New York City Travel Guide
Then you're in the right place! Check out my New York City Travel Guide resources.
To help you plan your perfect trip to New York City, find some helpful resources below.
You can also click here to grab my free PDF New York City travel guide.
when visiting Manhattan, don't miss...
Brooklyn Travel Guides
when visiting brooklyn, don't miss...
when visiting queens, don't miss...
Long Island offers great day trips from NYC! Don't miss...
New York City Hiking Guides
Common New York City Travel Guide Questions
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Q: Are there guided tours in New York City?
Traveling solo? The tours are also great if you're looking for things to do in NYC by yourself. No need to ask strangers to take your picture!
Additionally, you can click here to view hundreds of popular New York City tourism, events, tickets and other guided tours around the city.
Curious what kind of questions are on the tour guide exam?
Check out this video:
Q: How many days do you recommend visiting NYC for?
No USA travel guide would be complete without mentioning NYC, as here's why:
If you lived in New York City for your entire life you still wouldn't have enough time to experience everything the city has to offer.
That being said, if you don't mind packing activities into your itinerary, you can do and see a lot in a weekend. Ideally, you'll plan out a 4 day NYC itinerary or more though.
Just keep in mind that many popular attractions featured in major New York City guides — like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and Circle Line cruises — take a few hours each.
If you want to go beyond Manhattan and also visit Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and/or Staten Island, you'll want to visit for at least one week. This will help you also explore some of the more unusual things to do in NYC.
Q: What are the best ways to visit NYC on a budget?
There are so many cheap things to do in New York City!
First of all, opt for public transportation like the subway, bus, NYC Ferry, and CitiBike.
Finally, save money on food by using the Crave app, find inexpensive local events through newsletters like The Skint and Nifty NYC, and opt for free experiences like riding the Staten Island Ferry, attending park events, and walking the High Line.
Q: Where are the best free views of New York City?
If you're seeking out views of the skyline from Queens, check out Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City and Hunter’s Point South Park.
That being said, there are loads of great free views in NYC featured in this New York City Travel Guide.
A few others include:
- East River Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
- The Roosevelt Island Tram in Manhattan
- Governors Island in Manhattan
Also, don't forget to enjoy some stunning views in NYC at night!
And if you don't mind spending a bit of money, there are some great Manhattan skyline tours, like yacht excursions and helicopter tours, as well as NYC architectural tours that showcase the city's most iconic buildings.
Q: How do I take the New York City subway?
The easiest way to get a handle on the subway is to use an app like Google Maps or CityMapper, both of which provide step-by-step instructions from your location to your destination.
Most New York tourist information booths also include instructions!
While you don't need a MetroCard anymore (you can simply tap your credit card to enter), many people like to get one to keep as a souvenir from New York. You can purchase your MetroCard at almost all subway stations, which are marked by a green and white globe at the entrances.
Note that unless you purchase a single ride, your MetroCard is refillable.
As long as you ride the subway four or more times during your entire trip, it will be more economical to avoid single ride tickets and purchase a refillable card or even a weekly or monthly unlimited card.
One neat thing about the NYC subway:
There are no zones, so no matter where you're going you'll pay $2.75 (unless you have an unlimited card, in which case all your rides are included).
Q: What areas of New York City do you recommend tourists avoid?
Overall, the streets of New York are safe to wander.
That being said, NYC is unfortunately a prime example of the differences in opportunities and justice caused by generational systematic racism.
Most violent crimes take place in the city's poorest neighborhoods, so tourists won't commonly find themselves in NYC's most dangerous places.
A few neighborhoods that tend to make dangerous area lists include Mott Haven (The Bronx), the South Bronx (The Bronx), and East Harlem (Manhattan), though I'll also say that as a local I've walked around all of these neighborhoods without a problem.
Q: Is the New York City subway safe at night?
Yes, though you should always keep travel safety in mind.
Be alert and aware of your surroundings, trust your gut, and if you've had a few drinks consider hailing a taxi.
The above are also things I would suggest during the day, though are especially pertinent if you're exploring NYC after midnight.
You also might consider investing in some travel safety essentials for peace of mind.
Q: Where can I go hiking in NYC?
People are often surprised to learn that New York City has over 1,700 parks — many of which include hiking trails.
That being said, some parks are more rugged than others.
If you're looking for a hiking experience that feels like you've escaped the city for the Catskills, check out Inwood Hill Park (Manhattan), Van Cortlandt Park (The Bronx), and Pelham Bay Park (The Bronx).
Pelham Bay Park is actually NYC's largest park at 2,772 acres!
Additionally, people often forget about Staten Island, which is just a 30-minute (free!) ferry ride away and is full of hiking trails. This New York City Guide includes plenty of NYC hiking opportunities.
Check out Staten Island's six major Greenbelt trails. These offer a diverse array of hiking for all fitness abilities.
Now, if you're looking for something easy and scenic but not necessarily rugged for hiking in New York City, a few suggestions include:
- Central Park (Manhattan). The park's three major woodlands include the North Woods, the Ramble, and the Hallett Nature Sanctuary (shown in the below video). Visiting Central Park is one of the top things to do on the Upper East Side NYC!
- Randall's Island (Manhattan). The island park features an approximately four-mile scenic loop around the perimeter, though you can also venture inland to extend your hike.
- Prospect Park (Brooklyn). This park has the same architects as Central Park. The Ravine is particularly noteworthy for some stunning urban hiking in NYC.
- Highland Park (Queens). Here you can walk around a lovely reservoir and enjoy beautiful views of the Ridgewood Reservoir, the Rockaways, and the Atlantic Ocean.
Q: How much should I save for a trip to NYC?
While there are ways to explore NYC on a budget, most travelers will want to save at least $300 per day, including a hotel, daily tours, meals, and subway transportation.
Q: What should you not miss in NYC?
Why is NYC so popular? For one, because of all of the incredible experiences to be had!
A few things you shouldn't miss when visiting New York City are wandering Central Park, taking a cooking class, doing an NYC walking tour, eating bready foods like pizza and bagels, savoring one of the best bottomless brunches in NYC, taking a boat ride (there are also many options for hosting a birthday party on a boat in NYC), and seeing a show (off-Broadway counts, too!).
Q: How do I not look like a tourist in NYC?
Don't ever stop in the middle of a sidewalk or block pedestrian traffic to take a photo or read a map.
Also, learn the small rules that locals abide by, like letting people off of the subway before stepping on and standing still on the right side of the escalator and leaving the left side open for walkers.
Q: Can you visit New York City without a car?
Absolutely! Unless you'll be doing a road trip from NYC, you can get easily get around the five boroughs via public transportation.
Q: What can I do in six hours in New York?
With such a short amount of time, it's recommended to choose one or two main highlights — like walking the Williamsburg Bridge or eating your way around the West Village — and creating an itinerary around that.
You might also opt for a walking tour, which can help you see and learn a lot in a short amount of time.
Here are a few fun options:
- A Private & Custom NYC Photo Journey (Including Photos to Keep!)
- Professional Photoshoot in NYC (Including 100+ Images!)
- Greenwich Village Walking & Food Tasting Tour
- Brooklyn Graffiti Lesson
- Champagne Brunch Sail
- Broadway Theaters & Times Square with a Broadway Actor
Q: What can you do in New York City for $20 or less?
There are many free and cheap things to do in NYC, like enjoying an al fresco meal at one of the many lovely NYC picnic spots, walking around one of the city's 1700 parks, doing a self-guided audio tour of the city, wandering the art galleries of Chelsea, and taking in the free New York City views from the Staten Island ferry.