New York City Travel Tips
Keep in Mind...
- Take the bus If you live in a major East Coast city, chances are you'll be able to get to New York for relatively cheap by bus -- BoltBus and Megabus are just a couple companies that transfer visitors to NYC for cheap.
- Shop in the right places If you're a high roller with an unlimited credit card limit, Fifth and Madison avenues are your shopping strips. Those with a decidedly smaller budget should stick to SoHo.
- See before you swipe Many subway stations have different platforms for trains going uptown and downtown. Make sure you enter the correct one before you swipe your ticket through the turnstiles.
The buzzing Big Apple allures people today just as it always has. Not only is NYC the most populous city in the U.S. -- filled with everyone from bohemian artists to investment bankers -- it's also at the forefront of food, fashion, the arts and nightlife (it is, after all, the city that never sleeps).
If you're turned off by the city's clogged streets, cacophonous cabs, and the chaotic (at best) Times Square, have no fear. NYC also brims with charmingly mellow neighborhoods and boroughs. Greenwich Village and Brooklyn house indie boutiques, iconic bakeries, coffee shops and restaurants galore. The refined Upper West Side dazzles with state of the art performances at the Lincoln Center. And the lush, sprawling Central Park offers some peace and serenity tucked between towering skyscrapers.
There's also the option of focusing your trip by theme: For shopping, you'll find sleek storefronts along Fifth Avenue (Madison Ave., too) and über-trendy boutiques in SoHo and East Village. If it's museums you want, the Met, the MoMA, the Guggenheim and more are at your service. At nighttime, the opportunities for entertainment are virtually endless -- a long leisurely dinner at an "it" restaurant (there are lots of "its" in New York), rooftop drinks at a meatpacking district club, a Broadway show along Times Square. One of the New York's myriad of nicknames is "The City." Maybe that says it all.
How To Save Money in New York City
- Just say no to cabs A cab here, a cab there … Pretty soon, you'll find that cabs have eaten up all your spending cash. Yes, they're convenient but cost-efficient they are not. Learn the subway system instead.
- Say yes to street vendors Eat some cheap meals on the street at vendors, especially the ones with "Vendy Awards" posted, and you can put the money you would've spent on an expensive lunch toward your MoMA admission.
- Say maybe to the TKTS booth If you're willing to spend an hour of your New York City vacation waiting in the half-price ticket booth in Times Square, you could save some serious money on a Broadway show.
New York City Culture & Customs
New York City is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. So it should come as no surprise that it's also one of the most diverse. The city is known for its ethnic neighborhoods, as well as its status as the country's trendsetter, making it difficult to define one specific "culture" of the Big Apple. As home to the most vibrant theater and fashions scenes in the country and a large contingent of schools and Wall Street on top of that, NYC also shelters a large gay community as well as many students, artists, fashionistas, writers, businessmen and so on.
Stereotypically, this melting pot of New Yorkers are portrayed as brash and rude. But as TripAdvisor explains, "New Yorkers are unfailingly proud of their great city, and this pride can, at times, come off as arrogance." Contrary to popular belief, most New Yorkers are happy to help you explore their home.