Visiting New York City can be overwhelming. It is bigger and busier than most other cities, and it isn’t uncommon to feel a little lost or confused at first. Today I am sharing a bunch of insider knowledge that will help make your trip to New York City a little bit smoother.
What to Know About Visiting New York City:
The subway is almost always the fastest way.
You might want to get a day pass or a week-long pass. There tends to be lots of traffic in the city, so resist the urge to hail a cab or take an uber and hop on the train instead. The exception might be if you are going across town, since many train lines run north to south.
There are express trains that skip stops.
This is super convenient, unless your stop is skipped. Check the subway maps to see if you can take an express train or if you need a local train.
In some cases, several trains share sections of tracks but have different starting points and/or end points.
This is the case with the 2/3 4/5 and NQRW for example. If you are going to an outer borough it is especially important to check which train you are getting on.
Getting to and from the airport is a b*tch.
Sorry, there is no other way to say it. There is no easy way to do it. I wrote an entire blog post about it. Getting to and from the airport is the worst part of visiting New York City.
LaGuardia is under construction. For years.
Just a heads up! It’s still open but it is just another obstacle to add to the airport problem.
The bagels really are better.
They just are. I think it has something to do with the water. My favorite spot is Essa Bagel. I also have a sweet spot for the Bagel Mill in the Upper East Side because the man who works there is the nicest. I always make a point to have a bagel when I am visiting New York City.
Same goes for pizza, and it is available by the slice.
Is there anything better than chowing down on a slice of pizza after a night out? Probably not. The best thing is that you don’t have to buy a whole pie. There are a plethora of pizza places that sell slices. My favorite slice is the artichoke pizza from Artichoke Pizza.
The culinary scene is so diverse.
Use a trip to New York City as a chance to try new foods from different cultures!
No one really hangs out in Times Square.
Locals actually avoid it.
Broadway shows and many museums are closed on Mondays.
You can get same-day discounted tickets to Broadway shows.
Just go to one of the TKTS locations.
The views from the Roosevelt Island Tram can’t be beat.
You get wonderful views from above streets and between skyscrapers. And round trip tickets are only $4.
Visiting New York City at Christmastime is magical. And crowded. And expensive.
Hotel prices spike, Fifth Avenue is filled with tourists and shoppers, and ice skating rinks are full. If you plan to visit during the holidays make reservations for hotels, meals, theater, and activities in advance.
It is worth the hype.
It wasn’t love at first sight for me. The first time that I went to New York City I was young and overwhelmed. And the city was so dirty 20 years ago. The second and third trips got me hooked and I knew that I wanted to live there.
More NYC Travel Guides:
250+ Things to do in New York City
A 3-5 Day New York City Itinerary
NYC Neighborhood Guides
NYC Packing List
26 Foods to Try in New York City
Cheap Meals in NYC
Gossip Girl Filming Locations
Sex and the City Filming Locations
What to do in Lower Manhattan
What to do in Soho
What to do in Greenwich Village and Chelsea
What to do in the Meatpacking District
What to do in Tribeca
What to do in Union Square
What to do in Midtown
What to do in the Upper East Side
What to do in the Upper West Side
What to Do in the West Village
What to do in Murray Hill, Gramercy, and Kip’s Bay
What to do in the East Village
What to do in the Lower East Side
What to do in Brooklyn
What to do in Williamsburg
What to do in DUMBO
What to do in NYC at Christmastime
What to Know about Visiting New York City
Which NYC Airport to Fly Into
24 Hours in NYC and a Visit to Roosevelt Island
Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments.