Traveling in New York is all about the little things…The Big Apple is a truly amazing place to visit, with so much on offer. The city of New York has had more films made about it than any other city in the world!
Traveling there can be a daunting experience for even the most seasoned traveler. So I have put together a ‘Little Black Book’ of ideas and secrets of what you need to do when you get there, that will ensure that your trip is a memorable one. From where to stay, what attractions not to miss out on, how best to get around and what areas are worth avoiding at certain times of day – this guide will help you plan your trip from start to finish…
Where will I stay?
There are literally hundreds of hotels to choose from in the city, but I always like to stay near Times Square. The area is buzzing with life throughout the night and day, there’s plenty of great places to eat and drink for all budgets within walking distance (Little Italy, China Town etc.) and it is close enough to most of the major attractions – so you can just hop on a bus or subway if you fancy going somewhere else.
You can check out a hotel map here. Make sure that you book your hotel well in advance though as New York is a very popular destination!
When should I go?
As long as you don’t mind some chilly weather then anytime, New York has something for everyone…
Spring is best because the weather is great and there are some fantastic festivals running.
Summer can be very hot and humid, but again it’s good for festivals.
Autumn can perhaps be a bit too chilly to really enjoy being outside, but New York has plenty of indoor activities if you are prepared to spend your time in them! Winter is great if you like snow sports (although this does depend on how much of it there actually happens to be that year – unfortunately).
How long should I stay?
One week probably isn’t enough… But no more than one month unless you have an abundance of money or time! Two weeks would be ample time to get around all the major attractions, with two days for each.
How should I get around?
Public transport is very good in New York, with the subway probably being the most reliable way to get about. However, it can get very hot underground during the summer months – so watch out! Taxis are expensive but great if you are in a rush. Walking can be fun too… And if you really need to drive then make sure that your car hire company has insurance for driving within NYC itself… Otherwise, you will have to pay through the nose to take your vehicle into one of New York’s many ‘Parking Zones’. These zones operate just like parking meters, except that they accept no coins and only take credit cards – meaning that any change made will NOT be returned! And they can be very expensive…
What sort of things should I pack with me?
Earplugs and a bicycle helmet (if you want to enjoy some time on the wild side and ride a bike around New York) – just kidding! The noise of the traffic will drive you insane if you aren’t used to it though, so earplugs are definitely your friend. Jacket or jumper for sure – even in summer it can get chilly at night, and good walking shoes as most attractions involve lots of walking. Binoculars for Central Park… And do watch out for those squirrels they tend to be quite vicious!!! And they carry diseases… But don’t worry they probably won’t bite unless provoked! Oh yes – always take your passport with you too – US immigration can be strict and customs even stricter!
What is there to see?
Well, the list of attractions in New York is endless… And I’m not just talking about Times Square either. There are many eclectic districts with their own unique character, such as Little Italy, Greenwich Village, SoHo, Chinatown, Lower East Side, Brooklyn Heights, etc. Many of these areas are still amongst the most popular places to live in New York – so tourists need not worry about being overwhelmed by locals when trying out some of the best-kept secrets that they have to offer. The Statue Of Liberty, Ellis Island And A Number Of Other Attractions Are Also Within Walking Distance From Times Square If You Fancy Doing A Bit Of Sightseeing. Oh, And You Can See The Empire State Building From Here Too!
The view from the top of the Empire State Building is well worth it, especially at night time when you get to see both day and night views. Remember though that this place gets extremely busy during the summer months – so try and avoid going on days like Labor Day (the first Monday in September) if possible… This is one of their busiest times of the year – and I must admit I had a lot of trouble finding a hotel room back in 2007 when I went up for my birthday!
So New York really is a city with something for everyone… A bit pricey perhaps but hey it costs what it costs! And who knows? You might just find that you save up enough money to live there for a while after all!