New York City is one of the most popular destinations in the world, and with good reason. Home to many well-known sights like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and the MET, it’s no wonder people flock to this city from around the globe. If you’re visiting the Big Apple for the first time, it can be overwhelming. Navigating this big city is challenging, as there’s so much to see and do in one trip alone. Here are five tips for first-time visitors to New York City.
1. Utilize alternative forms of transportation
While getting around by car might be the best way to see the sights where you’re from, the traffic in NYC is no joke. It can take hours to go just a few miles in some instances, which is why it’s best to utilize the many inexpensive public forms of transportation throughout the city. The subway system is relatively easy to use and metro passes are a cheap way to get around the city. If you want to get around like a local, you can’t go wrong with the most recommended bike rental. Staying away from taxis and rental cars is an easy way to save time and money in the big city!
2. Buy tickets to popular attractions in advance
The most popular attractions like Broadway shows, the viewing center at the Empire State Building, and Ellis Island tours can have lengthy wait times if you don’t buy your tickets in advance. While most museums allow you to pay (or make a donation) as you enter, other sights can sell out quickly or include long waits. Don’t waste your precious vacation time waiting in line or missing out on experiences!
3. Visit the touristy places, but don’t hang out there
The touristy spots like Times Square and Rockefeller Plaza are certainly worth a visit and demand a photo session, but they aren’t all New York City has to offer. Try to explore the less touristy spots in the city to really appreciate everything the Big Apple has to offer. Skip the crowds and enjoy a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge. Enjoy a nice lunch in Soho or Chinatown or explore the antique markets in Chelsea. Don’t forget the outer boroughs as well! The Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and more all have their own unique draws that are much less crowded.
4. Try to blend in with the locals
One of the biggest shocks of visiting New York City is the attitude of the locals. Everyone seems to be in a hurry, and it can be overwhelming seeing people rushing to and from place to place. These locals quickly become frustrated with tourists, and it’s best to do as the locals do when it comes to walking in public areas. Follow proper New York City etiquette by never blocking the sidewalk or a subway turnstile. When you’re on the metro, be courteous to others by only holding onto designated handrails with your hands so others have room to hold on. If you need to stop while walking on a busy pathway, step to the side so others aren’t stuck behind you. Following these easy protocols will make your stay in New York City much less stressful, and the city locals will be thankful!
5. Dress for the weather during your visit
New York City is relatively cold most of the year, and you’ll want to dress appropriately to ensure you’re comfortable for your entire visit! If you’re visiting any time other than summer, be prepared with layers like jackets or a winter coat if necessary. Even if the temperature doesn’t seem that cold, remember the buildings act like a funnel for wind, making the busy streets of Manhattan feel much colder than you might back at home. Oh, and don’t forget comfortable walking shoes!
Visit New York City for the first time with ease!
New York City is one of the biggest cities in the world! It’s normal to be both excited and anxious before visiting. If you follow these tips, you’re sure to have a stress-free and memorable trip. A little bit of research goes a long way for preparing for the Big Apple!