Here, we have compiled a list with the best New York tips, to help you plan your NYC trip in the best possible way. These are all the things we wish we knew before we visited Manhattan and NYC and we believe it is the most complete list of New York Tips you will find in the web.
Read on to discover all of them.
Where to Stay in New York
NYC is famous for its expensive hotels and
Bucket List for NYC
Here is the bucket list with the best things to do in NYC.
- Visit MOMA
- Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
- Go up the empire state building, or Top of the Rock or One World Trade center.
- Walk through the central park or bike through it or run it.
- Take a photo of the statue of liberty
- See the Flatiron building
- Go to a jazz bar and see a live performance
- Go to a Broadway show
- Walk along the Highline park
- Visit the Chelsea market
- Visit the Times Square
- Visit the public library
- Visit the grand central station
- Do some shopping at your favorite shops
- Eat at La Esquina
- Clubbing at Le Bain
- Take a photo touching the Charging Bull of the Wall Street.
- Drink coffee and do some shopping at Soho
- Take a photo at Carrie’s Bradshaw apartment
Etiquette in NYC
People in NYC seem to be always in a hurry reaching their destination, so make sure you walk on the right side of the pavement and you don’t stop unexpectedly in the middle, interrupting others. People will be polite with you if you ask for help and directions. However, they will get in front of you in the line if you are being slow or just trying to be polite.
About NYC and Manhattan
NYC has about ten million inhabitants in 5 main areas. Manhattan is the most
The Districts of Manhattan
- Manhattan is an island between two rivers. Its districts
are:Midtown, Soho, East Village, Meatpacking district, Nolita, Financial district, Greenwich, LittleItaly, China town, Upper East, Harlem.
- The most central area is Midtown, in between Times Square and the Empire state building. And the busiest area of Manhattan is between the fifth and seventh avenue around Times Square.
- Soho is the area with chic shopping and luxury brands, and with many coffee shops, drinking and eating places.
- Chinatown is the place with the biggest density of Chinese in the world, outside of China.
- Meatpacking district has many bars and clubs and is a great place to stay if you love nightlife.
- East Village is a more relaxed area with a bohemian atmosphere and many restaurants and cafes.
The roads in Manhattan – What are streets vs avenues
Manhattan is very easy to navigate, once you understand the basic concepts, aka the streets vs. the avenues and how the numbers progress. So, in Manhattan, there are streets and avenues.
The avenues are always verticals (north to south) and start from the east with the first avenue. The fifth avenue is the central vertical road of Manhattan. The last avenue is the 11th avenue.
The streets are the horizontal roads on the map (east to west). They start from the south (first street) and going to the north the numbers go bigger. E.g., the central park is at street 59.
When you walk on the south-north axis, 20 blocks are a mile. Eg going north on the fifth avenue from the 40th street to the 60th street is a mile. This is around 1-minute walk per street or 20 minutes per mile.
The distance between avenues varies but it is around 3 minutes walking time from one avenue to the next one.
MTA unlimited card for one week is 33 USD. You can get it at various places including the grand central station. You can pay with
Best time to visit NYC
If you hate cold, go from late April to September. Otherwise, it can get really cold and walking outside in NYC might not be that enjoyable. Christmas and New Years time is also popular but you may encounter snow.
Tips Before you arrive to NYC
- Print your ESTA documents, and have ready the address of where you are staying in
- Have a pen with you to prepare on board the required documents that will be given to you some hours before you land.
- Prebook your
- Nyc has an old infrastructure and many times the work is being done during the evening. You may hear noise all night if you stay
ina low floor.
- Most places do not offer free wifi (eg cafes, bars
- Sometimes New Yorkers are the best people in the world. Other times they are rude, they will get in front of you in the restaurant line if you are too slow to move. Get used to it.
- Nyc is one of the most
gay friendlyplaces in the world. Be open and respectful.
- Some hotels are charging wifi access. Most of them don’t offer free breakfast.
- In many places, there is a code you need to enter before entering the restrooms. You can find the code at the receipts or ask the employees. Most restrooms are the same for men and women.
