New York itinerary for 7 days to help you plan & save money!

Looking to spend a week in New York City? Check out our New York itinerary for our  recommendations and tips on how to save money and see the best of NYC in 7 days! There is so much to do see and do in NYC that you may be feeling overwhelmed especially while trying to create your own New York Itinerary. We are here to help inspire you and guide you through the city with our New York itinerary and in the process help you save you money by letting you know about the discount passes that are available.

Our insider tips & tricks!

Apps you need to download!

The first thing we want to do is give you some insider tips for your 7 day NYC adventure! The first thing we always recommend is getting some really useful apps on your phone. The app “NYC Subway” for example is the official MTA app for the subway. Another crucial app for your 7 day NYC trip is “Uber”. Becoming more and more common in comparison to yellow cabs, this app allows you to take cheap taxis throughout NYC and order them through their app – an essential addition to your phone.  

What to wear?

Another great tip for NYC that people often forget about in the name of fashion is to wear comfortable shoes! Exploring NYC involves a lot of  walking so make sure you are kind to your feet! You will see that most New Yorker’s have sneakers on all of the time. Women tend to carry their heels or less comfortable shoes in their bag. With these few tips you are well equipped to go out and explore NYC, by the end of these 7 days we bet you will feel like a true local!

On a budget? Our tips on how to save money!

New York Pass Reviews

A great way to save money in NYC is with one of the 5 attraction passes. How to save the most money? Easy! All you have to do is find the right pass for you. There are two passes which are best for longer trips of over 3 days, which we have compared here. The passes allow you to pay a lump sum before your trip, giving you access to over 90+ attractions. You can even choose which attractions you want to visit once you are in NYC giving you the complete freedom to explore at your own pace!

We saved an average of $160 with the pass – and that’s per person!

Buy Your NYC Pass Now!

New York City- 7 Day New York Itinerary


  • Day 1 of the New York Itinerary

You have arrived in NYC and you’re ready to explore – where to begin you ask? Easy! To gain an impression of the city and what you might want to explore further in the coming 7 days, we definitely recommend the Bug Bus Tour Big Bus Tour that starts in midtown Manhattan. This is a hop on hop off bus tour, meaning that if you drive past something you want to explore more, you can do so freely before getting back on the bus and continuing your tour. The downtown loop (red route) will go past spots like,  Times Square, Soho & Little Italy, and Wall Street. You can also later switch to the uptown loop (blue route) which will allow you to explore Central Park & Columbus Circle, Lincoln Center, and the Met! The hop on hop off bus tour is a great way to start your trip, its an efficient and cosrt effective way to see as much as possible in a day, as well as find your bearings in NYC.

Big Bus Tour Hop On Hop Off

After some much needed lunch, we recommend that you continue with day 1 of your 7 day New York Itinerary by visiting the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Plaza/Top of the Rock, and Radio City Music Hall. These are also on the route of the hop on hop off bus tour meaning that you can use the bus to get around between all of the attractions. Both The Empire State Building and Top of the Rock observation decks will give you some beautiful views of the city! We then recommend closing out the day with a walk through St. Patricks Cathedral, it has been standing since 1879 right along 5th avenue and is truly a beautiful landmark to stop by! For dinner recommendations near by, see below!

Attractions on Day 1 

Restaurant recommendations

  • Ippudo Westside, 321 W 51st St – $$$ – Amazing Japanese food, great ambiance
  • The Smith, 1900 Broadway –  $$ – American style food & cocktails, lively atmoshpere
  • The Kati Roll Company – $ – Indian street-food-style wraps, good for a quick bite
  • Culture Espresso – $ – Great small café with very good coffee and pastries


  • Day 2 of the New York Itinerary

Day 2 of the 7 day New York Itinerary will begin with one of New York’s favorite meals..BRUNCH! See below for what restaurants we recommend to kickstart your day in the Meatpacking district. From here the best place to start exploring for the day is the New York High Line. There are of course also tours available here. The high line is a beautiful park that has been built on an abandoned section of railway tracks above the city, allowing for a combination of nature and spectacular city views. This will take you through the Chelsea and Meatpacking districts and past the Whitney Museum of American Art which is another great attraction to stop at.

After your morning stroll along the high Line we recommend you continue downtown towards Washington Square Park. You will find the famous arch here where you can take some great pictures! After your time in the park, hop on the subway and head to the beloved 9/11 Memorial. You will feel the atmosphere change when you step on the grounds of where the 9/11 memorial.Here you can marvel at the beauty of the memorial as well as reflect on the events of the past. The 9/11 Memorial Museum is also close by and is definitely worth a visit. While emotional, it is a comprehensive museum of artefacts and stories.

