Things to do in New York

How to spend 2 days in Manhattan for travel snobs

When it comes to land area, Manhattan is the smallest of New York City’s five boroughs. But it’s the borough packed with the most attractions and delicious dining options from the Upper West Side down to the Lower East Side. Each of Manhattan’s neighbourhoods and districts have their own character and bring their own unique atmospheres. So no matter what type of traveler you are, you’re sure to find the attractions and activities that best appeal to what you like.

Are you only in Manhattan New York for 48 hours? No problem. Below we made an itinerary for 48 hours of entertainment in Manhattan for couples, families and business travellers and if you want to find somewhere awesome to stay in the city we also have a Top 10 cool and unusual hotels in New York. We hope you make the most of your short trip to New York City!


Friend of a Farmer

Day One – You and your significant other have arrived in the Big Apple, but before adventuring throughout Manhattan together, grab some breakfast at Friend of a Farmer. This friendly, cozy café uses simple, fresh ingredients to serve up some of the heartiest and tastiest breakfast meals you’ve ever tried.

Then, you two should head to one of the biggest, finest museums in the world: the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Together, you could spend all day here viewing the more than 2 million magnificent pieces placed throughout more than 40 galleries, so take all the time you can to check out as many works of art as you have time for.

Metropolitan Museum of Art
After your journey through the museum, take a cab to Felice 83. This is a great date spot that prepares scrumptious Italian dishes and various fine wines.

Once lunch is over, spend the rest of your afternoon and evening enjoying all Times Square has to offer. With popular stores that fill the area, you can shop until you drop, and even buy each of you new outfits for your second day in New York. Besides shopping, seeing a Broadway show is a fantastic experience. When you get tired of walking, eat dinner on Restaurant Row. Barbetta and Bangkok House are two good eateries worth trying on Restaurant Row in Times Square.

Times Sqaure
Day Two – Day two in Manhattan is sure to be just as good as your first day. Once you two rise and shine, wake up with an espresso and a sweet treat from Abraco. They also make small plates if you want more than coffee and a cinnamon bun for your morning pleasure.

Abraco Espresso Bar
Your after-breakfast stop needs to be Central Park. It’s beautiful in the mornings, no matter what time of year it is. Whether you two love art, history, nature, or are first-time visitors, there’s so much for you to see and do in this urban park that covers 843 acres worth of Manhattan.


Next, make your way to Rockefeller Center for lunch at wichcraft, founded by chef Tom Colicchio who hosts the hit TV show “Top Chef”, and to see the spectacular views from the Top of the Rock Observation Deck. If you come during the holidays, be sure you take each other ice skating and get a picture in front of the giant Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

End your last night in Manhattan with dinner at Don Antonio by Starita. A trip to New York City isn’t complete unless you try some NYC pizza, and the mouth-watering pies here — made with homemade mozzarella — are the kind of pizza the pair of you have dreamed of trying since you first decided to travel to the big city.


Amy Ruths

Day One – The first thing everyone in your family is going to want is breakfast, so take them to Amy Ruth’s. No other Harlem restaurant does soul food breakfast as good as they do with their endless waffle options.

Once breakfast is over, pack up your clan and go wandering through the American Museum of Natural History. The museum’s collection has something for everyone, like learning about the evolution of human history and seeing a giant dinosaur skeleton replica.

Not too far from the museum is Good Enough To Eat, one of the best Manhattan spots to eats comfort food. You and your kids have your pick from delectable soups, salads, mac and cheese, sandwiches and burgers. The foods and the relaxed atmosphere make Good Enough To Eat a better than “good enough” lunch spot.

Next for you family should be a stroll through Central Park. Located in the heart of Manhattan, this gorgeous urban park is home to castles, statues, parks, lakes and an ice rink if you visit during the winter months, all of which provide endless afternoon fun for families.

Central Park
End your first day in the city at Serendipity 3. They have a full menu with dishes that appeal to every age and every taste bud. And make sure to save room for dessert, as their menu also includes sweet sundaes, pies, cakes and more. Your family will easily fall in love with Serendipity 3.