- You have to reserve a table for the best restaurants, some weeks ago. E.g., if you want to go to Esquina you may have to reserve the
tabletwo months in advance. Use OpenTable or the restaurant websites.
Mobile Apps to download before visiting NYC
Here is a list of the best mobile apps to download, to save time and money while in NYC.
odaytixfor discounted broadwayshows
- Moma audio
- Google arts and culture
- Eat st.
- Nyc subway
schack(you can order your burger before going to the store and save time from waiting at the long queue) Downladthe google map of Manhattan offline, so that you don’t get charged for mobile data access and roaming data
Flight from Amsterdam to JFK with KLM Tips
Amsterdam is the most popular hub for flying from europe to NYC. And KLM is a frequently used airline for the Europe to NYC transfer. Here are some tips about this flight.
- 21 h and J are the best exit seats. Don’t get the 21 k window seat as there is an obstacle in front of it and you cannot stretch your feet.
- The flight takes around eight hours. The KLM serves vegetarian pasta or chicken with rice.
- There are no plugs to charge your
iphoneor ipad. You can ask politely from the stewardess to use the only plug available at her own personal workspace, which means you will compete with other passengers on the time to use it. So bring a power bank with you.
- The entertainment system has some new movies,
howeverit is old. The screen is bad and you cannot select english subtitles. You should better download movies and series in your Netflix account at your ipad or mob phone.
- There is noise in the cabin, as in every flight. The temperature is low but not freezing. You will get a blue blanket to cover.
JFK Airport to your hotel in Manhattan with Lyft
- Lyft taxis are cheaper than uber; usually five to ten percent cheaper. In NYC it seems like there are more drivers using Lyft than Uber, so you may want to download and start using the app. For one person the Lyft price from JFK to central Manhattan is around 38 USD and you add 5usd for a second passenger so it is 43usd for two persons. But you have to share with another passenger the taxi. And the price changes based on demand and supply.
- To get the Lyft, you download the app, then you set up the terminal you are at and the passenger pickup location. Eg Terminal 4 is the Terminal where the international flights arrive. And as you go out of the arrivals terminal you will see signs about the passenger pickup spots, eg “Passenger Pick up D”. Then you wait. The app doesn’t work without a fault though. Sometimes your driver will come and leave without notifying you and you will have to wait for a new driver. You will have to wait for around five to six minutes. If the weather is not good, bear in mind that there is no place to hide at the passenger pickup locations.
- A Lyft with no sharing with other passengers will be around 55usd. A regular taxi will be around 65usd.
- The Lyft cars are usually Toyota Camry or Prius. It takes around fifty minutes to get from JFK to the fifth avenue, midtown Manhattan. Tipping Lyft and Uber drivers
isn’ttypically expected, while regular taxi drivers are tipped 15 to 20 percent. Lyft cars are usually clean, offer chargers for your mobile phones or tablets and you can even ask the driver to wait for you to pick up some food on the road to your hotel.
An important note about Lyft in Nyc: once you confirm that a driver picks you up e.g from your hotel to the airport, and will be there at 10 minutes, you may see that the driver cancels you and someone else picks you up. And this may happen two or three times in a row, leaving you to wait for thirty minutes for someone to come and pick you up. This sucks. The best thing is when you get the confirmation of the first driver, to call him immediately and ask him to confirm whether he will come to pick you up.
Where to find all the free Wifi Spots in NYC
You would expect that NYC has free wifi everywhere. That’s not the case
Free wifi spots: https://www.nycgo.com/articles/wifi-in-nyc
The best burgers in NYC
The best burgers in NYC are at Shakeshack burgers. This is a fast-food chain but with good quality meat and ingredients and it is the most popular burger house in NYC.
ShakeShack burgers Tips
- a single is $5.69 and a double burger is 8.49usd.
- A beer is 6usd and coke is $2.39.
- In the evening there are queues of around twenty to thirty people so you will have to wait around ten minutes to order.
- It also has an app that you can download and preorder without waiting. It is the Schack app.
- When you order you will get a buzzer to get reminded to get your food. Unfortunately, there is no wifi provided in the stores.
