Are you planning a trip to New York City? Only have four days in New York City? Want to create the best New York City itinerary?
Awesome. Let's create a 4-day New York itinerary. There are so many fun things to do in New York City you probably won't even be able to scratch the surface however, even if you only have 4 or even 3 days in New York City we will help you plan out a perfect New York City itinerary.
My family was able to recently go and we focused on all the fun things in NYC for kids. This post will focus more on the most popular tourist attractions that you will want to add to your 4-day New York itinerary.
If you have never been to New York City these suggestions will be perfect to add to your 4-days in New York City itinerary.
In this post, you will be able to use this information to create a one-day New York City itinerary or you can plan a 2 day New York City itinerary. We will even give you enough information to plan a 3 or 4-day New York City itinerary.
Let's get started on this amazing 4-day New York City itinerary!
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Day 1 New York City Itinerary
1. Times Square
It is one thing to say you should visit Times Square, but if it is your first time to New York City you might be wondering what to do in one of the most famous areas of New York City.
If you love to shop you might want to plan to spend most of your day in this area. I would recommend spending 2-3 hours. This will give you time to eat and check out a few stores.
What is Times Square?
Times Square is a hyper-commercialized, tourist destination in Midtown Manhattan. It is fun and exciting and to be honest a little sensory overload. There are flashing billboards and lots and lots of people. There are amazing restaurants and tons of stores.
Best Time to Visit Times Square
Times Square is always busy! If you want to avoid huge crowds morning is a great time as the stores first open. If you want to see Times Square in all its glory (and crowds) head there during dinner time right before the shows start. It is fun to see!
Stores at Times Square
One of the best things to do in Times Square is shop. I am going to list a few stores you have to visit and a few of my favorite restaurants.
- Hershey Store
- M&M Store
- Disney Store
- Line Friends
- National Brands (MAC, Sephora, Macy's, Forever 21, American Eagle)
Best Places to Eat in Times Square
New York is a foodie paradise. There are so many amazing restaurants. I know you will do your research and although I didn't get to try too many places our goal was to try the best pizza in New York.
We headed to Joe's Pizza. One thing to look for is a line. If there is a line that means the place is worth going to. There is always a line at Joe's.
The other place I highly recommend stopping at is Juniors. The cheesecake is out of this world. Seriously, it was my favorite treat we ate in New York. I got a brownie cheesecake. Wow! so good! A 4-day NYC itinerary should include these restaurants!
- Joe's Pizza
Time Square Dining Advice
I have a piece of advice, do not eat at a national chain. The prices in Times Square will be much more expensive and you will be getting pretty much the same thing you would be at home. Try eating a local favorites.
2. New York City Hop on Hop off Bus Tour
After touring around Times Square my next suggestion for your 1st day in New York is to book a Hop on Hop off Bus Tour.
These tours are fantastic because they give you not only a ride around town but a grasp of the city. There are stops for most of the major tourist attractions.
In fact, I would consider booking a multiple-day ticket, so you don't have to worry about using the subway to get to different places.
Night Bus Tour
There are several hop-on hop-off bus lines that go to different parts of the city. You can also book a New York City at Night Bus Tour.
3. More Famous Stores
If you want to hit some famous stores that are not located in Times Square but are still within walking distance or a short subway ride, you can check these out! You will have to map out where each of these stores are.
Stores in New York City
- Lego Store
- FAO Schwarz
- Nintendo Store
- American Girl Store
- Harry Potter Store
- Tiffany & Co.
- NBA Store
- Shops at NBC Studios
- NHL Store
4. Empire State Building
The Empire State Building can get really crowded. I would suggest booking a ticket that includes a “skipping the line” option.
You can easily hop off your bus and walk over and proceed to the top. The Empire State Building is the 4th tallest building in New York City but its views and history are what makes it a top tourist attraction. You can head to the 102nd floor for an amazing view!
5. Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden is located near the Empire State Building. You can book an all-access tour or just take a picture as you pass by.
If you are lucky enough to book a concert for one of the nights you are in town that would be awesome.
6. New York City Food Tour
Eating in New York City is the best! I would highly recommend going on a food tour. After a long day of sightseeing, this is the perfect way to end your night.
Food Tours in NYC
Day 2 New York City Itinerary
Day two of your 4-day New York City itinerary will focus on museums and other popular tourist sites such as Central Park.
- Central Park
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- American Museum of Natural History
- Rockefeller Center
- Dinner and Broadway
7. Central Park
Central Park is huge. It is a refuge from all the concrete buildings in the city. Central Park is fun to explore with lots of activities to enjoy on your 4-day New York itinerary.
Things to Do in Central Park
8. Metropolitan Museum of Art (The MET)
The Metropolitan Museum of art is one of the largest fine arts museums in the world. It is beautiful.
Tickets must be purchased online. NY residents can pay what they wish but visitors are required to pay the full admission price.
