🇺🇸 NYC Travel Guide: 4 Days in New York City

Time to take a spring break. We decided to visit New York City during the Victoria long weekend.


The overall temperature was 19-25℃, except that 10-12℃ on Saturday May 20th due to the cold rain (I had to buy a hoodie because of it..). So if you are planning to visit NYC in May, you may want to pack one jacket.


Given the expensive tickets flying from Toronto, we bought the Detroit-NYC morning flights and drove to Windsor the day before. There are many drivers offer rides to Detroit Metropolitan Airport, you can easily find one on Kijiji.

As for the local transportation in NYC, we bought the 2-day sightseeing packages. They were great deals for first-time travellers like us, because: 1) you can just travel with hop on hop off buses without having to know the local transportation; 2) most of the paid attractions are included; 3) some sites offer express entry which saved us a lot of time. The one we purchased was New York Pass. We saved ~$70 from admissions (could have saved more if the cruise didn’t get cancelled due to the weather :(). Apart from New York Pass, there are many other sightseeing services you can choose from too.


We booked a 3-day Airbnb in Union City, New Jersey, which was much cheaper than staying in NYC, plus it was close to Manhattan too. Although we had to travel between New Jersey and New York through Lincoln Tunnel (The Port Authority), it was rather convenient than staying at Queens or Brooklyn.

Below is our itinerary:

  • Thursday May 17: Toronto -> Windsor after work.
  • Friday May 18: Flight from Detroit Metropolitan Airport -> LaGuardia Airport, New York, half day in Midtown Manhattan.
  • Saturday May 19: The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Sunday May 20: Lower Manhattan
  • Monday May 21: Flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York -> Detroit Metropolitan Airport, drove back to Toronto.

Day 1 – Time Square, Macy’s, Broadway, Fifth Avenue

We took bus + subway from LGA to Midtown Manhattan. The moment we came out of the subway, our eyes were immediately caught by those giant billboards and neon lights… Here we are, New York City!

We had our first meal at Shake Shack, an iconic fast food chain in NYC. You can’t go wrong with ShackBurger, curly fries and milkshake – they are must-eat in the City.

After lunch, we started our walking tour in Midtown Manhattan, visited Time Square, Macy’s, The New York Public Library and the famous Fifth Avenue. I was super excited when reached to Time Square, after all I’ve only been seeing it on TV, now finally got to see it in person 🙂

For our first dinner, we had at Cafe China, a Michelin-started Chinese restaurant. After dinner, we headed back and had dessert at Junior’s.

Day 2 – The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)

Morning in day 2 was raining and incredible cold, so we had to shift most of our activities to indoors. Jason bough a hoodie for me at Time Square, then we headed to MoMA for arts.

After MoMA, we decided to go ramen for lunch (it was too cold that day…), then went to Milk Bar for desserts.

In the afternoon, we decided to do some exercise and took a guided walking tour at Rockefeller Centre (included in the sightseeing package), from which we learnt the history of Rockefeller Plaza, including NBC, Radio City Music Hall and Christie’s Auction House. After that, we spent the rest of the day at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) – the most amazing part of this trip.

My excitement to Time Square faded away while walking back in the evening, realizing that it was rather a noisy fancy place than somewhere you would like to stay and live.

Day 3 – Empire State Building, Greenwich Village, Brooklyn Bridge, World Trade Centre, 9/11 Memorial Museum

Today was much productive as sunshine came back 🙂 We went to Empire State Building in the morning, stoped by Greenwich Village for food, then visited Brooklyn Bridge, World Trade Centre and 9/11 Memorial Museum in the afternoon.

Day 4 – Top of the Rock

We postponed our Rockefeller observation tour to the last day morning before flying back, and lucky us – it was a perfect day for observation 🙂 What made the day even better was we found the LadyM store when came down to the underground floor. It was in one of the gift shops and we went right to it while looking for the washroom. That was my first time had this melaleuca cake and it was pretty good!

It was a fabulous trip. Although some places we didn’t make it (i.e.,Statue of Liberty, Cruise, Knish Bakery), most of the food and attractions on the wish list have been checked . If you are planning a short trip to NYC, this would be a great guide for your reference; if you have already been to NYC, share your experience with me in the below comments! 

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