Everyone who’s planning a trip to New York City is looking for travel tips on what to do and what to see. But just before traveling to New York City, it is always good to go through a travel guide too and that is why we’ve decided to write this New York City travel guide.
New York City travel guide
Cheap flight ticket to New York City
We had the flight with Air France and liked the fact, we only had 1,5 hours transfer in Paris (we started in Ljubljana, Slovenia) and that flights to and from New York were both overnight, as traveling with kids, makes flying much more comfortable. But in general flight tickets to new York from Europe come under a very good price – even more if you are lucky enough to go for the error fare.
USA travel visa
Lots of countries (check the list if you are one of them) don’t need visa for traveling to USA and only need an ESTA form. ESTA form can easily be filled out online, which will take only few minutes of your time. It will cost you 14 USD – payment done by credit card. make sure to be on the right web page for Esta, as there are many commercial web pages, selling ESTA for way too much money than 14 USD.
Accommodation in New York City
If you cannot go without the hustle and bustle, your best choice for a hotel in New York City is Manhattan. Due to the great location, the prices will be higher than having a room outside of Manhattan, but spending some extra money for location is worth it! New York City has lots of hotels and if you’re not traveling to the Big Apple for some world famous events, book your room last minute and save. I stayed in Double Tree Hilton Hotel (5 minutes by foot from the Times Square and 3 minutes from a metro station) and got the room for 50% off, including breakfast. If you’re not keen of walking, make sure your hotel is close to a metro stop.
If you will be traveling to New York City with kids or without them, a good option is also staying in an accommodation with kitchen – especially if you want to do New York on a budget and preparing meals by yourself. Eating out is not cheap in new York City. We stayed at the amazing Q & A hotel in south of Manhattan, offering us a sneek peek into some local life too.
You can also decide to stay outside of manhattan as the hotels are cheaper there. We also stayed few days in brooklyn and the lovely The Brooklyn hotel, offering good location, nice rooms and pretty nice breakfast too. Check some more information about The Brooklyn hotel here.
Public transport in New York City
I love to explore a foreign city on foot. This way I can really get the right vibe and have time for all the little details around me. Just be aware that Manhattan is huge. I think I walked around 25-30 kilometers during my one day in New York City.
- Metro / Underground in New York City
Due to my love for walking, I did not use the metro in New York City, but this is definitely one of the best ways to explore the city. New York City has a really bad traffic and you can spend one hour in a car and do less than a mile. Using the New york City metro, will cost 2,75 USD/ride. If you have a MetroCard, this will be even cheaper. You can buy a Metro Card for one day or seven days. Make sure to put some credit on. If your flight is from JFK, you can also reach Manhattan with using the local transport (SkyTrain and metro). Read some more information about New York metro, including how to reach Manhattan from JFK International airport, here.
- New York City bikes
If you like to cycle you might consider using the city bikes. First 30 minutes are free, but you need a credit card to get your bike unlocked. If you are prepared to change bikes every 30 minutes, you will be able to drive around Manhattan for free the whole day. Otherwise the prices are: 31-60 minutes (4 USD), 61-90 minutes (9 USD), and each 30 minutes after 90 minutes are 12 USD.
Taxis are probably the most comfortable way of traveling around New York City, but can be very time consuming due to heavy traffic, even more during the rush hours. We would not recommend it, but the choice is yours.
Food in New York City
Like every city, also New York City offers something for every budget. You can go dine in one of the best restaurants in the world or you can choose some cheaper Italian, Chinese, Indian, Arabic cuisine… Make sure to try the American hotdog from numerous street vendors. A simple hotdog or maybe a gyros will cost you around 6-7 USD. For a meal in an average restaurant you need to prepare at least 20-25 USD (note the prices on menus are normally without tax). If you are really on a tight budget, just buy some food in a grocery store – it is the cheapest way.
Best New York City tourist attractions
You can easily spend one week or more in New York City and you will realize you have not even seen all the tourist attractions. If you’ll be visiting its museums, make sure to plan at least half a day for each. But the good news is that even if you have little time for New York City, you can still make something out from the visit. Read here what to do and see if you only have one day in New York City. But if you can afford to spend one week in New York City, make sure to check some of our recommendations on what to do and see in the blog post here.
Safety in New York City
Big cities like New York City represent danger to many, but the reality is that all depends from where you are. Manhattan did look like a very safe area to be and walk around, even if having a big DSLR camera around your neck. It might be different during the night, but we have no experience about that.
Best time to visit New York City
We believe there is no best time for traveling to New York City. Winter or summer, spring or autumn – each season is offering you a different feelings and views. But I guess if you don’t like cold and snow, you might want to avoid traveling to New York City during the winter months. If you want to do New York on a budget your best two months to visit it are January and February – especially when it comes to hotel prices.
Traveling to New York will not disappoint anyone – we are sure about that! We are not big fans of large cities and crowds, but we just loved New York City. I guess without noise, traffic and lights there would not even be New York City. New York City is one and only and everyone should visit it at least once in a life time. We hope that this New York City travel guide did help a little with your planning. Enjoy!