Day Two – Start your last fun family-filled day in New York at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. They are known for their singing and dancing waiters, as well as their lip-smacking variety of pancakes. Your family will have breakfast and a show at a great price.

Ellen Stardust - best places to eat in New York
For your late morning entertainment, climb 1,250 feet above the city and see the spectacular views of Manhattan’s skyline from the Empire State Building observatory. It will be a sight your kids have never seen before and one they’ll always remember.

Once your family sees all they can at the Empire State Building, treat them to lunch at Black Shack. This very popular burger joint not only makes juicy hamburgers, but they also make turkey burgers, chicken sandwiches, a fresh mozzarella sandwich, crispy fries, salads and even tofu! Every member of your family will be pleased with the options on this menu.

Now that lunch has ended and your stomachs are full, see Lady Liberty in all her glory. The Statue of Liberty is the greatest symbol of freedom in America and is something your family can’t leave New York before seeing. Another neat family experience can be shared at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum where you learn about the millions of immigrants who once passed through this port for a better life in America. You might even discover some of your family members who once passed through here.

Statue of Libertyjpg
To end your night and trip in Manhattan, you must try the pizza at Patsy’s Pizzeria. They’ve been serving thin crust, brick oven style pizzas since 1933, so you know they know what they’re doing in the kitchen. If someone doesn’t like pizza, they also offer a menu full of Italian greats, like pastas and calzones. Take a cannoli or three to go with you. You won’t be sorry about that delicious decision.

Patsy’s Pizzeria

Manhattan might look small, but as we’ve shown you, there’s plenty for you to see, do and eat during your 48 hours in the city, no matter how you’re traveling. We hope you enjoy every minute of your stay in New York City!

Business Travellers


Day One – Before beginning your day of meetings, you need a good hearty breakfast and a cup of coffee. There’s no better place to go than Coppelia. This 24-hour Cuban diner in Chelsea starts serving their tasty breakfast menu at 7 a.m. during the week. You can’t go wrong with whatever you choose, but their Desayuno Coppelia and Omelette Coppelia are two great options.

After your work-filled morning, take your lunch break at Spotted Pig. They use fresh ingredients, cook up seasonal Italian and British foods to complete perfection and have vegetarian appetizers, sides and a veggie plate if that’s what you prefer. They don’t take reservations, but you don’t need one since there’s rarely a wait time during lunch hours.


Once you’re off work and have the night to explore Manhattan, first get yourself some dinner at wd-50. Chef Wylie Dufresne’s molecular gastronomy restaurant in the Lower East Side uses modernist cooking methods to whip up two delicious tasting menus. After dinner, catch a show at Lincoln Center. With various venues that show theater, music and dance performances year-round, you’re sure to find a show you’ll enjoy. Before or after your show, stop and see the fountain in Jose Robertson Plaza and the area around it at night. It’s a beautiful sight to cap off your evening.

Lincoln Center

Day Two – Stop by Third Rail Coffee for a cup of their cortado and a pecan and cherry vanilla scone to jumpstart your morning.

Third Rail Coffee
Then, have your business partners take you to The Palm for lunch in between meetings. This dining spot is known for their “Modern Power Lunch” menu, which lets you get in, eat and leave within an hour so you can get back and close that deal before your trip is over.

Now that you’ve worked hard for two days, it’s time to play hard in the city that never sleeps. The best place to do that is Times Square. Walk around admiring the lights, the shops and the people from all over the world. Be sure to check out Caroline’s on Broadway for dinner and a comedy show that will have you laughing the night away.

Useful resources when staying in New York

  • We always prefer to stay somewhere a little unique. Find awesome, cool and quirky hotels to stay in New York here.
  • To find out where all the hip and happening events are in the evening or the day we always use TimeOut.
  • Want to get around quickly? It’s always best to pre-book taxis at somewhere like booktaxinewyork rather than pay ‘tourist’ taxi prices!


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