3 Days in New York City for First-Timers: Great Things to Do
It’s your first trip to New York City and you are planning on staying for a three-day weekend.
As a first-timer visiting New York, you would want to experience as many things as you can.
You would want to squeeze a lot of attractions into your three days visit but then, it’s impossible to take in all the excitement across the five boroughs in such a short time.
Life-long New York citizens and residents discover something new every day but you can still enjoy many of the city’s essential attractions throughout the whole of your three-day visit.
You would be so much excited to decide on what to do first. While thinking about this, remember that there is a reason behind being called the city that never sleeps.
This three days adventure to New York City will help you get a taste of what the city has to offer and you hope for an exceptional experience at the end of your tour.
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Looking for things to do in the New York City
The only requirement you need to sightsee in New York City is the New York pass. With the New York pass, you will be able to access over 90 side attractions in the city and you also get a steep discount compared to when you are paying at the entrance of each tourist center.
With three days to make full use of your New York Pass, you could take your time to experience the best and excite yourself in New York City at your own pace. You can also use this opportunity to visit as many sites as you want with your flexible pass.
The New York Pass is the ultimate sightseeing pass that gives you admission to over 90 attractions. You also get a fast-track entry to certain side attractions, a free guidebook, and many more.
You can also book a hop-on hop-off tour for easier transportation, as the distance between all major NYC attractions is pretty big.
Top-Rated Tourist Attraction in the New York City
One of the renowned cities of the world, New York City is always a whirlwind of activities. It has famous sites at every turn and it’s totally impossible to see them all during your three-day visit.
People make tours to New York City for different reasons; some may come to have fun at the Broadway show, some visit for shopping, and some also come simply to see the tourist attractions in New York City.
At any time of the day, there are endless arrays of things to see and do at New York City as a first-timer. Let’s move down to the top-rated tourist attraction you could cover in your three days tour.
- Walk through Times Square: Line with huge and brilliantly lit screens and billboards. Times Square is the exact place where it all happens. Times Square is an attraction best visited in the evening but the experience is nothing to write home about even at any time of the day. It is the location for the New Year’s Eve celebration in New York City. It’s attributed to the famous ball drops in evenings specifically when the square and the nearby streets are filled with the influx of people including both residents and visitors. For you, as a first-timer, visit after sunset, all the wattage will make you keep thinking its light out. While at the time square, you can also dine at one of the famous eateries as well as shop in the huge flagship store. Time square is perpetually busy and crowded but has its own unique appeal.
- Go Wild (The Bronx): The city is famously attributed for its unique cultural offerings, the central park, and the notorious skyscraper but many are not aware that New York City is the home for the largest urban zoo in the whole of northern America- the Bronx Zoo. It is located in the Bronx park and managed by the wildlife conservation society. The zoo is situated on a land of over 250 acres and it houses a total of 6000 animals of about 600 species. As a first-timer, you can marvel at the tremendous diversity of life and also learn about all kinds of creatures on earth. If you are visiting the Bronx Zoo, you will find that it’s indeed a flora fanatic. Another section of the expansive Bronx Park is a national historic landmark, The New York Botanical Garden. It is an area of 250 acres serving as a home for more than a million plants of different species. The garden features the largest herbarium in the Western hemisphere, a well-known scientific research program, and an extensive schedule of fascinating exhibitions and programs.
- Grand Central Terminal: The Grand Central Terminal fondly referred to as the Grand Central Station is a fascinating Beaux Arts Building and it’s an incredible place to pop-in and experience visiting this famous landmark. The building was first opened in 1913 as a terminal for train stations and subways. The key highlights outside are the 42nd street colonnaded faces and the statutory on the top. The grand staircase where you can stop to gaze out over the concourse is the key feature built inside. It also has beautiful selections of restaurants and retail shops with a celestial scene.
Aside from the above listed, there are numerous side attractions that time would definitely not permit you to visit. They include The Central Park, Rockefeller’s Top of the Rock observatory, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Broadway, the Frick collections, the New York public library, the radio city music hall, and other sites to mention a few.
Check my list of free things to do in NYC
Best Places to Eat in New York City
In New York City, there are numerous places to eat and there are also options depending on your budget. Well, it is outrightly impossible to branch at every restaurant in New York. Also, to say what the best restaurants are is a constantly changing task. Here are some of the go-to places to eat quintessential New York classics. These are places people love to visit because eating in those places gives them the best experience as a first-timer in New York.
- Bagels at Absolute: Bagels are foods you can find anywhere in the whole of New York City. They are also available at varying prices with standards but the Bagels of Absolute located in Broadway is your go-to option. The bagels are readily warm, chewy, and doughy. It’s the perfect bagel in the whole of New York City. The toppings are traditional but vary. The prices are also cheap compared to other restaurants. The line is out the door mostly during the weekends but it’s worthwhile to wait.
- Breakfast at Buvette: the French-inspired bistro situated in the west village is chic and cozy. It is completely an excellent espresso with an exceptional wine list. Buvette is your go-to restaurant for breakfast, especially during the weekends. Due to the influx of customers, hopping in for weekend brunch, it’s always crowded but the multigrain toast with smashed avocado pears and the yogurt taken with muesli and fresh berries or honey. It’s always a favorite.
- Spicy Chicken Sandwiches at The Commodore: Don’t be fooled from the outside and even from the inside. The dive bar without windows in Brooklyn is crowded, dark, and loud. The back courtyard is always occupied with cheap patio furniture and smoke of cigarettes. To say at least, the service at The Commodore restaurant might not be fantastic, but the spicy chicken sandwiches, the nachos, and the adult grilled cheese spice up everything. The food is out of this world and this makes the restaurant the most visited in New York City.
- Pizza to Artichoke Basille’s: All over New York City, you can get a slice of pizza valued at 1$ even of varying standards. But Artichoke Basille’s is the best street joint. The restaurant opens at a late hour, at times you even find nowhere to sit but the slices of the pizza there are huge, homemade, and tasty. The special delicacies are the Artichoke slice, spinach, cream sauce, mozzarella, pecorino, and Mamma Mia.
- Ice cream at Oddfellows: The flavors of the hipster ice cream at this joint located in Brooklyn would definitely exceed your expectations. The best part of Oddfellow restaurants is the freshly baked waffle cones. You can perceive them as soon as you walk in the door.
Check a separate article with great outdoor dining places in New York
Travel Documents Needed to Enter the US
An international traveler entering the United States of America is generally required to present a valid visa issued by a US consular Official and a passport. Unless you are a law-abiding permanent resident of the U.S, Canada, you are not eligible for the Visa Waiver Program.
The Visa Waiver Program allows international travelers and foreign nationals from certain eligible countries to be accepted into the U.S under limited conditions and a limited period without obtaining a visa.
International travelers must arrive in an approved carrier either they are coming by air or by sea. They are only allowed to stay for 90 days for medical, pleasure, and business purposes. Even if they are exempted to get the visa under the visa waiver program, they are still required to have a passport.
International travelers visiting the United States are required to have a passport that is valid for six months and beyond the period of their intended stay in the United States. The requirements of passports are universal regardless of age. Passports are required for children as well as adults.
However, if you are an international traveler and you wish to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, you are required to obtain and fill ESTA online. ESTA means the electronic system for travel authorization and it is available online for citizens and other eligible nationals.
There you have it! The travel guides for a three days visit the New York City as a first-timer. After your three days visit, you could still come back and explore even more of the city. Find out what to visit in Boston.
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