72 Hours in NYC: A Travel Guide

I’ve always wanted to visit New York. Maybe I watched a few too many American shows and when I was younger, but between Home Alone, Gossip Girl and Suits (to name a few!), it looked like an absolutely awesome place to be. We visited for three days in July, and I definitely wasn’t wrong! New York has this buzzing city life and an amazing atmosphere that is unrivalled from any other place I’ve been to. On top of that, it’s a total foodie destination – I fell in love. I’m talking Love with a capital L you guys; LOVE. I could 1000% see myself living there one day.

A photo of the Empire State Building, New York at sunset

We were only there for three days, but I somehow managed to cram in everything I wanted to do, including some beautiful Insta locations that I’d seen online and just had to visit. I’d spent a lot of time planning the most ‘efficient’ way to do it all, but it was still a lot of walking (thank gosh for comfortable trainers!) We stayed at the Four Points by Sheraton New York Downtown, which I’d definitely recommend. If you’re wondering how to plan a three day itinerary to New York City, read on!


Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange: Don’t forget to stop by the charging bull and Fearless Girl statues – they’re pretty busy, so try and get there early if you want a good photo

Staten Island Ferry: Although it’s often called a “commuter ferry” (particularly from the people standing outside, trying to make you buy an expensive tour ticket for basically the same ride), this offers an awesome view of the Statue of Liberty for free! We went during the day and again at sunset/night, because we just couldn’t get enough of how beautiful it is!

A view of the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry in New York City.

An image of a vibrant Manhatten skyline at sunset, as viewed from the Staten Island Ferry in New York

Brooklyn Heights:  You can get a really amazing view of New York’s skyline from here. Try it at sunset if you can!

DUMBO: An acronym for ‘Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass’, you can have an awesome view of what is probably one of the most photographed bridges in the world. It lines up directly in the middle of Washington Street, with the Empire State Building framed by the bridge. My parents complained wholly during the walk, but were ridiculously impressed once we got there! It’s quite an Instagram location, but thankfully wasn’t too busy when we went.

A view of DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). You can see the Manhattan Bridge framing the Empire State Building in New York City

A rainbow DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) Street Sign in New York City



Upper West Side: If you’re only in New York for a weekend, then how could you possibly miss the most Instagrammable street ever? When I say that this area hosts some of the most beautiful houses I’ve ever seen (bar, perhaps Kensington), I’m not joking! Talk about house goals.

A view of the beautiful period houses lining the streets of Upper West Manhattan, NYC. I love how the houses are framed with lush green trees - so vibey!

The Mall, Central Park: If you’ve seen any romantic movie ever, you’ve probably seen this in it. It’s such a beautiful area, plus there’s always loads of street artists and musicians etc for you to enjoy whilst you walk. If I’d have had time, I would definitely had explored more of Central Park, or even taken a horse-drawn carriage around!

Rockefeller Centre & the Top of the Rock: There are two amazing skyline views in New York; the Empire State Building and the TOTR. Whilst I recommend either as a must-do for any 3 day NYC itinerary, there is a huge price difference. The latter is about $20 cheaper, and also allows you to get views of New York with the Empire State Building in them – easy choice, right? I went at sunset so that I could have a view during the day, as the sun sets, and also at night once all the city lights came on. All were equally beautiful, but if you choose to only go at night, you should know that Central Park is so dark that you can’t see much!

The view from the Top of the Rock, Rockefeller Centre, New York City.

A hazy view of Central Park at sunset, as seen from the Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Centre) in New York City

Times Square at Night: Obviously a sight to see (who goes to New York and doesn’t stop by at least once?!), but it’s definitely a lot cooler at night than during the day – all the signs light up, there are loads of street performers and the atmosphere is generally just awesome! I personally found it a little busy for my liking, but it would basically be a crime to travel to NYC and not see it once!



Tribeca: A super cool area with awesome cafes etc – stop by for brunch and roam around if you have time.

