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How to See New York in 24 Hours

20 May 2019 | by Helen Williams

Transatlantic voyages are a great way for cruise fans to really embrace their cruise ship, whether this is onboard one of Cunard’s infamous Queens, or on a repositioning cruise with another cruise line. These journeys are more about the ships than the destinations, but many cruisers decide to turn their trip into a cruise and stay holiday by adding on a few days before or after their itinerary – especially if the port in question is the city that never sleeps; New York. If you’ll be heading across the pond and will have some time in this majestic city, find out all you need to know with our guide to seeing New York in 24 hours.


Getting around New York

Most cruise ships dock in Manhattan at the Port of New York, which is an ideal location as it’s only about a 15-minute walk from the Midtown neighbourhood - home to many of New York’s biggest attractions. However, some cruise lines dock in Brooklyn and Royal Caribbean use the Cape Liberty port – both of these offer great views of that infamous welcoming statue however they are further away from the main city. There are always plenty of taxis on hand to take you to the inner city, which is a great experience in itself. Unfortunately, the city’s subway system does not come out as far as Cape Liberty, but from the Brooklyn terminal it is possible to get a bus to Joralemon Street and from there you can take the subway, for another must-try experience.

new york taxi

Taking the Subway in New York

Hopping on the subway in the big city has almost become a rite of passage to tourists, and this mode of transport even sits on bucket lists today. It’s a remarkably easy and affordable way to get around the city, so comes highly recommended. Here are some tips for using the New York subway;

  • A single journey costs around $2.75
  • You’ll need a MetroCard to use the subway
  • Stations with a green circle on the sign sell MetroCards, stations with a red circle don’t – so you will need to have already bought one to go inside
  • Each station has a subway and neighbourhood map at the entrance
  • There might be separate turnstiles for uptown and downtown – be sure to check which one you need
  • Must-See Attractions in New York

    As much fun as you can have riding the subway around the city, eventually you’ll want to get off and look around. There is so much to be seen in the Big Apple that it’s a good idea to think about your priorities before arrival, and even plan a loose timetable to help squeeze it all in. One plan would be to take on one neighbourhood at a time.

    new york central park

    What to See in Midtown

    If you have disembarked from your ship in the Manhattan cruise port, you’re just 15 minutes away from Midtown which is home to these popular sites;

  • Empire State Building
  • The UN Headquarters
  • Grand Central Station
  • Times Square
  • Broadway
  • Rockefeller Centre
  • MoMA (Museum of Modern Art)
  • New York Public Library
  • Madison Square Garden
  • Shopping: Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s

  • new york map

    Then outside of midtown, other popular places to see are generally reachable via the subway. These include the infamous Statue of Liberty – though those coming in from Brooklyn or Cape Liberty will see her from the port - Ellis Island, Wall Street, Yankee Stadium, Chinatown, Ground Zero and the 9/11 Memorial, Central Park, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    As well as these iconic attractions that will immerse you in New York's history, there are a range of events throughout the year that visitors should have on their bucket list. From celebrating New Year's Eve in Times Square to enjoying Bastille Day street parties, no matter what time of year you decide to sail, New York is bursting with culture fests, music and holiday events. In addition, for LGBT cruise guests looking for the gay event of a lifetime, New York Pride is a truly unforgettable way to commemorate the Stonewall Riot that liberated the gay community.

    5 Best Things to Eat in New York

    No experience of New York is complete without trying a few of the local delicacies. Thanks to the city’s eclectic mix of people, there is an abundance of different kinds of food – some modern and innovative, and some traditional. Here are some of the most highly-recommended things to try in New York;

  • Hot Dog. The humble hotdog is probably the food most associated with New York. With street food vendors selling them from carts all over the city, visitors can easily find this simple fast food – available with all kinds of tasty toppings, or plain with a little ketchup and mustard if preferred.
  • Pizza. A close second, tourists in New York would be hard-pushed not to pass a pizza place at least once every few blocks in the city. Usually sold by the (large) slice, a plain margarita is the classic, or you can opt for extras like sausage, beef, jalapenos, and salami.
  • Coffee. New York coffee shops have something of a name for themselves, with New Yorkers being among the most caffeinated people worldwide. There are 240 Starbucks branches in Manhattan alone, not to mention other chains and independent stores. Grab a pew and your favourite cup of Joe and enjoy some people-watching in the city.

  • new york coffee

  • Cronuts. A great accompaniment to coffee is the cronut. This considerably young treat is essentially a croissant blended with a doughnut and was first launched by baker Dominique Ansel in New York in 2013. Today there are copycats the world over, and this sweet snack is as popular as ever.
  • Bagels. Known to foodies as the bagel capital of the world, many say that it’s New York’s soft water that makes all the difference in these doughy treats. Try a simple cream cheese filling, or maybe go for something more adventurous like wasabi flying fish roe and dill cream.
  • It’s pretty clear why New York remains one of the most popular cities to visit in the world, seeing more than 60 million tourists annually. Incorporating the city during a cruise holiday can be an ideal way to see it, as you know you’ve got the comfort of a welcoming ship as your home away from home to escape the bustle. Browse our New York cruises to see what adventures you could have across the pond.

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