21 Issues You Must Know Earlier than Visiting NYC

There isn’t a metropolis like New York. If it’s your first time visiting, you most likely have already got a picture in your head of what the expertise will likely be like from TV reveals and flicks, however you’ll rapidly understand that actuality might not align together with your expectations.

21 Essential Tips for Visiting New York //

We moved right here three months in the past and have gotten tons of recommendation from associates who’ve lived right here most their lives, however we’re nonetheless studying rather a lot as we go. We’ll proceed to edit what we discover all year long. Right here’s our record of issues we want we knew earlier than visiting.

All illustrations used are by Nathan Pyle, our new favourite illustrator!


1. Greatest Time to Go to

New York appears to at all times be busy, however that busyness is multiplied exponentially throughout any of the foremost holidays. If you wish to keep away from the crowds, don’t come at these occasions. Summer time is normally busier as nicely and very popular and humid, so if you happen to can, go to through the Spring and Fall. If you happen to’re not afraid of the chilly, winter is nice, as a result of most individuals don’t wish to be right here.

2. The Metropolis is Straightforward to Navigate

NYC contains all 5 boroughs, however when locals discuss with town, they imply Manhattan. If you’re surrounded by huge buildings, it may be very disorienting and overwhelming, however the metropolis is simpler to navigate than you assume. Listed here are just a few easy guidelines that can assist you out:

  • The town is ready up like a grid (for probably the most half).
  • All horizontal streets are numbered with the bottom numbers on the backside of Manhattan.
  • All vertical streets are known as Avenues. These blocks are big blocks.
  • Google Maps works nice.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for instructions.

Navigating NYC - East Village vs West Village by Nathan Pyle

three. The Subway is Straightforward Too

Lots of people get intimidated to make use of the subway, however for probably the most half, the subway system is nicely labeled and straightforward to make use of too. Listed here are just some guidelines that can assist you get round.

  • Regardless that you utilize a MetroCard, nobody calls it the metro. It’s both the subway or prepare.
  • A number of occasions the subway is quicker than hopping in a cab or Uber.
  • Google Maps works nice for subway instructions too. Each time I assumed I used to be smarter than google maps, I ended up being improper. If you’re utilizing Google Maps for subway instructions, screengrab them earlier than going right into a station. You lose GPS and typically service all collectively underground.
  • Know which route you’re heading (downtown is to the decrease numbers, uptown is to the upper numbers).
  • Listen as you enter the subway. Some entrances solely get you to 1 facet of the platform (ie. to a prepare heading downtown). You normally should cross the road to search out the other (i.e. uptown) prepare. That is what I had the toughest time with!
  • Give your self further time to get the place you want. It doesn’t matter what transportation you’re making an attempt to make use of, there is perhaps visitors, subway delays, stalled traces and many others. If it ought to take me 30 minutes or much less to get someplace, I give myself an additional 10 minutes, if it takes 30-60 minutes to get there, I give an additional 20 minutes.
  • The trains run much less often late at evening and through the weekends. Be ready to attend.
  • Look out for indicators to see if the prepare schedule or stops have modified.
  • Throughout busy occasions, if you happen to see an empty subway automobile (and the remainder are packed to the brim), don’t assume you discovered the key automobile nobody else noticed. Often, it means the locals know one thing you don’t, like that the AC is out or there’s a very sturdy odor.
  • Pack within the subway and don’t anticipate to have private house throughout rush hour. Since now we have versatile schedules, we strive our greatest to keep away from it.
  • When the subway is full, take your backpack off and maintain it between your legs, since that’s additionally helpful house! Additionally, don’t take up a seat together with your stuff. Put it in your lap.
  • Let individuals exit earlier than you attempt to get on. Line up alongside the subway away from the doorways.

New York Travel Advice - NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette by Nathan Pyle

You even have just a few choices when shopping for a MetroCard. Essentially the most simple approach is placing cash on a card. Every experience then deducts from that quantity. You too can buy limitless time for X variety of days on the cardboard. Since we stay within the metropolis, I did the mathematics so I do know when to purchase limitless or when to only pay the per-ride price. Right here’s what it’s essential know.

  • The identical card can be utilized so as to add cash or add time.
  • You may add cash or time on most machines.
  • Every experience prices $2.75.
  • If you happen to plan on driving the metro 13 occasions or extra in every week, purchase the 7-day limitless.
  • If you happen to plan on driving the metro 47 occasions or extra in a month, purchase the 30-day limitless.

four. Don’t Cease Strolling

New Yorkers stroll quick, and a assured strategy to piss somebody off is making a sudden cease in the course of the sidewalk. The town has a movement to it, so strive not disrupt that movement. We’ve witnessed loads of offended locals. If you wish to take a photograph or lookup instructions, step to the facet. I’m horrible at instructions and am at all times disoriented popping out of a cease. Ought to I be on the NE nook? The SW? It at all times impresses me how many individuals simply carry on strolling and know their approach across the metropolis.

