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Adventurous Things To Do During A Long Layover in NYC

Updated: May 31, 2023

Part of my journey to Bali, Indonesia this year was a 12-hour layover in New York City. Let's be real, a length of time like that stuck in the airport? Especially, JFK?? Absolutely not!

So I had to figure out what I was going to do to fill the time. I thought about switching flights, but then decided to take advantage of this moment and go explore. I never imagined visiting here for an actual vacation, but after the adventures I had in only 12 short hours, I cant wait til the day I go back here and see all the culture of the city.

If you're ever stuck with a long layover in NYC, heres some things I recommend you do! These recommendations are based on my experience and may require additional planning based on your layover time and airlines.

Check out my blog on bag storage if you have heavy luggage you don't want to carry with you around the city!

Sidenote: I only took a taxi to leave and enter Manhattan, not to get around. This city is best explored on foot, in my opinion.

What You Can Do During a Layover in NYC

  1. Take a cab ride to Midtown Manhattan - where Time Square is. It shouldn't cost more than $50 if you're coming from JFK.

  2. Walk from Midtown a few blocks and grab a Coffee at Gregory's Coffee - they had a turmeric ginger chai tea and is was amazing! It's a must try if you like chai tea latte's.

  3. Visit the plethora of stores in Time Square - including Sephora, MAC, Aldo, Swarovski, The Disney Store, and more.

4. Walk a few blocks to Rockefeller Center - there's a seasonal ice skating rink and the famous Rockefeller Christmas Tree during wintertime. Plus during the summer, you can get spritzed and cool off from the mist of the huge plaza fountain.

5. Visit 5th Avenue and the fashion district, just another few blocks away! There's also tons of fabric sellers here with unique and gorgeous patterns.

6. Grab a spicy margarita and some ceviche at Havana NY! The staff is very friendly and accommodating to your food requests. Plus, the food was delicious!

7. Grab a classic Pastrami on Rye from Ben's Deli. If you know, you know.

8. Catch your cab back to the airport - be sure to arrive there at least 2 hours before your flight.

If you try any of these activities out during a layover or vacation in New York City, let me know how it goes in the comments! Talk soon!


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