So its your first time visiting NYC and you don`t quite know what to expect? Don`t worry! New York is one of the most amazing cities I have ever been to and you are sure to fall in love with its busy streets, beautiful parks, and stunning architecture. Keep reading for all the best New York City Travel Tips and everything I wish I knew before visiting the big apple.
Getting From JFK Airport to Manhattan
If you fly into JFK you can take the subway to anywhere in Manhattan or Brooklyn for $8.50 USD. It is quick, cheap, and easy to navigate! You want to take the Air Tram to either Howard Beach or Jamaica Center; and from there the blue line will bring you right into Manhattan! A lot of people (me included at first) are intimidated by the subway and think it`ll be quicker and easier to just take a cab. One of the best New York City travel tips that I received was that in reality; its super easy and depending on traffic can actually be quicker to take the subway! For more information check out the NYC Subway Map.
Choosing a Place to Stay
When choosing accommodation in NYC there are several factors to think about in including budget, location, and type of space needed. If choosing a hotel in a central location you can expect to pay $250 -$500 USD per night. To cut costs you can choose a hotel in an outlying neighborhood. My personal favorite way to stay is by renting an Airbnb with a small kitchen. This way you usually pay a little less, can get a fairly central location and can cook 1 meal per day at home to save money!
Getting Tickets to Broadway Shows
Seeing a Broadway Show tops almost everybody`s lists of The Best Things to do in NYC. A few years back; you could go to New York and easily buy tickets the morning of for a discounted rate. When we visited this year we found that all the popular shows were sold out at least 1-2 weeks in advance. If there were any tickets left; the prices were the same or higher than they would have been to book in advance.
If you don`t end up getting tickets beforehand and the show you want is sold out; check the theaters website for ticket lotteries. Most theaters will hold day of lotteries offering discount tickets with either a draw or on a first come first serve basis.
Watching a Game at Yankee Stadium
Yankee Stadium is a must while visiting NYC. It is directly on the subway route and you can get there from anywhere in Manhattan or Brooklyn. On busy nights it can take up to an hour to get in the gates so plan extra time for the line ups. There are some great food options inside including a Bare Burger, Kings Hawaiian, A Noodle Stand, and so much more! Not to mention beer, hot dog, and popcorn stands around every corner.
TIP: Absolutely NO selfie sticks or GoPros are allowed into a Yankees game. They will either make you throw them out or leave your place in line to check them across the street.. for $20 USD.
The Price of The Metropolitan Museum
For years entrance to the Metropolitan Museum has been by suggested donation only; meaning that you could pay $1 USD and enter. Beginning April 2018 this is no longer the case unless you are a NYC resident. The entrance fee for tourists is now a strict $25 USD per person. It is a lovely museum and I would still highly recommend it; however this is something to be aware of if you are on traveling a budget.
Free Entry to The 911 Memorial
The 911 Memorial offers free entry to all guests between 5-7 pm every Tuesday. It almost seems odd to categorize this as a highlight of NYC; but it would be my top recommendation of the entire trip. Everything from the fountains to the museum and the stories of that day blew me away. It was heavy and heartbreaking but extremely well done. The museum is built on the foundation of the old World Trade Centers and they offer so much information on the events of 9-11. Make sure to plan at least 3-4 hours to fully experience it and don`t worry.. they have an unlimited supply of tissues.
Renting a Bike in Central Park
Taking up three square kilometers in the middle of Manhattan; Central Park is an escape from city life right in the city! There are literally hundreds of things to see and do including a zoo, museums, rowboats, horse and carriage rides, and so much more. If you choose to see the park by bike plan 1/2 a day to 1 full day. There are bike rental shops on the edge of the park charging $40 USD per day; do not pay that much! Stop at a Citi Bike station on your way there (there are numerous locations around the city) where you can rent a bike for $12 USD per day. New York City Travel Tips
The Top of The Rock vs The Empire State Building
The debate between visiting the Top of The Rock or the top of The Empire State Building is constantly ongoing. Personally; I choose Top of The Rock all the way! You have a 360 degree view of NYC, a great view of the Empire State Building and an unobstructed view of Central Park. Entrance is $36 USD and make sure to go on a clear day! New York City Travel Tips