So, you’ve convinced the powers-that-be to approve that trip to New York City, but you only have two days? It’s one of our most popular destinations because of its many attractions but can overwhelm you with its sheer possibility. You probably have in mind enough NYC attractions to fill several days, just from movies you’ve seen, blogs you’ve read, or the friend of a cousin of a friend who’s been there and loved this attraction or another. So where do you begin – and how do you end – with only TWO days?
For starters, stay somewhere nice – you might as well with only one night or two – within easy distance either to the attractions you want to see most or to the metro. It’s just one night, so consider how comfortably you need to sleep considering the energy you’ll need for all that sightseeing.
Next – here are some attractions we usually include in our shorter itineraries for New York City student tours. Some of these give you a great overall glimpse of Manhattan. Others put you right in the midst of its fascinating energy.
The Beast – The Beast is a fun and exciting speedboat that zips you around the New York City harbor so you can appreciate its skyline from the water. It includes a closeup at the Statue of Liberty with a great opportunity for photos – and many student groups find this is just as satisfying as if they had toured Lady Liberty more thoroughly.
Top of the Rock – There is no better way to get a full grasp of this amazing city than by standing above it. Top of the Rock is a contemporary alternative to the traditional Empire State Building. The lines are easier to take here. With time-stamped tickets, you’ll be on the observation deck before you’ve even realized you’re in line. The climb is more interactive as well – incredibly fast and offering images on the ceiling as well. And above all, the view is every bit as breathtaking, offering a magnificent view of the iconic Empire State Building and all of Manhattan around it. Plus, this attraction is part of the amazing Rockefeller Center, a favorite New York tradition.
Morning Show – With so little time, you’ll want to start your mornings early anyway, and this is an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime way to do it. All the major networks offer the chance for you to be in the television audience – and possibly even on screen. So bring some poster board and glitter if you’re hoping to say hello to mom!
Times Square – This famous intersection is something most NYC visitors want to see at least once. If you have time, student groups usually enjoy Madame Tussaud’s famous wax museum – the only place you can guarantee a photo op with a celebrity. Or if you enjoy the absurd and amazing, Ripley’s Believe It or Not is located on Times Square too. Besides that, you’ll find all kinds of exciting stores and an overwhelming number of things to see on Times Square. The energy is breathtaking, and you’ll love it. And that’s just during the day! At night with the huge billboards illuminated and crowds of people still streaming, it’s like nothing you’ve seen in the world.
Central Park – Open spaces to picnic or stroll, bridges to cross, paths to ramble along, and skyscrapers towering just beyond the pretty trees. Who can travel to New York City without a visit here? Central Park is rich with attractions too, and there are some really fun tours available for it – like the one showcasing previous movie locations from films we know you’ll recognize. Central Park is a New York City icon, and an absolute must for even the shortest tour.
If you have any time left in the day, you might want to hit one of NYC’s beautiful museums, like the Met or the Museum of Natural History. Though very different, both are amazing in their own way. Then, in the evening, there’s nothing like catching a show. If you can squeeze in a Broadway performance, we guarantee you won’t regret it.
Check out our pages and student theme tours for more exciting NYC ideas, but hopefully this gives you just a taste of what to do with only a little time.