What to do with 48 hours in New York City

How to nail a 48 hour trip in the city that never sleeps

Contrary to popular belief, you can, in fact, do New York in 48 hours. Sure, if you’re flying from Europe it’s a quick stint in the city but if home is closer, you’re in for a treat. So, whether you’re a tourist visiting for the first time or there to see friends but still want a taste of the Big Apple, look no further.

Where to eat

You’ve got 48 hours and if you’re sensible, you’ll want to spend a good chunk of that time in some of the best restaurants the city has to offer. You don’t need to go all-out and super fancy, but you do need to make sure that you’ve carefully considered where you’re going to spend those ever valuable meal-times. For breakfast, head to the Mercer for the best mimosas, pancakes and bacon in Soho. As one of New York’s best hotels, you’re going to be treated like royalty and it’s also one of the best spots in the city to people-watch. For lunch, go all-American and head to the Carnegie Deli where you’ll find sandwiches bigger than your face and cheesecake too big to fit in both hands. If you’re looking for a truly authentic American experience, look no further: the walls are covered with old-school stars you’ve visited the joint and the staff have all worked there for decades. For dinner, head to anything created by Keith McNally. Balthazar is always going to go down a treat (order the chicken paillard) , and The Odeon has some of the best burgers in the city.

Where to drink

The Wythe

New York truly is the city that never sleeps and it’s filled with amazing bars and clubs that’ll give you a taste of the city. No visit to New York is complete without cocktails at the rooftop of the Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District: no matter what time of year it is, you’ll have insane views across the whole of the city. If you’re looking to expand your horizons a little more, head to the Wythe in Brooklyn where you’ll have some of the best cocktails in the city whilst looking out into the view of the iconic Manhattan skyline.

Where to stay

The Mercer Lobby

There truly is no better hotel than The Mercer in Soho. Most of the front of house staff have worked there for years and will undoubtedly recognise you when you return to stay there time and time again. The room are second-to-none: even the cheapest option is still incredible. You’re also in the heart of one of the most vibrant areas in the entire city – it truly doesn’t get better than The Mercer.

Where to shop

Inside the Slowear store

New York is famed for being one of the best shopping cities in the world, and as well as having a selection of some of the best department stores out there (Bloomingdales is always great for a bargain), you’ll find some of the world’s best independent shops. Slowear is always a winner; 45RPM is guaranteed to provide you with some seriously beautiful clothes; Turnbull & Asser have cemented themselves over there, as have Crockett & Jones.

What to see

The High Line

There are a couple of things that no trip to New York is complete without, but we understand that queuing amongst a bunch of other tourists might not be how you envisioned your 48 hours in New York. So, avoid landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building – while these are incredible to see, you don’t want to spend hours there if you only have limited time. Instead, go to the Rockefeller Center and book your ticket in advance so that you don’t have to wait for a time slot. The High Line is always a winner: it’s a 1.45 mile walk on an elevated area on an old, disused railway line and offers incredible views of the City. For museums, MoMA or the Metropolitan Museum of Art are always going to provide you with a worthy amount of culture and have some of the greatest works of art in the world within their four walls. And a walk around Central Park is always a winner if you’re ready to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a little bit. If there’s time, try and catch a basketball or ice hockey game at Madison Square Gardens…

India Gladstone

India Gladstone

India is the Online Editor of Gentleman's Journal

Further Reading