4 day New York City Itinerary

4 Day New York City Itinerary (The Best NYC Itinerary!)

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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4 day New York City Itinerary - Hershey World

To start off your New York 4-day itinerary, we will begin with visiting some popular tourist sites and include a few tours.  You might want to consider a City Pass or a Go New York Pass to save some money. 

  • Times Square
  • Shopping
  • Hop on Hop off Bus Tour
  • Empire State Building
  • New York City Food Tour

1. Times Square

Times Square - New York City Itinerary

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
  • Juniors

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

4 day New York City Itinerary busses

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

Weekend in New York City Itinerary Lego Store

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

4 day itinerary new York - 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 New York Itinerary 4 days

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

New York Kids Activities - JO's Pizza

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

NYC Itinerary 4 days - New York

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

New York Itinerary 2 days - 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)

New York Itinerary 3 day - Metropolitan OA

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

4 days in New York City Itinerary

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

New York city 4 Days 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

Things to do in NYC with kids Broadway

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

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

NYC itinerary Ellis Island

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

activites in NYC for kids 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

NYC itinerary 4 days 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

Itinerary for 4 days in New York

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

NYC itinerary 4 days broadway

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

NYC trip 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.  

16. Best NYC Tours

NYC 4 day itinerary Brooklyn bridge

If you have time to go on another tour, there are some great options you could easily add to your 4 days in New York City itinerary! 

Tours in NYC

17. Get a Ticket to See the Filming of the Tonight Show

NBC Studios - New York Itinerary 4 days

A really cool NYC experience is to see the filming of the tonight show at the Rockefeller Center

Reserve Tickets

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

Fun for kids NYC - Black Tap

I had lot of really good recommendations from friends for places to eat in NYC.  I am going to share with you my favorites!

  • Juniors
  • Liberty Bagels
  • Serendipity 
  • Black Tap
  • Joe's Pizza
  • Vinnies Pizza
  • Magnolia Bakery
  • Jacob's Pickles
  • Levain Bakery
  • Balthazar
  • Rice to Riches

Are you Ready to Plan a 4 Day New York City Itinerary?

Best NYC 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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  1. This is the perfect 4 day itinerary for NYC! I am actually saving this right now because I would love to take my teens to New York (they’ve been begging) and I think 4 days is the perfect amount of time…plus this itinerary will ensure that we cover some of the best spots the city has to offer!

  2. I love New York City, however I’m usually in the garment district when I go, but every now and then I catch dinner and a show. Great itinerary.

  3. Wow! I can’t believe how much you fit in a 4 day New York City itinerary! I think the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island would be first on my list!

  4. Wonderful suggestions for getting the most out of a 4 day stay in NYC! Just came back from a business trip there. Always love it, but glad to get back to the quiet.

  5. I love New York City! We used to live an hour north and I need my Big Apple fix annually. This is the perfect 4-day itinerary. You hit all of my favorite things to do especially Central Park, Times Square, Broadway and the 9/11 Memorial.

  6. I’d find it hard to know where to start in New York City. Your Itinerary helps with lots of suggestions and as a reminder of the places that I’ve heard about.

  7. This post makes me want to go back to New York! There are so many fun things to do, and now I want chocolate because I saw the picture of Hershey World. I hope to go back soon!

  8. Big cities are so overwhelming to plan a trip. Love your break down on this 4 day New York City itinerary. Makes it seem not so crazy.

  9. This is the perfect four day itinerary for NYC! My grown daughters and I were just today discussing a trip to that city.

  10. I have never been to New York City – but it’s definitely on my bucket list! A New York City food tour sounds amazing. Central Park, One World Trade Center, and the Harry Potter store are definitely at the top of my list for when I do visit.

  11. What an incredible four-day NYC itinerary. We always look for new things to do when visiting a city or area. Thank you for sharing.

  12. How fun! I have wanted to travel to NYC since I was a little girl. I think it would be fun to see all the landmarks & eat all the food! I would love to see the city during the holidays. I think it would be beautiful!

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