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New York Guide: Tips for your adventure

Need a New York City travel guide? Here's everything you need to know about traveling to the Big Apple and the heart of America.

9 listopada, 2023

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When people think about traveling, visiting New York is a must-go place for many. There’s a lot to do in the city, and being one of the most important destinations within the United States, having a New York guide to know what to do in the city and getting some tips to enjoy the trip is much better!

That’s why we have prepared a detailed guide about how to visit New York City! So, if you want to know more about what to do there, when to go, how to be prepared for the trip, and much more, keep reading to learn more about this guide!

General information about visiting New York

Before traveling to New York, there’s some general information you need to know about the city that will help you get along quickly!

  • Weather: New York is a city where people go through all the seasons, so it’s important to know when to travel there. During summer, temperatures can reach 40°, while in winter, temperatures can drop below 0° in the city.
  • Language: Even though the official language is English, there are plenty of people living in NYC, so chances are travelers will come across someone speaking Spanish, French, Italian, and much more.
  • Currency: United States Dollar (USD).
  • Time Zone: New York has two different time zones that change throughout the year; depending on the time, NYC can be in the EDT or EST time zone.

For vacationers traveling to New York, it’s important to remember to have the local currency when traveling. What’s good to know is that there are many places where consumers can exchange the currency they took with them for USD. But always make these changes based on the official rate to save money.

New York sight from the other side of the sea. Source: Pexels.
New York from the other side of the sea. Source: Pexels.

Things to prepare before traveling to New York

If you want a proper New York guide for traveling, one of the things to keep in mind is to be ready for the trip. Visiting this massive metropolis requires people to have several things in mind, such as the entry visa, local culture, and much more.

Of course, people can prepare themselves the way they prefer. But having a few ideas of what to take with them and how to prepare their luggage for visiting this City with a fascinating history will surely be helpful!

Visa to visit the United States

It’s fair to say that, currently, visiting the United States is complicated due to extreme migration. So, to avoid issues when traveling there, it’s important to have a visa you can show at the airport before visiting the city.

Currently, some people can enter the United States without needing a visa. If this is the case, these visitors can stay in the country for up to 90 days without needing to request a Visa from the US government. Visitors from the following countries are allowed to visit New York without a Visa:

  • United Kingdom.
  • Andorra.
  • Australia.
  • Austria.
  • Belgium.
  • Brunei.
  • Chile.
  • Czech Republic.
  • Denmark.
  • Estonia.
  • Finland.
  • France.
  • Germany.
  • Greece.
  • Hungary.
  • Iceland.
  • Ireland.
  • Italy.
  • Japan.
  • Latvia.
  • Liechtenstein.
  • Lithuania.
  • Luxembourg.
  • Malta.
  • Monaco.
  • The Netherlands.
  • New Zealand.
  • Norway.
  • Portugal.
  • Republic of Korea.
  • San Marino.
  • Singapore.
  • Slovakia.
  • Slovenia.
  • Spain.
  • Sweden.
  • Switzerland.
  • Taiwan.

For people traveling to NYC from any other city, it’s important they check the information related to the visitor visa for the United States to check all the requirements to ask for a visa and where travelers can request an appointment to get one.

As of now, only permanent residents from Bermuda and Canada can enter the American territory without needing a visa and can stay up to 180 days in the country.

Safety within New York

Tourist getting out of car in NYC
Tourist getting out of a car in NYC. Source: Freepik.

New York is a huge city, which is why having a guide is so important. Even though it’s considered one of the safest cities in the United States, it’s always important to know what to expect from the city and how safe it is. Also, it’s vital that everyone buy travel insurance to be ready for any unexpected situation while visiting NYC.

Some of the tips we can give to people are the following:

  • Avoid visiting the “red areas” of the city to prevent someone from stealing your stuff.
  • Always visit the areas where there are more people and cops.
  • Drug addiction is a real issue in the US, so pay attention to people on the streets, as they are dangerous to travelers.
  • Don’t trust strangers while traveling.
  • If you decide to go to a party, don’t drink too much and avoid taking drugs, especially avoid accepting drinks or anything else from strangers.
  • Don’t take all your money with you. Save some at the place you are staying to avoid issues!
  • New York is a place full of culture, and due to so many people living there, it’s essential to respect everyone’s culture.
  • Always carry documentation with you. It’s essential that, in case it happens, cops know who you are to avoid getting arrested.

