Top 7 NYC Travel Tips
As exciting as a visit to New York City is, there are a dozen petty annoyances that can put a damper on your day. Avoid as many of them as possible with this list.
Stow Your Luggage Safely
Rolling luggage around the city's streets is both cumbersome and risky. If you're traveling with luggage, store it somewhere safe so you're not bogged down by baggage. This is especially useful if you've got a few hours to kill between check-out and take-off, and you won't accidentally leave your bags in a Starbucks.
Don't Get Lost
Small though it may be, when you don't know where you're going, Manhattan can feel huge.
For above-ground transit, taxis are an easy way to get around. Taxis are available when the numbered light on the vehicle's roof is on. Don't take unlicensed taxis, which are commonly called "hacks" and often run by scammers.
Keep an eye out for coloring too. Traditional yellow cabs can pick up riders at any location in the city, while apple green cabs can only pick up new riders in the boroughs (Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island) and above W 110 St and E 96th St in Manhattan.
But if you can, stick to the busses and subways. You'll save a lot, and often get to your destination more quickly. To get your bearings, download the MTA's official map and route planning app. Citymapper can also help you get from A to B, with a variety of travel options built into its route planner.
Pedicabs are common in tourist districts, but they can be expensive. Even when they don't gouge tourists, they charge by the minute and aren't much faster than walking. They're worth a one-time trip for the curious and thick-walletted.
Looking for a quieter side of NYC? Try Brooklyn
As appealing as the bustle of New York City can be, it can start to wear down even the most enthusiastic traveler. Brooklyn is both larger and less populated, but the borough still packs enough attractions to fill a to-do list. The über-gentrified Park Slope neighborhood is gorgeous and walkable, with a great collection of brownstones and boutique. For a night out, Questlove spins a weekly DJ set on Thursdays at Brooklyn Bowl, and you can get some culture in Prospect Heights at the Brooklyn Botantic Garden, Prospect Park Zoo, or Brooklyn Museum.
Get cheap Broadway tickets
The pomp and pageantry of a Broadway show should be on everyone's list, but the tickets can be outrageously expensive. Fortunately, if you know where to look, you can save on box office prices. The best way is still the old-fashioned way: check out the TKTS booth at 47th and Broadway for discounted, same-day tickets to Broadway shows. You can see what's available in real time on the TKTS website or app, but you'll still need to wait in line to purchase tickets. For a more flexible approach, check out TodayTix, which offers discounted tickets for many major shows online.
Spend a sunny day at Central Park or enjoy lunch on the High Line
Central Park is often praised as the jewel of New York City, and with good reason: it marries the metropolitan and the pastoral in a park that is both aesthetically pleasing and easily accessible. It's conveniently situated near a number of top-notch museums, including the Museum of Natural History, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, making it possible to plan an entire day of museum visits without leaving the neighborhood. But it's far from the only park in New York City, and when the weather is just right, it can get crowded.
If that's the case, the High Line makes an excellent sunny-day lunch spot. This 1.45-mile long park runs along 10th Avenue on the remains of an elevated rail line, offering a respite from the city and a unique viewpoint on surrounding Chelsea.
Don't eat at a chain restaurant
New York City is home to some of the best and most varied cuisine on Earth, so don't settle for McDonald's. For quick eats, even the lowliest Manhattan pizza joint turns out an exceptional slice. A more refined meal can be found in nearly any New York neighborhood, with a variety of options to match any taste.
See the Statue of Liberty on the cheap
If you're hoping to glimpse Lady Liberty from the water, don't pay for a cruise. While you'll get a great view, you'll also pay a boatload for it. Instead, take the free Staten Island Ferry, which sails past many of the same sights. You can catch a ride from Whitehall Street, at the southern tip of Manhattan.