Day One

  • Upper West Side & Central Park

Spend the morning exploring the wonders of Central Park, taking in the fortress-like walls of skyscrapers surrounding the green. Start at Columbus Circle, then head in the northeast direction passing the Central Park Zoo, the Bethesda Fountain, the Conservatory Water and Strawberry Fields on the western side. If you have kids in tow, check out the dinosaur skeletons at the American Museum of Natural History, then hit up the Loeb Boathouse to rent rowboats.

  • Lunch Pick up supplies at Zabar’s for a picnic in Central Park.
  • Midtown

It’s now time to uncover some of the city’s architectural wonders: Grand Central Terminal, the Chrysler Building, the New York Public Library and Rockefeller Center. Round it off with a visit to the city’s museum darling: MoMA.

  • Dinner For Broadway-goers, do an early dinner at ViceVersa.
  • Midtown

Spend the evening under the starry lights of Broadway, checking out a blockbuster show or something distinctly ahead of the curve at Playwrights Horizon or Signature Theatre. Soak up the Las Vegas–like atmosphere of Times Square from the TKTS Booth, swig cocktails at Rum House, then head to the Top of the Rock to bid the city goodnight.

Day Two

  • Upper East Side

Start at the staggering Metropolitan Museum of Art. Wander through the Egyptian and Roman collections, take in European masters, then head up to the rooftop (in summer) for a view over Central Park. Afterwards, visit the nearby Neue Galerie for a feast of German and Austrian art in a 1914 mansion.

  • Lunch Lunch on Austrian specialties at elegant Café Sabarsky.
  • SoHo & Chinatown

Head down to SoHo for an afternoon of shopping along Prince and Spring Streets amid crowds of tourists seeking the best brands in the world. Wander over to Chinatown’s Mulberry Street, which feels worlds away from mainstream consumerism, but is – in reality – only a few blocks over. Stroll by the neighborhood’s Buddhist temples, stopping for custard tarts and almond ice cream.

  • Dinner Feast on delectable flavors from across southern Europe at Boulud Sud.
  • Upper West Side & Central Park

Head to a pre-theater dinner at Boulud Sud, a celebrated Mediterranean restaurant. Then cross the street to Lincoln Center for opera at the Metropolitan Opera House or a symphony in David Geffen Hall (formerly Avery Fisher Hall). Later, head to drinks (book ahead) at the fabulously original Manhattan Cricket Club.

Day Three

  • Brooklyn

Catch the East River Ferry over to Dumbo, and admire the magnificent view of Manhattan from the lush new Brooklyn Bridge Park. Afterwards, stroll through the cobblestone streets of Dumbo, browsing bookshops, boutiques and cafes. Don’t miss the vintage Jane’s Carousel and more great views from the Empire Fulton Ferry.

  • Lunch Fill up on good-value lunch specials at atmospheric AlMar.
  • Brooklyn

Travel up to the Brooklyn Museum for a look at fascinating works from Africa, the Americas and Ancient Egypt, plus excellent temporary shows. Afterwards take a stroll in Prospect Park, pausing for refreshments at the scenic new Lakeside complex.

  • Dinner Partake of Brooklyn’s culinary renaissance by dining and drinking at Marlow & Sons.
  • Brooklyn

Jump in a Boro Taxi up to Williamsburg, on the northern side of the borough, for oysters and bespoke cocktails at Maison Premiere. Head up to rooftop bar, The Ides, for a fabulous view over the city. End the night across the street at the Brooklyn Bowl, with a side of bowling and some groovy musical acts.

Day Four

  • Lower Manhattan & the Financial District

Catch the Staten Island Ferry in the early morning and watch the sun come up over Lower Manhattan. Then head skyward for a marvelous view from the One World Observatory. Afterwards, visit the moving National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

  • Lunch Munch on gourmet goodies at the food-loving Chelsea Market.
  • East Village, Chelsea & the Meatpacking District

Head up to the Meatpacking District and visit the gorgeous new Whitney Museum of American Art. Afterwards, take the nearby steps up to the High Line for a wander along a once-abandoned rail line. Along the way stop for snacks, coffee breaks and intriguing views over the streetscape.

  • Dinner Dine on creative Asian fusion at RedFarm.
  • East Village, Chelsea & the Meatpacking District

Stroll the lovely, meandering streets of Greenwich Village and delve into its soul-filled roots for an evening of intimate live jazz at Mezzrow, Smalls or the Village Vanguard. Afterwards, stop by for a bit of wine and snacks at buzzing Buvette, then head over to Cielo for dancing in one of the city’s best little clubs.