Local culture in New York

The United States, and especially New York, has a very diverse culture. As so many people live there, chances are you won’t only find out there are numerous cultures related to the country, but there are also countless cultures related to those people who have taken New York as their home.

It’s important that people always pay attention to what’s happening near them. That way, adapting to the local culture and getting to enjoy it more won’t be something hard to do, and it can improve the trip by a lot!

Internet connection in the US

When talking about internet connections, getting mobile internet in New York City isn’t complicated at all. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of alternatives available for people to use in the city, such as roaming, Pocket WiFi, and even relying on free WiFi becomes an option for travelers.

Of course, there are other alternatives as well, such as a SIM card for New York and eSIMs for New York. For us, the best option for people to use and get an internet connection is a virtual SIM card.

It provides travelers with unlimited data, and the prices are cheaper compared to the rest of the alternatives. And, as people only require an eSIM-compatible device to use one and an internet connection to activate it, there’s no need to worry about this!

One recommendation for all travelers is to avoid fully relying on local free WiFi hotspots. Even though these are great ways to save some money, others can hack your devices and steal your information. So, when possible, rely on the rest of the alternatives we mentioned before.

Stay connected on your trip to New York City with an eSIM for New York! Get 5% OFF: MYESIMNOW5

Best dates to visit New York State

In case you are traveling to visit New York, the answer is a bit complicated. As a matter of fact, visiting New York all year long is surely a great idea, but the weather won’t always be the same

As previously mentioned, New York goes through four seasons. Therefore, people who prefer winter will rather travel during summer, and vice versa, those who prefer warm weather will travel during winter, so let’s talk a bit more about it.

  • Winter: Winter takes place in the United States from December to March. Not only can travelers get a unique experience during December thanks to the snowy weather, but there are also things to enjoy, such as the Chinese New Year, Broadway Week, and overall, the holidays.
  • Spring: After winter, from March to June, New York becomes a place full of life as winter ends. Flowers start to bloom, the city starts to receive more visitors, and the weather is better to take a walk around New York!
  • Summer: Summer in New York is the peak season for tourism. People tend to visit the city a lot from late June to September, and there are many events taking place in the city during these months. But it’s also fair to say it’s the most expensive time of the year to visit New York!
  • Fall: From late September to November, fall begins, and the Halloween vibes start to take place in the NY streets. During these months, there are plenty of events like the San Gennaro feast, the NY Marathon, Halloween, and a lot more! And the weather is just lovely!

When is the cheapest time to travel to New York?

Traveling to New York is expensive. There’s no need to deny this. We are talking about one of the most visited cities in the world, a city where money is everywhere. So, tourists need to be prepared to avoid spending more than expected.

Currently, the cheapest season for travelers to enjoy a trip to New York is during the winter. Prices drop significantly, there aren’t many people traveling to the city, hotels are cheaper, and the best part is that there are still numerous things to do!

The only real downside? Well, temperatures in New York are pretty low, so if you don’t like cold weather, this isn’t your season, so you might want to go before summer arrives!

How to travel to New York?

When traveling to New York and having a guide, there are different ways for people to arrive in the city. No matter where people come from, NYC allows people to access the city by air, road, and sea.

So, for people wondering more about how they can visit New York in this guide, it’s time to provide some guidance regarding the methods available for people to access the city. For us, we’ll focus on the three options mentioned before, so let’s get to it.

Visiting NY by car

Visiting New York by car is indeed something locals would love to do. You can enjoy the beautiful view from the Brooklyn Bridge or other viaducts that connect the cities. For people who are coming from other countries, it’s essential to check the requirements for using a car locally before thinking about using any vehicle.

Panoramic view of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York
Panoramic view of the Brooklyn Bridge. Source: Pexels.

People can access New York City through different areas, which won’t make it hard for those coming by car to get to know the city. It’s also important to remember that driving in New York is a bit more complicated due to how many people there are in the city, so always think about this if you are using a car.

