Around the Statue

Let’s continue the day with a cruise to one of the most iconic landmarks in the world: the Statue of Liberty.

Take the ferry from Battery Park*, and you’ll be on your way to this massive neoclassical sculpture standing majestically on Liberty Island. Built in 1886, the Statue of Liberty is a gift from the people of France and is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy.

Just a stone’s throw from Liberty Island, you’ll find Ellis Island, home to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, which provides an insight into the immigrant experience.

Your New York Explorer Pass comes with a round-trip ferry ticket, allowing you to visit both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

If you don’t have this City Pass and wish to set foot on the islands, you need to book your tickets here:

Alternatively, you can also opt for a cruise around the statue, if you prefer to admire this emblematic monument from the water:

Whichever you choose, it’s an absolute must-do on your 5-day trip to New York.

*To get to Battery park, you can take the metro at Brooklyn bridge – City Hall Station and hop-off at Bowling green station.

Voyage Tips - Advice

To take your New York experience to an even greater height, you should opt for an unforgettable helicopter tour over the city!

Departing just 200 meters away from Battery Park, it’s a convenient addition to your day’s itinerary.

Whether you choose to go before or after your trip to the Statue of Liberty, it’s bound to be a thrilling experience.

You can opt for the classic tour (click here to book your tour) or choose to go for the sensational open-door version! Personally, I opted for the open door version and it was simply the best experience I had in New York!

To secure your seat on this once-in-a-lifetime experience during your 5-day trip to New York, you just need to click on the button below:

Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty

D. Things to See in the Financial District

After your inspiring visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, you should head to the Financial District.

Take a stroll on Wall Street to see the New York Stock Exchange, Federal Hall, and of course, the Charging Bull statue.

Remember, rubbing its bronze nose, horns, and, *ahem*, rear parts, is said to bring good luck. You’ll be rubbing elbows with tourists instead of stock traders, but hey, it’s all part of the authentic New York experience!

Wall Street
Wall Street

E. 9/11 Memorial and Museum

Your New York in 5 days itinerary will now take you to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

It’s an impactful place that honors the victims of the 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attacks.

Here, you will find twin reflecting pools, each nearly an acre in size, that sit in the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood.

The museum, on the other hand, will allow you to learn more about this tragic day and its aftermath.

It’s a deeply moving tribute and an essential part of understanding New York’s recent history.

And if you want to learn more and get interesting facts, you can book a 90-minute guided walk around Ground Zero by clicking here.

Voyage Tips - Advice

Your New York Explorer Pass gets you free entry to the 9/11 Memorial and museum.

Without the pass, you need to book your tickets for the museum here:

National 9 11 Memorial & Museum
National 9 11 Memorial & Museum

F. One World Observatory

You’re already in the area, so why not go up to the top of the One World Observatory?

It’s located in the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, the One World Trade Center. From the 100th floor, you’ll get an unbeatable 360-degree view of New York City. You’ll see, it’s super impressive!

And the elevator ride itself is an experience – the walls project a time-lapse of the New York City skyline from the 1500s to today.

Voyage Tips - Advice

You should visit One World Observatory around sunset for the best views. Don’t forget that the entrance to One World Observatory is included with your New York Go City Explorer Pass.

If you don’t have it, you need to get priority tickets in advance by clicking on the button below:

One World Observatory
One World Observatory

G. Enjoy a Meal in Little Italy or Chinatown

After a full day of sightseeing, you’ve earned yourself a delicious meal! To end the second day of your 5-day visit to New York, why not immerse yourself in the culinary delights of Little Italy or Chinatown?

For a taste of Italy, stroll down Mulberry Street in Little Italy. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped onto the old continent itself.

Can’t decide where to eat? Don’t worry. Here’s my pro tip: head to Paesano or Da Nico. Their pasta and pizza are really good. And for the dessert, you should try a cannoli or a tiramisu.

If you’re craving more exotic flavors, then Chinatown is the place to go.

I particularly recommend 2 restaurants in Chinatown: Shangai 21 and Tasty Hand Pulled Noodles. 

Let me know what you think about their dumplings and noodles!

