No matter how many times you’ve been to New York, you can never get bored of this city with its profusion of heart-stopping sights, stunning skyscrapers, famous restaurants, historical museums, and the endless number of things to do in New York City. Sadly, many travelers make the mistake of spending their precious vacation time go about seeing the city in the wrong way or doing the wrong things. To help you shun away from making all the little common mistakes, I have compiled this comprehensive list for you. Follow the tips below, and I will guarantee that you will have a great time there!
Welcome to New York City
- Do not take Taxi, use Subway (MTA) – The New York City Subway has 472 stations in operation and it is the largest rapid transit system in the world. They are located throughout the boroughs of Manhattan, Queens, Bronx, and Brooklyn. I strongly encourage every traveler to use your special gift from God, your leg to walk the entire city. Walking around New York City has never been a tiring thing for me because the stunning skyscrapers and attractive sights will take your breath away. Be smart to get an unlimited metro card for either 7 days pass $32or 30 days pass $121 depending on your travel period. The Metro Card allows the use of unlimited subway and local bus rides until midnight. So, go ahead and travel as far as you can!
- Your One Stop Attraction Deal – If you haven’t been to New York, then you should get yourself the unlimited visitor pass which allows you to visit as many attractions within limited days. Do your research and compare passes such as the New York Pass, New York City Pass, New York Explorer Pass, and New York Sightseeing Pass to see which deal comprehends your expected attraction sites. By doing so, you have to first list out what and how many attractions you plan to visit before deciding which pass suits your itinerary. I bought the New York Pass for 3 days unlimited visits to over 90 top attractions and I managed to visit 15 attractions. It was a fruitful trip and I am glad I utilize it well. I got them at a discounted price of $207. Alternatively, you can also click on to this link https://goo.gl/tfxVKy to check on their latest price. Oh, and don’t forget to download the mobile app (New York Pass) to view all attractions, opening times, how to get there, and contact details
- Look Out for Beautiful Sunset Anytime – Never look down at your phone all day because you could have just missed the stunning sunset even for a few seconds. The yellow ball of fire changed to hues of orange in a second and merged with the sky like juice-mix cotton candy, and in just a while, the sky covered by a thousand stars with silhouettes of birds few home across the sky. The short moment of sunset reminds me how short our life is and that we must cherish every moment before it ends.
- Statue of Liberty – There are few options to take a good picture or view the renowned Statue of Liberty. If you are on an economic budget trip, then take Staten Island Ferry. It was once free to the public, but now it has become the lowest fare which cost $4.86 to see the Statue of Liberty. However, if you have the New York City Pass that I mentioned earlier, this will be one of the attractions covered by the pass. The entire trip will take about 25 minutes between St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island and the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan. Keep in mind that because it is relatively cheap, there is always a crowd of tourists on the deck taking photos as the boat passes the Statue of Liberty. Stand at the right side of the top deck to get a good view of the Statue of Liberty. Other options include circle line sightseeing cruise (Liberty Cruise), Statue of Liberty Express Cruise, Liberty State Park, Red Hook, Brooklyn Bridge, or even reserve a room with a view at the Ritz-Carlton hotel if you are on a big budget trip.
- Rockefeller VS Empire State Building – If you are not planning to visit all the attractions or has limited time in New York, I would recommend you to go for Rockefeller over Empire State Building as I personally think that Top of the Rock Observation Deck view is not any less stunning and ironically has the best view of the Empire State Building. Not to mention, it also has the best New York City skyline views. But the good news is both Empire State Building tickets and Top of the Rock tickets are available with the New York Pass. To add value, download the Top of the Rock app before you arrive for a skyline guide that identifies what buildings you’re looking at with the audio tours. Remember to arrive early at 4 pm – 4.30 pm to catch the sunset and wear something thick to keep you warm during the winter. Selfie stick is important if you are coming alone. Don’t forget to visit the multi-media exhibit to get some insights knowledge about this iconic historical building. “I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might.” – John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
- Be prepared to spend a whole day in American Museum of Natural History – The American Museum of Natural History has one of the greatest fossil collections in the world. It is especially known for its dinosaur fossils. Even if you are not a museum go-er, this one is definitely worth visiting if you have watched the famous movie – “Night at the Museum”. The entire museum spans 4 city blocks and consists of some 25 interconnected buildings. There are a total of 4 levels plus a lower ground level in this huge building. Each level includes Earth and Space Hall, Animal Hall, Human and Culture Hall, Environment Hall, and Fossil Hall. This museum is definitely sophisticated and interesting to learn something new each time you visit. It is also great for a family field trip. Go ahead and click on this link http://youtu.be/5QRPyNDZ8MA to view the Treasure of New York.
- The Big Bus and The Ride – Discover the great panoramic view of New York City with The Big Bus Tour and The Ride. Hop on any Big Bus to capture famous icons like the Chrysler Building and Brooklyn Bridge. Hop off at any Big Bus stop to discover New York’s famous neighborhoods and hidden gems. The Big Bus stops at most of the famous museums and attractions such as Time Square, Central Park, Wall Street, Grand Central Terminal and more. One thing that I like about hopping on and off the bus is the complimentary live English-speaking guides. They offer an exciting and educational commentary throughout the duration of your tour in the most entertaining way. You can ask them any questions and they will try their best to answer you. Do tip them when you get off the bus as an encouragement and appreciation for their hard work! However, the ticket is not cheap, so plan on getting your New York Pass that comes with a one day tour on the Big Bus. The Ride is another terrific theatrical show and immersive tour that I will recommend to all first-timers. The entire ride includes spectacular performances by the technologically-advance moving theater motorcoach. The Ride transforms the city into a stage with Broadway-style entertainment. They make it into a fun and interactive experience with sing-along and storytelling. Get your spirit up and feel young again.
- Vibrant Chinatown – If you are on a super budget trip, eating in New York every day will be a pain in the butt. Try taking the MTA to Chinatown and spend a day at Chinatown and Little Italy. The food is cheaper in Chinatown and it will satisfy your cravings. There is an overwhelming number of restaurants, food shops, and food carts in Chinatown. You can get 5 fried pork dumplings for a $1 or a huge wan tan noodle with $5. Head over to Wah Fung Fast Food for a juicily roasted duck rice below $5 or Shu Jiao Fuzhou for sour vegetable noddle soup and thin-skinned dumplings filled with pork and chive or porkand cabbage. These are definitely the most affordable savory meal you can find in New York City.
- Wake up early for Brooklyn Bridge – To avoid a crowd in your Instagram photo, wake up early before the sunrise and catch the MTA to Brooklyn Bridge before 8 am. The entire bridge is 1.8km long and it takes about half an hour to walk across. Take your time when crossing the bridge and check out the pretty spectacular skyline view of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. Watch out for cyclists as they go pretty fast across the Brooklyn Bridge. Always walk on the left side of the bridge to avoid a collision. For a better view in Manhattan, head to Pier 15, South Street Seaport for a good view or DUMBO in Brooklyn great Brooklyn ice-cream and pizza as well as the Brooklyn Bridge Park. Fun Fact: Do you know what DUMBO mean? “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.”
One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.