This post is collaboration with Flights.com as part of it’s #UnboxTheWorld campaign and to share and recommend some of my favorite New York City experiences
Are you thinking about visiting New York City and checking out the sights? Well if you answered yes then I would love to share some of my travel tips as well as do’s and don’ts about getting around this marvelous metropolis.
I first visited the Big Apple around 20 years ago and never left. Seriously! I’m still here in NYC. Even though I have seen so much of what this city offers there are still times that I feel like a tourist. Like when I visited Governors Island for the first time or when I took a ride on the Staten Island Ferry and actually got off and explored Staten Island.
There are so many streets in Manhattan that I walked down 5 years ago that look almost completely different today. Then, of course, there are the parts of the city that seem to never change like the New York Public Library or the Empire State Building.
These are some of the many things that make NYC so special to me. This city can be so fluid and new and yet so old and reliable. No matter how long I live here I don’t think I will ever stop feeling like a tourist.
1. Get the best deal on your flight to New York using Flights.com
Flights.com offers a great way to find a perfect deal. You can book cheap flights picked just for you, based on your interests. They offer best price guarantee and no booking fees. As well as deals on hotels and cars too.
2. Hit the museums.
New York City has some fantastic museums and they are some of my favorite to visit in the world. The best part about New York City museums that most of them either always free; free on specific days of the week, free for select hours or you can pay your own price as you wish. Find one near you and take advantage of their generosity. So for example, American museum of Natural History general admission is $23, but when you go to the ticket counter, you pay what you wish. The amount you pay is entirely up to you. I tested it once and gave them $2. It totally works. By the way, I slept there, spent a night at that museum too.
3. Go to Governor’s Island (when in season)
Governor’s Island is a small island in East river and only 7 min away from Lower Manhattan by Ferry. You will experience the fantastic views of NYC Skyline and the ferry ticket should cost around $2 for adult. Once there, you can experience any kind of recreational activity possible. It is like a playground for kids and adults
4. Take an air tram to Roosevelt Island
For the price of one metro card swipe (Great deal for a wonderful view) you can take an air ride to a Roosevelt Island. It’s a tiny island, mostly residential, but worth a visit to see amazing views of NYC skyline and picnic and park right by the water
5. Visit Top of the Rock or Empire state building observatory.
No need to go on both since both are located in Midtown and both have fantastic views of Lower Manhattan, rivers, Central Park
6. Visit gorgeous Central Park.
It’s the most visited urban park in united states and one of the most filmed locations in the world. It has gorgeous views
– The lamp posts in Central Park help you find your way around. Each has four digits at the base: the first two are the nearest street and the second indicate East or West. Even numbers are East, odd numbers are West.
7. Visit lower Manhattan:
9/11 Memorial, Liberty and Ellis Island (don’t get off at Liberty Island), Walking Tour – freetoursbyfoot (particularly Chinatown) Things to do in Lower Manhattan
8. Take a ferry or a small cruise
There are lots of Ferry services all around NYC. Some of my favorites are
The Staten Island Ferry (Free)
NYC Ferry ($2.75 and you can ride to Rockaway beach in Queens)
My favorite short cruises around Statue of Liberty and Manhattan are Hornblower and Classic Harbor line. They start from $30 and some can include food, drinks and party.
Tips for a tourist:
9. Use Google maps but be aware the satellite signal can be delayed in the city because of the towers and offices. It’ll get there, give it a few seconds.
10. You can ask directions but be quick about it, New Yorkers don’t have time to babysit tourists.
11. New Yorkers can seem rude but they’re not really. They’re just busy and rushing everywhere. Remember you are dealing with hundreds of different cultures too, not everyone thinks the same way you do.
12. NYC water is clean and safe to drink. It tastes good too. You can bring your own water bottle and refill it at the public fountains and most cafes and restaurants have free cold water. Even Starbucks but you need to ask for tap water. Otherwise you’ll end up paying $4-5 for a bottle.
13. Don’t drive in NYC. It may feel like an amusement park ride. Instead take a taxi, but try to avoid rush hour.
14. Use the Metro (Subway) and use their tracking apps to figure out where you are going. http://web.mta.info/maps/submap.html is very good. If you need help, conductors on the trains are usefully friendly. You’ll see him or her with their head out of the window (middle of the train) if you need to ask something.
Sit in the car with the conductor’s cabin if you are nervous.
15. Be wary of those pole dancing and singing guys on a subway. They call it “ShowTime” and it usually happens during the day when isn’t rush hour.
16. Tip: You get a free transfer on the MTA (subway and busses) within a two hour time frame of swiping your Metrocard.
17. Don’t get on an empty or partially empty train carriage when it’s busy. There will be something unpleasant in that space.
18. Don’t stand near the train tracks, stand well back from the edge.
19. Get where you are going as early as possible, 10 am at the latest. Everything gets busy by afternoon.
20. Do go to Times Square during the day and at nighttime for an unforgettable atmosphere.
21. Be wary of freaks in Times Square and stay away from guys in red suits. They are fakes!
22. Hold your phone and bag carefully.
23. Don’t be afraid to try unusual food and eat in smaller, local places. Far cheaper and good quality as long as you stick to A or B grades – city grades each vendor / establishment so look for the A4 poster in the window. If it’s not there or a C, run.
24. Don’t be afraid to try a pizza slice for $1. It’s pretty good IMO and has thin crispy crust
25. New York City is not just Manhattan. Go out to the boroughs, especially Queens and Brooklyn.
I hope you enjoy my tips for visiting NYC
So, the next time you are thinking about camping out in front of the Phone Store and dropping a $1000 on the next Phone just think about what else you could be doing with that money. Think about having a real-time experience rather than one in a virtual world. Put your walking shoes on and hit the pavement now.
Check out this hilarious video –this guys is unboxing something you would not expect. Priceless experience!
Visit www.flights.com/experiences to learn more about what experience you can have