Updated: Sep 17
Best app to find your way around the city: City Mapper (green)
Hour 1: Getting into the city from JFK
It takes about an hour to take the subway train A to Columbus Circle.
If you put $20 on a metro card, you will have plenty to get to Manhattan, use the subway once while you’re there, and get back to the airport.
Hour 2: Explore Central Park
Central park is huge, so you won’t see all of it, but it is a beautiful walk. You can get a smoothie or a falafel from a truck and enjoy the little bit of green on the asphalt farm.
Hour 3-4: Walk to Time Square
I put 2 hours for this just based on how much lingering/exploring you want to do.
You can easily walk to Penn Station from Columbus circle in 20 min if you go fast, but who wants to rush? Not me!
I would start on 5th Avenue (walk away from central park – use city mapper or any map app because it’ll help orient you so you don’t walk the wrong way). Even if you don’t buy anything, you can feel rich walking by these shops. Whenever your ready make your way diagonally through the streets till you get on Broadway and then go straight. Time Square comes before the exciting Broadway stuff! So if you don’t see the lights, you’re not there yet.
Hour 5-7: Greenwich Village
Take the subway to Greenwich Village (Use the city mapper app to figure out which train to take based on where you are).
Once you are there get some food! There are so any places! Balls is my favorite! They sell meatballs of all sorts! Then head to Chelsea Market! They also have food, but it’s a bit more expensive… It’s just a really cool place to walk through! And they have a couple flea markets inside too!
After the market make your way to the Highline! It’s an old railroad that they converted into a walkway. They planted a garden all down it and it’s right by the water so the views are great and it is perfect for photo ops!
Hour 8: Get back to JFK
It’s that time… Use the city mapper app to find the closest subway to you, and take the A train all the way back to the airport. Make sure the train says “Far Rockaway” on it, or your gonna end up somewhere you don’t want to be. Get off at the “Howard Beach” stop.
I didn’t hit a lot of big touristy spots, but the lines for those are insane and would take up all of your time… With this guide you can walk through the heart of NYC (Time Square), but also get a hint of relaxing urban ‘nature’. I’m not a fan of New York City, but if I have to be there, this is where I want to be.
Enjoy! Let me know your favorite spot to go in NYC!
Just promise me you won’t stay in the airport!