Most Famous Works of Art
- Death of Socrates – Jacques Louis David
- Straw Hat – Vincent Van Gogh
- Washington Crossing the Delaware – Emanuel Leutze (My favorite)
- Bridge over the pond of water Lillies – Claude Monet
It would be nice to book a tour so you can learn more about the exhibits in the museum.
9. American Museum of Natural History
You can check out the Museum of Natural History which will probably be familiar to you if you have seen Night at the Museum.
The museum is really big! It is the largest natural history museum in the world. It spans 4 city blocks!
There are lots of fun exhibits from sharks to space. It is a great place to bring the entire family!
10. Rockefeller Center
The Rockefeller Center is another great place to get a view. You can book a ticket and go to the “Top of the Rock” The observatory at the top of the building.
The Rockefeller Center is also where the Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live are filmed. It is a fun area to check out!
If you go during the winter this is where the large Christmas tree is as well as the outdoor ice skating rink.
11. Dinner and A Broadway Show
After a fun day exploring nature and museums, head to Broadway and catch a show.
The food in New York is so amazing. There are a lot of great choices located near Broadway.
Popular Broadway Shows
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
- Lion King
- Phantom of the Opera
- and so Many More!
There are so many amazing shows. You can go to the ticket box office the day of the show and you might be able to get discounted tickets.
If there is a show that you really want to see I would purchase tickets ahead of time. Most popular shows will not be available same day.
Day 3 New York City Itinerary
Day 3 of your New York City itinerary will consist of two places that will take you almost the entire day to view. The Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island and the One World Conservatory.
You will want to start early to make sure you have enough time to do both.
- Statue of Liberty
- Ellis Island
- One World Conservatory
12. Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is one of the most popular sites in New York City. You will want to book your tickets ahead of time.
Ferry to the Statue of Liberty
You will want to arrive at Battery Park early because you will have to go through a security checkpoint. (Kind of like TSA) You will then proceed to the line to get onto the ferry.
Your first stop is the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island. You can go inside and up to the pedestal. The crown was not open when we visited but it is the same price to visit the crown as the pedestal. So if you can you should!
Statue of Liberty Museum
The Statue of Liberty Museum is located near the Statue of Liberty as well as a gift shop and a few places to eat. The museum was built in 2019. It is very nice and fun to look around.
You will probably want to allow yourself 1.5 hours to visit Liberty Island.
13. Ellis Island
Once you have seen the Statue of Liberty you will board the ferry again and head to Ellis Island. Ellis Island is fascinating! This is where immigrants started the process to become American citizens.
Almost every immigrant came through Ellis Island from the years 1892 to 1924. 12 million immigrants were processed during those years.
I found Ellis Island so fascinating. You can walk through the process of someone entering the country and all the steps they would follow. You can read stories about immigrants. It is a fantastic museum.
I did not give myself enough time when we visited. I would have liked to spend 2-3 hours.
Once you are finished you can jump back on the boat and head to Battery Park.
14. One World Trade Center
The One World Trade Center is a beacon of hope. You can go to the One World Observatory and look out at the beautiful New York skyline. This building is symbolic on so many levels.
9/11 Memorial and Museum
The 9/11 museum is an important place to visit and remember that day. Most of us that were alive and old enough to remember will always remember September 11, 2001. This memorial and museum gives the history and experiences of individuals and first responders.
Admission is free on Mondays from 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm. But typically cost about $17-$29 dollars.
You will need a separate ticket for the museum and the observatory. You can book a combination ticket that will include everything.
15. Dinner and a Show
You might be overwhelmed with the days activities from day 3 or our NYC 4-day itinerary. This might be a night to go back to the hotel and rest.
However, you only live once and how often do you have the opportunity to be in New York? Personally, I would book another show and have a relaxing night out on the town.
There are so many options! You really can't go wrong!
Day 4 New York City Itinerary
The last day of your 4 days New York itinerary can be super flexible. Maybe you didn't have time to do everything listed above and you want to do it on your last day.
That is the beauty of being a little bit flexible on your last day. You can add or take away any activities from this NYC itinerary. I am going to list a few more options to think about for your 4 day New York itinerary.
17. Get a Ticket to See the Filming of the Tonight Show
A really cool NYC experience is to see the filming of the tonight show at the Rockefeller Center
You can reserve tickets ahead of time or take your chances in the stand-by line located in the NBC store.
18. Best Things to Eat in New York City
I had lot of really good recommendations from friends for places to eat in NYC. I am going to share with you my favorites!
- Liberty Bagels
- Black Tap
- Joe's Pizza
- Vinnies Pizza
- Magnolia Bakery
- Jacob's Pickles
- Levain Bakery
- Rice to Riches
Are you Ready to Plan a 4 Day New York City Itinerary?
Hopefully, this helps you plan your 4 day New York City itinerary. You can easily adapt this itinerary if you only have a weekend in New York City! There is so much fun to be had.
Have so much fun in your 4 days in NYC!
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