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How To Enjoy (Some) of New York City in 24 Hours

This past April I was in Philadelphia for a conference, and while it began as a few days of work and sightseeing, Kyle and I planned a 24 hour trip to New York City via bus. Granted, New York City deserves more of your time, but when you only have 24 hours to give the City that Never Sleeps, here's one way you could go about doing so.

Our friend in Pennsylvania recommended we look into MegaBus for our journey. Big Tip: If you book far enough in advance you can get an awesome deal. For example, round trip from Philadelphia to NYC a month from now - $10.00. Another Big Tip: Don't have set scheduled plans around the time you are set to arrive in NYC. There were complications with our bus and it arrived an hour late. No worries for us. The bus ride is quite comfortable, there are charging ports overhead, and they store your luggage in a separate area. Bring some music, something to read, a snack and enjoy the ride.

Two hours later the anticipation starts to build as you see those iconic buildings growing on the horizon. It's a weird thing to experience. I've never truly thought about getting into New York City, I've only dreamed of what it's like to be in the city. Traveling via bus it's as if the "big apple" emerges out of a field.

As you drive more into the city prepare for the traffic and just know buses are not exempt from traffic. They go through the same toll booths and the same traffic jams. However, it's not that much of a headache because you are completely entranced by the city. When you finally make it to the drop off point and gather your luggage the biggest stress is now getting to your hotel and getting a taxi.

 Alright, so you've arrived at your hotel. You've safely made it to New York City. The 24-hour clock has where do you go?

24 Hours in New York City 

This will come as no surprise, our first stop was Yankee Stadium. Now, the plan was to buy tickets at the gate and enjoy a game. However, when you're there during the Subway Series (New York Yankees v. New York Mets), good luck. By the time we arrived at the ticket window the last tickets they had left were going for $300.00. Sigh. Instead we walked around the stadium, as discreetly as we could (we are Red Sox fans after all) and I got my ballpark Pretzel, from a street vendor.

Getting to Yankee Stadium was not that difficult. You will find two things when trying to get to the game: 1. Hotel staff are amazing at directions, 2. Follow the large crowd in Yankee Blue. 

 So now where? We hopped back on the subway and made our way to Central Park. Someday, when we have more than 24 hours, there is so much more of Central Park I'd love to see. As you walk through the park there are so many families, games, street vendors, and more. Yet it's a beautiful park in the middle of this large city. Truly it's a place to escape the busy streets and retreat into some nature.



After enjoying the beauty of nature we made our way towards the one place you must make time for in New York City: Times Square. On our way we stopped in to enjoy a late lunch, early dinner at The Australian. In anticipation of our trip to Australia the following month, and with my strong desire to connect with part of my heritage, this was the perfect place to be. 


Seeing that flag brought back so many memories of my childhood and filled my heart with such joy. After losing my Grandfather a few weeks earlier, this was a huge highlight of my trip to NYC and my first big belief that in this city anything is possible, including finding an Australian restaurant on Anzac Day. 


As far as reviews go the Australian has great food, great service, great atmosphere and it is a great place I look forward to visiting each time we find ourselves in NYC. 

Following our dinner, we made our way to Rockefeller Plaza and then ultimately back to Times Square.

So, your first part of NYC is done. You wake up the next morning and are truly sad to not have more time, but you have to make the most of what you still have. After checking out and leaving our luggage at the hotel (many hotels in NYC will do this for you), we made our way for breakfast. Not wanting to forget the beautiful of the streets I documented all that I could.


There were two final things we absolutely had to do before we headed back to Philly. The first, go to the (almost) top of the Empire State Building. As you make your way to the building there are a lot of tour groups selling the tickets at a "discount". Sometimes the discount is good, most of the time it's not enough and largely we tend to buy from the source because we worry of fraudulent tickets. Now, I said almost top of the Empire State Building because for $32 a person you can go up to the 82nd floor and for more you can go to the highest floor. To us, $32 was enough and still provided an amazing view.

 With the Empire State Building allow yourself ample time. You will stand in lines, you will ride in elevators and you will go through security. 

Sigh, as we sadly walked back to our hotel taking in the last bursts of excitement in the city we made a detour to yet another iconic location: Grand Central Station. 

 So, that's it. That's how we saw all that we could of iconic NYC in 24 hours. We made our way back to our bus stop via taxi. Final Tip: Give yourself ample time to get back to the bus stop. There was a parade through the city that delayed us. Thankfully we made it with 20 minutes to spare. 


  1. I am d y i n g to visit NYC and found your post really interesting and comforting that even if I can only make it there for a few days, I'll still be able to fit in all the main attractions. X

    1. Hi Becka!

      I hope you get a chance to visit NYC soon! As I'm sure you'll find you can still see and do so much in 24 hours!