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New York City Travel Guide

All of NYC in one place.
Last Updated
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May 4, 2024
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Editorial Staff
Traveling New York
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You know how in all those iconic NYC movies there’s like romanticizing music playing while someone stares open-mouthed at the glittering skyscrapers, or dashes off in stylish clothes to hail a taxi? Well, here’s a little secret: the reality of visiting NYC is nothing like that at all. We mean, dang, pigeons everywhere! But despite the fact that it bears little resemblance to its Hollywood depictions, New York City still manages to be one of the most electrifying places on Earth.

Yeah, planning a trip here can be straight-up stressful–our last NYC vacay had us Googling “world’s largest ibuprofen” by day 3. But having a local buddy (in travel guide form) makes navigating this urban jungle feel WAY more possible. With pro tips on how to avoid the tourist traps, hole-in-the-wall restaurant recs that won’t drain your wallet, and sanity-saving shortcuts, you’ll be strutting down the avenues feeling like a local in no time.

Word to the wise, don’t let the chaos and crowds deter you from hitting up spots like Times Square and Central Park because, despite the selfie sticks, they 100% live up to the hype. And make sure to venture outside Manhattan–those outer boroughs like Brooklyn and Queens are where you’ll capture that Only in New York magic. Just don’t forget to look up from your camera every once in a while or you might walk face-first into a street pole like yours truly (RIP dignity).

So grab that trusty guide, strap on some comfy shoes, and prepare to fall head over heels for this beautiful mess of a city. The Big Apple and you are about to become besties.

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About New York City

New York City skyline
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There are many interesting things to know about the cultural life of New York City. The city was home to many major cultural movements throughout the twentieth century, including the Harlem Renaissance, which established an African-American literary canon. It was also the birthplace of stand-up comedy, jazz, abstract expressionism, hip hop, and other forms of popular culture. The city also has long been home to a flourishing Jewish American literary scene.

One of the most iconic sights in the city is the Statue of Liberty. Founded in 1886, the statue has become a worldwide symbol of freedom. Despite its small size, this iconic structure is one of the most popular places to visit in New York City. It stands just under 152 feet tall and weighs nearly four hundred thousand pounds.

The city is also home to several professional sports teams. Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League all have their headquarters in New York City. There are also four of the world’s most expensive sports stadiums, including the MetLife Stadium in Manhattan. The Staten Island Ferry serves as a means of transportation for New Yorkers, allowing them to get between Manhattan and Staten Island.

In addition to the World Trade Center, New York City is home to several state courts and boroughs. For instance, the Supreme Court of New York is located in Manhattan, which is the largest of the five boroughs in the city. Besides the state courts, Manhattan and Brooklyn each have local courts.

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Best Time to Go

Grand Central Terminal
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There are many factors to consider when planning your trip to New York City, and the best time to visit will depend on your preferences. For example, you may prefer to go during a less crowded time or when the weather is nice and sunny. There are also some advantages of visiting during a slower season, such as seeing Christmas lights.

If you are planning to spend a lot of time outdoors, May is the best time to visit. It is the least expensive time of year, with a moderate temperature and many outdoor activities. Also, May marks the start of summer in the city, so you can enjoy free concerts and outdoor dining. Harlem Week takes place throughout the month, and you can watch free outdoor performances and other events.

High season in New York occurs between June and August, during which many international tourists flock to the city and its attractions. The shoulder season is from March to May and September to early November, when prices are low and temperatures are moderate. If you are traveling on a budget, try to go during the low season, when airfares are the lowest and most attractions are uncrowded.

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Things to Know

Time Square New York City
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There are many things to do in New York City, and the first time visitor may feel overwhelmed. With so many attractions, there’s no sense in planning the entire trip without a game plan. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your time in NYC. Be flexible, but don’t forget to keep an eye out for signs of trouble.

First, make sure you understand the subway system. Many trains are run on different tracks, so be careful to follow the instructions of your conductor. You can also use the subway map provided in every car. Also, keep in mind that trains are often under construction, so there may be some delays.

Second, you should know that cabs in New York City are metered. This means that you cannot haggle over the price. It’s also important to understand that cabs are slow. It takes an hour or two to reach Midtown Manhattan from Flushing, Queens. It’s faster to walk or take the subway.

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How to Get Around

New York on the map
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If you’re a first-time visitor to New York City, you may not know where to begin when it comes to getting around the city. Fortunately, the city has a fantastic subway system that operates 24 hours a day. You can ride the subway to get to any location in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. Though the system can be confusing for first-time visitors, there are many free apps to help you navigate the system and find your way around.

