Dont Run Red Lights On Busy Roads
Unlike other cities, it is ok to run the red lights in NYC if you are a pedestrian, especially in residential neighborhoods with little traffic. However, try not to do so in Midtown or Lower Manhattan, as you dont want to get caught in the middle of an intersection during a red light and yelled at by angry New Yorkers.
New York City Orientation And Subway Travel Tips
systematic, grid patterntips to help you navigate the city like an expert pedestrian.
- Streets run horizontally from east to west.
- Avenues run vertically from north to south.
- 5th Avenue splits the east side from the west side. Address numbers get lower the closer the building is to 5th Avenue and higher the farther it is away from 5th Avenue.
- Broadway is the exception. It runs diagonally, interestingly enough, following an old Native American footpath.
The New York City subway extends throughout the city. No matter where you want to go, its likely a subway line is heading in that direction. Heres the subway info you need to know to look like a pro.
One last thing to consider for travel within NYC
- Bike rentals are plentiful. I wouldnt suggest riding along the streets on your first visit to New York City, but scenic rides along the Hudson River bike path and through parks are great ways to combine sightseeing and transportation.
Best Cheap Mid Budget And Luxury Hotels In Brooklyn New York City
Brooklyn isnt anywhere near as touristy as Manhattan and just from a quick hotel search that much is apparent. However, despite far fewer options, there are also far fewer people booking the rooms. Less demand means less supply.
Williamsburgs bars and restaurants spill out onto Berry Street and Bedford Avenue. Wythe, Hoxton and William Vale are in close proximity to this area and each other. Hotel Indigo is in a much busier area but well connected.
Further down in Brooklyn, if you can afford it, we think 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge has to have one of the best views in the city sunset over Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan every single day from the pool no less!
Here are the best hotels for each budget around Brooklyn :
- 8. Luxury 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge 8.7
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Soho A Great Place In New York If You Love To Shop
- Trendy and arty neighbourhood
- Famous for its excellent shopping scene
- Lots of interesting cast-iron architecture
- Plenty of classy restaurants
Why its awesome: Located in Lower Manhattan, SoHo earned a reputation for being a cool and arty part of the city. While there are still a good number of artists lofts and galleries, the area is more famous for shopping today offering almost everything you could ever want to buy! Establishments cater to all budgets and tastes. The architecture is pretty unique too SoHo has the biggest amount of cast-iron buildings of anywhere in the world! Going back in time, the land was once farmland given to freed slaves, and it was the first free settlement of black people in Manhattan.
What to do there: Walk around the neighbourhood, today featured on the National Register of Historic Places, and see the numerous cast-iron buildings. Admire the intricate and decorative details, such as lavish window frames and railings. Discover the areas art heritage and enjoy a bite to eat in one of the excellent eateries before hitting the shops. Give your credit cards a workout as you hop between the chain stores and boutiques. Take a walk along Spring Street, Broadway, and Prince Street and browse the stalls brimming with knickknacks, cheap t-shirts, souvenirs, and accessories.
Lower East Side Where To Stay In Manhattan On A Budget
Eclectic and vibrant, the Lower East Side is a neighbourhood that seamlessly blends history and modern times. One of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city, the Lower East Side was, for many decades, home to a thriving immigrant population.
Today, this southeastern New York City neighbourhood is a hub for art and culture as well as home to hip eateries and trendy bars. Here youll find a great variety of lively clubs, stylish restaurants, and fashionable boutiques.
While we wouldnt say its cheap this is New York City, after all the Lower East Side is our pick for where to stay in New York on a budget, home to a myriad of affordable accommodation options.
Whether its a social hostel or modern hotel, youll be able to find something to fit your style and budget on the Lower East Side.
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Top Sights To See In New Your Citys Museum Mile
Central Park is the lungs of New York City. I shudder to imagine what the city would be without it. Established in 1858 on 778 acres of city land, the park was designed by architect Frederick Law Olmstead and landscape architect Calvert Vaux who had won a competition to design a city greenspace.
The park is an oasis of greenery in the spring and summer, a kaleidoscope of blazing colors in the fall and a winter wonderland. Among the many attractions are the Central Park Zoo , a carousel, skating rink, the Boat House, a restaurant with a lake to go rowing on, a theater where they put on Shakespeare plays for free in the summer, an open-air concert venue, wide open meadows and densely forested Rambles, musicians, performers, friendly squirrels, racoonsand thats just scratching the surface. Get yourself a map and wander to your hearts delight.
For a magical New York experience, locate the Delacorte clock right outside the Central Park Zoo. The clock features a collection of brass animal statues playing instruments rotating around the clock every half hour and hour. At those times two brass monkeys hammer on a bell and the animal statues begin to turn and rotate around the clock while a soundtrack of nursery rhymes plays. On a clear day the effect is magical. Both kids and adults are enchanted.
