Have you been to New York? I have and I loved it. It’s definitely somewhere everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. I would love to go back someday. It was on the first trip that I did that I went to NYC, and I’ll admit I was a little unprepared for this city. In this guest post, Roxana gives us her essential tips for visiting NYC – I wish I knew them before I first went.
No matter how experienced a traveller you are, New York will definitely surprise you. It’s a one-of-a-kind city that can be quite challenging to navigate and to get to know. So, make sure to keep these tips in mind once you arrive at The City That Never Sleeps.
Make Reservations In Advance
New York is packed, which means you’ll have to make reservations well in advance, both for your accommodation and restaurants. For practical reservations, you can use OpenTable that works with a huge number of restaurants and eateries. If you want to have a bite without reservations and waiting for a table, choose food trucks. They are all over the city (some of the best ones are parked Downtown) and they serve amazing food at affordable prices. Eating out in NYC is costly, so keep that in mind when budgeting.
Get Yourself Connected
Of course, if you want to post a few photos of your trip, get around the city and check what’s happening in the city, you’ll need the Internet. NYC is pretty tourist-friendly when it comes to Wi-Fi, but there’s just no way to have free Internet everywhere you go. But, you can visit the nearest AT&T store and grab a SIM card for your phone with plenty of mobile data. There are some truly great deals, so choose one that fits your needs and duration of stay and you’ll always be connected.
Get Acquainted With The City Beforehand
Most first-time tourists come to Manhattan, but this borough is truly huge. So, make sure to grab a map and have a little study session beforehand. That way you can get to know the area, its neighbourhoods and find attractions you want to see. There’s no way you’ll get to see entire Manhattan during your stay, but you can catch the things that fit your interests. For instance, Midtown is packed with regular tourist sights. SoHo, on the other hand, is the ‘it spot’ for fashionistas. And Lower East Side is the heaven for foodies and perfect for younger visitors. However, don’t miss the chance to leave Manhattan and check out other NYC boroughs if you have time.
Bring Your Plastics
When travelling to Asia you’re always advised to have some cash at hand, but when going to New York keep your plastics at hand. Some places don’t even take cash, so it’s great to have your card with you. Credit cards are widely accepted, even cabs accept them. They are practical and safe and you’ll always have money at hand.
The Traffic Is Ridiculous
You think you know what to expect from the city that never sleeps, but the traffic in New York will really blow your mind. It’s loud, it’s aggressive and it never stops. Streets are always packed with cars, buses and cabs and it doesn’t get much better during the night either. But, after a few days, you’ll stop noticing the traffic sounds and your stay will become quite comfortable. However, since the traffic is so hectic, make sure to leave early for wherever you’re going. For instance, expect to have an hour-long drive from Manhattan to JFK airport, so keep that in mind when making plans. Also, make sure to use NYC subway for getting around the city and don’t neglect walking.
Prepare To Queue
If you’re a seasoned traveller, you know what waiting means. And if you thought London has crazy attraction queues, expect to wait twice as long in New York. Since New York keeps its attractions open seven days a week almost all year round, there’s no best time to check something out. Skipping the queue is possible only with an expensive VIP pass. So if you’re travelling on a budget, just arm yourself with plenty of patience.
You’ll Find Yourself In Shopping Heaven
There’s no better place for shopping than New York. You will find literally everything you need here no matter how specific and eccentric your tastes are. So make sure to put some money aside for a nice shopping trip, because it’s really hard to keep yourself from splurging when in NYC.
If you’re visiting in the winter, make sure to dress warmly. There’s a specific way that Manhattan streets funnel cold wind and direct it straight to your face. It might feel nice and refreshing at first, but expect to be very cold after a few hours outside. On the other hand, summers can be very hot, especially after treading the streets for hours. Layers are your best friends and they will always ensure you’re comfy.
People Are Actually Very Friendly
There’s a myth that New Yorkers are rude, but they are actually pretty nice people. However, it’s true that they’re always in a rush, so make sure not to block the sidewalk and be quick with questions. Also, remember that you’re interacting with many different cultures when in NYC, so be respectful.
Once you get used to all the hustle and bustle of the city, you’ll probably fall in love and never want to leave the gorgeous mess that is New York. Safe travels!