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NYC Travel Tips: 10 Things to Know Before You Go to New York City

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Things YOU need to know before you travel to New York City. NYC consists of 5 Boroughs, Manhattan, the most famous and dense is also the smallest. Brooklyn is the most populated, with 2.6 million residents (total of 8.5M in NYC). Queens is the largest, and “most ethnically diverse” county in the US. Bronx is the northenmost and the only one that is part of the US Mainland. Staten Island is the most suburban

Manhattan is BIG — don’t expect to walk the whole thing in a day
5 days is probably the sweet spot. No less than 3 days.

Wear comfortable shoes
Girls: Sex and the City says everybody walks in heels all the time — not so much.
Don’t try and walk everywhere, the subway is there for a reason.

NYC is Expensive! Everything costs more here.
The city runs on tips

New Yorkers aren’t really rude.. They are just efficient.

Expect to pay to use a bathroom, there really aren’t many good public toilets

Weather
For about 8 months out of the year it is chilly. And, for about 3 months it’s just plain miserable. Be prepared for really cold and windy, or really hot, humid, and muggy. Be prepared to rain always.

Summer: Highs 84F/29C Lows: 68F/20C (July)
Winter: Highs: 38F/3C – Lows 25F/-4C (January)

Winter Footwear — puddles the size of small lakes
Layers

Best months: September, October, May and June

Getting in

Airports
LaGuardia (M80 Bus)
JFK (Airtrain to Howard Beach then catch the subway)
Newark (30 mins on Amtrak or NJ Transit)
Beware of unnoficial cabs

Trains — to Penn Station or Grand Central. Grand Central is amazing.
Megabus if you’re on the east coast
Driving — if you do drive in… just plan to park and leave your car for the duration of your stay.

Transportation in NYC

The Subway mostly runs north south… east and west you’ll be walking it
If you’re in NYC for awhile, get a week or month long Subway pass
Avoid the empty subway car, it’s empty for a reason. Hot or smelly.
Don’t lean on the subway poles… more people can hold on to it
Pay attention to the local, or express trains.
Get in the subway at the correct entrance, going the right direction, and for the right line

There are tons of yellow taxis… but they are notoriously hard to hail in bad weather
Flagship city for Uber, Lyft. But traffic is slow.
If you’re running late, don’t take a taxi. You WILL get stuck in traffic.

Walking — don’t drop in the middle of the sidewalk

Ferrys for a different way to get around
NYC Ferry – East River route for some of the best views

Citi Bikes — 10,000 bikes and 600 stations — Download the citi bike app – $12/day
Bus Tours — skip it

Times Square

Crowded, chaotic, dazzling and overpriced
Is really small — and there’s not much to do once you get there.
Whatever you do, don’t eat here. The food is overpriced and mediocre due to high rent.

Broadway Shows
Book way ahead of time
There’s a vibrant “Off-Broadway” Scene
Book of Mormon and Avenue Q are my favorites
Check out the TKTs booth for cheap tickets or online now

Parks (Central Park & the High Line)
Central Park Is really big — and no subway across
Central Park is 800 Acres
Strawberry Fields, Sheep’s Meadow, ice skating rinks.
Visit the High Line on a weekday to avoid the crowds

Big Apple Attractions
Statue of Liberty — book ahead of time
Cant get tix for the Statue of Liberty, ride the Staten Island Ferry for free!
Empire State Building — Long Lines
Top of the Rock is really cool — great views of the Empire State
New WTC Observatory
9/11 Memorial ($2 Reservation Fee
Museum of Modern Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
American Museum of Natural History (Suggested Admission)
Chelsea Market
New York Public Library
Flatiron Building
Shopping along 5th Avenue

Hotels
Expensive!
Save some money by staying in Queens, Brooklyn, or Staten Island
If money is no object — the Park Hyatt is amazing
Marriott Marquis on Times Square in the middle of it all

