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How To Spend 48 hours in NYC

How To Spend 48 hours in NYC

Memorí Guide – your quick guide on how to spend free time exploring a new city.

This guide isn’t about covering as much ground as possible or checking boxes of sites to see. Our Memorí guide is about making memories that stand out, and not wasting time on sub-par things to do. Time is precious, and all of the below has consistently delivered great experiences. Some of these recommendations are popular, some aren’t. Some are expensive, some aren’t. We believe in balance!

 New York City – unmatched energy and too many options. The things to do are endless. Everyone is working hard and playing hard. Here are some of our favorite ways to try new things and make new memories in NYC. 

Where to Stay:

Greenwich Village, West Village, Soho, Dumbo, Williamsburg – all hot spot neighborhoods that are great to stay in, and have easy transportation around the rest of NYC.

Remember – It’s New York. Getting around takes time, and is overall inconvenient. Part of the charm! The NYC subway is generally faster than taking a car to travel long distances. Use Google map directions and click on the little train icon to see the best way to get from point A to point B using the subway. 

Image of DUMBO and SOHO neightborhoods in NYC, depicted in a polaroid style frame


Day 1:

Breakfast: You have to try a good NYC bagel, from a local bagel joint a (not a chain – I’m not talking about dunkin’ donuts). Google maps a bagel shop close to you that has 4.5+ stars and over 200 reviews. 

Culture: After breakfast, visit the MoMA, MET, or Guggenheim

Image of the fountain at central park, and of Guggenheim museum on upper east side in NYC. Depicted on polaroid type frame.

After your art fix, walk around central park – conveniently located walking distance from both the MoMA, MET, or Guggenheim.

*If you need a coffee before/after museum, we have these coffee shop recommendations.  

  1. Bluestone Lane on upper east side. If coming from Guggenheim Museum, it’s only 1 block away. This coffee shop is in a restored church, the architecture is beautiful.
  2. Rosecran’s (west village) – part florist, part coffee shop
  3. Culture espresso (midtown) – really, we recommend for the chocolate chip cookies. The best chocolate chip cookies in NYC.

Lunch: Endless options here depending on what part of the city you are in. Some of our favorite quick lunch spots:

  1. Mekelburg’s (Brooklyn) – get the porchetta sandwich
  2. Alidoro – (multiple) gourmet sandwiches, Italian style
  3. Sugarfish – (multiple) – omakase, usually a bit of a wait. Omakase at quick pace for $30-$60 depending on how hungry you are.
  4. Omar’s – (midtown) quick Mediterranean (think: kebab and baba ghanoush)

After lunch, head to your hotel and freshen up for a night out.


Drink Options:

  1. Dante (West Village location or Greenwich Village location): Consistently ranked one of the best bars in the world for good reason


  1. Death & Co (East Village): They also have an excellent coffee table book of their drink recipes you can buy online

^Both require reservations, Dante 1+ month in advance. Both have some of the highest recognized mixology programs in the world.

 left photo is of a martini in a classy very high end setting, communicating the kind of cocktails to expect at Dante in NYC. The second photo is a photo of the drink book that can be purchased of Death & Co drink recipes. Both photos shown on polaroid style frames.


We planned a quick lunch today so you had time for an immaculate dinner. This is the only dinner option – because it is that good.   

Frevo: Fine dining, French fusion. Absolutely excellent and has the twist of entering through a painting hanging in an art gallery. Set menu, about $185/pp.  We prefer Frevo to some of the better-established fine dining institutions like Brooklyn Fare and Eleven Madison Park. Frevo is more fun, cooler, the food tastes better, and for the extremely high quality of food, the price is reasonable. Make reservations 2+ months in advance. If 1-3 people, I recommend sitting at the counter. For 4+ people, reserve a dining table.

Looking for other options? The Infatuation is one of our favorite restaurant guides for honest reviews of NYC restaurants.


After Dinner Event:

Comedy Cellar (Greenwich Village) – one of the best comedy clubs in the world. MUST have a reservation, generally have to reserve 2-3 months in advance


The Slipper Room (LES) – we love the burlesque show here. It hovers between PG-13 and R rated – great for a date or friend group. To be safe - avoid taking conservative parents or co-workers. Buy tickets a few days in advance, they are usually sold out at the door


Day 2:

Morning Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is a must. Views are incredible, and you get to sneak in a little workout (1.3 miles each way). We recommend going early in the morning so it is less crowded. If you want to ride a bike across, you definitely need to go very early (sunrise) to avoid crashing into the thousands of people who are also crossing the bridge.

 an image of a couple posing on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, and a second photo of the Brooklyn Bridge from the ground.

A few things to do in Dumbo, walking distance to Brooklyn bridge foot crossing entry/exit:

  • The famous view of Manhattan bridge - Stand at the intersection of Water Street and Washington Street in Dumbo, and you'll see the Manhattan Bridge perfectly framed by two red-brick warehouses.
  • Dumbo House – if you are a Soho House member (members only), this house with great rooftop pool is a must-visit
  • Eat at Cecconi’s – Make a reservation at least a month in advance to sit outside on the patio. Order the truffle pizza. The atmosphere can’t be beat – view of the river, both bridges, and Jane’s Carousel.
  • Ride Jane’s Carousel


Brunch: Brunch is a 4-hour NYC ritual.