After a good dinner, make sure to get a good night’s sleep, as there’s much more to discover in New York City on the next days!

Chinatown New York
Chinatown New York

Day 3: Best things to do in New York

Visiter New York en 3 jours Jour 3
5 Days in New York – Day 3 itinerary

Day 3 visits:

A. Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
B. Circle line Sightseeing cruise
C. Madame Tussauds
D. New York Public Library / Grand Central Terminal / Chrysler Building / United Nation Headquarters
E. Empire State Building
F. See a musical on Broadway

A. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

To start the 3rd day of your 5-day itinerary in NYC, you should head to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum located on the Hudson River.

The nearest subway station to the museum is 50 Street Station, just a 15-minute walk away.

Here, you can dive into history (without getting wet!) and learn about the role of sea, air, and space crafts in the military.

The centerpiece is the Intrepid aircraft carrier, which was in service during World War II.

You can also explore a real submarine, the Growler, and the Space Shuttle Pavilion featuring the Enterprise space shuttle!

The flight deck of the aircraft carrier also boasts an impressive collection of aircraft, including a Concorde and a Lockheed A-12.

Free admission to the museum is included with the New York Explorer Pass.

If you’re don’t have the city pass, you need to book your ticket here:

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

B. Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise

Now that you know everything about US Military equipment, it’s time for New York’s most popular cruise: the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise.

This is the perfect way to relax and take in the unbeatable views of New York’s skyline.

From the water, you’ll have a unique vantage point of iconic landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Plus, the onboard narration is packed with interesting facts.

Again, this cruise is included with your New York pass. 

And if you don’t have the pass, you need to book your cruise here:

Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises

C. Madame Tussauds New York

It’s now time to head for a fun museum: Madame Tussauds New York.

The world-renowned wax museum houses incredible life-like figures of famous people, from Hollywood stars to sporting heroes, and even world leaders.

It’s uncanny how real they look! You can get up close and personal with your favorite celebrities, and they won’t mind at all if you snap a selfie.

Entrance also includes access to the Marvel Super Heroes 4D experience. It’s an immersive and thrilling adventure with your favorite Marvel heroes.

Best of all, Madame Tussauds is included in the New York Explorer Pass.

If you’re don’t have the city pass, you need to book your ticket here:

Madame Tussaud New York
Madame Tussaud New York

D. New York Public Library / Grand Central Terminal / Chrysler Building / United Nations Headquarters

After Madame Tussauds, let’s go on a walk to discover some of New York’s iconic architectural wonders.

Start with a visit to the New York Public Library. With its grand façade and interiors, it’s much more than just a place for book lovers!

Next, head to the bustling Grand Central Terminal. Even if you’re not catching a train, the celestial ceiling and the iconic clock are worth a look. It’s the kind of place that makes you feel like you’re in a classic movie.

You should then go to the Chrysler Building, an Art Deco masterpiece  and one of my favorite skyscrapers of New York.

To end your architectural tour, pass by the United Nations Headquarters. It’s a symbol of peace and diplomacy in the heart of the city.

Grand Central Station
Grand Central Station

E. Empire State Building

Next stop of the day: the legendary Empire State Building, for sure one of the most iconic places to visit during your 5 days in New York.

The panoramic views of the city from the 86th and 102nd-floor observatories are absolutely breath-taking. As you step onto the viewing deck, you’ll feel on top of the world!

You should really visit the Empire State Building during the late afternoon so you can experience the magnificent sunset over the city. 

Good news: the New York Explorer Pass gives you free access to the Empire State Building.

However, if you don’t have a pass, you need to book your priority tickets by clicking on the button below:

Empire State Building
Empire State Building

F. See a musical on Broadway

After this awesome day, it’s time to unwind, and what better way to do so than to catch a musical on Broadway?

Broadway is synonymous with New York City, and you simply can’t leave without watching one of its spectacular performances. Whether you’re into classic productions like ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ or modern hits like ‘Hamilton’, there’s a show for everyone.

The energy, the music, the drama – it’s an experience that’ll leave you humming show tunes all the way back to your hotel.

