If you're planning a whirlwind weekend in New York, you've come to the right place. We've put together an action-packed itinerary that will help you make the most of your 2 days in New York. From the best New York attractions to Brooklyn's hidden gems and unique dining experiences, this guide will ensure your visit is unforgettable. But first, let's unpack some tips for booking your flight to New York from the UK.

Can you do a weekend in New York?

a street on new york with yellow cabs
Yes! Although New York is bustling with things to do and see, you can definitely get a sense of its unique character in just 2 days. Although you might not see everything the city has to offer (is that even possible?), you'll be able to hit the must-see attractions that help uphold New York's status as one of the best tourist destinations in the world.

Flights to New York from the UK

a plane flies over new york city
Before you can enjoy your perfect weekend in New York, it's essential to plan your journey across the Atlantic. Fortunately, there are several options for flights from the UK to the Big Apple, ensuring a smooth and convenient start to your adventure.

1. Direct Flights

Direct flights are often the most convenient way to reach New York from the UK, saving you time and energy. The major airports in the UK, including London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, and Edinburgh, offer direct flights to New York City's two primary airports:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK): This airport is located in Queens, New York, and is a major hub for international flights. Direct flights from the UK to JFK are readily available, and the average flight time is approximately 7 to 8 hours.
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR): Situated in Newark, New Jersey, but just a short drive or train ride from Manhattan, EWR also receives numerous direct flights from the UK. The average flight duration to Newark is similar, typically ranging from 7 to 8 hours.

2. Indirect Flights

If you're looking for more budget-friendly options, you can consider indirect flights. Connecting flights are available through various European and US cities, such as Amsterdam, Paris, Dublin, or Atlanta. While these flights may take longer due to layovers, they can be more cost-effective.

3. Airlines

Several airlines operate flights from the UK to New York, offering a range of options for travellers. Some popular carriers include British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Norwegian Air (all available with our flight vouchers).

4. Flight Booking Tips

  • Book in Advance: To secure the best deals on flights, it's advisable to book well in advance, especially if you have specific travel dates in mind.
  • Use Fare Comparison Websites: Use fare comparison websites and apps to find the most competitive prices for your chosen travel dates and routes.
  • Consider Flexible Dates: If your travel dates are flexible, you may find cheaper flights on certain days of the week or during off-peak seasons.

Travel Documents: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended return date and familiarize yourself with any visa requirements for the USA.

By following these tips and considering the various flights to New York available, you'll be well-prepared for your perfect weekend in New York. Or if you're lucky, you'll have been given one of our flight vouchers and have all the stress of booking a flight to New York taken from you!

Our Guide to the Perfect Weekend in New York

Weekend in New York Day 1

Morning: Breakfast at Buvette
To fuel yourself for your action packed 2 days in New York, you've got to have a hearty New York breakfast! Our recommendation? Buvette in the trendy West Village. It's a casual eatery that's a huge hit with the locals thanks to its delicious coffee and huge breakfast selection. Waffles, croques monsieurs, eggs and avo toast, Buvette has got them all!

Exploring the West Village
washington square park during a weekend in new york
While you're in the West Village, you can't miss the opportunity to wander through the scenic Washington Square Park, a lively green oasis where street performers and the iconic Washington Square Arch set the scene.
visit the high line during your weekend in new york for panoramic views of the city
Afterward, take a short trip to the High Line, an elevated park with stunning city views and lush greenery, and explore its art installations. Discover hidden treasures in the neighbourhood's boutiques, from vintage clothing to high-end fashion stores.

Coffee and Cake at Magnolia Bakery
magnolia bakery new york city
After your morning stroll around the West Village, you'll be in need of a pick-me-up. Take a pew and treat your taste buds to a coffee and cake break at Magnolia Bakery, the place that's not only famous for its delicious cupcakes and classic American desserts but also for the celebs who can't get enough of it. This spot is a sweet haven, perfect for recharging before you continue your NYC exploration.

So, what's the buzz about Magnolia Bakery? Well, it's not just any bakery; it's where Hollywood stars like Sarah Jessica Parker, Tom Hanks, and even royalty like Meghan Markle have been spotted relishing its goodies. You might even recognise it from its cameo in Sex and the City. But beyond the star sightings, what keeps people hooked are the mouthwatering cupcakes, banana pudding, and other sweet treats that taste like homemade goodness.

With top-notch ingredients and traditional baking methods, Magnolia Bakery nails the classic American dessert experience. It's a must-visit for both locals and tourists. So, soak in the vibe, sample delicious American treats, and enjoy celebrity spotting as you gear up for the next exciting chapter of your weekend in New York.

