The ultimate guide to a tourist's first time in New York City

Ride the subway at least once. It’s iconic!

The ultimate guide to a tourist's first time in New York City

Manhattan is a one-of-a-kind world wonder that everyone should experience at least once in their life! There are nearly endless possibilities and activities in New York; always something to see and do. This can be overwhelming to someone who's never been here before, and can make planning a first trip a little daunting. But with a few solid tips and some sound advice, you should have no problem being a tourist in The Concrete Jungle.

Pick a hotel in a central location, preferably within walking distance of a subway station or main intersection for hailing a yellow cab. This will help you navigate to and from your “home base”. If opting for a cab, be sure to wait in the taxi lines (where applicable) and pass on the black cars that will try to offer you a ride; they're often overpriced.

Plan your days according to neighborhood. For example, if you’re planning to visit the State of Liberty and Ellis Island on Tuesday morning, you wouldn’t plan to go all the way uptown for lunch. Well you could, but it would be a lot easier if you chose to spend the remainder of your day exploring Battery Park or Wall Street; neighborhoods near the ferry drop off. Get a good map of New York's neighborhoods, or use Google Maps to sort out your activities and see what they're in proximity to.

Ride the subway at least once. It’s iconic! And makes traveling around Manhattan easy and budget-friendly. For $2.50 a ticket, you can access tons of subway lines that will bring you as far as Brooklyn or the Bronx. Navigating them can be a little worrisome to a newcomer, but apps like HopStop take the headache out of trying to determine which train to get on and what direction to walk in.

Go to Times Square, Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, Central Park, Top of the Roc, the Brooklyn Bridge, Madison Square Garden or any other iconic monument. If this is your first trip to New York City, you'll want to scratch a few of these off your bucket list. If you learn to navigate the subway system and plan your days according to neighborhoods, then you'll have no problem seeing and experiencing many of the sites that New York is known for.

Visit a museum. Especially if you get caught on a day where the weather isn’t that great, a museum provides a nice escape from the bustle of New York and our East Coast weather! The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is incredible for art lovers (check out Van Gogh’s Starry Nights!), or try out the Natural History museum. It’s fascinating even for those who aren’t history buffs.

Eat pizza and bagels. You’re in New York after all, where we’re known for these carb-favorites. No doubt that New York serves the most delicious pizza, and there are plenty of pizzeria options to pick from. Suggestions? Marta, Patsy’s Pizza or Roberta’s.

Plan a classic night out on the town with dinner and a show. Whether you opt for Broadway or off-Broadway there are plenty of shows to pick from. If you want to score a sweet deal on tickets, visit the Broadway Box on 7th Ave and 49th Street for discounted tickets on same-day shows.

Expert Tip: New York can be expensive, but there are also tons of free things to do in Manhattan that will be easier on your wallet without sacrificing fun. Don't be afraid to ask a New Yorker for directions, suggestions or connections!


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