Attractions on Day 2

Restaurant Recommendations

  • Westville Chelsea, 246 W 18th St. – $$ – Healthy American eatery, good for brunch and families
  • Bubby’s High Line, 63 Ganesvoort St. – $$ – Diner Cclassics served all day, great for brunch
  • El Vez, 259 Vesey St. – $$ – Modern Mexican food, vibrant atmosphere & a lively bar
  • O’Hara’s Restaurant and Pub, 120 Cedar St – $ – Cozy pub with walls lined with lined with police and fire badges
  • Shake Shack, 409 Fulton St – $ – One of NYC’s most famous burgers, simply delicious
  • Eataly Downtown, 4 World Trade Center, 101 Liberty Street, Floor 3 – $$ – Italian food market with many dining options


  • Day 3 of the New York Itinerary

It’s time to explore Brooklyn! This beautiful and trendy part of town is the place to be. It may not be as big as Manhattan, but don’t worry there is just as much to do and see. If you can or have the time, we suggest spending 2 days here to make sure you see all of the amazing things in this part of town! Of course we recommend you  start with the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. Not only can you walk and bike over this bridge, but you can also enjoy Brooklyn Bridge park and the amazing views across the water to downtown Manhattan.

Brooklyn is also home to some of the city’s best restaurants. After enjoying your time at the bridge, walk right underneath to Brooklyn Bridge park where you will find a small strip of great spots to eat. Juliana’s pizza (rated the best pizza in NYC on Yelp – and yes it lives up to your expectations), Shake Shack, Luke’s Lobster, and the Riverside Cafe all have great options! You will also be very close to Dumbo, meaning you could stroll over towards the are and let inspiration strike you as you walk along the streets there.  If you do not spend your entire day in the Dumbo area, the South Street Seaport in Manhattan is right across the river and offers beautiful views as well as various options for food and shopping! You can also take a guided tour over the Brooklyn Bridge & through Dumbo which is a great experience.

Attractions on Day 3

Restaurant Recommendations

  • Juliana’s pizza, 19 Old Fulton St – $$ – Some of the best pizza you can find in NYC!
  • Luke’s Lobster, 11 Water St – $$ – Seafood counter serving lobster rolls clam chowder & microbrews
  • Riverside Cafe, 1 Water St, – $$$ – Landmark eatery with American menu and amazing views of the skyline
  • Westville, 81 Washington St. – $$ – Locally sourced and fresh ingredients is what makes this restaurant special
  • Shake Shack, 1 Old Fulton St. – $ – One of NYC’s most famous burgers, simply delicious


  • Day 4 of the New York Itinerary

7 days in New York truly gives you time to explore each borough if you are up for it. On day 4 we recommend to head out to Queens! Two of the most popular parts of Queens are Astoria and Long Island City. These areas are loaded with great restaurants bars and a beautiful park. This is a great day for a more laid back feel after the 3 busy days prior. You can stroll through Astoria and and take a walk along the water in Long Island City, and enjoy the food and drinks at the locations we have recommended below. To get into the area you will either want to take an Uber or get on the yellow line and take the N or W train.

Queens is also home of Citi Field where the New York Mets play and Arthur Ashe Stadium where the U.S Open is held (held at the end of August – beginning of September). The Citi Field is a popular spot during the baseball season as well as a popular spot for artists to hold stadium concerts and is definitely worth a visit if an event is on during your stay in NYC. Their large parking lot spaces and convenient access to the subway means that you can easily get back home after a concert or a game! This location takes about 40 minutes to get to from midtown Manhattan. Click the button below to check whats on during your time in NYC!

Check Citi Field Events

Attractions on Day 4

  • Museum of the Moving Image
  • Astoria Park
  • Citi Field
  • Pepsi Cola Sign

Restaurant Recommendations

  • Blend on the Water, 4540 Center Blvd – $$ – Restaurant serving great cocktails and gourmet Latin-inspired food with amazing river views
  • Penthouse 808, 8-08 Queens Plaza – $$$ – Rooftop hotel lounge with cocktails and Asian-fusion dishes
  • The Bonnie, 29-12 23rd Ave – $$ – Cozy gastropub with cocktails & upscale pub food
  • Homemade Taqueria, 4509 34th Ave – $ – Eatery serving traditional Mexican tacos in a lively atmosphere
  • Mama’s Empanadas, 3241 Steinway St – $ – Good for snacks or cheap eats, delicious wheat or corn or wheat empanadas


  • Day 5 of the New York Itinerary

On the 5th day of your NYC trip we recommend you head towards uptown Manhattan! Harlem, Washington Heights, and the Bronx all have so much culture and beauty to offer. History, sports, walking trails, and various types of food are all available here.  To start, Harlem begins right at the tip of Central Park. Definitely start by checking out the Harlem Meer and taking a stroll along the beautiful lakes. From here on out, our tip is to stay on the West side of Harlem when you are unfamiliar with the area. Further uptown in Washington Heights you will find more nature and green space along the Hudson River. There is a great path that runs along the entire West side where you will find people running, biking, roller blading, and enjoying the views. You can also sit along the water here which makes for a nice relaxing break.