The Nomo Soho: Embrace your inner Instagrammer and have a little photoshoot in one of the most beautiful hotel entrances I’ve ever seen. There’s also a restaurant if you wanted to stay and enjoy the area! Soho in general is really awesome, and I loved wandering around and seeing all the cool stores and cafes.

The entrance of the Nomo Soho, NYC

[EAT] Jack’s Wife Freda: A really cool restaurant with Middle Eastern influences. This was recommended by a friend who lives in New York, and we really enjoyed it. It has a great vibe, the staff are friendly and it was completely packed whilst we were there!

The menu at Jack's Wife Freda, New York

Bedford St & Grove St: If you’re a fan of the tv show Friends, then I definitely recommend you stop by here! This is where they filmed the outside of their apartment block, and makes for a pretty cool photo op. I was very much expecting a café nearby called ‘Central Perk’ (along with some purple sofas and wooden coffee tables), but I was left disappointed. Nonetheless, this was easily one of my highlights of my 3 day New York itinerary. But, if any of you are looking for an entrepreneurial business opportunity, I could definitely see that doing well!

The Friends building on the corner of Bedford St & Grove St, New York City.

Barneys 7th Avenue: We went in purely for a photo of the cool white spiral staircase..

The marble and silver sign for Barneys New York, on 7th Avenue

Flatiron Building: It’s very thin, and very funky. If you’re particularly into architecture, you’ll love it!

A smoky, cloudy and moody photo of the Flatiron Building in New York City

Eataly: Obviously you didn’t go to New York to see their version of Italy, but this really was awesome. It’s a whole marketplace filled with fresh cheeses, pastas, wines, groceries and various Italian restaurants! We went for dinner and I had some of the best tortelloni I’ve had outside of Italy, so I definitely do recommend!

New York Public Library: It’s big, it’s beautiful! Definitely worth a look if you’re nearby. It can make for a pretty classic NYC shot.

Grand Central Station: Another romance movie staple. I’m from London, so I’m used to pretty big train stations, but even this had me in awe – it’s ridiculously grand! I was obsessed with Gossip Girl as a teen, so obviously some of the classic and recognisable spots had to make it into my three day NYC itinerary!



Oculus Mall: Some of the most beautiful architecture I’ve ever seen! I’ve obviously never seen the inside of a whale, but somehow this is what I think it looks like ..

A view of the inside of the Oculus Mall in New York

Brooklyn Bridge: A New York staple! I really wanted to walk all the way across on Day 1 (after DUMBO) but it was ridiculously humid that day. Don’t forget to count in the time it takes to get about halfway across the bridge, as that’s where you’ll get the super cool Insta photos. And if you can, try going very early in the morning, or you’ll basically be herded like cattle / run over by bicycles when it’s busy!

A symmetric view of the Brooklyn Bridge in summer, New York City


And that’s it for my budget 3 day guide to New York! I’d love to know; have you ever been to NYC, or is it on your travel bucket list? If you’ve ever done a three day trip (or shorter), I’d love to know the best spots on your itinerary – share them below!

Don’t forget to pin this post for when you next travel!

A pinnable image for my post "72 Hours in NYC - A Travel Guide", which details all the best places to go and see to do a three day itinerary in New York, on a budget!



  1. October 11, 2017 / 5:57 pm

    Holy crap you really did get some amazing shots! I visited NYC a few years back and I really could’ve used this blog post to help me get a handle on the city – there’s so much to see and so little time! Are you considering a move there?

    • Malvika
      October 11, 2017 / 6:38 pm

      Thank you so much! I just started getting into photography, so this was a lot of fun. I would definitely consider moving there because I love how lively the city is (there’s always something fun to do!) But, I don’t handle cold very well, so I’d probably freeze in winter haha!

