You have just 48 hours to see everything worth seeing on your trip to New York. Between eating an enormous slice of gooey, cheesy pizza, wandering through the vibrant streets to take in the enormity of the skyscrapers, seeing the panoramic views from the top of the Empire State Building and visiting the nightlife haunts near your hotel, your tour group is going to have a packed schedule. That being said, here are some must-see attractions to squeeze into your short trip.
If there is just one thing you must do in NYC, make sure to head to lower Manhattan to visit the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, which was built on the previously located World Trade Center site. The tribute of remembrance to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the 9/11 terror attacks (along with the six killed during the bombing in 1993) consists of two experiences. The Memorial, which is free to everyone, is home to the Survivor Tree and the two acre-sized twin reflecting pools that feature massive man-made waterfalls flowing into the footprints of where the Twin Towers once lived.
For a small fee, groups can also explore the Museum which is located on the Memorial Plaza and is home to the historical and memorial exhibitions and Foundation Hall.
The average time at the memorial, which encompasses the historical exhibition, memorial exhibition and Foundation Hall, is about two hours.
The world’s busiest intersection draws over 39 million visitors annually. And for good reason — the area encompasses several blocks in the center of Manhattan and is home to the Broadway Theater District, Times Square Studios (Good Morning America), MTV’s NY studio, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, M&M’s World, luxury hotels, iconic restaurants, clubs, brightly lit billboards, the New Year’s Eve ball drop and the Naked Cowboy. The square is constantly bustling with tourists and street performers, and Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall are just a few blocks away.
Broadway is a must-do, no matter how much time you have in the city. There are 40 theaters in Manhattan, so finding a show that suits your group, no matter how large or small, shouldn’t be a problem. Insider tip: Matinee Broadway shows can make it easier for big parties to stay together because they draw less of a crowd. Try to get tickets ahead of time to avoid any last minute concerns.
The Meatpacking District hosts the Chelsea Market, an authentic New York artisanal and shopping experience. With a plethora of foodie options and cuisine from all over the world, the Chelsea Market is a classic lunch stop. Try Los Tacos No. 1 or The Lobster Place’s Cull & Pistol Oyster Bar. You will also have a chance to experience the charm of Manhattan’s street market life at the famous Artists and Fleas vintage market where you can pick up unique souvenirs.
Take a stroll along the waterfront and through the completely revamped Chelsea Piers, which was once the city’s premier passenger ship terminal that welcomed home World War I and II soldiers. A massive renovation was recently completed, and it’s now a must-see sports and entertainment complex that features the famous Hudson-facing, multi-tiered outdoor driving range, among other things.
Of course there are a myriad of activities and sites to see in New York City like Central Park, MoMA, The Museum of Natural History and the Statue of Liberty. Take in 48 hours of NYC and you’ll be back to experience the other attractions added to your bucket list.