NYC Travel tips

6 Smart NYC Travel Tips You Need To Know

Jessica FestaDiscover NYC, Travel Tips Leave a Comment

By Jessie on a Journey

Traveling to the Big Apple? Here are six essential NYC travel tips to help ensure a smooth trip to the city.

Tip: Looking for something fun to do in NYC? Check out our private custom photo safaris, as well as these nightlife, culinary and other fun tours from our partners!

1. Look For Alternatives To Touristy Excursions

Sure, seeing The Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building are essential parts of a first time visit to New York City; however, you don’t need to pay a fortune to see the sites:

  • Ride the free Staten Island ferry for great views of Lady Liberty
  • Know that many museums list “suggested donations.” On example is the Metropolitan Museum of Art, meaning you can pay as little as $1 for entry
  • Use the TodayTix app for last minute unsold Broadway Show tickets at a discount or see a show at a smaller theater like the Flea Theater in Manhattan or Bushwick Starr in Brooklyn
  • Instead of paying to go up to the Top of the Rock take in aerial views from the Roosevelt Island Tram. It only costs one subway swipe!
  • There are many alternatives to the tourist attractions if you just do some research or ask a local!
These super smart #traveltips will help you make the best of your visit to #NYC! Click To Tweet

2. Take Advantage Of Sundays

Sundays are NYC’s best kept secret.

Free parking, all-inclusive booze brunches, free films at the Brooklyn Public Library, 99 cent Off-Broadway shows at the SoHo Rep, free comedy shows at Upright Citizens Brigade, and much more.

So take advantage of Sunday specials as many NYC establishments offer them.

3. Don’t Be Afraid Of The Subway

Take advantage of NYC’s extremely cheap ($2.75 per ride) and (usually) efficient subway system.

Even if you find it confusing, apps like Citymapper make riding the subway easy by giving step-by-step instructions.

Additionally, NYC is an extremely walkable city — especially as streets are typically numbered — and Google Maps can help you if you get lost.

4. Add Brooklyn Into Your Itinerary

Brooklyn is a more laid-back, less expensive version of Manhattan, with much to do and see.

Most first-timers to Brooklyn head to the hipster hood of Williamsburg, where you can enjoy industrial-feel restaurants, live music, wineries, rooftop bars, breweries, chocolate factories, beautiful graffiti, waterside parks and myriad events.

For an active experience, rent a bike and ride from the Lower East Side over the Williamsburg Bridge to Williamsburg.

Some of the many other Brooklyn neighborhoods worth checking out include Bushwick (especially on a Beer, Bites & Street Art #InstaWalk) Fort Greene, Park Slope, Gowanus, Carroll Gardens and, in the warmer months, Coney Island.

5. Get Lost

This might seem like an odd NYC travel tip, but even locals are constantly making new discoveries in NYC, as there are always interesting new venues and experiences popping up. Pick a random neighborhood and simply wander.

Put away your phone and iPod and really pay attention to your surroundings, noticing every shop, restaurant, bar, studio, gallery, theater, park, and attraction.

You’re guaranteed to make some findings not found in your guidebook.


There are many apps to keep you safe while traveling, though the truth is most of New York City is completely safe to wander. Check with your hotel if you’re unsure.

Have you ever gotten lost in #NYC? These tips will tell you how to have fun even in a new neighborhood. Click To Tweet

6. Be Aware Of Scams

Despite popular belief, there are many friendly, helpful locals in New York City.

That being said, there are also some people who will want to take advantage of you.

For this reason, it’s important to be aware of scams.

Don’t purchase a MetroCard off of anyone except for authorized MTA staff or ticket machines, or you might find yourself with an empty card with no subway credit.

If you’re landing at Laguardia be wary of anyone offering you an Uber ride unless you’ve ordered a car through the app. You’ll end up in a very expensive black car you didn’t ask for!

Budget Tip:

First time using Uber? Click here to sign up and get your first ride free! If you’ve never used Lyft (similar to Uber) download the app and use code “JESSIE299142” for a free ride.

Have any other NYC travel tips to add? Please share in the comments below!

NYC travel tips

*Featured image via USA-Reiseblogger/ Pixabay


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