A New York City Tourist In 24 Hours

You have 24 hours in New York City, and have never been before. Where do you begin? Here’s your guide to seeing as much of the iconic landmarks of NYC in such little time.

First off:

  • Download “New York Subway MTA Map” on your phone
  • Buy a metro card
  • You got this!

If you’re flying into JFK, start in the south of Manhattan in the Financial District. If you’re flying into La Guardia start in Central Park and work your way down. Let’s start in the south.

Wall Street – Take the JFK Airtrain to Howard Beach and then to Fulton Street. Once you get to the Fulton Street Subway Station go for a 6 minute walk to Wall Street. Grab a cup of coffee and get caught up in the morning chaos of people headed to work. See where the New York Stock Exchange is located and watch tourists touch the testicles of a bull that they think will bring them good luck. People watching is great.

Recommendations for coffee on your walk: Voyager Espresso, La Colombe or Bean & Bean.

9/11 Memorial Site – A short walk away and a must see. The National September 11th Memorial is a tribute to honor the nearly 3,000 people killed from the terrorist attacks in 2001. The Memorial’s twin reflecting pools are an acre in size and sit within the space where the “Twin Towers” once stood. The names of every victim who died in the attack are inscribed onto bronze panels surrounding the pools.


Take the Staten Island Ferry – Head further south and jump on one of the free ferries that take you to Staten Island. You will get one of the best views of the Manhattan skyline from the water and pass by the Statue of Liberty along the way. The ferries leave every 15 minutes during peak hours or 30 minutes in between. Once you get to Staten Island, you can board the next ferry back to Manhattan because you only have 24 hours! Sorry Staten Island…until next time.

China Town – You must be starving at this point! From the Staten Island Ferry Station you can walk to Bowling Green Subway Station and take it North to Canal Street if you’re in the mood for some awesome dim sum in China Town. On Mott Street there are many great places to eat such as Big Wong, 456 Shanghai, Peking Duck House, and too many to name.

Little Italy – If China Town is not your type of cuisine, next door is Little Italy and mob history. You can get cannoli’s from street vendors, eat pizza and get pasta from the many restaurants located here. After all, you’re spending your day walking, you deserve that bowl of pasta!

Brooklyn Bridge – After you stuff your face, you’re going to need to walk it off. If you take the 4/5/or 6 subway south one stop to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall you’ll be able to walk across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

Grand Central Station – From Brooklyn Bridge head north on the 4/5/6 to Grand Central Station. A historic landmark that is featured in many movies, and known for being a major transportation hub in Manhattan.


Top of The Rock – From there take a short cab ride over to Rockefeller Center and go to Top of the Rock. You will have 360 degree view of New York City from the 70th floor. It costs close to $40.00 USD for one adult but the views are worth the experience.

Times Square – A short 7 minute walk from Rockefeller Center is Time Square.  Times Square is packed with crowds and illuminating lights from the towering billboards above you. Go get your picture taken so you can say you’ve been there.

Central Park – Close by and North a short distance is Central Park. I’m sure at this point you’re exhausted and need to wind down from your day of excitement and sightseeing. A nap, or stroll through Central Park will help you escape the hustle of the city for a moment. There’s a castle, a big lake and John Lennon’s Strawberry Fields Memorial to check out.


There are many restaurants, museums, attractions not mentioned in this post. There is so much to see and do in New York City and impossible to cover in 24 hours. Hopefully this guide can give you a little direction on where to get started with it all. Enjoy NYC!


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