New York City is the largest city in the United States, filled with iconic places to see and visit. No matter what you enjoy, you can likely find something to do during your trip, as New York provides endless shopping, sightseeing, and eating experiences.
However, visiting New York City can be a bit daunting, especially as a first-timer. Even if you’re used to big cities, being in a new area means figuring out transportation, culture, and much more. And because NYC has so many people in such a concentrated area, getting around and seeing all the sites can be tricky.
If you want the best trip to NYC possible, it’s helpful to do some research beforehand. This guide will teach you some general tips to improve the experience.
Make Leaving The Airport Easy
When you fly into the city, you’ll likely arrive at either JFK, Laguardia, or Newark airports. All of these have public transportation access to the city. So, if you’re planning to travel on a budget, be sure to research these options.
But, if you want a more comfortable experience, New York airport transfers are easy to book ahead of time, too.
Research The MTA
Almost everyone who visits the city uses the MTA to get around. It often makes the most sense as it allows you to bypass traffic to get to your destination. Keep in mind that it’s not super daunting to figure out, but it does help to research ahead of time.
Learn how to load money onto the Metrocard (or the new OMNY system) and look at the maps. Also, plan to give yourself extra time when using the subway, as there are occasional delays.
Plan To Walk Often
If you want to do a lot of sightseeing, you’ll likely walk more than you realize. While the subway and bus systems are extensive, it’s still a city that requires walking. Suppose you need specific accommodations or have disabilities. In that case, you’ll need to plan extra time to get around and be sure to give yourself lots of chances to rest.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
While some people perceive New Yorkers as rude, it’s not really the case. Most people are just busy getting to their destination and minding their own business, but generally, they’ll be happy to help you. New Yorkers are pretty honest and willing to help newcomers, so ask if you need help.
Learn The Sidewalk Rules
While New Yorkers can be pretty helpful, they also can get annoyed with tourists who get in their way. Because the sidewalks can get so full and busy, think of them as a sort of road. You want to go with the flow of traffic and walk at a brisk pace. If you do need to stop, move to the side. Don’t just stop in the middle of the sidewalk, as this will upset the people behind you.
Accept That You Can’t See Everything
Even if you’re staying in the city for a more extended trip, you’ll likely have to narrow your list of things to see and do in NYC. The fact is there are just so many iconic landmarks and locations that trying to see even all the top attractions is unlikely.
Instead, make an itinerary of what you really want to see, and don’t feel bad if you’re unable to hit every spot you want.
As you plan your trip, don’t stress. NYC is a lively and busy place, but it’s not as scary to figure out as you might think. It’s generally a friendly place, and a little planning goes a long way.