Things NOT to do in New York City
New York is a big, beautiful but also busy city and that can overwhelm any types of travelers even if they are not on their first visit. There are so many things to do and see that sometimes, visitors spend their time doing things that don’t bring them the joy they should get from a vacation in such an amazing place.
Knowing what you to do, what are the best things to see and the perfect time for everything is very important. But this is not everything travelers should take into consideration when visiting The City that Never Sleeps. In order to enhance your NYC experience, you need to know what not to do and which are the common mistakes you should avoid.
The list below will help you plan your vacation in the Big Apple in the best manner possible. So here is what all travelers, not only first-timers, must avoid when in New York City.
Don’t Spend Your Whole Vacation in Manhattan
No matter what types of movies you like, whenever you watch a Hollywood one there is a big chance something happens in Manhattan. This is the most famous area of New York and the truth is that Manhattan is gorgeous. But there are so many other great places to visit in this city and so few people that check them out. Brooklyn is one of them. And this neighborhood has much more to offer than the Brooklyn Bridge and the view you get when you cross it. For instance, you can eat the most delicious food when exploring Brooklyn and meet the most interesting and authentic New Yorkers. So, try not to spend your whole vacation in Manhattan, even though the area is fabulous.
Don’t Drive Around the City
If you are used to renting a car whenever you visit a new place, you might also want to do the same thing in NYC. This will only be a huge mistake since no benefits will come from driving around. Not only is renting expensive, but parking costs lots of money as well and the traffic is horrible. You will end up being angry all the time instead of relaxing and enjoying a trip.
In addition, you don’t even need to drive your own car since the New York bus and subway systems are not only easy to use but also faster than anything else.
Avoid Taking Taxis
Whether you were a big fan of “Sex and the City” or other famous TV Series and you want to live like in the movies for a few days, taking taxis in NYC. won’t get you anywhere. At least not on time. Real New Yorkers know that there is no chance to get in time, especially when running late since they usually end up stuck in traffic.
Furthermore, taxis are expensive and sometimes the drivers have no idea how to get from one place to another. This means they will drive around for a long time and you will end up paying too much money.
This doesn’t mean you can’t take a cab when it’s extremely late and you have no other option. However, in a special case like this, try Uber instead of regular cabs. Also, another interesting and more exciting alternative is getting around with a Citi Bike. Definitely much better and cheaper!
Don’t Let the Street Scammers Fool You
New Yorkers are usually very nice and always ready to help travelers but this doesn’t mean the city isn’t full of locals looking to take advantage of each other and especially of tourists. One of the most well-known scams involves a nicely dressed man who approaches people telling them he lost his wallet and needs money to get home. Just don’t let his clothes trick you. In addition, make sure your money and belongings are in a safe place. There are always thieves in big cities like New York.
Try to Avoid Shopping in SoHo or Midtown
If you like shopping and you want to do it while visiting New York, make sure you avoid expensive and busy places like SoHo and Midtown. The truth is that if you don’t need something you should avoid shopping in every corner of NYC. It is a very expensive city and many of these stores are everywhere in the USA. However, if shopping is your passion, check out the independent stores in the Lower East Side, the West Village and Williamsburg.
Don’t Spend Too Much Time in Time Square
Times Square is fantastic and no traveler should visit New York without exploring this neighborhood for a while. However, spending too much time in this area will only keep you from seeing the city because no matter how amazing it is, Times Square is not NYC.
The city is filled with important landmarks, museums, historic spots and interesting things to see so try not to miss them. But when you feel like seeing a Broadway Show go back to the glamorous Times Square and have the fun you deserve! Otherwise don’t be afraid to get lost in interesting places like Brooklyn or other neighborhoods!
Don’t Miss the Free Museum Days
NYC is very famous for being expensive and this is something that scares away many travelers, especially those who travel on a budget. Fortunately, many of the best museums let you “pay what you wish”. This means they ask for a donation and, even if they suggest a certain amount of money, you can pay any amount you want.
You can visit many of New York City’s museums on free days too, which makes this a great option to save money. Just make sure you check on their website when you can go without paying an entrance and be ready to stay in huge lines, especially on a rainy day.
Avoid Taking a Horse Carriage Ride
There are many people who see riding a horse-drawn carriage like a fairy tale, and if you are one of them you should know that not only is this a very expensive thing to do in New York City, but those horses often live and work in horrible conditions. If you engage in such an activity and pay for it you support this awful industry.
The truth is that besides the fact that those horses work no matter the weather and how high or low the temperatures are, they are also in the middle of really busy streets together with cars, taxis and buses. This is definitely not a proper environment for an animal and they should, and probably will be banned. The idea is great but under these bad conditions, this is one of those inhumane activities that should not exist so, try to avoid supporting this industry.
No Matter How Hungry You Are Don’t Eat From the Street Carts
There are many tourists who can’t wait to go to New York City and eat from the street carts, just like they’ve seen in the movies. There are also people who like exploring the cities they visit by foot and they believe there is not enough time for sitting somewhere and eating properly. While eating from these street vendors seem like a great idea in both cases, it is not. Everything is old, dried and even too expensive if you think about the quality of the products. Yes, you might believe you are saving money but you definitely end up paying more than you get. Some say you should even avoid the coffee because it is the worst in the city.
This doesn’t mean you should not enjoy the food sold at the food trucks. This food is delicious and fortunately, the number of these truck is increasing so you will probably have the chance to indulge in something delicious while wondering around the streets of NYC.
Getting on a Bus Tour is Not the Best Idea
If you don’t have too much time to spend in NYC and you want to see as much as possible start walking. The other option is represented by the increasing number of bus tours. But his is not the best idea, not only because you will pay a lot, but these touts don’t actually give you the chance to see too much or to “feel” the city. Also, with the traffic in New York City, you will probably end up being stuck for too long in that uncomfortable bus. So, grab your walking shoes and start exploring the City that Never Sleeps by foot.
Avoid Fast Food as Much as Possible
Eating fast food when traveling might sound like a great, cheap option. However, you should think twice before doing something like this. Not only you can find a fast food restaurant in every city, even in the one you live in, but fast food is bad for your well being, as well. The best way to properly explore a new exciting place like New York is by visiting its landmarks but also by trying new foods, isn’t it? So, instead of eating something you are familiar with, you should get adventurous and indulge in the extraordinary cuisine NYC has to offer.
Try Not to Stress About Doing “Everything”
Since you are about to visit a big city, doing “everything” is far from being possible. So, instead of stressing about this and running from one place to another, focus on the things you like. You might fall in love with a museum, or a neighborhood and if you do, just explore it as much as you desire. Don’t think about the things you don’t get to see and enjoy what you have the chance to explore if you want to have an unforgettable experience in the Big Apple.
Now you know what you should avoid while visiting New York. This doesn’t mean you must spend your trip focusing on these negative aspects. It is great to keep them in mind while concentrating on the things you want to do. Make your list but don’t forget to leave some free time for exploring and enjoying the unexpected surprises this wonderful city has to offer.