How to Spend One Day in New York City

Only visiting for one day? These are the must-see places!

If you only have one day in New York City, then you're probably going to be overwhelmed. While you should first make a point to return later when you have more time, after that you'll need to prioritize which activities, things to do, and places to go are the most important and most iconic in the city. With a huge number of attractions, New York has it all. From museums to parks to monuments to skyscrapers to memorials, it's all good and all amazing. But, you only have one day, so these are the places we would suggest that you go first.

Also, remember that most things around the city are easily accessible on the subway. It's fast, cheap, and efficient. Also, you'll find plenty of cheap and quick places to grab a bite to eat on almost every street. Or, you can take the time to sit down at a casual or even a nicer restaurant if you choose. New York is a foodie's paradise, after all.

So, let's get to it. If you only have one day in New York City, then we suggest that you see all (or at least most) of the items on this list. You might not have time to spend hours at each place, but if you are efficient and quick about it, you can get all or most of it done. Bring comfortable shoes.
St. Patrick's Cathedral
St. Patrick's Cathedral
St. Patrick's Cathedral is a historic Neo-Gothic-style Roman Catholic cathedral which is also a prominent landmark of New York City. Located on the east side of Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets in Midtown Manhattan, it sits directly across the street from Rockefeller Center, and is a popular place for visitors and locals alike. The building is one of the finest symbols of the Roman Catholic Church in New York City and the entire United States. Built in the 1800's, it is constructed of marble and features a large rose window flanked by two large spires.
625 5th Avenue, NYC, New York, 10035
Little Italy
Little Italy
Little Italy is a popular tourist neighborhood with its traditional Italian restaurants, bakeries, and cute shops. The neighborhood has narrow streets that fill with people during the frequent festivals. The main thoroughfare through the neighborhood is Mulberry Street, which becomes a pedestrian mall on summer weekends.
Planning a trip to New York City? You might also be interested in The Best History Museums in New York City and New York City Bucket List Places to See.
Times Square
Times Square
Times Square is one of the most famous areas in New York City. It's known for its brightly lit billboards which really brighten the city at night. But even if you visit during the day you'll find the area filled with energy, activity, and people. If the crowds get to be too much, there are bleachers set up on one side where you can sit and take a break. Times Square is also recognizable as the location of the iconic ball drop on New Years Eve. It's also an entertainment center for the city.

Times Square is in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue.
Statue Of Liberty
Statue Of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is an iconic symbol of American freedom, and it's a must-see for all visitors to New York City. The statue was given as a gift to America by France, and it is one of the world's largest statues, standing 152 feet tall from the base to the torch. You can get views of the statue from Battery Park, but the best way to experience it is to take a boat trip to Liberty Island and see it up close. Many tours also stop at Ellis Island where you can explore the Immigration Museum.
NYC, Liberty Island, 07302-4522
The Rockefeller Center
The Rockefeller Center
New York's iconic Rockefeller Center is a must-see for visitors. It is a large complex that includes 19 commercial buildings and spreads out over 22 acres in Midtown Manhattan. There's an observation deck called Top of the Rock that offers beautiful views from a tower that stands 70 floors high. It has been the home of NBC Studios since 1933 and is open for public tours.

The Rockefeller Center is a quintessential destination during the Christmas season when the iconic Christmas tree is lit and the ice skating rink is opened in the plaza.
45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY, 10111
Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall
The "Showplace of the Nation", this historic theatre is not just home to the Rockettes dance company, but also hosts a number of concerts, performances, stage shows, comedy acts, and other events that keep New Yorkers and visitors entertained year-round. Dating back to 1932, and significantly remodeled in 1999, this was once the world's largest auditorium. Now it's a terrific venue to take in a show any time of the year.
1260 6th Ave, New York City, New York, 10020
Flatiron Plaza
Flatiron Plaza
Flatiron Plaza is a triangular pedestrian plaza that offers a great view of the famous Flatiron building. It's also right by Madison Square Park. During the warmer months, this plaza comes to life with live music or other forms of entertainment, but it's a nice place to relax and people watch any time of the year.
Empire State Building
Empire State Building
The iconic Empire State Building has long been a symbol of New York City. It's one of the most famous skyscrapers in the world and the Art-Deco tower has been called one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world from 1931 to 1970 and, at 102 stories, it is currently the 2nd tallest in New York City.

A highlight for many visitors to New York is the ride and view from the Top Deck observatory, which offers breathtaking views in every direction.
20 W 34th St, New York, NY, 10001
If you're looking for more information about New York City, read The Best Planetariums to Visit near New York City and The Best Neighborhoods in Staten Island.
9/11 Memorial and Museum
9/11 Memorial and Museum
This memorial commemorates the tragic loss of life felt on September 11, 2001 when suicide-piloted planes flew into the two towers of the World Trade Center. More than 3,000 people were killed as a result of the attacks on that day. The memorial is designed with a series of cascading waterfalls, recessed pools, and bronze panels that show the names of those killed during the attacks. The museum shows photos, videos, and artifacts from the events. It is recommended you purchase tickets in advance to visit the memorial. You can also visit for free on Mondays between 3:30 and 5:00, but reservations are still required.
180 Greenwich Street, NYC, New York, 10007
The Morgan Library & Museum
This institution began as the private library of J. Pierpont Morgan and it was donated to the city. It includes drawings by Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and Picasso. There are three Gutenberg Bibles, and a copy of Frankenstein annotated by Mary Shelley, as well as manuscripts by Dickens, Poe, Twain, Steinbeck, and Wilde. There's also sheet music handwritten by Beethoven and Mozart.
225 Madison Ave, New York, NY, 10016
How much does it cost?

Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $6 to $1,300. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $115. A few of the best options are below.

Where to Stay in New York City

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