One Day in New York - Day Trip to New York Itinerary

By Shashia Mitchell

1 Day in New York City - Sample Itinerary with The New York Pass®

With The New York Pass, your sightseeing possibilities are endless. Choose from over 90 included attractions and create an itinerary tailored to your interests and what you want to do and see in the city.

We put together a sample 1 Day in New York City Sightseeing Itinerary using The New York Pass to give you some inspiration to start planning your trip and to show how The New York Pass helps you save on combined admission to top New York City attractions.

With The New York Pass you can get into all of the attractions in this itinerary for less than it would cost to buy tickets at each attraction. But remember, this is just one of the many 1-day itineraries you could create with The New York Pass – follow the itinerary below, or, visit any and as many of the other included attractions as you want.

This Sample 1 Day Itinerary Includes:

  • Big Bus New York Hop-on Hop-off Tour
  • Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
  • Radio City Music Hall Tour
  • Empire State Building

Big Bus New York Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Get a full overview of New York City by starting your trip off with a narrated tour of it all. On the tour, you’ll have a double-decker view of all the city’s top attractions, landmarks, sights, and layout so you can take note of any areas and attractions you want to go back to and visit.

You’ll have access to the tour’s 3 routes: Uptown, Midtown, and Downtown and be able to hop on or off at any of the 25+ stops

An on-board tour guide will direct your attention to notable sights while providing entertaining and educational narration along the way, so you’ll learn some NYC history, fun facts, unique culture, and more.

Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises (Seasonal)

Get out on the water for some unique New York City views. Your New York Pass lets you choose from 6 Circle Line cruise options, but to get the most out of your day, choose one of the 2 options that will have you back on land before lunch:

  • 30-minute BEAST Speedboat/Thrill Ride: zoom around the Hudson River at speeds of up to 45 mph on the 70-foot BEAST speedboat. You’ll cruise towards the Statue of Liberty while your captain performs tricks like sharp turns, twists, corkscrews, and more—all with Midtown and Lower Manhattan as your backdrop.
  • 1-hour Liberty Cruise: get up-close views of the Statue of Liberty while learning all about the history and cultural importance of the statue and how she became an icon of freedom, hope, and liberty that extends beyond her physical presence in New York City from educational and entertaining narration. You get unbeatable views of Lady Liberty, Ellis Island, the New York City skyline, and more.

No matter which cruise you choose, Circle Line’s knowledgeable guides will narrate your experience with fun facts and information, so you’ll learn some of the city’s fascinating and notable history while seeing the sights from the perspective of the water.

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Explore American military and maritime history at Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, where you can climb on board four important historic vessels: the museum’s namesake aircraft carrier, Intrepid, the submarine Growler, the space shuttle Enterprise, and the British Airways Concorde.

In addition to the four vessels, the museum features an Exploreum Interactive Hall, a hands-on exhibition space and education center dedicated to inspiring an appreciation for history, science, and all those who serve our country.

Planet Hollywood - Save 15%

Grab a late lunch and save 15% off food, beverages, and merchandise with your New York Pass at Planet Hollywood.

You’ll get to dine in an atmosphere dedicated to celebrating all things Hollywood and movie magic with a hint of nostalgia for the films and celebrities of yore—a restaurant venue worth a visit on its own!

Radio City Music Hall Tour

Take a 75-minute tour of this world-famous entertainment venue and walk in the footsteps (or leg kicks) of legends, like its resident headline performers, the Rockettes.

On the tour, you’ll get to meet one of the world-famous Rockette performers, see the celebrity-signed guest book, explore the revered Art-Deco interiors, learn some of the secrets of the show biz trade, and more.

Empire State Building

Finish your day of sightseeing off with a visit to one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, the Empire State Building. You’ll get some of the best views in the entire city from its 360-degree open-air observation deck and after a full day of touring, you’ll be able to put some context to the views you’ll get from above.

During your visit, check out the Empire State Building Experience which includes access to the newly restored Art Deco lobby, the historical Dare to Dream and Sustainability exhibits before hopping in the elevator to the observation deck on the 86th floor.

From the deck, you’ll have unobstructed views of the city in every direction from 1,050 feet above ground. Free, self-guided multimedia tours are available to help you identify buildings and landmarks along the skyline.