You can save money by purchasing a combo travel pass, which can be used for all modes of transportation. Additionally, a ferry service connects Manhattan and the boroughs of Queens and the Bronx. Just be aware that the subway is prone to traffic during peak hours, which are generally between 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm on weekdays.

While Manhattan follows a grid system, there are exceptions to this rule, including Chinatown, Little Italy, the Lower East Side, Greenwich Village, Soho, and Tribeca. The southern parts of Manhattan, which were originally settled, have non-standard street systems. You might want to take a taxi to avoid getting lost in the area, especially if you are walking late at night.

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Best Hotels

The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel

Living room view of The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel
Leonardo

Address: 35 E 76th St, New York, NY 10021
Phone: (212) 744-1600

The Carlyle is located on the Upper East Side, just blocks from Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum, and the Whitney Museum. The hotel offers elegant accommodations, a luxury spa, and a restaurant. The hotel is also two blocks from the 77th Street subway station. Its rooms are elegant and feature giant closets and luxurious linens.

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The Peninsula New York

Building view of The Peninsula New York
Official Hotel Information

Address: 700 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 956-2888

The Peninsula New York is an iconic New York City hotel located on Fifth Avenue, close to Central Park and prestigious shopping. It is a luxury hotel with many amenities, including a luxurious spa, rooftop bar and gym. The upscale rooms feature marble bathrooms, oversized windows, and custom touches from artisans. The hotel also offers 24-hour e-concierge services.

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The Whitby Hotel

Bedroom view of The Whitby Hotel
Leonardo

Address: 18 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 586-5656

The Whitby Hotel is located near Central Park on West 56th Street. The English-style hotel offers contemporary rooms and suites with upscale amenities. They include minibars and flat-screen TVs. Guests can also enjoy a state-of-the-art movie theater and upscale restaurant. Some rooms feature stunning views of Manhattan skyline.

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The St. Regis New York

Banquet hall view of The St Regis New York
Leonardo

Address: Two E 55th St, New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 753-4500

If you want to experience the height of luxury in New York, the St. Regis is the place to stay. This iconic property is located in the heart of Midtown East and is just a short walk from Central Park. This 5-star property offers a variety of amenities, including a fitness center and a hot spring bath.

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The Benjamin Royal Sonesta New York

Exterior view of The Benjamin Royal Sonesta New York
ICE Portal

Address: 125 E 50th St, New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 715-2500

Located in midtown Manhattan, The Benjamin Royal Sonesta New York offers luxurious rooms and suites with a modern feel. Most of the rooms have large windows and offer views of midtown below. The rooms also come with a pillow menu, flat-screen televisions, iPod docks, and a kitchenette. The Benjamin also offers Wi-Fi for an additional fee.

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The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, New York

Living room view of The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, New York
Leonardo

Address: 2 E 61st St, New York, NY 10065
Phone: (212) 838-8000

Open since 1930, The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, New York is an opulent landmark hotel based across the street from Central Park and a mile from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The hotel scores high on customer satisfaction and quality of service. This hotel is also a great value for money compared to most of the other 5-star New York City hotels. It costs about $929 per night, which is considerably less than the average cost of a 5-star hotel in the city. You can reserve your room at The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, New York in advance and benefit from the hotel’s shuttle and taxi services.

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The Chatwal, New York City

Bedroom view of The Chatwal
Expedia

Address: 130 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 764-6200

The Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel in New York City, offers a variety of services. Guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi in every room, a spa area, and a rooftop terrace. The hotel is located near Times Square and is close to many local attractions. It is also a short distance away from famous Central Park. Other amenities include a restaurant and hot tub. The Chatwal offers 76 guestrooms with elegant decor and personalized service.

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Mandarin Oriental, New York

Bedroom view of Mandarin Oriental, New York
Leonardo

Address: 80 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10023
Phone: (212) 805-8800

Located in the north tower of the $1.7 billion Time Warner Center, the Mandarin Oriental, New York is a stylish, modern hotel that boasts a clean Zen-inspired design. Rooms are spacious, and many offer sweeping views of Central Park and the city. For families, the Mandarin Oriental offers complimentary babysitting services and kids’ menus. If you are looking to hold a business meeting, you can also take advantage of the hotel’s staffed business center and expansive meeting space.

