Seeing the best of New York City in 2 days requires endurance, patience, perseverance, very good walking shoes, a daily fun pass MetroCard, and a good map of the city subway system. You'll also need to get an early start and have a plan of attack.Or pick a few neighborhoods you don't know as well, and explore. See Time Out New York and The New York Times for festivals and events. Start: 42nd Street at Twelfth Avenue.
Day 1: Major Buildings & Landmarks
On Day 1, take the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise for an overview of Manhattan and a view of the Statue of Liberty. Then take the M42 42nd Street crosstown bus to Fifth Avenue and head to the New York Public Library. Don't miss the incredible reading room. While you're here, take a look at the library's backyard, Bryant Park. (If tents are up, you're visiting during one of the two Fashion Weeks held yearly in the park.) Head east on 42nd Street to Lexington Avenue for a view of our favorite skyscraper, the Chrysler Building. Take a stroll through Grand Central Terminal, then walk down Fifth Avenue into the Empire State Building, and head to the top for a pristine panoramic view. Take the B or D train uptown to Seventh Avenue, and walk east across 53rd Street to the completely renovated Museum of Modern Art. Yes, the $20 suggested admission is outrageous, but this is New York and you are slowly getting used to outrageous. Then spend the rest of the afternoon strolling around Rockefeller Center and Fifth Avenue. (In winter, you can squeeze in a spin on the ice at either Bryant Park's or Rock Center's rinks.) If your timing is right, you may be able to catch the 70-minute NBC Studio Tour. Finally, cap off the evening with dinner, then a Broadway show in Times Square and see the area in all its noisy, illuminated glory.
Day 2: Downtown & Major Museums
On your second day, head downtown in the morning and explore the city where it began. Take the no. 1 subway to South Ferry or no. 4 or 5 to Bowling Green, and check out Wall Street attractions, including the impressive U.S. Customs House, which houses the National Museum of the American Indian, and the New York Stock Exchange. Take the A or C train at Broadway/Nassau Street to High Street, the first stop in Brooklyn, and take a half-hour stroll back to Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge, an absolute must, with a spectacular view of the skyline. You'll exit the bridge near the no. 6 train at Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall, which you can take uptown to 77th Street and Lexington Avenue. There, you can explore a few Upper East Side attractions, like the exciting (and manageable in size) Whitney Museum of American Art and sprawling, spectacular Metropolitan Museum of Art. Take an hour-long museum highlights tour, or stick with exploring a few rooms. The Met's backyard is Central Park, which you enter at either 79th Street or 85th Street. If you have time, check out the fantastic American Museum of Natural History at the western side of the park. As with the Met, pick a few highlights. At night, check out a comedy club, or try a barhop and bond with the locals.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.