Blog · New York · One Day NYC Tour Itinerary

One Day NYC Tour Itinerary

April 20, 2018

The One Day Tour is a 6 hour tour throughout NYC, including many of the major sites of the city. You will travel by foot, subway & ferry boat and learn all about the city’s history plus what makes it so special today. Keep in mind, the overall tour stops are the same, but the order and timing of the stops may vary from guide to guide.  This itinerary is just a general overview providing you with a map and outline of the day, as well as pictures for reference. Details such as restroom breaks and extra sights in between the major stops are excluded as they are based entirely on the guide.  Please note, last minute changes to the itinerary might be made by your guide based on subway delays, construction, ferry departure times, etc.

Stop #1: Times Square (George M. Cohan Statue) 9:30 a.m.

George M. Cohan Statue, Times Square
Photo Courtesy of Beyond My Ken

This is where you will meet your guide and where the tour will begin. There are many ways to get to Time Square. You can walk from your hotel, take a cab, or take the subway. The N, Q, R, S, W, 1, 2, 3 and 7 trains all stop directly at Times Square, with the A, C, E, B, D, F and M trains all stopping within one block. The George M. Cohan Statue is located between 46th and 47th Street, in between Broadway and 7th Avenue- within an area known as Father Duffy Square. Look for the large red staircase and the orange flag!

Stop #2: Saint Patrick’s Cathedral/Rockefeller Center 9:45 – 10:15 a.m. 

Saint Patrick's Cathedral

Depending on the guide, you might stop at Saint Patrick’s and then visit Rockefeller, or have it the other way around. On your way you will also pass by NYC’s Diamond District. It’s good to note, the guides are all aware that Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is the designated spot for meeting latecomers, so if you are running late to the tour, plan to meet your guide in front of the church.

Stop #3: New York Public Library btwn 10:15-10:45 a.m.


Again, depending on the guide, you may walk to the library or end up using this time to take your first subway trip. There will be two subway rides on the tour. Where they happen is up to the guide. If your guide chooses to take the subway now, you will be taking the B, D, F or M train from 47-50 Sts Rockefeller Center to 42 St Bryant Park.  In order to help your guide save time along the tour, it is best to come prepared with a MetroCard already loaded. Each group will need $5.50 per person on the card. Keep in mind, if you have multiple people in the group, you can all share one card. However, groups with more than 4 people will need to buy two separate cards to split amongst themselves.

Stop #4: Grand Central Terminal btwn 10:45-11:15 a.m.

16091257grand central, midtown

The walk from the library to Grand Central will also include a great view of the world famous Chrysler Building. Your guide may choose to stop for lunch at Grand Central. If that is the case, the rest of the times following Stop #4 should be pushed back by an hour or so. After Grand Central, you will ride the subway for the 1st or 2nd time. Pending construction, you will take the 4 or 5 train from Grand Central 42nd Street to Wall Street.

Stop #5: Financial District/Wall Street 11:30-12:00 p.m.

New York Stock Exchange
Photo Courtesy of (vincent desjardins)

There are multiple stops within the Financial District including Trinity Church, Wall Street, The Canyon of Heroes, The New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall. All of which will take place within this time period.

Stop #6: Stone Street (Lunch) 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Stone Street NYC
Photo Courtesy of Gryffindor

Many guides will choose to have lunch downtown at, or near, Stone Street. Your guide will ultimately determine how long their guests will have for lunch, but will most likely leave somewhere between 50 minutes to an hour. Either before or after lunch, your guide will take you to see the infamous Charging Bull Statue and the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House.

Stop #7: Staten Island Ferry 1:30 p.m. – 2:30/3:00 p.m.

Staten Island Ferry in New York Harbor with view of the Statue of Liberty
Photo Courtesy of Shaun Merritt

The timing of the Staten Island Ferry portion depends entirely on whether or not you catch the return ferry. Once the ferry unloads at Staten Island, the group will leave the ferry boat and head directly to board the returning boat back to Manhattan. If you miss the immediate return, the group will wait for the next one, which will board about 20 minutes later. From the ferry you will get amazing views of the New York City Skyline, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Stop #8: National 9.11 Memorial 2:30/3:00 – 3:30 p.m. 

15062417911 memorial

Depending on the guide, you may take the subway or walk to the memorial from the ferry terminal. Those taking the subway will most likely take the R or W train from Whitehall St to Cortlandt St. The exact time that you arrive at the memorial will depend on the ferry and/or the train. But this is the official ending spot of the tour. Once the tour is completed, some of the guests will have chosen the One World Observatory upgrade. If this is you, hang around for a few minutes so the guide can grab your tickets. If this is not you, this is where you say goodbye. There are many transportation options from the memorial. You can easily walk to Battery Park, City Hall or the Brooklyn Bridge. The 1, 2, 3, E, R, W, A, C, J, Z, 4 and 5 trains all make stops at or near the memorial. Or you can opt to take a cab.

Stop #9 (Optional): One World Observatory 3:45 p.m.

16021826one world observatory

With the purchase of the tour, you have the option of upgrading to include tickets to the One World Observatory. This amazing overlook of downtown Manhattan and New York harbor resides in the massive 1 World Trade Center, otherwise called the ‘Freedom Tower’. If you choose not to include the upgrade with your initial purchase, there is the option of choosing to upgrade during the tour. Simply let your guide know that you would like to purchase tickets and they will take care of the rest. Once the tour has completed, those without the OWO upgrade will continue on with their day. The rest will follow the guide to the information desk of OWO where the tickets will be picked up and handed to each group. Tickets will be time stamped for 3:45 p.m., meaning less of a wait and immediate entry into the security line. From there, the guests will be on their own, so you can spend as much or as little time in the observatory as you would like. Average time spent is usually 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the crowds.

Overall Route:

Times Square – Saint Patrick’s Cathedral – Rockefeller Center – NY Public Library – Grand Central Terminal – Financial District – Staten Island Ferry – 9/11 Memorial