3 Days in Manhattan, New York City

Don't have much time to visit New York City but you still want to see as much as you can and have a good experience ? This article is for you !


8/7/20239 min read

New York City, also known as NYC, is a vibrant and bustling metropolis with a rich history. From its humble beginnings as a Dutch trading post to becoming the cultural and financial capital of the United States, NYC has a story to tell at every corner. With iconic landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and Central Park, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this city that never sleeps. However, if you are visiting NYC on a short time, it is important to plan your itinerary wisely to make the most of your visit. Focus on the must-see attractions, try the local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the energy and diversity that this city has to offer. I have prepared a little guide to help you, and don't worry New York City is a memorable experience for any visitor.

New York City


  • Divide your trip by sections/areas, you will save time and it will be much more practical for transportation. For instance, if you want to visit Times Square, you should also go to Broadway, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Terminal, etc... as they are in the same area.

  • Make sure the first day of your trip is based on the location of your hotel so that when you arrive, you can drop off your suitcase and start exploring right away, and when you're tired you can also come back quickly and rest. We all know the first day can be exhausting.


Times Square

Immerse yourself in NYC's iconic billboards, neon lights, and bustling crowds, it is a must-visit destination for tourists and locals alike. There is an endless array of activities to do in Times Square. From shopping at flagship stores, such as the famous Toys 'R' Us or the iconic M&M's World, to taking pictures with the many dressed-up people around, visiting the many different studios or even just watching the ads popping up on the billboards. You won't get bored !

Madame Tussaud

Have fun exploring this renowned wax museum located in the bustling heart of Times Square. It offers an immersive experience where you can interact with incredibly lifelike wax figures of famous celebrities, historical icons, and cultural influencers from all over the world. As you step inside, you are transported into a world of glamour and fame, surrounded by meticulously crafted replicas of actors, musicians, and political figures. From the stunning likeness of Marilyn Monroe to the awe-inspiring presence of President Barack Obama, the museum showcases an extensive collection of over 200 wax figures. Whether you want to pose with your favorite Hollywood star or learn about historical figures, it is a good activity to do if you want to relax.

Rockefeller Center

Come explore this prominent landmark located in the heart of New York City. This iconic complex spans over 22 acres and offers a wide range of attractions, from world-class shopping and dining to captivating art installations and entertainment options. The centerpiece of Rockefeller Center is the renowned Christmas tree, which stands tall during the holiday season, attracting visitors from all over the world. The Art Deco architecture of the buildings adds to the charm of this bustling destination. During the Holiday season, you can also enjoy the beautiful ice rink, just know that you will have to wait in line to skate.


Go see a play on broadway, it's the best way to end the day and it was my ultimate favorite activity to do in New York City. I went to see Beetlejuice and I loved it ! Of course, there are many options such as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Lion King, and the classics like Funny Girl, Wicked, and many more. I know it can be expensive but the trick is to reserve your seat the day you want to see the play, sometimes they still have some seats available and they drop the prices. It's a unique and amazing experience, you won't regret it !


Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is an iconic symbol located in New York City. Standing tall on Liberty Island in the middle of the Hudson River, this colossal statue represents freedom and the American dream. Designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, it was gifted to the United States by the people of France in 1886. The statue, made of copper and steel, reaches a height of 305 feet, including the pedestal. With her torch held high in one hand and a tablet inscribed with the date of American independence in the other, Lady Liberty welcomes visitors from all over the world. You can climb all the way to the crown if you want but need to pay extra for it. I don't recommend going all the way up if you're claustrophobic.

Ellis Island

Come visit this significant place in American history. Known as the gateway to America, this small island served as the main immigration station from 1892 to 1954. It witnessed the arrival of over 12 million immigrants seeking a better life in the United States. Today, Ellis Island stands as a symbol of hope and opportunity, telling the stories of those who passed through its doors. The Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration gives visitors a chance to learn about the hardships and dreams of these immigrants, with exhibits showcasing personal belongings, photographs, and oral histories. Ellis Island's visit is included in the Statue of Liberty ticket. The first ferry takes you to the Statue of Liberty, the second to Ellis Island and the last one will take you back to Manhattan.

Memorial 09/11

The 09/11 memorial in NYC is a solemn and poignant tribute to the lives lost in the tragic terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Located at Ground Zero, the memorial consists of two reflecting pools that mark the footprints of the Twin Towers. Surrounding the pools are bronze panels inscribed with the names of the victims, creating a powerful reminder of the immense loss suffered that day. The pools themselves cascade with water, symbolizing renewal and resilience. People can also pay their respects at the 9/11 Memorial Museum, which houses artifacts, photographs, and personal stories that further emphasize the impact of the attacks. This memorial serves as a place of remembrance, allowing visitors to reflect on the events of that fateful day and honor the lives that were tragically cut short.

landscape photography of bridge
landscape photography of bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

The Iconic Brooklyn Bridge is a must-see ! Walk on it, just like in the movies, this is where you can leave Manhattan to go to Brooklyn while having a beautiful view. Its construction began in 1869 and was completed in 1883, making it one of the oldest bridges in the United States. The bridge also serves as a vital transportation link, carrying thousands of commuters between the two boroughs every day.

