Are you thinking about visiting New York City for the first time?
New York has long been considered one of the greatest cities in the world, and when you go there, you’ll see why. With its diverse culture, delicious food, unique neighborhoods, and lively nightlife scene, it’s no wonder people refer to New York as “the city that never sleeps.”
Each year, around 65.1 million people visit New York to explore its magic. If you’re visiting New York City for the first time, there are some things you need to keep in mind. While New York is amazing, it can also be overwhelming to the first-timer. The crowded streets, subway system, and general hustle and bustle of the city can be a lot for a newcomer to take in.
What do you need to keep in mind when visiting the city for the first time? Read our newbie’s guide to visiting New York City to learn everything you need to know.
1. Leave Room for Spontaneity
There’s so much to see and do in New York, that planning your trip down to the last minute may seem like a good idea. However, New York is one of those cities that calls for spontaneity.
You never know when you’re going to come across an underground show, a new pizza joint, or a lovely park that deserves some extra time. Leaving room for spontaneity in your trip will allow you to truly appreciate the pockets of New York that other tourists tend to overlook.
2. Use the Subway
While you can certainly get around New York by taking taxis everywhere, it’s going to eat up your budget fast. While the New York subway can be intimidating at first, we highly recommend taking it to get around the city.
The subway is cheap, and it’s often the fastest way to get around the city. If you’re going to be in New York for a few days or more and plan on seeing a lot of sites, then you may want to buy a 7-day or 30-day unlimited pass. This way, you’ll have all of your transportation costs taken care of ahead of time.
If the weather is nice when you visit New York, we also recommend walking the city as much as possible. New York is a beautiful city to see on foot, and there’s so much you can discover when strolling through a neighborhood.
3. Book Accommodation Ahead of Time
While New York does call for a degree of spontaneity, one thing you shouldn’t be spontaneous about is accommodation. Hotel rooms, bed and breakfasts, and other forms of lodging can fill up fast, so if you have your heart set on staying in a certain neighborhood, we recommend booking well in advance.
One of the biggest questions in regards to New York accommodation is where to stay. New York has so many interesting neighborhoods, from Prospect Heights to East Village to Chelsea. Deciding which one to stay in can be overwhelming.
If you’re looking for a convenient area to stay in New York, we recommend Manhattan. Manhattan is close to all of the major sites, and staying in this borough will make it easy for you to visit other boroughs. You can check out https://www.westgateresorts.com/hotels/new-york/midtown-manhattan/westgate-new-york-grand-central/ for more information on staying in Manhattan.
4. Consider Which Tourist Attractions You Want to Visit
From the Empire State Building to the Statue of Liberty to Times Square, New York is famous for its tourist attractions. Just like accommodation can fill up quickly, so can tickets to see New York’s major tourist attractions.
Before you visit New York, make a list of all of the main tourist attractions you want to visit. Then, figure out if you need to buy tickets ahead of time to visit. For example, if you want to go to a Broadway show, you’ll likely need to buy your tickets months in advance.
If you plan to see several or more major tourist attractions, you may want to consider buying a sightseeing pass. These passes are often a great deal, as they allow you to skip the line and save money on admission costs. However, they’re only really worth it if you plan to hit a lot of main attractions, which is why it’s a good idea to plan ahead of time.
5. Know Where to Eat
In addition to knowing what you want to do, you should also know where you want to eat. New York has some of the best food in the world, so you can probably get great meals your whole trip by just popping into restaurants and cafes and seeing what’s on the menu.
But, if you want to go to any famous restaurants, you’ll need to book your reservations ahead of time. Some of the best restaurants in New York that require reservations well in advance include the Gramercy Tavern, Keens Steakhouse, and Le Bernadin. While these restaurants are expensive, keep in mind that some of the best meals in New York only cost a few dollars.
Some of the best inexpensive dining destinations in New York include Queen Sheeba Restaurant, Maison Bangkok, Bilao, and Chofi Taco.
Visting New York City: Time to Plan Your Trip
Now that you’ve read this guide on visiting New York City, it’s time for you to start planning your trip. As you can see, there’s a ton to see and do in New York. While you may be a newbie this time around, the city will likely call you back again and again.
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