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Sofitel New York

Patio view of Sofitel New York
ICE Portal

Address: 45 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 354-8844

Located near Times Square and other attractions, this luxury hotel has free Wi-Fi. Guests can visit the Museum of Modern Art and the famous Fifth Avenue shopping district. In winter, the hotel offers a free ice-skating rink. Other nearby attractions include Radio City Music Hall, home of the annual Christmas Spectacular. The hotel is also close to Rockefeller Center, which houses NBC Studios. Visitors can also visit the Top of the Rock observation deck. In addition, the hotel is located near the Chrysler Building, one of the most beautiful skyscrapers in the world.

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Trump International Hotel & Tower New York

Building view of Trump International Hotel & Tower New York
Expedia

Address: 1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023
Phone: (212) 299-1000

The Trump International Hotel & Tower New York is a luxury hotel in Manhattan overlooking Central Park and just minutes from Columbus Circle, Fifth Avenue, and Lincoln Center. The hotel is the only AAA Five-Diamond hotel in Manhattan and offers two Michelin-star restaurants and the ultimate in comfort and style.

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Best Restaurants

Restaurant view of Blue Hill Restaurant
OpenTable

If you’re in the mood for fine dining in New York City, here are some of the best restaurants to visit. Per Se is a top French restaurant, with chef Thomas Keller, author of The French Laundry Cookbook, at the helm. The chef brings many of his recipes to life in the Per Se kitchen, earning him three Michelin stars. The restaurant’s wine list is also renowned, boasting over 2,000 different selections.

The food scene in New York City is incredibly diverse. From Italian and Japanese to classic American and Brooklyn favorites, the city’s dining scene is a cosmopolitan one. And because the city is so large, you’ll have no trouble finding a place to dine that suits your tastes.

East Village: The East Village is known for its density and diversity, so if you’re looking for a relaxed atmosphere and low-key, sophisticated dining, consider stopping by this neighborhood. You’ll find some of the city’s best restaurants in the neighborhood, including cult favorites such as Ducks Eatery and Babu Ji. You can also get a unique and delicious meal at Blue Hill New York. Though the restaurant isn’t affiliated with Blue Hill Stone Barns, it’s still a great spot for a memorable meal near Washington Square Park.

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Things to Do

Metroplitan Museum of Art in New York City
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There are many things to do in New York City for all sorts of people. For example, if you’re a sports fan, you might want to see some of the local teams play. You can visit the famous Yankee Stadium in the Bronx or the Mets’ Citi Field in Queens. You can also watch the Knicks play basketball at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, and enjoy the Rangers’ games at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. If football is your thing, you’ll probably want to visit the Giants and Jets’ stadiums in nearby New Jersey.

There are many great museums in New York City, and you’ll find great events and shows happening year-round. If you’re interested in science, you can take a virtual reality tour at the National Geographic Encounter, which will immerse you in an ocean odyssey. If art is more your thing, then head over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and take a tour of the world’s most famous museum.

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Neighborhoods to Know

Row of old brownstone buildings along an empty sidewalk block in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City NYC
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If you’re planning a trip to New York City, you’ll want to know the best neighborhoods to visit. Lower Manhattan has several excellent options. Near the East Village, you’ll find the Bowery, the Houston Street area, and Cooper Square. This area is also home to many trendy new restaurants, hotels, and galleries.

SoHo is one of the hippest neighborhoods in the city, but it’s not overly crowded. You’ll find hipsters, fashion, and art enthusiasts in SoHo. The best part is that it’s also one of the safest neighborhoods in the city.

The UES is home to the Smithsonian, Guggenheim, and Frick Collection. While you’re in the UES, you might want to check out the Greenwich Village neighborhood. It’s one of the most charming places in the city, with its cobblestone streets and brownstones. The neighborhood is full of bars and restaurants and is an excellent place to live.

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Weather

New York City
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The weather in New York City is very varied throughout the year. Its climate is humid subtropical, with a cold winter and hot, humid summer. Due to the city’s coastal location, temperatures are not as extreme as they would be in inland locations. Average lows in New York City in the winter are around 27°F and the summers are typically hot and humid with average highs of 84°F.

The temperature for New York City is measured every hour. This graph shows the lowest and highest temperatures recorded at different times during the day. The lowest temperature recorded on the morning of July 5 was 59°F, while the highest reading was 68°F at 3:51 AM on July 3.

October is one of the most beautiful months in New York City when Central Park begins changing color. Despite the cooler temperatures, there are still plenty of sunny days. This month has an average of seven hours of daylight per day, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities like hiking and cycling. On the other hand, October is the driest month in New York City, with only 10 days of rain or snow. Rainfall, however, is usually light and occurs mostly in the afternoon.

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