Tickets for popular shows can sell out pretty fast, so make sure you book in advance. You can find all tickets available for Broadway shows by clicking here!

Lion king musical
Lion king musical

Day 4: Even more things to do in New York!

We’re on Day 4 of our 5 days in New York itinerary.

Today we’re going to explore trendy neighborhoods, snack at a renowned market, and enjoy some killer views from some of New York’s coolest rooftop bars.

Let’s go!

Visiter New York en 7 jours jour 4
5 Days in New York – Day 4 itinerary

Day 4 visits:

A. Greenwich Village
B. Chelsea Market
C. High Line
D. The Vessel
E. The Edge
F. Rooftop bars

A. Greenwich Village

The day starts in the charming neighborhood of Greenwich Village.

With its tree-lined streets, historic townhouses, and vibrant art scene, it’s no wonder that this area was the birthplace of many cultural movements.

As you wander around, don’t forget to check out Washington Square Park, a favorite gathering spot for locals.

While you’re here, you can explore the small boutiques and enjoy a coffee at a sidewalk café.

You should also seek out the “Friends” apartment on the corner of Grove and Bedford Streets. Even if you aren’t a fan of the show, it’s a pretty cool slice of pop culture history to see in person!

You can also visit the Friends Experience where the sets of Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe’s flats are recreated. Be sure to book your tickets as early as possible because they sell out rapidly!

You need to book your tickets here.

Voyage Tips - Advice

Want to find out more about Greenwich Village?

The best way to visit the district is to book this guided walking tour (click here).

Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village

B. Chelsea Market

Feeling a bit hungry? It’s time to head over to Chelsea Market.

This bustling market is a foodie’s dream come true with a wide range of delicious cuisines all under one roof.

From mouth-watering tacos to lobster rolls, you’re in for a treat!

C. The High Line

Once you’ve fueled up, you’re just a few steps away from one of the coolest urban parks in the world, the High Line.

This elevated railway line turned park offers a unique perspective of the city.

While strolling through gardens suspended in mid-air, you can admire the local artwork, chill in cozy loungers, and soak up amazing city views.

High Line Park
High Line Park

D. The Vessel – Hudson Yard

Next, we’re heading to Hudson Yards to visit the Vessel, a fascinating piece of architecture that looks like a giant honeycomb.

Unfortunately, it is now forbidden to use the spiral staircases in the structure, but you can access the ground floor free of charge.

It’s well worth the walk to see this very special building, made up of 154 flights of stairs, for a total of 2,500 steps!

Hudson Yards The Vessel
Hudson Yards The Vessel

E. Edge Observation Deck

Just when you thought you’d had your fill of breathtaking views for the day, we’re off to the Edge Observation Deck.

As the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere, it offers jaw-dropping 360° views of the Big Apple.

If you’re brave enough, you can step out onto the glass floor and look straight down. My favorite part was looking down and seeing the tiny yellow taxis moving around below!

As the others observation deck in New York, you can visit the Edge for free if you have the New York Go City Explorer Pass.

If you don’t have the city Pass, you need to book your Edge tickets here!

Edge observation deck New York
Edge observation deck New York

F. Rooftop Bars in New York

To wrap up your fourth day of this 5-day New York itinerary, you should definitely head to one of the city’s iconic rooftop bars.

Let’s check out a few of my favorites:

1) 230 FIFTH Rooftop Bar NYC

This rooftop bar is famed for its extraordinary view of the Empire State Building. You should try their signature cocktails and share a few bites.

2) Westlight at The William Vale

A chic rooftop bar located at The William Vale in Brooklyn. Offering panoramic views of Manhattan and beyond, it’s the perfect place to watch the sunset.

3) The Rooftop at The Standard, High Line

This trendy spot is known for its lively atmosphere and fantastic views of the Hudson River and the city skyline.

4) The Press Lounge

The Press Lounge offers an upscale atmosphere with its large terrace and great views of Manhattan and the Hudson.

Voyage Tips - Advice

The Press Lounge (and most of the rooftop bar’s in New York) enforces a smart casual dress code, so don’t forget to dress appropriately!

