7 things to do in New York City in under two hours


Not everyone has the time to enjoy New York City as a tourist. Many of us have meetings or itineraries to adhere to. That doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to take advantage of some of what the city has to offer! Scenic walks, food halls, downtown shopping in one of the city’s premier shopping malls. There really is no limit to what one can find to fill their time in the city. 

Below are suggestions on how to spend your limited free time, all without time restrictions or tickets needed, just in case plans change at the last minute.

Union Square Greenmarket

It all began with just a few farmers in 1976. Now, the world-famous market boasts 140 regional farmers, fishers and bakers during peak season. Located in one of the city’s great public spaces, the electric atmosphere is filled with 60,000 market shoppers, on any given day. From just-picked fresh fruits and vegetables to heritage meats and award-winning farmstead cheeses, artisan bread, jams, pickles, wine, ciders, maple syrup and much more. It’s easy to find things to consume that day or pack away to take home. The market is open year-round on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Battery Park

Spend some time exploring the 25-acre public park at the southern tip of Manhattan – the city’s birthplace. The park has been revitalized with an ethos of environmental responsibility and historical authenticity. This is thanks to a partnership with the City of New York’s Department of Parks and Recreation and The Battery Conservancy. The Battery, the thriving green heart of Downtown New York, is a model of conservation and biodiversity. It includes vast public gardens, organic urban farms, toxin-free lawns and SeaGlass, the innovative aquarium carousel.

Eataly at Flatiron

A branch of the famed Italian market that is opening up all over the world, Eataly offers a simple way to satisfy your stomach and kill a couple of hours. The large-footprint Italian marketplace hosts a variety of restaurants, food and beverage counters, bakery, retail items and a cooking school. Deciding what to order from the menu at the Nutella Bar (a must) alone will easily consume your time. There is a second location in downtown, and most New Yorkers have an opinion as to which is better, but for the record, the Flatiron is the original location, and it provides the breathtaking views of the Flatiron Building.

Brooklyn Bridge at sunset

Brooklyn Bridge

Stretched across the East River, the iconic Brooklyn Bridge opened up in 1883 to carry non-automotive traffic between Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. The 1.2-mile (2 km) bridge is one of the most recognizable parts of the New York City skyline. It has been seen in countless movies and television shows, stamping it as a real part of New York City history. A leisurely walk across the elevated pedestrian walkway is a true NYC experience. The Manhattan-side entrance is at Park Row and Centre Street, across from City Hall Park, east of City Hall; over on the Brooklyn side, enter at Cadman Plaza East or where Boerum Place meets Tillary Street.

Highline

Running from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues, the High Line is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets of Manhattan’s West Side. Some highlights of the High Line include the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Overlook, a dramatic balcony that marks the point at which the High Line was severed in the 1990’s and demolished south of Gansevoort Street, the Diller – von Furstenberg Sundeck & Water Feature, the pathway between 14th and 15th Streets that is flanked by lounge chairs and a water feature that invites visitors to dip their toes during the warmer months, and the 23rd Street Lawn, the High Line’s only lawn that stretches for an entire block north of West 22nd Street.

Chelsea Market

The Chelsea Market, which is a block long and a block wide, is just a short walk from the Hudson River. It is located in an area of Manhattan known as the Meatpacking District. In the past 15 years, it has become one of the greatest indoor food halls of the world. Inside, one can find more than thirty-five vendors selling everything from soup to nuts, wine to coffee, cheeses and desserts. The neighborhood market with a global perspective attracts more than 6 million visitors annually.

Brookfield Place

You will find this complex just south of Tribeca along the Hudson River waterfront. It is the height of luxury shopping, dining and cultural arts in downtown Manhattan. It is home to international fashion houses including Hermès, Bottega Veneta and Burberry. Find contemporary brands such as Diane von Furstenberg, Theory, Michael Kors, Vince and Lululemon there, too. Saks Fifth Avenue occupies 85,000-square-feet of retail space. Enjoy best-in-class dining options including Hudson Eats, a collection of 14 chef-driven eateries; Le District, a 30,000-square-foot French-inspired marketplace; and eight signature restaurants including L’Atelier, Amada and Parm.

Book an airport transfer in New York with Blacklane to get in and out of the city with ease. Make the most of the short time you may have between engagements by booking a Blacklane for hourly rides, too!