The best Falafel in NYC
You can get the best falafel in NYC at Taim, in Little Italy.
Taim for Falafel: Taim is a small store in little Italy, which makes great falafel wraps ($7.75) and also serves salads ($10)and
Midtown budget food
Here is a list with the best budget places to eat in NYC.
- Shake Shack for a burger
Joespizza. Try the supreme (pepperoni, onion, mushrooms) for $4.75.
- Margon for
- burger joint
- 2bros pizza (one dollar pizza slices, which are pretty decent compared to the most expensive places. Try the margarita)
- Wasabi Sushi Bento, close to Times Square (sushi, noodles and peoplewatching sitting on high or low tables. It has glass windows all over and it is very pleasant to sit inside).
- Street food can also be a good solution. Check here:http://roaminghunger.com/food-trucks/ny/new-york/
The best Cheesecake in NYC
Go to Junior’s cheesecake, close to Times Square. It costs around 9usd but the cheesecake is huge.
The best brunch in NYC
For the best brunch in NYC, go
Dinner at “La Esquina” – Tips
La Esquina is one of the most visited restaurants in NYC and you will find it in almost every single travel guide. Here are some tips for your visit to La Esquina.
Book early through
The pros are that the atmosphere is great, there is a small surprise on how you enter the restaurant (we don’t want to spoil it to you), the service is fast and the food is close to authentic Mexican.
The cons are that it is on the expensive side for a
Cocktails are fun ($15) and from
After eating you can also spend some time at the bar, in the same space. Also, don’t order a bottle of water when asked in the beginning. It costs $6 and you will get served free water later.A
Please don’t tell (
1st-day walking tour in Manhattan and NYC
If you want to skip the visit to the Statue of Liberty, and you would instead walk in the center of Manhattan during your first hours in the city, our suggested walking tour is: Grand Central station, Chrysler building, Public library (go to the third floor), Rockefeller Center, Saint Patrick Cathedral, Radio City, Times Square.
Tip: Get a Metrocard (MTA)
The cost of an MTA unlimited card for one week is 33 USD. You can get it at various places including the grand central station. You can pay with credit card. This grants you unlimited access to the metro system and to the buses. Otherwise, a single trip with the metro costs 2.5 USD.
Tip: water is very expensive in
The best Jazz Bar in Manhattan
Jazz bar Birdland: going to a jazz bar is on the bucket list for many visitors to NYC. Birdland jazz bar is one of the most well-known jazz bars, together with Vanguard, Blue Note, and Jazz Standard. Birdland has performances in timeslots. E.g., there is one at eight thirty and another one at eleven. The performance lasts ninety minutes. You also have to be thirty minutes to an hour earlier to be seated at your table. If you come an hour more before, you will get a very good table, next to the singers. You can buy tickets from the website of Birdland. Usually, they cost thirty to forty dollars per person and another six dollars for taxes and other fees. This does not include any drinks or food. When you go to Birdland, there is an additional minimum of ten USD per person that you have to consume in drinks or food, without gratuity, which is twenty percent. So, the total minimum you will pay for a visit of two persons to a 40 dollar performance is two times (46 plus ten plus two), which equals 118 USD. Or sixty dollars per person.
Three tips on Birdland: You can also stay in the next performance for free. Also, if you go to a Broadway show before visiting Birdland, you can show your ticket and get in the eleven o clock performance paying half the standard price. Thirdly, they will get your coats and bags for free.
Prices: a wine glass is 12 USD, beer is 8 USD, a cocktail is 15 USD, and the main courses are around twenty-five to thirty dollars. All credit cards accepted. Dress attire is casual and business casual.
