Suggestion 1: A day of Art
Too much for one day really, but if it’s all the time you have and you want to see some of the most famous art collections in the world – then this is our suggestion. See the attraction guides to make the most of each gallery.
These all lay along 5th Avenue, from north to south:
Guggenheim 10 – 5.45 closed Thurs
If this isn’t hosting an exhibition that you especially want to see, just visit to look at the outside and then go into the lobby where you can take photos.
Metropolitan Museum of Art 9.30 – 5.30 (Fri & Sat til 9pm) closed Mon
Frick Collection 10 – 6pm Closed Mon
Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) 10.30 – 5.30 (til 8.45 on Thursdays in July & August) Closed Tues
Suggestion 2: Highlights – with the emphasis on the ‘high’!!
Notes: Queues for the Empire State will be smaller in the morning, but it’s open longer than the museum and access to Ellis Island – if you get on a ferry after 2pm, you can only visit either the statue or Ellis Island and not both. You could reverse this itinerary if you’re happy to do the queuing at the end!
Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island
Bowling Green Station is the closest. As you come out of the station, head into Battery Park to Castle Clinton, which is where you get tickets for Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The ferry stops at the Statue of Liberty first, and then goes to Ellis Island – our recommendation is that if you don’t have much time – stay on the ferry and focus on Ellis Island. If you do choose the statue – remember that there are 364 steps to climb to get into the crown!
Natural History & Rose Centre
From Bowling Green Station, take the 4 or 5 train in the direction of Woodlawn to Fulton St Station (2 mins). Change to Broadway-Nassau station and take the A train 207th St – Inwood direction & get off at 81st St Museum of Natural History station (20 mins).
When you get there – the Rose centre is on the side and is a fabulous celebration of space. Great planetarium! Then you can have a look at the Natural History Museum – lots of guides on hand to help.
From 81st St – Museum of Natural History, take the B train, direction Brighton Beach and get off at 47th-50th-Rockefeller Central Station (7 mins) Walk 6 minutes to the Rockefeller centre.
This is where the ice rink is during the winter, and the cafes during the summer. Radio City is here, and then you can take a trip to The Top of the Rock. Great views and a great exhibition that explains the origins of those iconic black and white photos of the construction workers sitting on girders 100s of feet up in the air. If the queue at Empire State is too long – this is a worthy replacement – with the added bonus that you can see the Empire State Building as part of the view!
Walk to the Empire state building along 5th Avenue. There are always queues, but it’s the Empire State Building!! Great views on a clear day.
3rd Suggestion: Shopping!
Notes: New York is a shopper’s paradise & you’ve probably got a very good idea of where you want to go already!! We’ve just listed a few places that you might want to consider & listed what else is close by – in case the person carrying your bags fancies a break!. A word on Macey’s – go and see it if you must, but it’s not great except in terms of being iconic – the original wooden escalators are quite cute though!
- 5th Avenue – It’s ALL about 5th Avenue!! But try to get into: SAKs & get your make up done for free in the cosmetics hall, FAO Schwartz, Bergman Goodman – because it’s SO beautiful. Also consider visiting St Patrick’s Cathedral and the New York Public Library to soothe your soul and get a bit of culture.
- Bloomingdales is a lovely department store – more affordable than Bergman Goodman. On 4th Ave & 59th St, not far from Central Park.
- Diamond District – effectively a street – 47th between 5th and 6th Avenues. From here you can access Times Square & the Rockefeller Center.
- Discount shopping is great! We recommend Filenes in the basement, with TJ Maxx in the same building 2 floors up. Bit of a jumble sale, but some great finds if you look hard enough! Also Century 21, very close to Ground Zero.
- Books & comics – Barnes & Noble is huge and on Union Square, close to the iconic flat iron building and Madison Square Gardens. The Strand bookstore is also here – huge comic section for aficionados!