A little tip: it looks better at sunrise, sunset or at night with all the lights.

high rise buildings near body of water during daytime
high rise buildings near body of water during daytime

Financial District

The financial district is home to some of the most iconic skyscrapers such as the One World Trade Center and Wall Street, which is the heart of the American financial system. If you walk around you will feel so small between all the buildings. The streets are lined with prestigious banks, investment firms, and corporate headquarters, creating a sense of power and prosperity. The financial district is not only a hub for business but also a center for history and culture, with historical landmarks like the Charging Bull statue and the Trinity Church., try to find it !

HarborLights Cruise

Another one of my favorite activities to do in New York City ! Watch the city come to life at night with all its vibrant and colorful lights. The boat takes you around the city for 2 hours while giving you information about the different landmarks that you can spot from the boat. You also get to see the Statue of Liberty up close at night and some parts of New Jersey.


Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is an iconic skyscraper, standing at a height of 1,454 feet, it held the title of the tallest building in the world for nearly 40 years. The building was completed in 1931 and has since become one of the most famous landmarks in the city. It offers breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline from its observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors, attracting millions of visitors each year. After appearing in the movie King Kong, you can now find an exhibition about it while visiting the building. Make sure you book your reservation in advance !

Flat Iron

The Flat Iron Building, located in New York City, is a famous and unique landmark that is instantly recognizable. It is known for its distinctive triangular shape, which stands out among the surrounding buildings. This historic skyscraper, built in 1902, has become a symbol of architectural innovation and creativity. The Flat Iron Building is a testament to the ingenuity of its architect, Daniel Burnham, who designed it to maximize the use of space in a challenging plot of land. Its unique design and prominent location make it a popular attraction for tourists and photographers alike.

man riding on bike
man riding on bike

Central Park

Central Park is a lovely park nestled in the heart of New York City. Spanning over 840 acres, the park is a haven of greenery and tranquility amidst the bustling cityscape. With its iconic rolling lawns, picturesque lakes, and charming winding pathways, Central Park offers a multitude of recreational activities for visitors of all ages. From picnicking on the Great Lawn to rowing on the serene Conservatory Water, the park provides endless opportunities to unwind and connect with nature. Central Park is also home to various landmarks, including the enchanting Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, as well as the iconic Central Park Zoo. Central Park is a must-visit destination, especially if you're a fan of Friends

Museum of Natural History

If you're a fan of museums you should visit the Museum of Natural History. Its many exhibitions will transport you in time and space, and it might remind you of a funny movie with Be Stiller: Night at the Museum.

The museum offers a wide range of educational programs and exhibitions that showcase the diversity and wonders of our planet. The museum also features a planetarium and IMAX theater, providing immersive experiences for learning about space and the universe.

Top of the Rock

Another big skyscraper to visit ! Top of the Rock offers a breathtaking view of the city. Located at the top of the iconic Rockefeller Center, this observation deck provides a unique and unforgettable experience. Once you reach the observation deck, you are greeted with an unparalleled sight of the city's famous landmarks, including the Empire State Building and Central Park. The views are simply mesmerizing, especially during sunset when the city lights up. You can capture stunning photos from various vantage points or simply take a moment to appreciate the beauty of New York City from above.

St. Patrick's Cathedral

If you're walking near Fifth Avenue, I suggest you stop by St. Patrick's Cathedral, a beautiful and inspiring building. There is no entrance fee, therefore you can easily see the inside and it's as captivating as the outside. The cathedral, with its stunning stained glass windows and intricate stone carvings, exudes a sense of grandeur and spirituality. Its soaring spires and imposing façade draw visitors from far and wide, who come to admire its beauty and experience a moment of peace and reflection. Inside, the cathedral's vast interior is adorned with ornate decorations, including a majestic altar and high vaulted ceilings. St. Patrick's Cathedral is not only a place of worship but also a cultural and historical treasure that showcases the city's rich heritage.

Where to stay ?

If you are interested in staying in a hostel and looking for a nice place to sleep close to everything in Manhattan, the Nap York Central Park Sleep Station on 8th Avenue is the place for you. It is a very nice hostel, very clean with really nice and spacious rooms. The prices varies from 79 to over 100$ depending on the season of course.