Day 5: Art, Viewpoints, Shopping, and Upscale Dining in NYC

Visiter New York en une semaine jour 5
Visiting New York in 5 days – Day 5 itinerary

Day 5 visits:

B. Summit One Vanderbilt
C. Shopping in New York
D. Speakeasy or Michelin-starred restaurants

A. MoMA (Museum of Modern Art)

For the final day of your 5-day stay in New York, let’s start at the famous Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

A mecca for modern art enthusiasts,  the MoMA houses an incredible array of works from artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Salvador Dalí, and Pablo Picasso.

One of the highlights is undoubtedly van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” This iconic masterpiece is a must-see, so make sure you don’t miss it during your visit!

Voyage Tips - Advice

Entry to the MoMA is included in the New York Explorer Pass.

If you don’t have it, it’s simple, you just have to book your skip-the-line ticket here:

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

B. SUMMIT One Vanderbilt

Next, you can head over to SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, one of New York’s latest attractions.

Soaring over Midtown Manhattan, this skyscraper offers jaw-dropping 360-degree views over the city.

And the best part? It’s not just about the views. SUMMIT One Vanderbilt is also home to immersive art installations and even an outdoor skybox where you can literally hang out over the edge of the building.

Access to the SUMMIT is NOT included in the New York pass.

You must therefore buy your ticket in advance, by clicking on the following button:

SUMMIT One Vanderbilt New York
SUMMIT One Vanderbilt New York

C. Shopping in New York

New York City is a world-renowned shopping destination.

You already passed by 5th Avenue on the first day, but you can of course go back there to do a bit of shopping.

Looking for something a little more understated?

Head over to Madison Avenue for a mix of designer boutiques and art galleries. And don’t forget the iconic Macy’s at Herald Square!

It’s the largest department store in the world, so yes, you might end up spending a lot of time (and money) there.

Or perhaps you’re more into unique finds and eclectic boutiques?

Then Soho is your place. With its cobblestone streets and cast-iron buildings, this neighborhood is charming in its own right.

Plus, you’ll find numerous boutiques offering everything from fashion to home décor (a bit harder to take back home, though 😅).

Soho New York
Soho New York

D. Speakeasy and Michelin-starred Restaurants

After a day of shopping, nothing beats unwinding at a speakeasy or indulging in a meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

For a little taste of the Prohibition era, slip into a hidden bar like “Employees Only” or the “Please Don’t Tell” speakeasy. Trust me, sipping on a cocktail in these secretive establishments is a very special experience!

If you’re a foodie, treating yourself to a meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant is an excellent way to wrap up your 5 days in New York.

I personally loved Le Bernardin, known for its exquisite seafood, and Eleven Madison Park, where each dish is a work of art.

Remember to make reservations at these restaurants well in advance. They’re popular spots, and tables can fill up quickly.

Speakeasy New York
Speakeasy New York

Where to stay in New York?

To explore the best places to visit in 5 days in New York, you will need to book a hotel.

In order to help you out, I have prepared a selection of my favorite hotels depending on your budget.

You should really book your hotel as soon as possible, the best deals usually don’t last long!

Here is my selection of the best hotels to stay in the heart of New York (around Times Square / Empire State Building / Central Park).

  • HI New York City Hostel: Youth hostel located right next to Central Park. Dormitory beds from €50 per night. An excellent choice for cheap accommodation in New York City Center!
  • Club Wyndham Midtown 45: Located next to Grand Central Station. Bright and spacious double room from €200 per night. Strong Points: the rooftop and the location.
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott New York Manhattan/Times Square South: Located 1 km from Times Square. Cosy, comfortable double rooms from €330 per night, including breakfast. Strong points: friendly staff, view, peace and quiet.
  • Hyatt Place New York City/Times Square: Located next to Madame Tussauds. Double room with impeccable cleanliness and comfortable bedding from €350, breakfast included. Strong points: central location for visiting New York on foot, very generous breakfast, very friendly staff.
  • The Iroquois New York: Located less than 500 metres from Times Square, this 5-star hotel offers superb rooms with very chic decor, from €410 including breakfast. Strong points: ideal, quiet location, attentive staff.
  • Riu Plaza Manhattan Times Square: Located next to the Rockfeller Center. Very comfortable, noise-isolated room from €450, breakfast €23. Strong points: very professional staff, varied breakfast, very easy to visit the centre of New York on foot.
  • Hard Rock Hotel New York: Located next to the Rockfeller Center, this luxury hotel offers elegant, contemporary rooms from €500, breakfast €47. Strong points: the rooftop, the comfort, the classy design. This is my recommendation for a luxury stay in New York!
Hard Rock Hotel New York
Hard Rock Hotel New York