Browsing the Exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
visit the met during your new york city break
Now that you've rebooted after your coffee and cake stop, it's time to soak up the culture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, also known as the Met. Located along the eastern edge of Central Park on Fifth Avenue, the Met is an artistic treasure trove that spans 2 million square feet and multiple millennia. It's one of the world's most prestigious museums, boasting a collection that encompasses virtually every period and culture, from ancient Egyptian artefacts to modern American masterpieces.

One highlight you won't want to miss is the Met's rooftop garden, where you can enjoy a moment of tranquillity amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. Here, you'll be treated to not only breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline but also seasonal art installations that add an extra layer of creativity to your visit.

Lunch at Via Quadronno

Following your artistic journey at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, treat your taste buds to a delightful lunch at Via Quadronno, conveniently located nearby on the Upper East Side. This charming Italian café exudes the essence of Italy in the heart of Manhattan, offering an authentic dining experience that won't break the bank. With a cosy ambiance reminiscent of rustic Italian cafes, Via Quadronno welcomes you without the need for reservations, making it a perfect lunch stop during your 2 days in New York.

Via Quadronno caters to various budgets, ensuring you can relish a satisfying Italian meal without overspending. Their menu boasts a selection of Italian classics, from mouthwatering paninis and fresh salads to perfectly prepared pasta dishes, all crafted with top-quality ingredients and genuine Italian flavours.

Afternoon: Central Park Stroll
central park lake in new york city
After a scrumptious Italian lunch at Via Quadronno, get ready to dive into the vibrant green oasis that is Central Park, just a stone's throw away. This iconic urban park is filled with lush landscapes, meandering pathways, and endless possibilities for adventure. Take a leisurely stroll along winding trails, rent a rowboat at the Loeb Boathouse for a charming lake experience, and keep your eyes peeled for captivating sculptures and art installations. Central Park is also a hub of activity, with outdoor concerts, theatre performances, and cultural festivals adding to the lively atmosphere.

Shopping at Macy's
Just a subway ride or short walk from Central Park, this world-famous department store promises a shopping experience like no other. Explore its multiple floors filled with designer clothes, high end cosmetics, home goods, and even a whole Christmas floor, and don't forget to visit the historic wooden escalators, a unique slice of retail history. Whether you're on the hunt for designer labels, souvenirs, or just enjoying some retail therapy, Macy's is an iconic NYC destination that adds a touch of glamour to your New York city break.

Evening: Immerse Yourself in New York's Jazz History
As the sun sets over Manhattan, the West Village comes alive with the soulful sounds of jazz, offering a perfect evening adventure. Make your way to renowned jazz clubs like Smalls Jazz Club and Mezzrow, where the intoxicating rhythms and improvisations of jazz music fill the air. At Smalls Jazz Club, you'll be transported to a bygone era with its intimate setting and exceptional live performances by talented musicians. Mezzrow, on the other hand, offers a more laid-back atmosphere, perfect for enjoying jazz classics and modern interpretations.

Dinner: Fine Dining at The Gramercy Tavern
Indulge in a culinary masterpiece at The Gramercy Tavern, where upscale dining meets contemporary American cuisine. This renowned NYC restaurant promises a memorable dinner experience, blending seasonal ingredients and inventive culinary techniques to create dishes that are both exquisite and comforting. The rustic yet elegant ambiance sets the stage for a memorable evening, whether you're trying the tasting menu or selecting from their à la carte options. To ensure you secure a spot at this gastronomic gem, be sure to make a reservation in advance and prepare for a culinary journey that will linger in your memory long after the last bite.

Watching a Broadway Show
broadway during a weekend in new york
End your unforgettable day in New York City by catching a show on Broadway. Before your trip, check the latest listings and secure your tickets in advance to witness a dazzling performance at one of the world's most iconic theatre districts. Whether you choose a timeless classic, a cutting-edge musical, or a thought-provoking play, Broadway promises a night filled with breathtaking performances and the perfect way to end your first night in NYC.

Weekend in New York Day 2

Morning: Brooklyn Bridge Walk
brooklyn bridge in new york city
For day 2 of your weekend in New York, we're going across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge to Brooklyn. Take in the breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline as you make your way into this up and coming New York neighbourhood, home to hipsters and trendy venues.