If you are traveling around the US and plan to visit New York but don’t have a car, you can always go by bus. Different alternatives are available for people to visit from other cities, which is excellent.

Traveling to New York by air

Traveling to New York by air is undoubtedly one of the most common alternatives available for people to take. As it is a faster method depending on where you are traveling from, in this New York guide, we couldn’t leave this aside. So, let’s talk more about how people can travel to New York by air.

  • Airports: NYC currently has one of the busiest airspace in the US. This is because people can arrive in the city at three airports, all in the metropolitan area. The airports include the John F. Kennedy International Airport, which is the most common, Newark Liberty International Airport, and LaGuardia Airport.
  • Flights from other countries: The NYC airspace is always busy; therefore, finding flights from other places won’t be complicated. Depending on where people travel, they can use different airlines like Ryanair, EasyJet, Fly Play, American Airlines, Delta, Qatar Airways, and many others.

Traveling to NY by sea

New York Ferry Ride
New York Ferry Ride. Source: Pexels.

For people who want to take the chance to visit NYC by sea, there are different alternatives because it’s an open-sea city. It is normal that between cities you can travel on ferries, some even offer free entry. Some boats travel from Staten Island, Ellis Island, Coney Island, and more.  It won’t be complicated to enjoy a trip by sea to the city. Some of the things to know about this method of travel are the following:

  • Staten Island Ferry is one of the most common means to move between cities; from other counties, some boats offer similar services.
  • The NYC Ferry Service is also a reliable way to commute and connects Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. 
  • Different cruises worldwide will take people to NYC, thanks to the other ports around the city. In most cases, these are cruises reaching the town, so people must check out their stops in NYC for more time.
  • People who have rented a boat or something similar are allowed to visit NYC, but they need to check out the regulations regarding taxes and the usage of boats in the country before considering this alternative.

Traveling to NY by train

You have two main options to travel to New York by train: Amtrak and NJ Transit. The first one offers intercity train service to New York from all over the country. You can book tickets online, through the Amtrak app, or at a ticket counter. Amtrak trains arrive at Penn Station, New York, located in Midtown Manhattan.

New York Grand Central Train Station. Source
New York Grand Central Train Station. Source: Freepik.

NJ Transit offers commuter rail service to New York from New Jersey. You can book tickets online, through the NJ Transit app, or at a ticket counter. NJ Transit trains arrive at Penn Station, New York, and other stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Here are some tips for traveling to New York by train:

  • Book your tickets in advance, especially if traveling during peak season.
  • Arrive at the train station at least 30 minutes before your train departs.
  • Be aware of the baggage restrictions for your train company.
  • If you are traveling with children, bring activities to keep them entertained.
  • If you are traveling during the winter, be sure to dress warmly.

Food in NYC: A fusion of different cultures

When it comes to traveling to New York and having a guide for food, people will find all types of food around the city and many street vendors. Telling people they will only find hot dog and hamburgers on the street is a lie because the city’s gastronomy goes beyond this. Who hasn’t heard of New York-style pizza or the city’s signature dessert, cheesecake?

As we have previously said, NYC is a place full of culture. Not only the local culture but also thanks to other people who have traveled to the US and stayed in this city. People will get the chance to eat Arabic, Asian, European, Latin American, and many other types of food while visiting New York.

Restaurants are open at all hours in NYC
Restaurants are open at all hours in NYC. Source: Unsplash.

So in general rather than finding typical food of the city, we have a wide range of gastronomic variety. Dishes from all over the world that you already knew but over the years, New Yorkers have adapted and have a unique local flavor.

It’s important to note in this New York guide that there are also lots of fast food restaurants available in the city, and this is no surprise to anyone. NYC is a vast city, and restaurants such as McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, and Five Guys, to name a few, will be present all around the city.

eSIM for the USA
Holafly eSIM for New York. Source: Holafly.

