This is still the city that never sleeps – whether you are tumbling out of a club at 6am into a bodega for a burrito and a coffee, or seeing the sun come up after a rooftop warehouse party in Brooklyn. When things heat up, the locals leave in droves, heading to the coastal resorts of Long Island or upstate.
Get your bearings
Of the five boroughs, Manhattan and Brooklyn are the two you'll spend most time in. Brooklyn is south-east of Manhattan across the East River; most of the neighbourhood of Williamsburg is indistinguishable from the Lower East Side of five years ago in terms of bars, restaurants and boutiques. Interesting neighbourhoods run along the L-train line: Bushwick is 20 minutes from Union Square in downtown Manhattan. At the southern tip of Manhattan, Battery Park looks out to the Statue of Liberty. Heading north, you arrive at the Financial District, SoHo, the West and East Villages, the Meatpacking District, Chelsea to the west, Midtown, the Upper East and West Sides with Central Park in between and finally Harlem and Upper Manhattan.
Dining with the locals
You'll either queue at the famous pizzeria Roberta's at 261 Moore Street (robertaspizza.com; pizzas from $9/£6), or at Momo Sushi Shack at 43 Bogart Street (momosushishack.com) around the corner. Either way, there are no reservations in Bushwick, but it's worth the wait. Momo Sushi Shack offers tasting menus.
Into the night
Hail a cab to the once-cool Meatpacking District and take the lift up to still-cool Le Bain, on the top of The Standard High Line hotel at 444 W 13th Street (10pm to 4am; free). The rooftop terrace has the most extraordinary view of any nightclub in NYC. Snack in the small hours. The booths at the Coffee Shop at 29 Union Square.
Don't tire yourself out before the night ahead at MoMa or the Met. Instead, investigate small-scale galleries around Chelsea. The two hippest are David Zwirner at 537 West 20th Street and Suzanne Geiss. Geiss' gallery at 76 Grand Street specialises in work linked to club, counter and pop culture.
Take a hike
Enjoy downtown Manhattan views along the High Line. It straddles the Meatpacking District from Gansevoort Street and carries on north into Chelsea to W30th Street.
A walk in the park
Even if you're not hungry, take a stroll to the Smorgasburg, an open-air food market at the Tobacco Warehouse in Brooklyn Bridge Park. It's a great place to nose about the stalls of meat buns and crispy kale chips before getting into the pen where they serve locally brewed ales. Then take a ride on the fairytale Jane's Carousel, created in 1922 and now housed in a giant glass case on the riverfront with dreamy views.
Eat at Pearl & Ash at 220 Bowery (pearlandash. com) when it opens at 5.30pm, before getting a table becomes impossible. This recently opened Bowery wine bar, decorated with hundreds of cubic shelves, has an innovative menu that has garnered rave reviews. Chef Richard Kuo poaches skirt steak in hay for two days and serves raw sea scallops with Ethiopian spices. Plates can be ordered full-sized ($24/£16 to $28/£19), or small ($13/£9 to $16/£11), so you can create your own tasting menu.
Out to brunch
Breakfast-inclusive hotel rooms are a rarity in New York, so it's no matter that you've woken up at lunchtime. Besides, the weekend is all about brunch. The people behind cult restaurant Freemans and fashion store FSC are also behind see-and-be-seen ISA at 348 Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg (isa.gg). The interior is a mix of Ercol and Amish, while the brunch menu includes lemon ricotta pancakes ($11/£7) and an open-faced avocado sandwich with local feta ($11/£7). Reservations are available (brunch
is served at weekends 11am to 3.30pm).
Stroll east to 235 Bowery, to check out the gift shop at the New Museum (newmuseum.org; 11am to 6pm Friday to Sunday and Wednesday; 11am to 9pm Thursday; $14/£9). Then head to 306 Bowery, where wardrobe queen Patricia Field has her store (patriciafield.com). As well as working on The Devil Wears Prada and Sex and the City, Field has been a part of clubland for decades. Her store sells everything from men's drag heels to classic Keith Haring jewellery.