Starting from 84th Street and working your way north the museums on Museum Mile are:
The Guggenheim. Contemporary art in an architecturally unique venue.
Spending Too Much Money On Food In Nyc
NYC is an expensive city and the price point at its restaurants are higher than other large cities, such as Toronto. However, with some careful planning, there are plenty of great ways to save money when eating in New York City.
- Get the lunch specialMany popular NYC restaurants offer affordable lunch specials. This can be a great way to enjoy a tasty meal for cheap.
- Eat and drink during Happy HourIf you dont mind eating a little early , I highly recommend taking advantage of New York Citys happy hour specials. Enjoy discounted menu prices on a selection of both food and drinks.
- Dollar pizza slicesOK, we cant be healthy all the time. Grabbing a slice of New York pizza is one of my favorite meals when Im on-the-go sightseeing in the city. If youre visiting New York City for the first time, getting NYC-style pizza is a MUST!
- Find cheap eats in the Village, Lower East Side, and ChinatownThink everything in NYC is expensive? Think again. There are plenty of delicious restaurants with affordable eats in these neighborhoods.
- Street foodFrom ethnic food trucks to familiar hot dog carts, theres lots of street food options to choose from in New York.
PRO TIP: No matter where you decide to eat in New York, make sure the restaurant has an A rating from the NYC Health Department. If you dont see an A rating posted outside the restuarant, find a different establishment to eat at.
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How To Get Around In New York
I strongly advise you not to rent a car to get around in New York. Youll waste a lot of time in traffic. Avoid taking the taxi, its expensive and slow because of traffic. Take the subway, it goes everywhere and its very useful! A one-way ticket is $2.75, an unlimited one-week ticket is $32, a one-month ticket is $121. Heres how to use the NYC subway!
Be Careful In Times Square
Deanna from The Detailed Traveler says, Dont take a picture with any characters unless you plan on paying them for it. Dont take any mixed tapes or handouts on the street, again, unless you plan on paying for it. Be on your guard in this area as it is easy to get pickpocketed, lost in the crowd and plain old just taken advantage of.
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Stay Where You Plan To Play
Angela from Boutique Travel Advisors says, New York City is enormous and divided into 5 different boroughs. If you plan to spend most of your time near Central Park and attend Broadway shows, then stay in Uptown or Midtown. On the other hand, if you plan to visit the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, 9/11 Memorial and Museum, look at staying in Tribeca or Soho.
Free Wifi In New York City
Youre not going to go through wifi withdrawals in New York City. There are tons of public places that you can go to access the internet. Here are some areas you may already be heading to but this is not a complete list.
- Staten Island Ferry Terminal
- The Highline
- Every underground subway station
- LinkNYC a free service where you can access wifi and charging ports. There are approximately 1500 across the city.
Accessing wifi is almost a must in todays world and, luckily, its pretty simple to find free wifi in New York City. I would suggest doing so safely though by finding a VPN that works for you. VPNs are the most effective measure you can take to improve online security and privacy.
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Top Sights To See In New York Citys Chelsea Neighborhood
Hudson Yards is one of Manhattans newest attractions and neighborhoods. Its a collection of high end stores and restaurants in a sparkling, brand new skyscraper.
The Vessel is the centerpiece of Hudson Yards and one of New York Citys newest and most dramatic landmarks. You can climb to the top for great views of the city and Hudson River.
In Hudson Yards, youll find The Edge Observation Deck, currently the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere. The elevator ride to the outside deck alone is worth the price of admission. Once outside youll be rewarded with spectacular views of the city as far as the eye can see. These sights are the reason words like breathtaking were invented. If you get tickets for a cloudy day, they will exchange them for a clear day.
The High Line is actually a city park built on an abandoned elevated train track. It starts at about 34th Street at Hudson Yards, although it is being further extended north, and ends at Grosvenor Street in the Meatpacking District. The railroad tracks were going to be demolished but someone had the bright idea of turning it into a floating park, a crazy idea in a city of crazy ideas that worked. Today, this 2 mile stretch of city park winds through tenements, luxury buildings, gardens, art exhibits and coffee shops the only structure of its kind in the world.
Dont Pay The Full Prices For Museums
NYC has more museums than you can count, and many of them are free to visit. Below are a few that first-timers to NYC shouldnt miss.
National Museum of the American Indian:It contains an extensive collection of Native objects, photographs, and media, covering the entire Western Hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego. Always free.
Mmuseumm:Located inside a rusty elevator shaft, this 60-square-foot museum features a rotating selection of artifacts, which are to explore modern humanity and current events. Free, but there is a suggested donation of $5.
Museum of Modern Art : Free on Friday from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM.
Whitney Museum of American Art: This Meatpacking District Museum, also known as the Whitney, focuses on the 20th- and 21st-century American art. It is free on Saturday, May 2, from 10:30 AM to 10:00 PM.