Top 5 things to visit in New York City

Traveling and not knowing what to do might be complicated, so let’s talk about 5 things people can do in this New York City guide:

  • Statue of Liberty: One of the most impressive icons of the city, travelers need to visit the Statue of Liberty to enjoy their trip to New York entirely, and thanks to the entry being accessible, it is a must-go for visitors.
  • Central Park: Located in Manhattan, people need to visit Central Park and let the area’s beauty take their breath away. People can walk around the park, rent a bike for a quick ride, or simply sit there and enjoy what happens near them.
  • Fifth Avenue is one of the most expensive yet most visited avenues in the world. Walking around Fifth Avenue is one of those activities that will make people feel like they are living in a movie.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art: This is undoubtedly one of the most impressive modern art museums in NYC. Being one of the best museums in the world, the MET is a must-visit for tourists.
  • Times Square: With more than 50 million people walking around its streets each year, it is a place where people will see a connection of many things in one place, allowing them to see culture, street acts, and much more in one place!
View of the Empire State Building in NYC
View of the Empire State Building, another of the city’s iconic buildings. Source: Unsplash

What are the best holidays to enjoy in New York?

Holidays in New York are simply different. It inspires people with a different vibe, and having the chance to live it is unique. There’s no doubt that travelers who plan their trip during these dates will have a better experience, so let’s talk about some holidays in this New York guide:

  • New Year’s Eve: If you plan to spend December in New York, you might want to plan a visit to Times Square to enjoy New Year’s Eve there. The vibe, the scenario—it’s just different!
  • Rockefeller Center Christmas tree: It has become a tradition at Christmas time that at the entrance of this center, we find a giant Christmas tree with beautiful lights. It is just a reference point because the city is dressed in lights for holiday decorations.
  • Fourth of July: Do you want to commemorate Independence Day in NYC? Well, if you stick around during the 4th of July, you will see one of the biggest celebrations and holidays in the country with your own eyes!
  • Gay Pride: The LGBTQ+ Parade of New York is one of the biggest parades in the world, and if you want to participate in it, sticking around during the summer will give you a once-in-a-lifetime adventure!
  • New York Caribbean Carnival: Celebrated once every year, this is the perfect time for people visiting New York to clash with different cultures, all in one place, and live one of the most amazing carnivals the US has ever had!
  • Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: is an annual parade in New York City that starts on Central Park West at 77th Street and ends at Macy’s Herald Square on 34th Street. It is one of the most popular worldwide and is televised nationally on NBC. 
4th of July celebration with fireworks
4th of July celebration with fireworks. Source: Unsplash.

What to do to enjoy the local culture of New York?

We have talked about how diverse the culture is in New York in the guide. But something important to talk about is that there’s also a lot of local culture to enjoy in the city. So, let’s discuss some of the local cultural acts travelers can enjoy in NYC!

  • Broadway: Making a New York guide and not mentioning a Broadway show? Sadly, this isn’t possible. For people who want to enjoy a unique theater experience, you can see some of the best shows and other activities!
  • December Concerts: During December, people will see numerous small concerts in the city. Walking around and hearing Christmas Carols in the snowy weather of NYC is a unique experience.
  • Art Market: New York is known for being the center of the most prominent American art market, and therefore, vacationers will get the chance to see all types of paintings and other types of artworks while visiting the city!
  • Street Music: If people decide to walk around New York, music will be everywhere. New York is where people can listen to all types of music, but the classic options come mostly from Jazz clubs and Hip-Hop.
  • Literature: Literature is one of the most essential aspects of NYC culture. People will find many places, like cafés, restaurants, and even parks, where those interested in this will reunite and show their passion for literature.
Radio City Music Hall in NYC. Source: Pexels.

New York City travel tips for ecotourism 

Even though New York is a vast metropolis, practicing ecotourism in the city is possible. People won’t have to worry if they want to connect with nature, as there are different activities. Let’s talk about ecotourism in New York with this guide:

  • Union Square Greenmarket: Visiting NYC is a remarkable chance to enjoy tasty meals and unique places, and the Union Square Greenmarket puts this together in one place while people can stay green!
  • City Tours: Getting the chance to get a sightseeing tour around the city in an eco-friendly way is something unique for travelers. What’s best is that these tours remain eco-friendly, as some agencies offer them by foot or bike, allowing them to get to know the city without making a negative impact on it.
  • Walking around the city: A New York guide that doesn’t tell you to walk and get to know the city is not a complete and useful guide. In NYC, walking around is a must because there are more places to visit than Times Square, as there are countless parks and white-sand beaches that people can walk to enjoy some ecotourism.
  • Hiking: Leaving all the huge buildings aside, New York allows people to connect with nature uniquely thanks to the nearby mountains and valleys they can go to. These are a bit further than the rest of the city, but hiking in places like the Catskill Mountains or the Adirondack Mountains is a unique adventure.
New York Traveling Guide
A man enjoying a skate trip in New York. Source: Pexels.

