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New York Skyline | © rainycity/Flickr
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How to Spend 24 Hours in New York City

Picture of Cailey Rizzo
Updated: 23 May 2017
New York is, infamously, the city that never sleeps. And those doing a whirlwind tour of the city shouldn’t sleep either. If you’ve only got 24 hours in the Big Apple, it’s possible to get a pretty good taste of the city — you’re just going to need a lot of coffee. Start out early in the morning uptown and then work your way down to the southernmost tip of Manhattan by the time you leave. This itinerary includes some must-see New York classics alongside newer hangs where the locals actually spend time and where visitors can get an authentic feel of New York life. On your marks, get set, go!

Start early with old New York

Get a head start on your day by kicking it off with a stroll through Central Park. Mosey your way over to the east side of the park and 80th Street, where you will find the renowned collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. After spending a few hours looking through the expansive galleries (and the gift shop!) step out onto Fifth Avenue and work your way downtown. This long avenue is home to some of New York’s finest shopping, so it’s basically a guarantee that you won’t leave the avenue empty handed.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 535 7710

Grab lunch in a melting pot

One of the best parts about New York City is the diverse food scene. Dive headfirst into one of the most unique parts of town in Chinatown. Nom Wah Tea Parlor is one of the most charming spots for dim sum in the city. But you can’t go wrong with the cheap eats at Vanessa’s Dumpling House or Excellent Dumpling House. While in Chinatown, be sure to spend some time walking around the smaller streets. Columbus Park is a must-see spot for those who want to be instantly transported to Asia while beauty lovers should be sure to check out oo35mm for the best selection of K-Beauty products in the city.

Nom Wah Tea Parlor, 13 Doyers St, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 962 6047

Vanessa’s Dumpling House, 118 Eldridge St, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 625 8008

Excellent Dumpling House, 111 Lafayette St, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 219 0212

Columbus Park, 67 Mulberry St, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 408 0100

oo35mm, 81 Mott St, New York, NY, USA, +1 718 496 8163

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Stroll around chic New York

Spend the latter part of the afternoon wandering around New York’s trendy SoHo district. McNally Jackson Books has knowledgeable staff and stacks of books perfect for getting lost inside. Opening Ceremony is where New York’s cool kids spend their money on clothes. But the best thing to do is wander upon a tiny little shop. Stick to Broome, Crosby, Prince, Spring and Greene Streets (along with Broadway) for the best shopping. After an exhausting afternoon of strolling through boutiques, stop by New York institution Balthazar for a French-inspired dinner.

McNally Jackson, 52 Prince St, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 274 1160

Opening Ceremony, 35 Howard St, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 219 2688

Balthazar, 80 Spring St, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 965 1414

Watch the sunset from the coast

Head to the west side of the city to watch the sunset over the Hudson River. Stroll down the High Line park and install yourself on a bench for the grand show. Grab a drink at The Standard Hotel or, if it’s a Friday or Saturday, the Whitney Museum of American Art will stay open until 10 pm for a drink among the art set.

The Standard, 848 Washington St, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 645 4646

The Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort St, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 570 3600

Party with New York’s downtown cool kids

Spend the night bopping around the bars that pepper the Lower East Side. Those who prefer dive bars should check out The Library for cheap beers, rock music and seedy bathrooms. Dancers looking to shake all night to Caribbean rhythms should pile into Miss Lily’s 7A or anybody looking for a variety of dancing can spend the night at The Delancey. Just be sure to end the night with a slice of $1 pizza from Two Bros. or a hotdog from Crif Dogs before stumbling off to bed.

The Library, 7 Avenue A, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 375 1352

Miss Lily’s 7A, 109 Avenue A, New York, NY, USA, +1 646 588 5375

The Delancey, 168 Delancey St, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 254 9920

Two Bros. Pizza, 32 St Marks Pl, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 777 0600

Crif Dogs, 113 St Marks Pl, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 614 2728

Dem after dinner vibes 🌴🗽#MissLilysRumbar #LateNite #EastVillage #IslandFlow #NYC

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Refuel and recharge

End your 24 hours in New York like a proper local — by sitting down for brunch. Although most New Yorkers will spend their mornings waiting in line for brunch, beat the rush by making a reservation in advance. Augustine (at the bottom of the Beekman Hotel) is perfect for those looking for a high-end brunch. Those who don’t mind crossing the river should check out Sunday in Brooklyn for malted pancakes with hazelnut praline that the entire city is going crazy for right now.

Augustine, 5 Beekman St, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 375 0010

Sunday in Brooklyn, 348 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY, USA, +1 347 222 6722