Things to do in New York City on your first weekend

This three-day NYC itinerary has bookstores, cafes, food markets, restaurants & more to help you spend an ideal weekend in the Big Apple.

Editorial Team

By Editorial Team

New york city buildings

Whether you’ve just arrived in the Big Apple or are still considering a move, you’re probably thinking about things to do in NYC. The truth is, there’s enough to do in the five boroughs to keep you busy for a year of weekends. (We’ve also got some great suggestions for day trips from the city.) Life in New York City is hectic, which is why moving into a Blueground furnished apartment makes sense for so many of our guests. Things move fast enough without having to worry about calling brokers, setting up utilities, and shopping for furniture. All our guests have to do is show up and start living, since every one of our turnkey apartments comes stocked with linens, kitchenware, and Smart TVs.

New Yorkers tend to work longer hours than people in other American cities, but make up for it by playing harder. When the workweek is done it’s time for adventure. Here’s a perfect way to spend three days in the city that never sleeps.

Friday: Dinner and a New York City-Themed Movie

Celebrate your arrival in NYC with its signature food: pizza. The options are almost endless. If you’re looking for “cheap and cheerful” pizza by the slice try 2 Bros, with locations spread across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. Purists swear by John’s Pizza in Greenwich Village, and you’d be cheating yourself if you didn’t try it at least once while you’re in town. Seating inside can be limited, but it’s a treat to walk around the neighborhood while you enjoy a slice (or two).

patsy's pizza and things to do in nyc

If you’re in the mood for a sit-down dinner, try Patsy’s Pizzeria. There’s one location in Midtown East on 2nd Avenue and a second on West 74th Street on the Upper West Side. Don’t skip dessert–the cannoli is to die for.

Speaking of cannoli, there’s no more classic New York City morality tale than The Godfather (unless it’s The Godfather II?) Head back to your new apartment in a carb coma to stream the Francis Ford Coppola classic on your smart TV. If mob movies aren’t your speed, there’s always The Muppets Take Manhattan to ease your way into the weekend.

Saturday: Exploring NYC’s Food Markets

Blueground apartments come with fully functional kitchens stocked with pots, pans, tableware, and silverware. It’s time to get cooking! There are so many specialty food markets in the city that you can’t possibly lack for inspiration.

If you’re staying in Manhattan, head to Zabar’s on the Upper West Side to stock up on babka, rugelach, cheeses, smoked salmon, and so much more. Another favorite foodie destination is Eataly, which stocks absolutely everything you could ever hope to buy at a food market in Italy. There are two New York City locations, one in the Flatiron District, and one downtown.

eataly market and other things to do in nyc

Brooklyn is home to Monger’s Palate, an adorable artisanal cheese shop that stocks cheeses and cured meats from around the world.

Sunday: Take a Stroll Through the Park

Many of Blueground’s fully furnished New York City apartments either overlook Central Park or are just a few blocks away. The 843-acre greenspace runs from Columbus Circle in Midtown Manhattan all the way north into Harlem, and the miles of bike trails and woodsy paths will make you feel like you’re far away from one of the most densely populated places in North America. Central Park was laid out in the 1850s by noted landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, and their influence can still be felt today as you gaze out over the rolling hills of Sheep’s Meadow. The park also has its very own zoo.

new york botanical garden is one of many things to do in nyc

If you’re truly up for an adventure, take the Long Island Railroad or subway (2 or 5 line) to the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. (Note that you presently need to purchase timed tickets to visit the gardens). This venerable New York City institution is known for its annual orchid show, held each spring, but the gardens are mesmerizing all year round. Each season brings a different flower into focus, so there’s no wrong time to make the trek.

a blueground apartment near things to do in nyc

We hope you’ll enjoy everything New York City has to offer, whether you’re one of our Blueground guests or just considering one of our move-in ready furnished apartments. Our furnished homes are ideal for anyone who’s looking for a flexible rental arrangement in NYC or one of our 13 other markets. You can stay as little as 30 days or a year or longer, and Blueground takes care of most of the details involved in moving into a new apartment so that you can focus on living well.

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

The Blueground editorial team covers the best things to see, do, and experience in our cities around the world.