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New York

10+ Things to Do in Lower Manhattan During Your Trip to New York City

Manhattan is incredibly diverse, with a wide variety of neighborhoods and regions with distinct character. Because there’s so much to see and do throughout the city, it can often be useful when planning a trip to New York to narrow down your options by neighborhood. If you’re looking for things to do in Lower Manhattan and nearby areas during your trip to New York, check out our list of the best local activities and attractions, including... Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island 9/11 Memorial & Museum Circle Line Cruises Clipper City Tall Ship Sail And more! Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Ferry No visit to New York City is complete without a trip out to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Disembark from the ferry at Liberty Island for a chance to tour the country’s most famous statue, and then head over to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum for a unique look at a very special time in American history. If you have family that came through Ellis Island in the early twentieth century, you may even find an ancestor’s name on the wall! 9/11 Memorial and Museum Visitors to Lower Manhattan simply have to pay a visit to the moving and insightful 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Come here to learn all about the 1993 bombing and the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, see relics that survived the wreckage, and hear about the lives that were lost. This poignant record of one of the nation's greatest tragedies is an important monument in NYC and is something everyone should experience. 9/11 Tribute Center Hands-On Tour If you want a different take on this sad event in American history, you can take a self-guided tour through multiple galleries showcasing the tragedy of the 9/11 attacks on NYC. Learn all about the heroism of the first responders, the lives lost, and the legacy they left behind. Hear personal stories from the volunteers who staff the Tribute Center, and leave with a better understanding of this horrible event in American history. The main difference between these two attraction is the focus on first-person survivor experiences in the 9/11 Tribute Center. Shearwater Classic Schooner Sail If you want to mix in some outdoorsy fun with your cultural explorations, you may be interested in a cruise. For a relaxing venture out onto NYC waters, the Daytime Statue Sail from Manhattan by Sail is a delightful option. See the sights from a glorious 82-foot schooner known as The Shearwater and enjoy a peaceful cruise with full narration. Harbor Lights Cruise Take an evening Harbor Lights Cruise down the Hudson River for unique NYC views at sunset. Sail past the impressive skyline of Manhattan, and then to the main attraction herself, with the chance for that postcard-perfect shot of the Statute of Liberty. A few of the highlights you'll see along your cruise include: USS Intrepid Pier Ellis Island Wall Street Brooklyn Bridge Empire State Building and more... Clipper City Tall Ship Sail Set sail from Lower Manhattan on the historically inspired Clipper City Tall Ship. Although the original ship that shares its name was built in 1854, this recreated vessel offers much of the same historical charm with many modern amenities. Plus, you’ll get a chance to see all the can’t-miss sights of NYC, from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Statue of Liberty and beyond. National Museum of the American Indian For all the great museums in NYC, it can be hard to find one with totally free admission. The National Museum of the American Indian – a Smithsonian Institution museum – is a perfect choice for those interested in the arts, culture, and heritage of American Indian peoples. With permanent and special exhibits, performances, and events, there’s plenty to do at this top cultural destination. Nearby Attractions in BrooklynBrooklyn Museum & Brooklyn Botanic Garden While there’s no shortage of beauty to be found in New York City, there’s a special kind of natural and artistic wonder to be found in the Brooklyn Museum and the nearby Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The Brooklyn Museum boasts collections from around the world, with holdings as diverse as Ancient Egyptian pottery and modern feminist artwork. After you’ve roamed their galleries, stroll the 52-acre botanical garden outside for some natural inspiration. Brooklyn Bridge Bike Tour This amazing sightseeing ride begins in Manhattan and takes you across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. Explore the many landmarks and sights available on both sides of the bridge, and take some unbeatable photographs of and from the bridge itself. A great way to be active while touring! Barclays Center This popular arena is a Brooklyn hotspot. Home to the Brooklyn Nets and host to a multitude of concerts and special events, the Barclays Center is a great place to experience some real NYC culture. Check the schedule while you’re in town to see if you can enjoy a game or a show – it’s worth a visit to this trendy venue. Save on Lower Manhattan Attraction Admission So there are our top recommendations for things to do in Lower Manhattan and nearby areas during your trip to New York City. Admission to many of these top New York City attractions and activities and more are included with Go City®. Choose as you go from many top attractions and save on combined admission vs. paying at the gate.
Katie Sagal

CitySights NYC vs. Big Bus New York: Comparing the Differences Between the Two Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours

What's the best Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour in New York City? Depends on what you're looking for. There are several tour bus companies in New York City - we've compared the differences between the two most popular hop-on hop-off bus tours to highlight the differences and help you choose the one that's right for you. We'll show the major differences between two companies, Big Bus New York vs. City Sightseeing, so you can choose which bus tour to do in New York City depending on what you want to see and do - and a few other factors. The Basics & What's Included with Your Ticket Big Bus New York Tickets: Ranked #1 on TripAdvisor! Big Bus consistently ranks highest for customer satisfaction. Live narration: Big Bus is the only New York hop-on hop-off bus tour company with live, licensed tour guides on every bus who provide an interactive tour experience and point out all of the sights along the way, making sure you don't miss a thing. Languages available: All buses offer pre-recorded commentary in 10 languages. Trip-planning tools: All Big Bus hop-on hop-off tours come with access to a free mobile app that includes customizable maps, bus timetables, and information about the city's top sights. Ticket duration: Bus tour tickets are valid for one calendar day, unless activated after 3:00 pm, in which case they would be valid for a 24-hour period. Tour routes: Big Bus tours feature 3 routes with their standard tickets (Uptown, Downtown, and Midtown) with the opportunity to add the Brooklyn Tour or Night Tour at highly discounted rates. WiFi: Each bus features FREE WiFi onboard. Hours of operation: Buses run from 8:00 am - 6:00 pm every day. City Sightseeing Tickets: Languages available: All buses offer pre-recorded commentary in 12 languages. Ticket duration: Standard City Sightseeing tickets are valid for 48 hours. Tour routes: Standard City Sightseeing tours feature 3 routes with their standard tickets (Uptown, Downtown, and Brooklyn). Extras: Each ticket includes a free 90-minute night tour on the bus, access to a 4-stop hop-on hop-off ferry tour, and a ticket to your choice of either the NYC Museum or the New York Historic Society. Hours of operation: Buses run from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm every day. New York Bus Route Comparison Big Bus New York City Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Route: Big Bus: A Big Bus New York ticket gets you access to 3 routes Uptown: includes stops at Theater District, Columbus Circle, American Museum of Natural History, Lincoln Center Plaza, Guggenheim, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park, The Frick Museum, and more. Downtown: includes stops at Times Square, Fifth Avenue, Empire State Building, Flat Iron District, Greenwich Village, SoHo, Chinatown, Little Italy, Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall, Lower East Side, United Nations, Rockefeller Plaza, Central Park, Battery Park (where you can get a ferry to the Statue of Liberty), and more. Midtown: includes stops at Times Square, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises in Hudson River Park, Madison Square Garden, Grand Central Terminal, and more. City Sightseeing: A City Sightseeing ticket gets you access to 3 routes (+ a nighttime tour): Uptown: includes stops at Hell's Kitchen, Theater District, Columbus Circle, American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side, Guggenheim, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park, and more. Downtown: includes stops at Times Square, Empire State Building, Flat Iron District, Greenwich Village, SoHo, Chinatown/Little Italy, Battery Park, Lower East Side, Rockefeller Plaza, Central Park, and more. Brooklyn: includes stops at Botanic Garden, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Antique Furniture District, Fulton Mall, The Brooklyn Museum, Grand Army Plaza, Cadman Plaza, The Brooklyn Public Library, and more. Night Tour: the night tour is not a hop-on hop-off tour but a way to see the sights at night. Let's Recap Our NYC Bus Tour Comparison: Overview: Both New York City hop-on hop-off bus tours provide an easy and convenient way to get a feel for the city, see some of the top sights, and learn a bit about the city's important history and culture. You'll get a comprehensive overview of the city and get a feel for the city layout. Both run on fairly frequent intervals, so hopping on or off is easy. Routes included: Big Bus includes a Midtown route, which covers Midtown Manhattan to the western side of the Manhattan peninsula, which City Sightseeing bus routes do not, while City Sightseeing bus routes include a route through Brooklyn, which Big Bus does not (though a Brooklyn route is available as an add-on at a significant discount for ticket holders). Hours of operation: City Sightseeing standard tickets allow you to hop-on and off for 48-hours while Big Bus standard tickets are 1 calendar day (unless you redeem your ticket after 3:00 pm, in which case it will be valid for 24-hours), but Big Bus' hours of operation are significantly longer than those of City Sightseeing's bus. Customer preference: Big Bus is the #1 ranked bus tour on both Viator and TripAdvisor. Ways to save on New York bus tour tickets: Both Big Bus and City Sightseeing New York bus tours are available attraction choices on New York sightseeing passes. Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Tour tickets are available on: New York Explorer Pass: a multi-attraction sightseeing pass that lets you choose how many attractions you want to visit from over 60 attraction options, including the Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Tour of New York City. The New York Pass: an all-inclusive pass that includes tickets to Big Bus York Hop-On Hop-Off Tours and admission to over 90 popular attractions. City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Tour tickets are available on: New York City SightSeeing Pass: an all-inclusive pass that includes tickets to the City Sightseeing hop-on hop-off bus tour and admission to other local attractions.
Casey Makovich

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