Brooklyn Museum: As one of the largest museums in the US, it features a myriad of cultural exhibits around the globe. Free from 5:00 to 11:00 PM on the first Saturday of every month and from 5:00 to 10:00 PM on Thursdays.
9/11 Museum and Memorial:Free all day on Tuesday.
Inside the Museum of Modern Art/MoMA. MoMA
Hope this list doesnt discourage you from visiting and exploring the Big Apple. Despite these tourist traps and rules, as long as you remain considerate to people around you, you will be very fine. Welcome to New York City, and I wish you will have a great time here!
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Best For Affordable Accommodation: Little Italy / Chinatown
These two ethnic enclaves are adjacent to each other. In Little Italy, we saw many Italian bistros serving Italian fare on red-and-white checkered tablecloths. Chinatown is home to many old-school Chinese restaurants, tourist shops, bubble tea shops, Chinese herbal remedy shops, and fresh produce stalls. If you are staying in this district, I highly recommend Hotel 50 Bowery NYC, a wonderful four-star hotel in Chinatown that offers spacious and beautiful rooms at great rates. There is even a rooftop bar with great views of the city. Service is great as well.
Things To Do In New York City Roosevelt Island Skytram
Whats on Roosevelt Island that is worth visiting? you might ask. Good question! Most New Yorkers have no idea. We dont either. As far as we can tell its just a collection of ugly brown apartment buildings, housing some 10,000 New Yorkers. However, what we DO know is that there is a SkyTram connecting Roosevelt Island to 59th street and 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. And we know that the SkyTram is totally worth getting on.
Taking this SkyTram costs just a single swipe of your MetroCard and you can get some really sweet views of Manhattan and Long Island City this way. Bring your camera and take the short trip.
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Where To Stay In New York City: A Neighborhood Guide For First Time Visitors
Wondering where to stay in New York City? Ive visited so many times over the years , so I thought Id write down a guide!
I absolutely love visiting New York City. Im not sure I would ever really enjoy living here. Dealing with the MTA on a daily basis, crying as I pay 2x as much for a meal as I would in PA, and the entire winter season would, Im sure, sour me pretty quickly. However, I definitely love popping up for a weekend or even a full week if I can manage!
Whenever Im home near Philly, I often try to pop up to NYC no matter the season it seems! Ive even successfully driven from Brooklyn up through Manhattan to go to Rhode Island during rush hour and during the Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting. It was very poor planning on my part, but I made it!
Anyway, with all that said, here are my tips on where to stay in New York City!
Understanding How Big New York City Is
New York City is massive. The city is spread out over 302.6 square miles over five major boroughs:
- The Bronx: The Bronx is north of Manhattan, separated by the Harlem River, and Queens, separated by the East River.
- Manhattan: South of the Bronx and tapers off where the Hudson River and East River meet, Brooklyn across the way of the East River
- Brooklyn: Across from Manhattan, it and Queens are actually on the same land as Long Island
- Queens: Borders Brooklyn to the west and is south of The Bronx, separated by the East River
- Staten Island: On its own island to the other side of Brooklyn, separated by Upper Bay
I remember a friend telling me she hasnt made time to go see the Christmas lights in Dyker Heights because its such a hassle to get from where she lives in Upper Manhattan all the way down to one of the more southern parts of Brooklyn. I actually think we driving from Philly would be faster than her navigating the subway or even paying for a car/tour in the nighttime Christmas traffic!
Anyway, thats all to say you want to choose where you stay wisely. For example, it doesnt make too much sense to stay in Upper Manhattan if a lot of the NYC attractions you want to see are in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Important: Before you do anything, plug in all the places you want to visit in NYC into Google Maps so you have an idea of where they are relative to each other. Then pick a hotel somewhere in the middle and near a subway station!
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Times Square A Must Visit Place To Visit In New York On The Weekend
- Often referred to as the Crossroads of the World
- Main destination for New Yorks New Years Eve celebrations
- Major entertainment area and popular tourist destination
- Long history
Why its awesome: Times Square is a major retail, commercial, and entertainment area in New York. One of the worlds busiest pedestrianised zones, 330,000-odd people walk through the square every day. Often referred to as The Centre of the Universe and the Crossroads of the World its a thriving part of an already hectic city. Numerous advertisements and billboards line the busy square and many street performers provide enchanting entertainment right on the pavements for free. Times Square is amongst the best places in New York for people watching.
Youll even see people dressed up as popular Disney characters and other well-known characters from cartoons and movies. Theres stuff for families, couples, and groups of friends to enjoy here and, while busy on all days, it is especially vibrant at the weekends. The energy is electric and its a place that you cant forget in a hurry.
Wonder how to spend a weekend in New York? Head over to our insiders Weekend in New York guide!