Things to do at Night in Manhattan
Clubbing at Le Bain: the most famous place for clubbing in Manhattan is Le Bain, at the Standard Hotel at HighLine. The entrance to Le Bain is from the ground floor and it is
Appolo Theater, Harlem: The best day to visit the Appolo theater is on Wednesdays, as it has “amateur nights”. New talents are singing or performing on stage in
Money-Saving Tip: Moma free nights on Fridays (4:00 to 8 pm):
Admission is free for all visitors during UNIQLO Free Friday Nights, every Friday evening from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. To avoid long lines, visitors are strongly encouraged to arrive after 6:00 p.m. Please refrain from bringing large bags, as all items larger than 11 × 15 × 5″ must be checked. The line for UNIQLO Free Friday tickets begins at the Museum’s 54 Street entrance. Your UNIQLO Free Friday Night ticket permits entry to all Museum galleries and exhibitions. The downside here is that there are too many people and you cannot enjoy the art with a piece of mind. You will find at least eighty people trying to take a photo of Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting. Free Fridays are not for agoraphobics, for sure.
Please notice that there is another museum of art, called the Metropolitan Museum of art, which is an entirely different museum. Don’t mistake it with MOMA!
Two tips on MoMA: first, download the Moma audio app before going to the museum. Second, download the arts and culture google app and search for the MoMA exhibits.
Chelsea Market Tips
Chelsea market is the most popular food market in NYC, and it worths paying a visit. Start your walk from the Hudson yards and go to the High Line, a park built on top of some old train rails. At some point go down from the high line and enter the Chelsea market. It is a covered market with food and some clothes. It is built in an industrial style, and it is pretty beautiful inside.
Go to the lobster place and get the Lobster roll 21usd). You will have to wait ten to fifteen minutes in the back window, with a number in your hands and the sandwich you get is not that big. It is fresh and tasty on the other side. You cannot sit inside the lobster place, and you can only eat standing. So, if you prefer to be seated, get your food, and find a table in the main lobby of the Chelsea market.
There are also many other shops with sushi, steaks, French, Italian and Mexican, or you can go one level downstairs and create your own salad.
After leaving the Chelsea market, you can walk another km and reach the famous Carrie Bradshaw apartment, from the Sex and the city show, in Greenwich. You can search for it on google maps. When you enter its street, you will see a chain in front of its stairs and most probably some people taking photos.
NYC Subway Tips
The subway is old and sometimes dirty and smelly. It was built a hundred years ago. The good thing is that you usually have to go down only thirty stairs to reach it from the ground. Most lines go north to south. If you want to move west to east you usually get a bus. The subway is mostly safe. You may encounter sometimes a guy with strange behavior but if you practice common sense, everything works great.
Having the Metrocard with an unlimited option for some days, saves you a lot of money, time and energy.
Central Park Tips
Central Park: at the 72nd Street, just outside the central park, you can find the Dakota building, a cooperative building built in 1890 where John Lennon lived and was also murdered. Joko ono also lives there. If you want to rent a bike it costs around 15 USD for three hours. You can also rent a boat in the lake that exists inside the central park.
A nice Place to Drink Coffee: O Cafe
O Cafe: a nice cafe for people watching in the sixth avenue, after visiting the Highline, is O cafe. It has excellent Brazilian coffees, lemon cakes and salads. It also plays some great music and you will find a couple of hipsters working with their mac here. Get a lemon cake, a large cold brew for five dollars and an espresso for three dollars. Sit next to the windows and watch the people passing by.
Second-Day in NYC Walking Tour
Second day: Hudson yards, high line, Chelsea market, Carrie Bradshaw apartment, o cafe, central park, Dakota building. Eat at Chelsea market, have a coffee at o cafe.
Wednesday at Harlem: go to amateur night at Apollo theater, the place where James Brown and Jackson F
NBA Tickets Tips
Nba tickets: on Saturdays at 7:30 you can catch an NBA match at New York Nicks stadium, at Madison Square Garden. This is the most famous game arena in the world, by the way. You can buy the tickets online and the cheapest costs 69 USD per person.
Brooklyn Bridge Tips
Brooklyn Bridge: the best post on the web is https://freetoursbyfoot.com/walking-the-brooklyn-bridge/Start from the Brooklyn side towards Manhattan. Get down to the Jay street subway station.
Tip 1: outside of the subway of Jay street there is a TKTS sales shop, where you can find discounted tickets for Broadway shows.