  2. October 11, 2017 / 7:25 pm

    I did NY in about the same amount of time back in 2014 and I know exactly what you mean about all the walking (its the best way to take everything in but boy did my feet hurt at the end of the trip haha). It’s such an amazing city I could go back and do another 72 hours to see all the bits I didn’t get to squeeze into my first visit. I’m loving your pictures, what did you use to capture them?

    • Malvika
      October 11, 2017 / 7:59 pm

      Just thinking about all the walking still makes my feet hurt ahaha. I would definitely do it all over again though – it really is an amazing city! And thank you so much; it was my first time using my new camera (I just started getting into photography) so I was pretty proud of these! I used the Olympus OM-D e-M10 ii and the 14-42mm EZ kit lens!

  3. October 11, 2017 / 7:32 pm

    Wow, this is a massive list for 3 days. My kind of stuff 🙂 thanks for sharing.

    • Malvika
      October 11, 2017 / 8:02 pm

      Very welcome!

  4. October 11, 2017 / 7:33 pm

    I feel the same about NYC, I probably watched too much TV show ahah. It would be probably one of the first city I’d want to visit in the USA. Your post makes me want to go right now! Absolutely love that picture from under the bridge, no wonder why it is Instagram worthy :p

    • Malvika
      October 11, 2017 / 8:03 pm

      Aahhh I was definitely the same, and I was surprised at how well it lived up to the TV hype! Definitely worth a visit 🙂

  5. October 12, 2017 / 6:04 am

    To me, it was Sex and the City that made me want to visit New York. Still haven’t been, unfortunately but now I know where to go for the best pictures and impressions. Would love to do the Staaten Island boat trip at sunset and that picture of the bridge and Empire State Building from DUMBO is just amazing.

    • Malvika
      October 12, 2017 / 6:18 pm

      Aahhh I miss that show! I really do recommend visiting if you ever get the chance – it truly was awesome!

  6. October 12, 2017 / 6:10 pm

    You have a keen eye for details and your photos are nicely composed. Thanks for this breakdown, I am sharing it out with a bunch of friend going to NYC!

    • Malvika
      October 12, 2017 / 6:19 pm

      Thank you so much! I hope they find it useful 🙂

  7. October 12, 2017 / 11:31 pm

    Being born and raised in NYC, I almost always skip passed NYC guides because so many are not only repetative but seems to skip passed so many places that make New York amazing.

    Great job on putting together an awesome guide and extra props for suggesting one of my favorite restaurants, Jack’s Wife Frieda!

    • Malvika
      October 14, 2017 / 10:42 am

      Aah thank you! That was such an awesome restaurant – I wish i’d had more time in NYC because I’d have loved to try more things on the menu

  8. October 13, 2017 / 9:35 am

    Brooklyn and Queens and Harlem are my must sees for New York, since I got a glimpse of the rest when I was 12, I would only go back for the Culture, food and Music and a bit more of the down to earth feels. I love the history of the city, with the Immigration that flooded in and created something that is not replicated anywhere else int he country. It’s truly Unique how many cultures live side by side, mix, mingle, and retain in a lot of cases their heritage.

    • Malvika
      October 14, 2017 / 10:43 am

      I definitely agree! I never managed to make it to Queens or Harlem whilst I was there, so I’ve added them to my list for next time. It really is such an awesome city with so much to see!

  9. October 13, 2017 / 1:44 pm

    Really beautiful photos! I’m headed down to New York for a job interview in a few weeks so hopefully I’ll be able to do some of the things you’ve recommended!

    • Malvika
      October 14, 2017 / 10:43 am

      Thank you! I hope you enjoy it, and good luck for the interview!

  10. October 14, 2017 / 5:59 pm

    Thats an interesting guide. I haven’t yet been to NYC. Your pictures just want me to be there. I loved the sunset at brooklyn heights and your picture facing the skyline from the hotel window. awesome post

  11. February 3, 2018 / 11:45 am

    Going to New York in June for a second time. Thanks for the inspiration! I think I’ll make the effort to go to Dumbo for the flea market, if not for that photo on Washington street!

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