8AM: Have a rooftop brunch in NYC – there are many options throughout the year. Some recommendations for both the morning & evening.

Press Lounge | The Roof at PUBLIC Hotel | Azul on the Rooftop | 230 Fifth

10AM: Start at Grand Central Station & check out the surrounding area, including but not limited to: Bryant Park | New York Public Library | Times Square | Herald Square/34th St/ Empire State building

12PM: There’s food in NYC everywhere; it’s just a matter of what you’re in the mood for. Some of our favorites right now: Brazilian Samba Kitchen | Mediterranean Bodrum | Indian Anand Indian Cuisine | American Five Guys Burger & Fries (any location) | Southern/comfort food Amy Ruth’s | West African Pikine | Spanish Boqueria | Chinese Vanessa’s Dumpling House | or just get a famous slice of NYC pizza!

1:30PM: Time to go uptown! Get a sense of the difference between the East side & the West side as well as everything in between. Check out the following: Central Park Boathouse / Bethesda Fountain / Sheep’s Meadow / Shakespeare Garden

Upper Eastside: Apple Store / 5th Ave / Madison & Park Ave

Popular Museums: Museum of the City of NYC | Guggenheim / Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) / The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) / American Museum of Natural History / The Studio Museum in Harlem / The Bronx Museum of the Arts | Brooklyn Museum | Queens Museum of Food & Drink

Museum of Natural History

Upper West Side: / Columbus Circle / Lincoln Center / The Julliard School / ABC 7 News Production Studio

Midtown: Rockefeller Center & Top of the Rock / The High Line Park / Chelsea Piers / Empire State Building / Koreatown / Pier 84 Hudson River Park

Hudson River Park

4PM: Time to go downtown! There’s so much life & shopping to be found. Check out some of these hallmark areas:

Lower East Side: 14th St/Union Square | Washington Square Park | SoHo/Houston Street | Chinatown

Lower West Side: Christopher St/Greenwich | Pier 40 & Pier 45 | Chelsea Market

Lower Manhattan in general: 9/11 Memorial & One World Observatory – however, for a great view, Empire State Building still is the perfect Manhattan view.

Also check out Wall Street | South Street Seaport | Brooklyn Bridge | Museum of Jewish Heritage

While you’re checking out these fun areas, grab some snacks to keep the energy going; NYC has amazing quality ice cream, pastries drinks and more!

7PM: Dinner time! It may be worth making reservations ahead of time. New Yorkers take social dinners pretty seriously & some of the best spots focus on after 5PM foods. Our recommendation? Take yourself across the East River to Brooklyn for views + amazing food. Some areas in Brooklyn worth checking out, especially for skyline views of Manhattan: Williamsburg Eastside Park/Greenpoint Transmitter Park | Dumbo’s Mainstreet Park | Brooklyn Heights Promenade | Park Slope/Carroll Gardens

NYC Skyline

10PM: Nothing beats seeing the city come alive at night. Take yourself to some of the most beloved spots to drink & dance the night away. Such as:

Sounds of Brazil | Webster Hall | Hudson Terrace | Bembe

Hudson Terrace Nightclub

More likely than not, you won’t be able to do literally everything on this list (unless you’re on a wild mission!) But that’s okay; not even New Yorkers have seen every inch of NYC. If over 2-3 days you can cover the above, then you’ve seen the most common spots.

Read part 2 (coming soon!) to see where else you can explore in NYC and become an advanced tourist.