These tips for visiting New York are essential before you visit this incredible city for the first time. New York is one of a kind. New York City never sleeps, the noise and traffic are constant which can be quite difficult for newcomers to the city.
Don’t be intimidated by large crowds and tall buildings. New York can be a friendly and manageable city for visitors if you heed these tips.
I spent five days with my family in this concrete jungle and we loved it. Here are my few tips for visiting New York.
New York has crazy traffic!
It seems obvious, doesn’t it? But the traffic in New York is constant and noisy. The streets are filled with cars, taxis, and buses, and let me tell you; it’s noisy. Day or night it does not stop. You might think it gets better at night, but it seems like it’s busier at night than during the day. The sound of the engines, the fire/ambulance sirens sound constantly. The great thing is that after a day or two you will stop noticing it and it will become the norm for you.
Taxi is not always the fastest way
As mentioned above, the traffic is constant. Therefore, a taxi might not be the best option for you. If you have schedules and need to get somewhere on time, the New York subway might be your best bet. We also walked a lot. If you have a flight to catch, JFK Airport is about an hour’s drive from Manhattan, so be sure to allow time to get there.
Tourist attractions are very expensive
Traveling the world, we expected New York to be expensive when it comes to tourism. But the prices really exceeded our expectations. As you can imagine, with our daily budget, our tourism options had to be carefully evaluated. We made our choices with care. Within one day, we managed to see Wall Street, the beautiful St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Ground Zero, and more.
Central Park is as amazing as they say
We spent a whole day in Central Park and literally loved it. First, we hired a bike to explore the whole area and then we ended the day on foot. The place does not disappoint. With so many beautiful places, we could have stayed there for several days. If this is your first time to New York, visiting Central Park must be on your bucket list. We also loved the Loeb Boathouse restaurant, where you can eat or drink and take in the scenery.
New York restaurants are expensive
If you are visiting New York City and planning to eat in restaurants, it could get expensive. We had a budget of $ 200 per day for attractions and food, which might sound like a lot. Well let me tell you, there is no way you can eat a fancy dinner on such a budget. Our food choices were mostly pizza, pasta, or other inexpensive food options. New York has a lot to offer when it comes to food choices, but if you’re on a budget, your options are limited. If you are in a central location venture out a bit for different options and more reasonable prices.
And don’t forget to tip!
I advise you to take advantage of the food stalls on every corner, you must take advantage. They sell a variety of food, these stalls are a must-see.
Unfortunately eating inexpensively is often synonymous with unhealthy eating. New York serves international cuisine, and you can find all possible dining options here. But having a small budget, unfortunately, will equal eating cheap food, which means fast food. Although the pizzas are delicious, after a few days you just crave a good mixed salad. This rule might not apply everywhere, but if you’re in the heart of the city, be prepared to pay a lot for not necessarily eating healthier.
Prepare to queue everywhere
In five days in New York, we lined up more than last year. If you’ve ever been to attractions in London, you’ve been patiently waiting for your turn; here it takes twice as long. Even the queues for public restrooms can be exhausting (especially applies to women). New York’s attractions are popular seven days a week, year-round, and there’s no way to skip the line unless you buy expensive VIP passes.
It might be easier to just walk
While you might hate walking, walking in New York City can be more fun than you think. There is something around every corner, and due to the constant traffic, it might be easier to put on comfortable shoes and walk. In this short tour, we’ve learned that you’ll get somewhere faster if you use both of your feet. You’ll see, it’s a lot of fun being able to walk the streets and blend in with the crowds of passers-by.
People are in a hurry: don’t slow them down!
As you can imagine, the city is bustling. Everyone seems to be on a mission to get somewhere, and people won’t slow down if you get in their way trying to take a photo. So be aware of this and try to blend in with the crowd and you will be fine for walking New York.
New York is a shopper’s paradise
If you come to New York for shopping, you will be in the right place. The city has the best stores I have ever seen and believed me it is hard not to shop when you come here. Make sure you put a few dollars aside to have some fun shopping. Shopping makes everyone happy, and I guarantee you will enjoy it the way we did.
What other tips for visiting New York would you give?
I appreciate every comment, so feel free to share your experiences in the comments below. I also hope that these tips for visiting New York will be useful to you during your stay in this amazing city!