Tip 2: there is a Chipotle mexican grill next to the subway station, if you would like to taste some burritos(12 USD for a burrito with guacamole) or tacos(11 USD for three tacos). It doesn’t have long lines so you will not lose time here. The bridge is 2km long and you will need around forty minutes to walk it, with all the stops and photos you will take at various points. The walking road on the bridge is divided in two parts; a part for bikes and another one for pedestrians.
Observing Manhattan from a high point
The three observation decks of
The best Coffee Places in Manhattan
Best coffee places: Joe and the juice in little Italy, Balthazar in little Italy and o’Cafe in sixth avenue midtown are the best coffee places. Joe and the Juice is industrial style, playing beats and serving great juices ($8.7), coffee and sandwiches ($9), providing also free wifi. Balthazar is a speakeasy and kind of more formal place. Balthazar is just opposite of Joe and the Juice, and you can easily check both places and decide
The best outlets in Manhattan – Tips
Outlets: if you are staying inside Manhattan go to Century21 stores. There is one close to Central Park. It has five floors, two floors for women, one for men, one for home accessories and one with luggage and men shoes. You can find several US and European brands, however, don’t expect the clothes to be of the latest trends. Still, you will find some nice bargains. We liked the prices for the fragrances, the bed sheets, the sportswear, and for some
For an even bigger selection of outlet accessories, you have to move outside Manhattan and go to Woodbury outlets, 80kms away. There are several bus companies offering transportation for around $40 to $50 per person.
:What is Broadway ?What Broadway show to see?
Our guide to New York tips cannot be complete without including tips about the Broadway shows. A classic Broadway show to see is the Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic Theater, close to Times Square. It is a musical, with live music, great costumes
Or you can read and print the lyrics of all the scenes here:https://www.google.com/amp/s/genius.com/amp/Andrew-lloyd-webber-the-phantom-of-the-opera-lyrics
A few tips:
- you can
prepurchaseyour tickets online. Do it asap to secure good prices and seats. The cheapest seats are usually around 45 USD per person.
- Print your online tickets and bring them with you to the theater. They will be scanned so that you can enter.
- No need to come too early to the show. If it starts at7pm, you are ok if you arrive ten minutes before. It is fast to enter and get your seats, as long as you have bought beforehand your tickets.
- The Majestic theater is huge. Very tall and hosts 800 people. The cheapest tickets are all the way up. Don’t expect to see facial expressions and many details if you book your seats there. You will still get a
- When you come to the show there is a fast security check, by leaving your bag open as you enter, for the security guys to check them. If you hold water or sodas in your hand, you will have to throw them.
- Water is sold inside for five dollars the small bottle. There is also a bar.
- The show has one break and lasts two hours and fifteen minutes.
- The seats are very close to each other. Try to book seats next to the aisles.
- No need to overdress. Everyone comes casually dressed.
- You are not allowed to open your mobile phone or take photos during the performance.
Tkts broadway sales: Tkts is a chain of small stores, offering discounted tickets for Broadway shows. The best time to show up is around 5 pm, as all of the shows will have released all of their available tickets.
Leaving from JFK Airport – Tips
Allow yourself enough time to reach the airport, especially if you are going to JFK with a taxi. Crushes on the highway are often and may prolong the trip to 80 minutes or more. A Lyft or Uber will cost around 50USDd for two persons. You can also use your MTA card and travel to the AirTrain station and then pay another $5 per person and use the AirTrain to reach JFK. Once in JFK, you will have to drop off your baggage, if you have checked in online before. Make sure to keep the weight of your luggage below the limit provided by your airline (usually 23kg), or you will be asked to pay for the additional weight. The security line has at least thirty minutes waiting time and then the gates are not that far away. Police dogs are used to smell passengers’ carry on suitcases for drugs, at the waiting line. You will be also asked to take off your shoes when you pass through the security and they don’t provide plastic socks, so bear this in mind.
The Terminal 4 is the terminal of the international flights but make sure you check your departing terminal before heading to JFK.
That’s all our best New York Tips for your stay in Manhattan. Enjoy and feel free to share your own NYC tips in the comments section.