  1. Tartine (West village): Very small, French, and BYOB! Make a reservation, bring some champagne, and sit shoulder to shoulder with New Yorkers enjoying their Sunday.
  2. Sadelle’s (Soho) a NYC institution – think bagel and lox towers and a tea party vibe
  3. 12 chairs café (Soho): Very small, very cute, excellent food
  4. Drag Brunch – tons of great options throughout the city!!


If it’s football season, after brunch, it is a very NYC thing to do to go watch the games in Sept/Oct a bar with outdoor seating. Blue Haven (Soho), or Tailgate Bk backyard bar (Williamsburg) are our favorites.


After Brunch Pampering: Walking all over NYC yesterday was a lot – if you want some R&R, try one of these next activities.

  1. Atelier Beauté Chanel: (SoHo) Chanel’s immersive beauty experience. You can book a skincare consultation where you leave with a 5pc travel sized skincare routine, a make-up application lesson, or a fragrance discover session in a speakeasy-like back room. Every Chanel beauty/skincare product available is there to test at your leisure, and it’s an excellent place to sip on champagne with friends. Book your reservation online – easy to book, even same day. An experience here takes about 1 hour, leaving plenty of extra time in your day.
  1. Aire Ancient Baths (Tribeca): The ultimate luxury spa day in NYC. Expensive, exclusive, peaceful. Book 1-2 months in advance. They have several different soaking pools and saunas to explore in the bath house portion, as well as excellent spa services to add on. Recommended for 1-4 people, not for rowdy groups.
  1. Chopper ride over NYC: a WOW experience you will always remember! We recommend a 30-minute flight. Make sure to wear tight shoes with laces! No sandals.

 left photo of the main bath house section at Aire Aincent Baths in TriBeCa, NYC. There are multiple pools of various shapes and lengths, including a salt pool and a cold pool. Second photo is of a champagne flute in the fragrance experience room at the Chanel Atilier Beauté venue in SoHo, New York City.


  1. Some of the best sunglass and optical shopping in NYC can be done at Selima Optique. There are a few locations, each have a different curated assortment of vintage frames and new high-end brands. Art and décor vary within each, and salespeople are extremely helpful and knowledgeable.
  2. SoHo: Get lost in SoHo’s beautiful streets – there is a great mix of boutiques, bridge market, and luxury stores. Street style and people watching here is excellent.


Dinner: NYC has no shortage of excellent restaurants. Here is a list of some of our favorite restaurants that are consistently incredible and not too hard to get into – organized by cuisine.

  1. Thai: Thai Diner (Nolita): Excellent casual Thai food. No reservations. This is a newer spot. Peak times, wait can be 2+ hours. Plan accordingly.
  2. Steak:
    1. Anselm (Williamsburg): New age steakhouse. Only 3 cuts of meat, but they do them very well. We recommend starting with the artichokes, order the Bucher’s cut steak and a side. Note – no hard liquor served here. Casual vibe, outdoor seating is in a backyard type courtyard.
    2. Wolfgang’s (midtown – Park Ave): Old school NYC steakhouse. Dress to impress. Get the tomahawk or porterhouse for the table, sides, and a 4-lb lobster. Dessert platter is insanity, and the ceilings are an architectural marvel.
  3. Italian: Don Angie (Greenwich Village): Indulgent Italian with the richest ricotta we have tasted outside of Italy


After Dinner Entertainment:

  1. Broadway Show – it’s not a first trip to NYC without seeing one. A lot of the Broadway theaters are small, generally there’s not a bad seat in the house. Prices can range from $50 on a same day deal up to $700+ for a hot ticket.
  2. Terra Blues – live Jazz that will make you cry, plus an extensive whiskey list. Reservations not required, but have $20 cash cover to enter. Can enter at any time, look up who is playing when on their website.
  3. Duane Park – Dinner and a burlesque show. If you choose this option – don’t eat before the show. Very sexy, very fun. The atmosphere is the draw, if you are in NYC with your partner, this is a must-do. Book 1-2 months in advance. Price is about $150 per person, or $89 for the Sunday burlesque brunch.
  4. Brooklyn Mirage – if you are a house music or EDM fan – Brooklyn Mirage has some of the best sound and the best vibes of any venue in the USA. Headlining DJ’s usually go on at about 2am. Show up around midnight for most shows. Get tickets a month or more in advance, they sell out.


Have you realized yet that you’ll need more than 2 days in NYC?


This guide is not meant to be all-encompassing. This guide is meant to give ideas of things to do in NYC that are unique to this amazing city.


Have you tried any of these recommendations? What is a memory of one of your best times in NYC? Tell us in the comments below!






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