If you’re a student in the US or Europe, you’ve probably wondered what it must be like to travel to New York City. Famous as the greatest city in the world, New York has a lot to offer on every front, from art to history and culture. More than that, it’s completely portable and convenient for students — most of the time.
However, planning to travel to New York can be an overwhelming experience. There’s so much to see and do, both during the day and after dark – after all, there’s a reason New York is known as the city that never sleeps. Unfortunately, this means that for the most part, you won’t be able to explore every crevice as a student on a budget.
In this, knowing the best places to visit in New York is a must – especially if you want to make the most of your time. Here are the essential things every student should do in 36 hours for an unforgettable and essential New York experience.
Travel to New York City: How to Spend 36 Hours in the City That Never Sleeps
Start your day in Central Park
Central Park is one of the most famous landmarks in the world. Almost every corner has been featured in movies, TV shows, video games, books and more – all romanticizing the park in all its glory. Because of this, Central Park should certainly be an unforgettable part of your visit to New York.
However, the park is huge and impossible to cover in a day, much less in the span of a morning. We recommend you to rent a bike, which will give you the opportunity to explore most of the park iconic spotsfrom The Carousel and Bethesda Fountain to the Imagine mosaic.
If you don’t have time, book a rental bike in advance. You can do this here.
Visit the Met
of The Metropolitan Museum of Art it is, without a doubt, one of the best galleries in the world. From its iconic steps that have been featured on movie sets and red carpet premieres to its impressive fine art collection, you’ll be amazed exploring its halls after an eventful morning in Central Park.
There, you will see The Met Collection — which includes 490,000 works worldwide and throughout history.
Visit an observation deck
No trip to New York City is complete without visiting its must-see landmarks. Still, going through them all can take time, especially if you’re only in town for a short time.
The best way to overcome this? Book a ride on an observation deck.
These can be a bit pricey, but it’s worth it for the look. Once you get to the top of the building, you will be faced with a fantastic view of the city in all its glory.
While the New York skyline is incredible at any time of the day, the view at night is especially unique. Booking a sunset viewing is just as special for a chance to see the day slowly begin to fade as night approaches.
A classic observation deck to visit is Top of the Rock , which has appeared in films. Another popular place is SUMMIT Vanderbilt One for a unique experience and view of the city.
Catch a Broadway musical
You can’t travel to New York City without seeing a Broadway musical. There are tons of exciting musicals, plays, and improv shows constantly playing in New York, giving you tons of options to choose from.
If you’re a student, however, your trip to New York City is likely to be on a budget—and Broadway shows can be expensive. Consider downloading TodayTix appwhich allows you to browse Broadway shows by discounts, sweepstakes and deals available every day.
If you’re in the area, keep an eye out for TKTS booth in the middle of Times Square. This kiosk often sells last-minute theater tickets for a cheaper price, giving you the chance to see a show without breaking the bank.
If it still is too expensive for you, by visiting the TKTS stand you will also get to visit Times Square – which is an experience in itself. However, beware of pickpockets and getting separated from your group, as the center can be quite chaotic and overwhelming for a first-time visitor.
THE SECOND DAY
Take a look at Lady Liberty
Start your second day in New York by seeing one of its most famous landmarks: the Statue of Liberty. The best part? You can do this for free.
Make your way to the edge of Manhattan where you’ll come across Battery Park. There you will find Staten Island Ferry, which makes trips to Staten Island and back every half hour or so – free of charge. This revolves around the Statue of Liberty, Governors Island and more – giving you the perfect opportunity to snap a quick photo while you can.
While you’re there, you can also visit some important landmarks nearby, such as the 9/11 Memorial Pools.
Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
End your trip to New York City by crossing the Brooklyn Bridge – which, arguably, gives you one of the best views of the city. There are lots of plaques and signs detailing the history and significance of the bridge, too, so you’ll have time to find out more about its significance in between snapping photos.
If you have some time to spare, we recommend that you go to Brooklyn and visit a deli for a sandwich. These are big, meaty and stuffed to your heart’s content – giving you a classic New York memory to hold onto until it’s time to leave.