- The subway costs just $2.50 per ride, and can get just about anywhere in the city.
- Save your metro card because it’s a $1 additional fee for a new one
- If you’re staying for a week, you should buy a 7-Day Unlimited Pass which is good for unlimited subway and local bus rides for $30.
- The subway runs 24 hours a day and 7 days a week
- When waiting for the train, stand behind the yellow platform edge strip.
- Don’t try to hold the door on the subway. People will hate you.
- Don’t block the doorway on the subway. People will hate you.
- Let people off the train before getting on.
- If all of the subway cars are crowded except for one, which is empty, get on the crowded car.
- You read that right, don’t get on the empty car. There’s a reason it’s empty.
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Trains usually run local or express, so if you are unsure you may want to ask a person or choose a local train
- Make sure you know exactly where you’re going before you swipe your card, you can’t get a refund using the subway.
- It can become very crowded on the trains. You will be surprised of the capacity.
- If you want a taxi cab, stick out your arm
- Taxis tend to go out of service around the afternoon rush. Plan accordingly.
- When catching a taxi you should get one in the direction you are going, it will save time and money
- The Staten Island Ferry is free
- The Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest is on July 4 on Coney Island
- Smorgasburg is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon
- Four star restaurants have long waiting lists. Make your reservations now.
- There are about 42 million fast food restaurants in NYC, but you shouldn’t go to any of them. At any given moment you will be within a 5 minute walk of low priced, better tasting burgers/chicken/tacos.
- Our dollar slices probably taste better than what you’re used to, but if you really want good pizza, the extra money is worth it.
- Don’t be afraid to try the pretzels at the hot dog stands
- Food trucks are awesome
- Parked! Food Truck Festival will make your taste buds dance which is usually every August
- Vendy Awards will be back in September
- Restaurant Week serves great prix fixe meals and usually lasts for several weeks in August
- City Park’s SummerStage is totally free
- The New York Philharmonic will drop by parks in all five boroughs for free shows in July
- So will the Metropolitan Opera
- Good Morning America and the Today Show host free concerts every Friday morning
- Governors Ball Music Festival is June 7-9
- The Northside Festival is June 13-20
- Electric Zoo come to NYC August 30-September 1
- The CBGB Music Festival is October 9-13
- Blue Note Jazz Festival is from June 1-30
- Sunset on the Hudson is June 7th-August 23rd on Friday evenings
- Greenwich Village is known for having great live music
- The Comedy of Errors is free in the first session of Shakespeare in the Park
- Love’s Labour’s Lost, A New Musical is free in the second session
- The Intrepid is a museum on an aircraft carrier, which is awesome
- Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has priceless pieces of art
- Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre has some amazing shows with cheap prices, too.
- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is known for its unique building and is also a landmark of NYC
- Brooklyn Museum has some eye-catching art too
- Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has a lineup of amazing concerts, plays, and films throughout the week
- If you love spoken word you will have a good time at any poetry cafes in Manhattan
- Harlem has some historic libraries, great dance schools, and art too.
- 5th Avenue has top of the line products, and prices to match
- SoHo has less expensive clothing stores and trendy boutiques
- Chinatown has incredibly cheap prices, and products to match
- South Street Seaport is a great place to shop and eat on the harbor
- Union Square is one of the most popular places to shop.
- Greenwich Village is filled with designer labels.
- Herald Square has almost every chain store there
- Macy’s on 34th Street is the world’s largest department store and a registered NYC landmark.
- Central Park is the largest park in Manhattan, but the 5th largest in NYC.
- Brooklyn Bridge Park has an incredible view of the Manhattan Skyline.
- Riverbank State Park is a great park too including a gym, pool, places to barbecue, and kids facilities
- The High Line is an old elevated railway converted into a park
- Battery Park has a beautiful water front and some summer concerts
- All of NYC’s parks are free to enter
- Bryant Park has a reading room, ping pong, games, carrousel, free ice skating and chess.
- Here’s a list of parks with free WiFi
- Washington Square Park is never a dull moment there always entertainment to watch like break dancing and artists.
- The parks are closed from 1 a.m. til 5 a.m. Breaking this curfew will get you a $40 ticket
- The Empire State Building has observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors providing one of the best views in Manhattan
- At the Statue of Liberty you can be able to walk from the ground floor all the way to Lady Liberty’s crown that provides you with an amazing view of the city
- Apollo Theater in Harlem is one of Harlem’s landmarks and offers Amateur Night on Wednesdays
- Botanical Gardens provides family activities and hands on gardening too
- Flatiron Building has a lobby where you can see historic photographs and notes hanging from the wall
- Yankee Stadium has a museum in the stadium about the fascinating history
- 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center is a great place to view if you love spray-paint art
- Times Square is the heart of Manhattan favorite tourists’ places!
Other Free Things
- Many Museums, including the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, have a suggested donation to enter, but you don’t have to pay anything at all. If you can afford to, you should pay the requested amount so that these museums will continue to be some of the best in the world.
- Oh, and you should check out The Cloisters as well
- Superfree Wednesday is a free comedy show at Peoples Improv Theater
- Sony Wonder Technology Lab is free for the kids with fun workshops on video games, movies, and music
Other Important Dates
- The Statue of Liberty will reopen on July 4
- Manhattanhenge falls on May 28/29 and July 12/13
- Saturdays in August, 5th Avenue shuts down for Summer Streets
- Even numbered streets run east
- 5th Avenue is considered the center of the city. Any address like E. 42nd street is east of 5th, and address like W. 42nd street is west of 5th
- The numbers on the lights in Central Park refer to the closest cross street
- When hailing a taxi…
- If it’s sunny and raining, that’s probably air conditioner sweat, and you should move
- Download a city/subway map to your phone. One less awkward thing to carry, and you don’t have the “tourist” look every time you need directions
- It’s safe to get lost on the street on New York, it’s fun in any neighborhood and you get a chance to explore parts that a tour guide wouldn’t typically show you.
- If you happen to see a person having trouble standing because of age or an infant, the subway etiquette is to give up your seat.
- Be prepared to do the most walking you ever done in your life. Wear comfortable shoes.
Miscellaneous Tips and Facts worth knowing
- The 4th of July Fireworks will be on the Hudson River, not the East River
- Don’t forget to take pictures of things. NYC is a beautiful city and worth sharing with your friends back home.
- When you take these pictures, if you abruptly stop walking in the middle of the sidewalk, people like you a little less. Don’t do that.
- Try not to text while walking.
- Think of walking like driving: If you’re going to walk slowly, stay to the right. If you want to walk fast you can “pass” on the left. The same rule applies for standing on escalators.
- Always carry some cash. You won’t need it everywhere, but you will need it more than where you’re from (probably)
- Tipping for quality service is a nice thing to do, and being nice is totally awesome
- Remember New York City can be very expensive, so spend wisely so you can be able to see a lot of what New York has to offer
- New York City is divided into five boroughs-Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, and Staten Island
- Streets run east/west, avenues run north/south (in Manhattan)
- SoHo is south of Houston (pronounced HOUSE-ton) Street
- TriBeCa is the Triangle Below Canal Street
- If you ever need help with something, just ask someone. Contrary to popular belief, New Yorkers tend to be very nice
- Don’t worry about the cat in the bodega, it’s there for your benefit
- Wherever you’re from remember that the food costs doubled compare to the price at home
- Be prepared to see anything on the streets on NYC.
Top of the Rock: GLNY / Kevin Lawless
Musician: Flickr /marniejoyce
5Pointz: Flickr / Nelson Minar
Manhattanhenge: Flickr / MichaelTapp