This post is all about how to spend 4 days in New York.

So you’re heading to the big apple but ONLY have 4 days? Don’t fret!

4 days in New York City is the perfect amount of time to get a taste of America’s greatest city.

After moving here at the beginning of the year, I’ve received loads of messages asking why I haven’t posted any NYC content on my blog.

The truth is, this city is so big and popular, that I didn’t feel I could confidently write the BEST New York itinerary that ever existed.

Until now.

Here is how to spend an epic 4 days in New York City.

Don’t forget your free NYC Checklist so you don’t miss a thing!

4 Days in New York City – Short Version

Day 1 – Rockefeller Center, St Patricks Cathedral, Grand Central Station, Dinner at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria.

Day 2 – Brunch at The Smith. Central Park, Magnolia Bakery, Landmarks Cruise, Walk the High Line at sunset.

Day 3 -Empire State Building, Bryant Park, Times Square, Dinner and Cheesecake at Juniors. Broadway Show.

Day 4 – 9/11 Museum, Little Italy, Lunch at RubiRosa, Visit DUMBO, Drinks at Randolph, Walk the Brooklyn Bridge, Chinatown

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4 Days in New York City Itinerary – Detailed Version

Where to stay:

Budget $- The Hotel at Fifth Avenue

Moderate $$ – The Empire Hotel

Luxury $$$ – Lotte New York Palace

Empire Hotel

Day 1

Travel days are exhausting so let’s keep the first day nice and easy.

After you check into your hotel, kick off your trip by exploring Rockefeller Center, St. Patricks Cathedral, and Grand Central Station.

These are all free activities that are open late and within close proximity to each other. Plus, they are quick historical sites to explore. In under 2 hours, you can see all three of them.

Obviously, for your first night in New York, you must have that classic New York-style pizza! I recommend Grimaldis Pizzeria.

Day 2

Today you’ll spend most of your time exploring the upper west side.

Begin your morning with brunch at The Smith.

Then, take a stroll in the magnificent Central park. If you’d rather ride bikes, there are plenty of rental options in the park.

4 days in new york

After Central Park, grab a cupcake at the famous Magnolia Bakery.

Take a break from the thick of the city and book the 3 pm Landmarks Cruise. I booked with Circle Line and was impressed with all the iconic NYC sites you could see from the water.

4 days in new york
4 days in new york

This tour included stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridges, and so much more.

After the landmarks cruise, you’ll disembark close to the entrance of the High Line which is one of the most unique walking paths in Manhattan.

Day 3

Grab your best walking shoes and prepare to see it all!

Start your day off with tickets to go inside the Empire State Building,

You’ll pass through a fascinating mini-museum on your way up to the top. And of course, you’ll see amazing views of the city when you reach the viewpoint.

4 days in new york
4 days in new york

Next, make your way to Bryant Park and soak in some sun. Bryant Park is filled with cute sitting areas, events, and outdoor cafes. It’s the perfect place to people-watch.

Following your afternoon at the park, head towards Times Square and plan for dinner and famous cheesecake at Juniors. This isn’t a fancy place, but it is an NYC classic. If you’re looking for a fancier option, Becco is a delicious mid-range fine dining Italian restaurant.

After dinner and dessert, enjoy an iconic show on Broadway.

new york city itinerary broadway show

Day 4

On your last day in NYC, you’ll want to get an early start to ensure you check everything off your list.

Begin your morning at the 9/11 Museum & Memorial. This museum is HUGE and you may not have time to see everything. It takes roughly 3 hours to see the main points and 4 hours to see the whole museum.

4 days in new york

After the museum, head to Little Italy and enjoy lunch at RubiRosa. Reservations are a must!

When you’re finished with lunch, walk around Nolita and explore the many boutiques.

Next, it’s time to get a dose of the iconic borough of Brooklyn and head to DUMBO.

It’s not fair to say that DUMBO represents most of Brooklyn, but it is a beautiful area to enjoy.

Walk through the famous DUMBO bridge viewpoint at 39-21 Washington St Brooklyn, NY.

Watch the sunset at Randolph Beer rooftop or at the top of TimeOut Market (free).

End your evening walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and venture into Chinatown.

4 days in new york

Feel free to edit this itinerary to fit your interests. No New York itinerary will look the same. Enjoy your time in the big apple!

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