This post is in reference to the NYC itinerary on my Four Days in New York City post. Read that post for a full overview and much more info on the four day itinerary.
New York City is easily accessible via their metro. Yes they are known for their taxis and open top buses, but the metro will pretty much get you anywhere you want for less money and usually less time. I suggest purchasing a 7-day unlimited pass for $31. If you plan on using the subway three times or more per day during your four day stay, this will save money for you. Plus you don’t have to worry about buying tickets each time. You can buy your 7-day pass at the subway station.
If you plan on visiting most of the popular tourist attractions, I would recommend getting the New York City Pass before your trip. It is $114 which will actually save you money if you plan on visiting the attractions included. Plus you get to skip all the ticket lines! To purchase the city pass check out their website. If you don’t purchase the pass, I would recommend purchasing individual attraction tickets online ahead of time. This will save you time waiting in ticket lines.
Times Square Metro stop: 42nd Street – Times Square
Grand Central Station From Times Square, Take the 7 train towards Main St – Flushing or the S train towards Grand Central Station. Get off at Grand Central Station.
New York Public Library Either walk from Grand Central Station to the New York Public Library or take the 7 or S train back one stop to 5th Ave/Bryant Park. (Open Mon & Thurs-Sat 10am-6pm, Tue & Wed 10am-8pm, and Sun 1pm-5pm) For more info, visit their website. Guided tours are available or you can discover the library on your own.
Saks Hours (Mon-Sat 10am-8:30pm, Sun 11am-7pm) St. Patrick’s Cathedral (Open 6:30am-8:45pm) For more info, visit their site. Tiffany & Co (Mon-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 12am-6pm)
Central Park It’s a good idea to bring a map, especially if there is something in particular you want to see. This site is an awesome place for planning out your visit to Central Park. You could also plan to go without a map and get lost in the park, which is also a fun experience.
The Boathouse For hours, directions and contact info, visit their website. Hours are varied depending on the time of year. Reservations are recommended.
Empire State Building Metro stop: 34th St, Herald Square. It’s easy to find the Empire State Building from here because you can just look up in the sky and see it. For more tips on when to go and buying tickets online, visit their site. Waiting in line to get to the top can take a long time depending on the time you visit. The website keeps an updated current wait time at the top of their webpage. No matter what, make sure you allot a good amount of time to visit the Empire State Building.
Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island The ferry departs from the pier at Battery Park. The closest metro stop is Bowling Green. It is now possible again to visit the crown on the Statue of Liberty. These tickets need to be booked in advance online (they usually sell out months in advance). For tickets and more info visit their site. If you want to look up the record of your ancestors passing through Ellis Island look it up on this site.
Wall Street Wall Street is easy walking distance from Battery Park. Just walk up Broadway Street until you hit Wall Street.
9/11 Memorial and Museum is easy walking distance from Wall Street. Just head north on Broadway and turn left on Liberty Street. The ticket price for the memorial an museum is $24 for adults or included in the City Pass. They are open daily from 7:30a-8pm. For tickets and info, visit their site.
Broadway Show To see what is playing on (and off) Broadway, check out the Broadway website. If you are looking for discount tickets, I would not recommend standing in the TKTS line. The prices never seem to be much of a discount. (maybe I have always gone at the wrong time?) Instead check Broadway for Broke People if you are interested in cheap tickets through lottery and rush systems or download the app TodayTix to buy (discount and full priced) Broadway tickets at the last minute.
Rockefeller Center (Including Top of the Rock) Metro Stop: 47th-50th St – Rockefeller Center
TV Show Tapings Getting into the studio audience of a show can sometimes be a hard process depending on the show. SNL is particularly difficult. You can get tickets through a lottery you can enter only during the month of August. Some shows offer stand-by tickets, so that is something that is worth looking into. For the full list of shows in NYC, click here. If you do get on a show, remember that you will spend a lot of time waiting in line before the show. The taping process can sometimes be lengthy as well. But once you see your favorite hosts live, it is all worth it.
Ellen’s Stardust Diner is walking distance from Rockefeller (head west on 51st). If you are coming from somewhere farther, the metro stop is 50 St. Station (1). Hours: Sun-Thurs 7am-12am, Fri & Sat 7am-1am
Museum Subway Stations:
MOMA – 5th Ave/53rd St. Click for their Website
The Met – 86th Street, it is still a bit of a walk from here. For detailed directions, click here.
American Museum of Natural History – 81st Street Click for their website
Intrepid Air and Space Museum – 42nd Street Click for their website
Guggenheim – 86th Street Click for their website