Food
Food carts and trucks can be really good
The Halal Guys is a “must eat”
Grimaldi’s Pizza (In Brooklyn under the bridge) and Lomardis in Little Italy
Pastrami on Rye
Shake Shack started here
Chinatown Get noodles at Xi’an Famous Foods (location in Chinatown)
Bagels with Lox
New York Hotdogs from Gray’s Papaya
New York Cheesecake

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13 Comments
  1. Michael Federman says

    Bus service through Central Park major streets east west east bound
    Take the bus see nyc MTA select bus Svc follows subway routes quick way avoid rush hours am/pm good luck tourists

  2. ks x says

    This episode didn't have the SUBTITLE,for those people english is not their native language,subtitle is very helpful for us to understand the content.tks a lot.and say good morning from New Zealand.

  3. jaysato says

    been to new york bout 3 times. ive had grays papayas. they were pretty good. ive never been to the statue of liberty of the empire state. i have been to the 30 rock since my brother works there. my favorite area is broadway and soho i guess. i like some of the small parks in manhattan like…bryant park i think it was. summer can be too hot there. and yes, wear comfy shoes for sure. my feet were killing me from walking too much. lots of walking in new york for sure. if you need to use the bathroom go to a department store. and the train entrance was always annoying me…always getting on the wrong side. brooklyn for sure is an area thats good to see and check out. williamsburg as well. that area near dumbo is nice. also that area where the titanic could have arrived is good too. great view of the city. would love to go to new york again.

  4. Yellow Productions says

    What tips do YOU have for visiting NYC? I'm sure I missed something!
    TIMECODES: 00:26 – General NYC
    03:07 – Weather in NYC
    04:32 – Getting in to NYC
    05:59 – Transportation in NYC
    09:00 – Times Square
    10:28 – Broadway Shows
    11:35 – NYC Parks (Central Park, High Line)
    13:23 – Top NYC Attractions
    15:48 – Hotels in NYC
    17:16 – Delicious NYC Food!

  5. Rob Vira says

    Very informative. Thank you!

  6. TheSpritz0 says

    Just a question- how come there are 2 "W's" at the end of YELLOW on your shirt?? (Yes, I'm a subscriber not a troll…)
    P.S. I'm asking as your YouTube channel says YELLOW and not YELLOWW…

  7. QWERTYOP80 says

    Hasa Diga Eebowi!

  8. Scottman895 Travel says

    Great video and tips! I still need to visit NYC one of these days, so I will definitely keep these tips in mind!

  9. Portal's Edge says

    Public transportation is perfect, so walking not a big deal.

  10. ozzycarnut says

    excellent video chris, well done. i second the staten island ferry, simply jaw dropping views from it for $0. i have some of my best photos of nyc from that ferry. i would aslo add the 9/11 reflection pools memorial and underground museum is a must visit. its deeply moving yet respectful to those that perished. central park is a reason to go to new york on its own. in one full day we only covered half of it. its huge. its a welcome sanctuary in the new york hustle. nyc hotels are eye wateringly expensive. best policy is just swipe the card and think about it later. nyc is expensive, end of story. new york pizza is next level, up there with italy and other heavy hitters, i can think of a few aussies too who are doing comparable nyc pizza in melbourne and sydney. coffee is terrible though in nyc, folks be warned. if you prefer proper espresso / latte etc, and melbourne quality (not starbucks rubbish), you can find that in nyc but you have to go searching for it. bluestone lane is very good, and dotted throughout nyc. run by a fellow aussie too : ). lastly, transportation and safety, we found uber to be amazing in nyc. otherwise walking everywhere was no problem, perfectly safe.

  11. Deb Che says

    Good summary and I agree with everything regarding good eats in NYC!

  12. Jose martinez says

    Great video as always, good info in a pleaseant presentation. If I find myself in New York will definitely catch some plays. Not too many from where I'm from. Are you planning on covering San Diego comicon this upcoming year?

  13. Christina Johnson says

    You can also take the shuttle from the east to west side only issue being it's only at 42nd street

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