NYC Weekend Travel Tips
I have always dreamed of visiting New York City. There is just something about the lights, the buildings, and the hustle and bustle that appealed to me. I’ve talked about this dream with my sister for years and one day she stopped me and said, “Let’s do it! Let’s go visit New York City this year.” And I said, “Ok!” We decided to try to keep the budget low and to only visit for 3 nights, one weekend. After making our list of “must stops” we started planning. I was a little worried that only one weekend in New York City wouldn’t be enough time, but I was wrong. Here are a few of my tips about what to do in New York City if you only have a weekend.
Our New York City Weekend Trip
Day 1: Thursday
Our flight arrived in NYC around 6 pm. After checking into our hotel we immediately the the streets for some food and exploring!
*Hotel Money Saving Tip: We booked out hotel through Priceline because they seemed to have the best deals. When using Priceline we didn’t get to choose which hotel we booked, but we were able to choose the area and the hotel star rating. The hotel we got was amazing, exactly what we wanted! We scored a boutique midtown hotel (with a king bed, which is hard to find) for only $200/night!
*Hotel Money Saving Tip: When booking any travel make sure you use Rakuten first, this one simple step gave us an extra 6% cashback on our hotel purchase.
After settling into our hotel we walked down the street to Uncle Pauls Pizza. The pizza was delicious and only $4/slice, exactly what we wanted!
Once we were full from pizza we walked around and enjoyed some sight seeing. We visited Grand Central Station, St.Patricks Cathedral, window shopped down 5th Avenue, and ended the night in Times Square. Everything we saw Thursday night was completely free!
Day 2: Friday
On Friday morning we got up early for breakfast. We went to a small restaurant, across the street from our hotel at Home Front Deli. It was delicious! They made the absolute best bagels I tried all weekend! I highly recommend!
After breakfast we headed to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, or The Met for short. This was one of my favorite stops of the entire trip! It is WELL worth the money! You could spend DAYS in this museum. We focused on the Egyptian Room, The American Wing, and European Art. Everything was absolutely incredible!
*MET Money Saving Tip: If you are wanting to attend a few museums in NYC I recommend purchasing the Explorer Pass. With this pass we were able to customize the places we wanted to go to for a good discount. We chose to use the pass to visit The Met, Top of the Rock and 9/11 Memorial Museum.
After The Met we rode the bus down to the Top of the Rock and were treated to absolutely amazing views of New York City.
We chose to visit Top of the Rock, instead of the Empire State Building, because the price was cheaper and the views were better! I loved that we could see the Empire State Building and Central Park in our view.
Next, was lunch at The Halal Guys for the best Gyros I have ever had. This is seriously a must stop. The portions was huge and only around $8 for a platter.
That night we had tickets to go see The Lion King on Broadway. This was one of our big splurges for the trip and it did not disappoint! We paid full price for our tickets to The Lion King, but there are ways to get discount Broadway Tickets.
*Broadway Money Saving Tip: To get discount Broadway tickets stop by the TKTS booth located right in Times Square. These same day tickets are heavily discounted for a select shows.
Another way to get cheaper tickets for Broadway is to check out the Today Tix website. We used this service for a Broadway show Saturday night and were very pleased with the discounts we got!
- Related: Kauai on a Budget
Day 3: Saturday
For breakfast on Saturday we went to Zuckers Bagels for another classic NYC bagel. If I’m being honest, I didn’t enjoy this breakfast quite as much as Home Front Deli, but it was still delicious!
Immediately after breakfast we headed to the 9/11 museum, this is what I had been most looking forward to.
We were treated to an amazing museum full of heart wrenching photos, survivor stories and gut wrenching facts. Total we spent about 3 hours walking around and taking it all in. But, honestly we could have spent all day there, they had so many exhibits and a lot of great information to look through.
After the museum we headed Downtown to hop onto the Staten Island Ferry. This is a completely FREE ferry that takes you right past the statue of liberty. It was so simple to walk right on to the ferry. I recommend going to the very back so that you can also be treated to a view of the NYC skyline.
The views of the Statue of Liberty were even better than we had expected! Once we arrived in New Jersey, we walked off, went around the corner and walked right onto the next ferry to ride back to Manhattan. So easy, and you just can’t beat a good view for FREE!
Next, we headed to Brooklyn for a walk across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. It was a wet and stormy day, but we still enjoyed the views on the bridge. The architecture was incredible!
That evening we had dinner at Melt Shop for some gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. The food was amazing and very budget friendly!
After dinner we headed to another Broadway Show, Waitress.
This wasn’t my favorite Broadway show, but my sister really enjoyed it, so to each their own!
Day 4: Sunday
Our plane was leaving Sunday afternoon, so we were thrilled to have a few hours left to enjoy the big apple.
We stopped by Wafels and Dinges for breakfast, and I have been dreaming out this place ever since!
After breakfast we decided it was time for cookies, which is totally normal, right???!?! We went straight from breakfast to Levain Bakery for the absolute BEST cookie I have EVER had!!! You MUST, I repeat, MUST stop by Levain Bakery. Their cookies were absolutely amazing!
We ate our cookies in Central Park and then spent the rest of the morning wandering the paths and enjoying the day. It truly is a beautiful park with so many unique areas and sights. I loved strolling through all of the different areas.
Our trip was a busy whirlwind, but I wouldn’t change it for anything! We were able to see everything we wanted to see, and had a lot of fun doing it! I can’t wait to go back again one day and visit even more of the amazing sights.
Be sure to check out my post 20 Completely Free Things to do in New York City for more budget friendly New York City ideas!