Explore New York City

New York City in 24 Hours

See the best of the Big Apple in one day!

New York City is known for packing in some of America’s biggest, brightest and best all in one place. There are so many landmarks, attractions and sights to see that it’s almost impossible to fit it all in one day. 

Luckily, there’s a way for you to take in some of the most iconic spots during that time. Many of its most popular attractions are located right near each other, so it’s just a quick walk through the city to get where you need to go. This is your ultimate guide to experiencing New York City in 24 hours.

The Best of NYC in Just 24 Hours

In the Morning

Most people arrive in the city through Penn Station, so leaving from there is the best place to start on your city adventure. Once you step out of this train station, head north towards Times Square; this is where a lot of the city’s main action is, from flashing billboards to Broadway shows. 

You’ll see the Empire State Building towering above the rest of the city along the way, or you can take a quick walk through quiet Bryant Park. Once you hit Times Square, you’ll step right into the energy of New York City bright and early. After you’ve seen it all, there is to see in the heart of the city; head further north towards Central Park

Central Park New York | WhereTraveler
Central Park (©Michal Dziekonski)

For Breakfast/Brunch

For a cozy breakfast spot in the city, look no further than Carnegie Diner & Cafe. This restaurant is located near Columbus Circle and Central Park, offering excellent views of some of the most beautiful city sights. Their breakfast and brunch options are all about making you feel good while eating healthy. Sip on an unlimited breakfast mimosa while eating one of their fresh omelets made with organic eggs. 

You can also treat yourself to a healthy meal with dishes like avocado toast or a “BLT Quinoa Bowl.” For a more standard breakfast option, try one of their pancake options like classic buttermilk or something different like “Apple Pie.” No matter what you eat, Carnegie Diner & Cafe is the perfect place to start your day. 

(Courtesy Carnegie Diner & Cafe) New York | WhereTraveler
(Courtesy Carnegie Diner & Cafe) 

In the Afternoon

To work off your healthy breakfast in the afternoon, visit gorgeous Central Park. Here, you’ll find several walking trails that will take you through gardens hiding in plain sight in the big city. You can also find unique statues along your path, calm waters to rent a rowboat on, and events happening in different park areas you can join in. After your walk, stay on the West Side to see some other city highlights. 

You can find waterfront fun at the different piers of Hudson River Park, treat yourself to larger-than-life views of the city at Hudson Yards or go on a shopping spree in nearby Chelsea. If you visit Chelsea, be sure to take your city stroll to new heights by walking along The High Line

Hudson Yards (©Evelyn Akhmerov) New York | WhereTraveler
Hudson Yards (©Evelyn Akhmerov)

For Lunch

If you step off the High Line at Tenth Avenue, treat yourself to an Italian lunch at Bottino. This restaurant keeps the outdoor fun going thanks to its garden seating that transports your meal to the Italian countryside. Many of their menu options are healthy and organic, so you’ll taste Italy’s best while also eating nutritiously. 

The restaurant’s cavatelli alla norma is filled with charred and smoked vegetables to give it that perfect fire grill blend. The tagliatelle is a meat lover’s delight thanks to the addition of organic beef, veal and pork bolognese. If you’re looking for something smaller, their grilled sandwiches or butternut squash risotto can’t be beaten. Bottino is the perfect spot for an outdoor lunch in the city that’s filled with good flavors. 

(Courtesy Bottino) New York | WhereTraveler
(Courtesy Bottino) 

In the Evening

As the day begins to wind down, head further south for some more landmarks and waterside sights in the city. You’ll first start in Greenwich Village, one of the most down-to-earth neighborhoods in the city. You can bask in the sun at Washington Square Park, or you can visit some of the local shops filled with old-fashioned items or the latest trends. 

Once you leave, you’ll find yourself heading towards Lower Manhattan, where you’ll find Tribeca and the Financial District, two neighborhoods filled with some of the biggest names in the city. The Financial District is where you’ll find some significant landmarks like One World Observatory, the World Trade Center, Wall Street or even a glimpse at the Brooklyn Bridge

One World Observatory View New York | WhereTraveler
One World Observatory View (©Yuya Hata)

For Dinner

Most people tend to think of Italian or American food when it comes to restaurants in New York City, but have you ever considered Austrian? You’re in luck! You’ll find some at Schilling in the Financial District. This restaurant offers classic Austrian cuisine, and its airy dining space makes you feel like you’re dining outdoors. 

Enjoy a wiener schnitzel or their homemade spätzle with a beautiful view of the city at night by your side. If you’re looking for a more traditional dish, try their “Schilling Burger” or “Viennese Chicken Sandwich.” Top your meal off with an apple strudel and a craft cocktail at Happy Hour, and it creates the perfect finishing touch to a day in the city you’ll never forget. 

Schilling Dining Room New York | WhereTraveler
Schilling Dining Room (Courtes Schilling)