The Perfect Weekend in New York City
Collected by AFAR Editors , AFAR Staff
If you only have a weekend in NYC, we can’t guarantee a ton of sleep but you can expect fantastic cultural experiences, from live music to medieval art in a bucolic setting. We’ve mapped out three days that immerse you in a mix of old and new New York. Start with iconic cultural sites in Upper Manhattan; explore the Lower East Side’s gritty past and gentrified present; and cross the river for a leisurely day in Brooklyn’s buzzed-about Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods, capped off with rooftop drinks.
99 Margaret Corbin Dr, New York, NY 10040, USA
The Cloisters, a museum devoted to medieval art and architecture, is a delightful respite from the hustle and bustle of NYC. This tranquil treasure is definitely worth a half day (or more) trip on your next visit. A branch of the Metropolitan...
Riverside, Dr To Broadway, New York, NY 10040, USA
Fort Tryon Park is a jewel. Much more off the beaten path for tourists and even locals, the 67-acre park is located in far northern Manhattan on towering cliffs with panoramic views of the Hudson River, the George Washington Bridge, and the New...
2245 Broadway, New York, NY 10024, USA
Every New Yorker knows Zabar's, an Upper West Side institution. The specialty food market was founded in the 1930s by Louis and Lillian Zabar; today's store is nearly a block long and serves 35,000 customers weekly. Bagels, lox, smoked fish,...
200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024, USA
Located on the Upper West Side, at 79th Street and Central Park West, the American Museum of Natural History is one of the world's largest museums. It has 45 different halls, occupies more than 2 million square feet, and has some 33 million...
New York, NY, USA
Manhattan can, famously, feel like endless rows of apartment blocks and office towers for most of its length. At least above 14th Street, a regular grid of streets and avenues, bisected only by Broadway, has transformed the city into a dream for...
1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028, USA
The Met's rooftop terrace, open from May to late fall, is a delightful spot for a breath of fresh air. Visitors are treated to unobstructed panoramic views of NYC's skyline and Central Park's lush treetops. The cafe serves wine, beer, specialty...
35 E 76th St, New York, NY 10021, USA
This Upper East Side hotel opened its doors in 1930 and, since then, has offered big-city accommodations to a legion of luminaries, from John F. Kennedy and Ingrid Bergman to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Its famed restaurant Café...
4 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002, USA
Even in the dead of winter, Clinton Street Baking Company has a line out the door. The small joint is hugely popular among locals and the occasional celebrity. Located in Manhattan's Lower East Side, most people come here for their legendary...
103 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002, USA
These days, wandering the Lower East Side (the area between the Bowery and the East River, with Houston Street marking its northern border and Canal Street its southern one), it can feel impossible to recall that this neighborhood was once among...
550 Broadway, New York, NY 10012, USA
If Fifth Avenue in Midtown is New York's primary higher-end retail strip, with Saks Fifth Avenue, Henri Bendel, and Bergdorf Goodman as its anchors, the SoHo section of Broadway (between Houston and Canal) is its less glamorous sister, crowded...
86 Allen St, New York, NY 10002, USA
Amanda Cohen pioneered vegetarian fine dining in Manhattan with the 2008 opening of her pocket size Dirt Candy, which has become one of the city’s most sought-after reservations. In 2015, she relocated Dirt Candy to a light-filled, 60-seat space...
6 Delancey St, New York, NY 10002, USA
"Nothing beats the Bowery. We’ve probably played here more than anywhere else in the world. It’s a nostalgic concert hall for us, and one of the better places to see live music in New York. I often opt out of bigger venues in the city, but if a...
180 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002, USA
When hotelier Sean MacPherson opened the Ludlow he totally nailed the unique spirit of Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The 175-room hotel is the perfect mix of gritty and stylish, cool and calm. Rooms are done up in that signature MacPherson style...
90 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211, USA
Brooklyn has become a dining destination in recent years, with dozens of restaurants preparing local, organic, and sustainable American dishes—and others serving everything from Korean bibimbap and Scandinavian specialties to Ethiopian stews...
31 Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222, USA
It is really hard to walk past a cute bakery like Ovenly without going in. Pretty decor plus shelves and glass jars filled with homemade treats just catch my curiosity everytime. Plus, there is something very comforting about biting into a scone...
61 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249, USA
Local Brooklyn brews and Blue Ribbon's comfort food (mac and cheese balls; fried coconut shrimp) keep folks energized at this hip bowling alley that doubles as a live music venue. It's attracted everyone from Elvis Costello to Big Boi of hip-hop...
229 S 4th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211, USA
Traif (Yiddish for foods deemed unkosher) encourages eating more than just the standard cuts of meat you likely grew up on. The seasonal menu has featured pork belly, braised short ribs, chopped chicken livers, frog's legs, and even bacon...
80 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249, USA
For some of the best views of the New York City skyline, you have to leave Manhattan. Case in point: the Ides Bar at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. Located on the east side of the East River, this place serves up a view that stretches from the...
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