Along with more great restaurants, Washington Heights is only a bridge away from Yankee Stadium. If you visit during baseball season be sure to catch a game! It’s even fun if you aren’t a huge baseball fan. Even further up in the Bronx you will find Little Italy, the Bronx Zoo, and New York’s Botanical Garden. Each one is so different it may be hard to pick which attraction to visit, but they will definitely all leave you with great memories.

Check for Yankee Stadium events here! 

Attractions on Day 5

  • Harlem Meer
  • Studio Museum in Harlem
  • Yankee Stadium
  • Bronx Little Italy & Arthur Ave (Make sure you get raviolis at Borgatti’s!)
  • New York Botanical Garden

Recommended Restaurants

  • Red Rooster, 310 Lenox Ave – $$$ –  Popular, stylish comfort food eatery created by Marcus Samuelsson
  • Minton’s, 206 W 118th St – $$$ – Revival of an old nightclub. Serves great food & drinks. Live jazz events
  • Shrine, 2271 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd – $ – Arts & performance space hosting all-ages shows & serving drinks & bar bites. Cash only.
  • The Grange, 1635 Amsterdam Ave – $$ – Microbrews, craft cocktails & area-sourced comfort food
  • Check out the top 3 Harlem sports bars here!


  • Day 6 of the New York Itinerary

Now any of these days from our New York itinerary can be done in any order, we just wanted to give you a guideline of all there is to see in the city as well as ideas on how to save. By day 6 you’re probably thinking how much more is there to do? Well, you still have one of the best parks to visit! Central Park is home to the largest amount of  green space in Manhattan. While you can take bike tours and walking tours,  there is so much that goes on in Central Park we are not sure we can tell list it all for you! You will see picnics, parties, runners, bikers, horse and carriages, a zoo, lakes, boats, historic landmarks, stages, and the list goes on and on! Take it all in while you are there!

When you are ready to leave the park, there are a couple of landmarks close by that you should definitely visit. To the West of the park you will find museum mile. A few of the most popular museums here are the American Museum of Natural History, The Met, and the Guggenheim Museum. Regardless of which museum you chose, you’re guaranteed to have an amazing and immersive experience in each one. Afterwards you can head towards Columbus Circle for some shopping, or towards yUpper West Side, Upper East Side, or towards Times Square.

Attractions on Day 6

Recommended Restaurants

  • The Cantor Roof Garden Bar, 1000 5th Ave – $ – Cafe with amazing views over the top of Central Park
  • Levain, 167 W 74th St – $ – Bakery with the best chocolate chip cookies in NYC
  • Mandarin Oriental Restaurant (Asiate), 80 Colombus Circle – $$$$ – Gourmet restaurant with first class views over Central Park
  • The Mermaid Inn, 570 Amsterdam Ave – $$$ – Upscale-casual seafood spot, known for its lobster rolls
  • Tavern on the Green, Central Park West & 67th St. – $$ – Bar and grill with an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere and American style food3


  • Day 7 of the New York Itinerary

Day 7  of our New York itinerary may be the last but it is definitely not the least! Now we said that you may need two days in Brooklyn to cover it all, which is why you can head out towards Williamsburg. We have a couple more favorite attractions to tell you about there. The first place we recommend you visit is Prospect Park! Prospect Park is home to a smaller green space than Central Park, but it is just as beautiful. On Sunday’s this is where Brooklyn’s famous Smorgasburg is held. Smorgasburg is a food festival that is held during the warmer months on the weekends. Saturday’s it is in Williamsburg and on Sunday it is in Prospect Park. Another favorite to visit is the Brooklyn Museum. This museum is home to over 1.5 million works and is know for it’s expansive collection of Egyptian and African art. And last but not least, Brooklyn’s Botanic Garden! Enjoy the 52 acres of pure bliss!

Williamsburg is a great place and is one of the up and coming neighbourhoods outside of Manhattan – the small and vibrant streets are definitely worth a visit! Another great stop in Williamsburg is the Brooklyn Brewery where you can take a tour (free on Sundays) of the brewery. You can also visit their tasting room to sample all of the beers they produce locally and ship worldwide.

