48 hours in New York City

The only downside of visiting New York City is that there’s so much to see and do. As Anne only has 48 hours in this great city, Lee Mylne tackles her ‘to do’ list in this week’s Travel SOS.

Q. Anne
I am taking a trip around the US and in most cities there are specific things I would like to see so have based my schedule around these. However, I’m only able to squeeze in two days in New York and I’m a little overwhelmed by all the things that I want to do, and what people keep telling me I need to see! Are you able to suggest a rough itinerary and highlight the things I really shouldn’t miss?

A. Oh lucky you, Anne! I love New York (who doesn’t?). I’ve been three times and would go again in a blink. But you’re right…there’s so much to see and do that it’s hard to know where to start. But as it sounds like it’s your first trip, there are definitely some things you should not miss.

I’d recommend buying a CityPASS, which will give you discounted entry to six major attractions saving around 40 per cent on ticket prices. It includes the Empire State Building, American Museum of Natural History, and Metropolitan Museum of Art, and then some options to choose from, of which my pick would be the Guggenheim Museum, 9/11 Memorial and Museum, and a Circle Line sightseeing cruise on the harbour.

Another choice is the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, which I highly recommend and which costs only US$18 (more if you want to go up inside the statute). However, if you are only interested in a close up look and some photos, and don’t care about getting off on Ellis Island for a walk around, you can get the Staten Island ferry which takes a 25-minute ride from Manhattan, straight past the Statue of Liberty. And the best part, it’s free! That said, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum is fascinating and well worth a look.

Getting around six of these major attractions will probably take up most of your two days, but you should also try to catch a Broadway show one night. We picked The Lion King, but there are many long-running shows that might appeal – check out the choices on newyork.com. Same-day discount tickets can be bought from the TKTS booth in Times Square for between 20 per cent and 50 per cent off.

One of the great things about New York is that you don’t have to blow the budget to have a terrific time. Accommodation and eating out can be expensive, but sightseeing can be dirt cheap. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge, marvel at the soaring architecture of Grand Central Station, hang out in Central Park, and shop (or window shop) on Madison Avenue.

Two days? It will just leave you begging to go back. On my last trip, I spent two weeks in New York and still only scratched the surface.

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Do you have a travel question for Lee? If so, email your Travel SOS to [email protected]

Written by Lee Mylne


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