2 DAYS IN NEW YORK: Perfect Weekend Guide to New York

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2 DAYS IN NEW YORK: Your Perfect Weekend Guide to New York

New York, New York – the city so good, they named it twice! It’s a firm favourite amongst travellers and one of my all-time favourite cities too! But with a city so rich in diverse things to see and do, how can you get the most out of your trip to New York over just a weekend? Well, I’ve teamed up with CityPASS to show how you can see some of New York’s best attractions in just one weekend and get discounts on your admissions tickets. Here’s how to spend 2 days in New York – your perfect weekend guide for New York with CITYPASS!


Day 1 in New York

AM – Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

You cannot visit New York without visiting the iconic Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island!

Lady Liberty was a gift from France to the people of the United States in honour of the alliance between the two countries during the American Revolution.

The Statue of Liberty is the ultimate symbol of freedom. With broken chains at her feet, a torch leading the way to enlightenment and a tablet in her arms with the date of the Declaration of Independence.

She is recognition of America’s championing of liberty and was designed to encourage the French people to support the same ideals at the time too.

Statue of Liberty up close

You can find out more about the Statue of Liberty in the museum which focuses on the creation, meaning and history of the statue.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a repeat fan girl like me, there is nothing more awe-inspiring than seeing where it all began for this famous city!

You also get to see New York from a whole new perspective with a fabulous view of the New York skyline from the islands!

As part of your trip don’t forget to take the ferry to neighbouring Ellis Island too.

Ellis Island was the once the gateway to a new life in the US. From 1892 to 1924, it was America’s largest and most active immigration station, where over 12 million immigrants were processed.

The immigration building is now a fantastic museum that serves as a living monument to the story of the American people.

Ferries leave for Liberty Island every 20 minutes between 8.20am and 3.30pm from Battery Park.

The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island will take you around half a day so try to leave as early as possible. You’ll want to give yourself enough time for more city exploration in the afternoon.

With CITYPASS: Free Ferry access to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island plus admission to the Liberty Museum and Ellis Island Immigration Museum (Regular price: $24.50 per person)
Mel standing in front of the New York skyline from Liberty Island

PM – American Museum of Natural History

From dinosaurs to outer space and everything in between, the American Museum of Natural History showcases many of nature’s greatest wonders as well as celebrates cultural history from around the world.

The dinosaur exhibit in particular is one of my personal favourites because it’s the largest in the world and is home to some of the best dinosaurs specimens EVER found.

It’s immense!

T Rex at the American Museum of Natural History in New York

As it’s one of the largest museums in the world, you could spend days in here. However, I would allocate around 3 hours so you give yourself the opportunity to properly take in the main exhibits.

The museum is open from 10am everyday.

With CITYPASS: free with or without the pass (I would recommend booking free tickets online to confirm your visit time though as they get booked up quickly!)
Dinosaur in the American Museum of Natural History New York

PM – Top of the Rock Observation Deck

Arguably one of the best view points of New York! It’s also my favourite view of New York as it’s less crowded and has a larger, unobstructed, open-air observation deck.

So if you’re short of time and can only visit one view point in New York – I recommend this one over any other!

Built in 1933, the Rockefeller Center was constructed to help revitalise Midtown Manhattan after the Great Depression.

It’s fabulous viewing deck, “Top of the Rock” ascends 70 floors and gives visitors sweeping 360 views of the New York skyline from three indoor and outdoor viewing decks.

Observation deck at Top of the Rock with tower viewer (binoculars) and the Empire State Building in the background

The spectacular unobstructed views from Top of the Rock stretches from New York harbour to the south, to Central Park to the north and from the Hudson River to the outer boroughs and beyond!

Time your visit right before sundown and you’ll be able to see the view in daylight, then watch the sunset over the skyline and finally appreciate the night view as the city begins to twinkle with all the lights turning on.

If you have time either side of your visit, I’d also recommend going to the Rainbow Room whilst you’re there too. The views AND cocktails are amazing!

With CITYPASS: free general admission (Regular price: $40 per person)
Viewing deck of Top of the Rock with a girl looking through the viewer at the skyscrapers in the background

Day 2 in New York

AM – The Empire State Building

No trip to New York is complete without a visit to the world-famous Empire State Building!

It was the tallest building in the world for nearly 40 years until the completion of the World Trade Center’s North Tower in late 1970.

But it’s still the most famous building in the world today and draws over 4 million visitors a year!

View of New York city from the Empire State Building

With your CityPASS card you will get general admission entry to the 86th floor observatory, plus bonus same-night general admission (May-August between 10pm until closing; September-April between 8pm until closing).

It’s a great one to start off with in the morning as it’s lovely and quiet and you have the option of coming back the same day for the night view with your ticket – double whammy!

It’s open daily from 9am until 12am.

View of the New York skyline and the Empire State Building from the Top of the Rock observation deck

AM/PM – The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, or “The Met” as it’s lovingly nicknamed is one of the largest art museums in the world but the largest in the United States!

It houses some of the finest art in the world with pieces from ancient Egypt, Europe, Africa and Asia as well as an extensive collection of modern art.

Marble statues inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York

Similarly to the American Museum of Natural History, you could spend days in here! However, depending on how much of an art lover you are, set aside a couple of hours.

With your CityPASS card you will get skip-the-line admission and all exhibitions at The Met, plus same day admission to the Met Breuer and The Met Cloisters.

With CITYPASS: Free admission (Regular price: $30 per person)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, a white neo-classic building with a fountain outside

PM- 9/11 Memorial & Museum

This is a tough one to visit no matter when you choose to go but it’s so important that you do when you’re in New York.

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum commemorates those lost in the 9/11 attacks and 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

The memorial stands at the World Trade Center site where the twin towers once stood. Large waterfall pools surrounded by the names of those lost were built in the space left when the towers fell.

It’s incredibly moving as you stand above the empty space which symbolises the loss of life and the physical void left by the attacks.

9/11 Memorial fountain with the new World Trade Center in the background

The museum combines architecture, archaeology and history to create an unforgettable encounter with the story of the attacks, the aftermath and the people who lived through it.

The memorial and museum are open until 8pm everyday so you can take your time but I’d recommend setting aside a couple of hours for your visit.

White rose left on the name of a person lost in the 9/11 attacks
White roses are placed on the names of those lost in the 9/11 attacks to mark their birthdays

Money saved with CITYPASS

In total these selected attractions and museums at full price are $167.50 altogether. However, with a New York CityPASS card costing $136, you will save $39.50 (around £25!).

That’s enough to cover dinner out during your weekend in New York which will be one less thing to factor into your budget!

But don’t forget, CityPASS cards include a choice of discounts on other attractions as well as free admission to the attractions listed in this 2 days in New York weekend guide.

The pass is valid for 9 days too so if you decide to stay in New York longer you’ll be able to benefit from an additional two free entry tickets. Attraction choices, include: the Guggenheim Museum, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises.

So what are you waiting for? Book those flights and grab your CityPASS card because New York is always a good idea! 😉

New York skyline with the Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island in the foreground


What are you adding to your 2 days in New York for the perfect weekend? 😄

Quick FYI guys – this 2 days in New York post was sponsored by CityPASS but as always all opinions are my own and I would only recommend services and products I would use myself and know you’ll love.

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