This part of Brooklyn is also nice to walk around in. You will see beautiful brownstones, boutique shops and restaurants as well as lots of street art. It definitely has a different feel to it compared to Manhattan. You may also find your self near the Barclay’s Center. This is Brooklyn’s 5 year old state of the art arena. Basketball and ice hockey games are held here along with concerts. It’s unique architecture makes it stick out against the grit, but it is a very cool building to pass by! Stop by for a game if you are here during the right season!

Check Barclays Center events here!

Attractions on Day 7

  • The Brooklyn Museum
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden
  • Barclay’s Center
  • Brooklyn Brewery

Recommended Restaurants

  • Smorgasburg, 90 Kent Ave – $ – Food market with many vendors
  • Fette Sau, 354 Metropolitan Ave – $$ – Popular dry-rub BBQ, beer & bourbon restaurant
  • Broccolini, 446 Dean Street – $$ – Cozy Italian restaurant with classic dishes and sangria
  • Koto Sushi, 67 6th Ave – $$ – Nice and simple sushi place with everything you might expect
  • Sunshine Laundomat, 880 Manhattan Ave – $ – Speakeasy bar behind a laundromat with pinball machines and boardgames


How to visit NYC on a budget! – NYC cost & passes

We are often asked what 1 week New York costs. Below you will see our approximations based off of this 7 day New York itinerary.

  • $1oo per day for food & drink
  • $150 per day for a double room in a hotel
  • $400 per person for the flight

All together, it comes to ~ $ 2,150 per person. The price for flight & hotel also depends on how far you book in advance and where your hotel is.

Save money with NYC attraction passes!

New York Pass

We recommend the New York Pass for trips where you want to buy a day pass (for up to 10 days) that allows you to view as many NYC attractions as you like. This pass is also great if you don’t want to commit to which attractions you want to see beforehand. This pass is also ideal for lovers of museums, as most of these have a fast track option! Check out our example calculation below on how to save money with the New York Pass.

1 Day PassFor the one day pass you need to see 3 attractions minimum to start saving money – You can for example visit the Empire State Building, Madame Tussauds and take a Big Bus Hop on Hop off Tour. Normally regular attraction tickets would cost $136 where as the New York Pass costs $109. If you visit more attractions, you will also save more money.
2 Day PassThis one has a great cost to benefit ratio as all you need to visit is 4 attractions in 2 days to start saving money! As you can definitely squeeze in some more this is a great deal.
3 Day PassIf you visit 5 attractions in 3 days you will start saving money. If you visit 3 attractions per day (which we recommend as the maximum number of attractions per day) you will save more than $200.
5 Day PassVisiting 2 Attractions per day in 5 days will save you over $250! If you visit 3 attractions per day you will be saving up to $400 per perso
7 Day PassWith the 7 day pass you get a whole week of unlimited sightseeing for under $50 a day. This is cheaper than an entry ticket to The Ride, Circle Line Cruise, Madame Tussauds, Shearwater Sailing, Clipper City – Tall Ship Cruises, Central Park Bicycle Rental, Tv & Movie Sites Tour and a roundtrip to Atlantic City. This means you can start saving money immediately if you visit one or more attractions per day!
10 Day PassThe ultimate money saving option! Seeing just 1 attraction per day can save you $100 per person. If you visit just 2 Attractions per day can save you over $500 per person with the New York Pass.
Buy Pass!

Buy New York Pass Now!

Explorer Pass

The Explorer Pass is a great option to visit a specific number of attractions that you can choose from a list. You can choose between visiting 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 attractions from the list of over 60. Another thing that makes the pass really worth it is the fact that you do not need to commit to visiting certain attractions before you head to NYC, as you can choose these once you are there. All of this together makes the explorer pass the pass with the best value for money in our opinion.

Example Calculation Explorer Pass NYC (7 Attractions)

Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour (1 day)

$59.00

Empire State Building

$34.00

Top of The Rock

$34.00

Circle Line Best of NYC Cruise (2.5 hours)

$42.00

Madame Tussaud’s All Access Pass

$32.00

Central Park Bike Rental (full day)

$45.00

Brooklyn Bridge & DUMBO Walking Tour

$35.00

TOTAL Regular Price:

$281.00

Freestyle Pass Price:

$160.00

Savings:

$121.00

Buy New York Explorer Pass Now!

 

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3 Comments

Leah Lorber

Thanks so much on your 7 day NY itinerary on a budget. My husband and I are planning on a trip this first week of September. We hope we can utilize a lot of your wonderful resources.

Moritz

You are welcome! Feel free to reach out with any other questions!

Wow such a great itinerary. I’ve bookmarked it and will use it for my next NYC trip. Thanks!

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