If you don’t mind being a bit further from the centre (don’t worry, it’s still very easily accessible by public transport), here is my list of the best hotels in Wall Street.

It’s a bit quieter than the hotels in Times Square and also slightly less expensive for equivalent quality.

  • Hilton Garden Inn NYC Financial Center/Manhattan Downtown: Located 160 metres from Battery Park. Comfortable, modern rooms from €225, breakfast €23. Strong points: the location close to the metro, very comfortable, practical for going to the Statue of Liberty and Staten Island.
  • The Washington by LuxUrban: Located 200 metres from the 9/11 Memorial and museum. Stylish rooms from €240, breakfast included. Strong points: metro stations right next to the hotel – perfect for sightseeing, view of the One World Trade Center, quality of bedding, peace and quiet.
  • Club Quarters Hotel World Trade Center: Located next to Ground Zero. Spacious and cosy double room from €330. Strong points: location next to several metro stations, views from the rooftop and some rooms, free unlimited water and coffee/tea, in-room fridge.

Voyage Tips - Advice

To help you find the perfect accommodation, I have also written a guide of the best areas and places to stay in New York depending on your budget.

You can find it here: Where to stay in New York?

Club Quarters Hotel World Trade Center New York
Club Quarters Hotel World Trade Center New York

5 days in New York with your Family

If you’re going to visit New York in 5 days with your family, here are a few ideas of activities your kids will for sure enjoy:

  • The Central Park Zoo: children love to watch animals
  • American Museum of Natural History: you can only love its dinosaur fossils and the massive blue whale model!
  • Don’t forget to check out the M&M’s and Disney’s stores in Times Square and the Lego’s store on Fifth Avenue for a dose of colorful fun.
  • The ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty and the cruise: 2 great things to do with children in New York
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
  • Attend a Broadway Show: Choose a kid-friendly production like ‘The Lion King’ or ‘Aladdin’ for an unforgettable theatre experience!

The New York Explorer Pass offers discounted rates for children, depending on their age.

More things to do during your 5 days in New York

This suggested itinerary allows you to see the best attractions New York has to offer in 5 days.

And as it’s perfectly optimized, you won’t waste time going back and forth in the city.

However, if you want to change or add activities, you should read my other article about the 57 best places to visit in New York. It will for sure help you to finalize your itinerary!

You can read it here: The 57 best things to do in New York.

Map of your 5-day itinerary in New York

To help you visualize your daily itineraries during your 5 days in New York, I have created this map with all the places to visit day by day. You can view the map’s legend by clicking on the top left button, the one with a little arrow.

You can thus see the suggested itineraries for each day.

Flight prices to New York

As always, you should book your plane tickets as early as possible to get the best prices.

To check the rates and schedules for flights to New York, you can use our flight comparator, in partnership with Skyscanner:

Now, you know how to visit New York in 5 days!

You need help to plan your 5-day trip to New York? Don’t hesitate to ask me in the comment section located below!

Book your trip now and save money!

You’re traveling in the US? These articles will help you!

Discover all my articles about USA: All my articles to help you plan your trip to USA are listed there.

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New York 5 days itinerary
New York 5 days itinerary

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

Discussion2 Comments

    • Vincent

      Hello Arlène,

      Thank you! I’m glad my 5-day itinerary in New York helped you organise your visits.

      For the bus tour, I recommend this one: Big Bus Tour (click here).
      It’s the best-rated company and it also offers 2 different tours, so it’s perfect for seeing lots of places.

      Enjoy your stay in New York!

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