Breakfast at Oxalis/strong>

Known for its innovative breakfast offerings, Oxalis offers a carefully curated menu that combines classic and contemporary flavours and an amazing family-style Sunday brunch that changes weekly. Enjoy expertly brewed coffee, artisanal teas, and a selection of gourmet omelettes and freshly baked pastries that celebrate locally sourced and seasonal ingredients before you continue on your exploration of Brooklyn.

Visiting the Brooklyn Museum
brooklyn botanic garden - a must visit during your weekend in new york
Explore a world of art and culture at the Brooklyn Museum, home to a diverse collection that spans the globe and centuries. Discover captivating exhibits featuring art from various cultures and genres, from ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces. The Brooklyn museum offers a rich tapestry of creativity that celebrates global artistic expression. Adjacent to the Brooklyn museum, you'll find the tranquil Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a lush oasis of natural beauty.

Sample NYC Street Food at Smorgasburg
visit Smorgasburg in brooklyn during your weekend in new york
No trip to Brooklyn is complete without savouring its vibrant culinary scene, and Smorgasburg is the place to do just that. Head to trendy Williamsburg to wander the largest weekly open-air food market in America where a tantalising array of international cuisines and local delicacies await. The vendors are subject to change but a visit to Smorgasburg is guaranteed to please any food lover as they can soak up Brooklyn's food culture by sampling a large variety of dishes.

Afternoon: DUMBO and The Waterfront
DUMBO Brooklyn at night during a New York city break
With your belly full, spend your afternoon exploring DUMBO, an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. This thriving district boasts the best view of Manhattan, making it an excellent photo stop. Make a stop at Jane's Carousel, a beloved and beautifully restored attraction that captures a touch of nostalgia. And don't forget to visit Brooklyn Bridge Park, a sprawling waterfront oasis with lush green spaces, stunning vistas, and a variety of recreational activities. Whether you're admiring the park's scenic beauty or simply enjoying a leisurely afternoon by the waterfront, DUMBO offers a delightful escape from the city's hustle and bustle.

Visiting the Brooklyn Public Library and Jay Z's Exhibit
visit the book of HOV exhibit in brooklyn during your weekend in new york
In the afternoon, make your way to the Brooklyn Public Library, a renowned institution in the heart of Brooklyn. While you're there, be sure to explore Jay Z's exhibit, The Book of Hov, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the life and career of this iconic Brooklyn figure. The exhibit showcases memorabilia, personal items, and insights into Jay Z's impact on Brooklyn's music and culture.

Dinner at Vinegar Hill House
Wrap up your 2 days in New York with dinner at Vinegar Hill House, a charming eatery nestled in Brooklyn's Vinegar Hill. This rustic gem offers a menu celebrating locally-sourced ingredients and classic American cuisine with a modern twist. Indulge in their signature cast-iron chicken or delicious steaks, paired with a selection from their curated wine list or artisanal cocktails. Reservations are recommended to secure your spot at this popular Brooklyn restaurant, where you can enjoy a relaxed evening of great food and good company before exploring the picturesque streets of Vinegar Hill.

Evening Drinks with a View at Harriet's Rooftop
To top off your New York City break, head to Harriet's Rooftop, a chic rooftop bar offering spectacular views of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. This trendy New York bar is the perfect place to unwind and sip on delicious cocktails while basking in the mesmerising cityscape. Whether you're enjoying the night skyline or the vibrant atmosphere, Harriet's Rooftop provides an ideal setting to reflect on your 2 days in New York and make lasting memories. So, raise your glass and toast to a fantastic time in the Big Apple.

Conclusion: A Memorable Weekend in the City that Never Sleeps
And that wraps up our action-packed itinerary for your New York city break. From iconic landmarks to cultural treasures and culinary delights, you'll experience the very best this incomparable city has to offer in your limited time there. As you head home, remember that there's always more to explore on your next visit to the Big Apple. Until then, safe travels!

Gift a Weekend in New York with the Best Flight Vouchers

the best flight vouchers in the form of an egift
Did you know that you can actually gift a weekend in New York to someone special thanks to our travel gift vouchers? You can choose to buy flight gifts from £25 to £10,000 or choose from many other currencies including dollars, euros and yen. Plus, what makes ours the best flight vouchers is that you can personalise them with a special photo and message and choose from 3 convenient flight voucher formats including a digital eGift, printable PDF and physical flight gift sent in the post. Once your recipient gets their flight voucher, they'll be able to choose from over 400 airlines to over 980 global destinations. Whether they want to travel domestically to Inverness, The Cotswolds or Glasgow or fancy a European escape to Paris, Dublin or Amsterdam, our travel gift vouchers can make their travel dreams come true.