Additionally, if you happen to’re touring within the group, be aware of blocking the sidewalk. Depart house so individuals can get round you. This is applicable to stairs and escalators too. If you happen to’re going slower or wish to stand there, keep on the appropriate. The left lane is the quick lane.

NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette by Nathan Pyle - Ideal Walking Formation

5. By no means Belief a Puddle

Puddles in New York are out to swallow you entire. I’ve stepped in a pair considering they had been shallow, solely to rapidly discover out that my entire foot goes in. Good factor I had waterproof footwear. Additionally, strive to not stand too near puddles or at all times regulate vehicles. You realize that film second when somebody will get splashed by a HUGE wave a water from a automobile driving by way of a puddle? That occurred to us.

6. It’s Not That Harmful

New York tends to have a repute to be harmful, and our dad and mom routinely ask us if we’re secure. It’s usually a really secure metropolis. Like several metropolis, there are sketchier areas, however as a result of there are at all times individuals out and about, it’s not a nasty place to stroll round.

Do watch your belongings intently in touristy spots, that’s the place you’ll discover extra scammers and pickpockets making an attempt to reap the benefits of individuals. Simply don’t appear like a clueless fool, use frequent sense, and you have to be superb.

7. Bode-what? What’s a Bodega?

Bodegas are discovered at virtually each nook of town. They’re fairly perplexing since they don’t actually exist wherever else within the states. Consider a small grocery retailer mashed up with a sandwich store crammed right into a tiny house. A lot of occasions, they’ll have a random assortment of snacks, typically they’ll have a flower store hooked up, and others are recognized particularly for his or her sandwiches. Regardless, it’s handy when it’s essential seize some fast provides. If you happen to’re nonetheless confused about what’s a nook retailer, deli, or bodega, listed below are 11 methods to know if it’s a legit.

What is a Bodega - NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette by Nathan Pyle

eight. When You See It, Use It!

Public loos aren’t at all times straightforward to search out. Bodegas don’t have them and most eating places require you to be a paying buyer. If you do discover a public restroom, be sure you attempt to go so that you simply don’t end up in a good spot. Locals have their favourite secret public restroom spots. Ought to we do a put up on this or will we piss off all of the locals?

9. Have a Plan to Get To and From the Airport

New York has two predominant airports, LaGuardia and JFK Worldwide Airport. They’re chaotic and it may be overwhelming making an attempt to determine one of the best ways to town. A pair issues to remember:

  • Give your self loads of time to get to the airport. Throughout peak hours, it might take an extra 30-45 minutes when there’s visitors.
  • If you happen to plan on taking a cab, search for a yellow cab taxi stand. Don’t use any unofficial cabs as a result of they’ll rip you off.
  • Uber or Lyft works from the airports however it might get expensive.
  • The most affordable strategy to get into town is to the take public transportation. From JFK, take the AirTrain to Howard Seashore, which can get you on the native subway. From LaGuardia, the M80 bus takes you to Manhattan.

10. Know Methods to Hail a Cab

Hailing a cab is an artwork type. It hardly ever seems like what you see on TV, however with just a few ideas, you could be an knowledgeable too. Firstly, get near the road and perhaps also have a foot out onto the road (if it’s secure and there’s house for you). Secondly, regulate the lights on the tops of the taxis. If the sunshine is on, then somebody is already within the cab. In addition they have “off obligation” lights, so don’t hassle with these cabs. When you see your goal, elevate your hand within the air and be able to hop in after they cease for you.

11. Save Cash Sightseeing

Going sightseeing in New York doesn’t have to interrupt the financial institution. Test the New York CITYPass if you happen to’re seeking to go to a number of the hottest sights. There’s additionally a ton of free issues to do.

12. Pay What You Like Pricing

There are fairly a museums in New York which are Pay What You Like. They normally don’t promote it very giant, and as an alternative, present you what the steered donation is, however if you happen to’re on a price range, you’ll be able to go to these museums and pay one or two bucks. We have now an intensive record of all these locations right here. Don’t be shocked if you happen to get some soiled seems although.

13. Don’t Restrict Your self to Manhattan

Most vacationers keep in Manhattan, and customarily within the central a part of town. There’s rather a lot to discover in Manhattan and much more within the different boroughs. Brooklyn and Queens are shut by and supply a very totally different really feel.