Moving around New York City Travel Guide 

When people visit NYC, there are different public transportation for moving around the city. To continue with the New York guide, let’s talk about the available alternatives.

  • Train: Here, you will find some of the most famous stations in the country, such as Penn Station, from which multiple routes interconnect essential sites in the city. You can get from the West Village to the Upper East and then to the Upper West Side in a few minutes without suffering from the usual city traffic.
  • Taxi: New York City is a place where there are taxis all around the city. Those well-known yellow cars will be waiting for someone who needs to move from one place to another, so if you want to live this experience, simply hit the streets, and you will find one in no time!
  • Bus: Moving by bus is surely the most complicated option due to people being new in the city, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible to do it. This is one of the cheapest alternatives to moving around NYC!
  • Mobile apps: Uber? Lyft? Cabify? All of those apps are available for people to use in NYC, so moving around won’t be complicated at all for travelers who will rely on these apps.
Man going around NYC in a taxi. Source: Pexels.
Man going around NYC in a taxi. Source: Pexels.

What to buy in NYC?

If you plan to travel to NYC, chances are you are thinking about what you can buy there. Visiting a new city will give you the chance to move around and find many alternatives to getting the perfect gift for someone. For us, these are the best things someone can buy in NYC.

  • Souvenirs: It doesn’t matter that NYC is a metropolis. People will get the chance to buy a souvenir while exploring the city in no time. There are numerous possible options to choose from, so keep this in mind for your trip!
  • Clothes: NYC is the perfect place for those who love fashion. Moving around the city and finding different clothes to buy is just perfect because most of the renowned brands are available in the city!
  • Memorabilia: For people traveling to NYC, as there are so many places to visit, getting memorabilia from places such as the Statue of Liberty, Broadway, or even from a museum isn’t complicated at all.

What’s the cheapest thing to buy in NYC?

When it comes to thinking about what to buy in NYC to give someone else, chances are the question is not so easy to answer. Of course, if we elaborate on clothes, art, or similar things, these are quite expensive and surely won’t be the best option for travelers. On the other hand, souvenirs are the cheapest alternative!

Walking around the city and visiting museums and important places will make it easier for people to get the perfect gift to take back home!

How much money is required to visit New York?

This will depend on who you are traveling with or if you are traveling on your own. For solo travelers, having more than $2,000 a week in NYC is enough. Now, if you are traveling with someone else, each one should take at least $2,000 to spend there.

FAQs for traveling to New York

What’s the best alternative to getting mobile internet in NYC?

For people looking forward to staying connected in New York City, there are plenty of alternatives available. But as of now, the best option is to use an eSIM for New York to get all the internet you need!

Where can I exchange money in New York City?

If you are traveling with a different currency that’s not USD, chances are you need to know where to exchange your money in NYC. Some of the best places are Big Apple Forex, Travelex, AFEX, and some digital platforms like Wells Fargo.

What are the mobile carriers people can use in NYC?

People traveling to New York can get access to mobile carriers such as Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.

Is NYC a safe place to visit?

NYC is a safe place to visit, but it’s important for people to avoid places where there are no people and, preferably, to avoid staying late at night outside their Airbnb or hotel room to avoid any type of issue.

Is it cheaper to use Airbnb or stay in a hotel in NYC?

This will depend. There are luxury Airbnb alternatives for travelers, and the same happens for hotel rooms. The final decision will depend on the traveler’s budget, how many people are traveling to NYC, and how long someone is staying there!

How long can people stay in NYC?

This will depend on where travelers come from. Depending on their country of residence, people can stay from 90 to 180 days in the city. It will also depend on the types of visa travelers have!