First Time to NYC?

There’s no question about it – New York City is one of the greatest cities on the planet. It has pretty much everything you can dream of, from arts to haute cuisine to breathtaking views to celebrity sightings to unparalleled shopping… the list goes on and on! Here are some tips and suggestions for the first-time traveler to NYC that can help you make sure you get the most out of your stay in the Big Apple.

When to Go

There’s really not a bad time to visit the city – in fact, go as soon as you can! But if you want to plan ahead and take advantage of some of the seasonal wonders you can also plan for specific dates. Thanksgiving weekend all the way through Christmas is one of the most iconic times to visit the city – that means it can also be a little tourist-heavy, but don’t let that deter you! You can check out the turkey day parade and see the wonder of the Rockefeller Center tree and skating rink and the store windows all decked out for the holidays. If you’re visiting in the summertime, be prepared for a heatwave! The city kind of slows down in August because the temps can soar so high. Spring and Autumn are always desirable as the weather tends to be more moderate.

first time to NYC

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Getting Around

There are plenty of ways to navigate NYC, including taxis, buses, subways and ferries. If you’re staying for 5 or more days, it might make sense to invest in a weekly MTA pass, which allows you unlimited trips for folks who are planning to do a lot of traveling around the boroughs. If you’re mostly going to be stationed in one neighborhood, you might want to plan on walking – which is also a great way to see more of the city! Uber is also popular in the city and can be a good way to get around because it tends to be less expensive than taxis. Whatever you do, think twice before bringing a car to New York – traffic can be unbearable and spending time trying to find parking can quickly eat up the bulk of your days!

first time to NYC

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Stay in an Outer Borough

Many travelers to New York think that getting a hotel right in the middle of the action – i.e. Manhattan – will guarantee the most enjoyable trip. The truth is that these hotel rooms are very expensive and usually super tiny. Also, it’s likely that you won’t be spending much time at all in your hotel room because there is so much to see and do out there in the city! Look at hotels located in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. You can even find great deals on hotels in Newark, Hoboken and Jersey City – all of which allow you to get in and out of the city very easily via public transit. That way you can save your dollars for sightseeing and eating delicious food!

first time to NYC

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Look For Deals

New York City attractions can be prohibitively expensive – which is why it’s great to look for deals before you go and while you are in town. For example, if you’re interested in seeing a Broadway show, try visiting TKTS online or the midtown location in order to score great deals on tickets the day of – you can sometimes get up to 50 percent off the going price. You can also purchase a New York Pass that gives you entry into dozens of attractions over a set number of days for a fixed price. The City Pass includes admission to either 3 or 6 museums and sights over nine days. Passes like these save you money and also let you skip the long lines at these attractions!

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