NYC Basic Tips / New York Etiquette by Nathan Pyle

14. One and Performed

Don’t spend an excessive amount of time within the vacationer spots like Occasions Sq.. There’s simply a lot to see and do within the metropolis. If you happen to’ve by no means been to Occasions Sq., it is best to completely go to witness it, however until you’re seeing a Broadway present, it’s higher to make use of your time exploring the remainder of town. The identical goes for a lot of the different vacationer spots.

15. Central Park is HUGE

Central Park is an exception to the rule as a result of it’s huge. Most individuals crowd the Mall and Bethesda Fountain and neglect to discover different areas of the 800-acre park. There’s a tribute to John Lennon, reservoir, the Rambles, a waterfall, and extra. Even a few of our associates who’ve lived right here 10+ years haven’t been to all corners of the park.

16. Assume Weekdays, not Weekends

Weekends deliver large crowds to fashionable spots, just like the Excessive Line. If you wish to see any of the main customer spots, think about going through the week to keep away from ridiculous crowds.

17. Go Early or Go Late

Alongside the identical traces, strive visiting very early or actually late. Issues begin to get crowded late morning and so they normally keep crowded by way of the center of the day.

18. Look Off Broadway

If you wish to watch a present, don’t simply search for what’s taking part in on Broadway. There are nice theaters all all through town. Take a look at Playwrights Horizons, the Public Theater, and Signature Theatre, simply to call just a few. You will get discounted Broadway tickets by way of TKTS. The primary location is in Occasions Sq., however if you wish to keep away from the traces, go to TKTS at Juilliard.

19. Get Used to Ready

There are a number of eating places within the metropolis, however there are additionally a ton of individuals! If you happen to haven’t made plans or reservations, be ready to attend for dinner. It’s frequent to have a 45-minute wait throughout peak hours.

20. Large Metropolis, Small Neighborhoods

Regardless that it’s a giant metropolis, New York has distinct neighborhoods and villages. Every neighborhood has its personal taste and specialty and might most likely maintain you busy for a complete day. Listed here are just some we’ve been exploring:

  • Decrease East Aspect (LES) – numerous bars, eating places, and nightlife. We actually appreciated Drexler’s, particularly throughout completely happy hour.
  • Chelsea – Artwork galleries and the Chelsea market
  • Chinatown – We go right here for dim sum and low-cost meals!
  • Midtown – a few of our associates stay right here, so we’ve been consuming and hanging out on this space rather a lot. It’s near Central Park, Broadway, and all of the vacationer sights.
  • SoHo – numerous popups and purchasing
  • Greenwich Village (the Village) – hip bars, cafes, retailers, and Washington Sq. Park
  • Hell’s Kitchen – tons of nice meals, together with our favourite ramen.
  • Lengthy Island Metropolis (LIC), Queens – mountaineering! We stay within the extra industrial a part of LIC the place there are many excessive rises in development, however we love being close to each Brooklyn Boulders and Cliffs. You additionally get wonderful views of the Manhattan skyline.

21. Pack Proper

It’s vital to pack proper for New York. We put collectively a information for surviving Winter in NYC, however listed below are some normal guidelines that you need to use year-round.

  • Carry a pair of strolling footwear. You can be doing a number of strolling so that you need footwear which are snug.
  • All the time deliver layers. It doesn’t matter what time of yr it’s, you’ll be indoors then open air, then again indoors, then open air once more. Temperatures can change drastically and it’s good to have layers so you’ll be able to pile them on or take them off as wanted.
  • You’ll most likely be utilizing your cellphone rather a lot within the metropolis, so deliver an additional charger with you to remain charged.
  • Backpacks are actually useful to maintain every little thing collectively, but in addition providing you with the liberty to have each palms when wanted. We love our new Peak Design backpack for our digicam gear and every little thing else. Plus you’ll be able to safe your zippers to maintain out pickpockets.

What do you consider this put up? Was it useful? If you would like extra recommendations on  New York, try our earlier articles such because the Final NYC Bucket Record, 99 Locations to Eat in NYC, 11 Prime Free Issues to Do in NYC, 25 Enjoyable Issues to Do Indoors in NYC.

If you happen to appreciated the illustrations above, try Nathan’s ebook NYC Primary Ideas and Etiquette ebook.


New York Tips - 21 Things You Must Know Before Visiting NYC // localadventurer.comNew York Advice for Tourists - 21 Things I Wish I Knew Before Visiting NYC // localadventurer.com21 Essential Tips for Visiting New York //

Tips for Visiting New York - 21 Things I Wish I Knew Before Visiting NYC // localadventurer.comLocal Tips New York - 21 Things You Should Know Before Traveling to NYC //

Read Next //