Tips for Exploring NYC: Booking in Advance, Taking the Subway, Getting a Map, Avoiding Times Square, Visiting Museums, Exploring the Bronx and Queens, and Avoiding Crowds
NYC Attractions Tips
If you have your heart set on something like visiting the crown of the Statue of Liberty, it’s best to book ahead. Similarly, popular Broadway shows and TV tapings are often sold out months in advance.
Don’t forget to research the neighborhoods you plan to visit and find out which museums are Pay What You Like (with a suggested donation). And don’t forget about all the free events!
1. Get There Early
If you want to see a Broadway show then make sure that you get to the theater district early. You can purchase TKTS tickets or try out the Broadway lottery for discounted shows.
NYC has a lot of comedy clubs where honed professionals and up-and-coming comedians display their talents. Many are located in the Times Square area and offer a great night out for visitors.
Escape rooms are another popular activity and most of them are open at night. This way you can take your time and avoid large crowds.
2. Take the Subway
The subway is a great way to see the city. It’s cheap, fast, and convenient, especially if you’ve bought one of the NYC attraction passes.
Just remember to read the signs and listen to the loudspeakers when deciding which line to take. Some lines only travel in one direction, and if you get on the wrong train, you could end up wasting your subway fare! The best solution is to download a subway app before your trip.
3. Get a Map
If you want to see as much of NYC as possible, it’s best to get a map. You can find a free one in any hotel and most museums, restaurants, and other attractions offer them.
Some of the city’s most popular sites cost money, however. A trip to Times Square and Broadway can be pricey, as can a visit to the Statue of Liberty or One World Observatory (the Western Hemisphere’s tallest building). But there are many other free things to do in New York City.
4. Avoid Times Square
Times Square is a hub of commercialism and tourists but that doesn’t mean you should avoid it. Just be sure to visit before noon on the weekends to find it relatively empty and enjoy it at its best.
For a truly one-of-a-kind experience, try to go at night when the streets are lit up and Broadway shows are in full swing. It’s also a great time to visit the classic watering hole Glass House Tavern which is often frequented by actors after their show.
5. Don’t Skip the Museums
Museums are a great way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of NYC. Fans of modern art should head to MoMA where they can find masterpieces like Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans and van Gogh’s The Starry Night.
Other popular museums include the Met and the Metropolitan Cloisters. If you’re looking for a more unique experience, check out the City Reliquary which showcases quirky NYC artifacts like L-train paint fragments and a decaying birthday cake.
NYC is an amazing city to visit all year round. The weather is best in spring and summer and the fall colors are beautiful in Central Park towards the end of October.
6. Don’t Forget About the Bronx
While many people avoid the Bronx, this borough is home to some of NYC’s best attractions. From Yankee Stadium to the New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx is sure to surprise you.
If you want to explore the borough’s art scene, visit the Bronx Museum of the Arts. This modern art institution aims to capture the borough’s vibrant culture. Plus, it’s free to enter! This makes it a great option for budget travelers. Moreover, it’s not as crowded as The MET or MoMA, making the experience all that more enjoyable.
7. Don’t Forget About Queens
There are so many things to do in NYC, but you can’t experience everything on a single trip. Instead, prioritize your time wisely.
Whether you’re a sports fan or just looking for something unique, you can see the real New York City by visiting Queens. Head to Citi Field for a Mets game or visit Gantry Plaza State Park, which has a beautiful view of Manhattan.
If you love to eat, go on a food tour with Devour NYC or catch a comedy show at the Comedy Cellar. It costs less than a Broadway show and you may get to see an up-and-coming star before they’re famous!
8. Avoid the Crowds
The most popular NYC attractions can be crowded and overwhelming. However, there are some ways to avoid the crowds.
Some of the best ways to skip the crowds is to book ahead of time. This includes climbing the interior of the Statue of Liberty (reservations a minimum of one month ahead work), dining at top restaurants, and seeing a popular Broadway show.
You can also avoid the crowds by taking a bus tour or an all-in-one NYC attraction pass. This will save you money and time!