Travel secrets | 8 Best Ways to Explore New York City Given that New York City is the largest (most populous), busiest, and most culturally diverse city in the United States, you might be tempted to believe that getting around is a nightmare.
On the contrary! With excellent public transport and plenty of other attractive options, navigating the iconic neighborhoods of the 5 arrondissements, visiting famous landmarks, and getting a feel for the city is easier than you might think.
Here are the best ways to explore New York City, whether you prefer to walk, cycle, sail, or enjoy the excitement and magic from above.
Walk, Walk, Walk | Travel secrets New York City
As one of the greatest walking cities in the world, it’s no surprise that the best way to see New York is on foot. Above all, this offers you the unique opportunity to capture the soul of this busy mega-metropolis, immerse yourself in the colorful sights and sounds, meet the locals, and admire the architecture. Besides, it doesn’t cost anything.
Of course, the city is huge, but if you group the sights you want to visit by neighborhood and each cover an area, you will save a lot of time, money and energy.
Covering 22.82 km², Manhattan, home to most of NYC’s best-known attractions, is a delight to explore on foot. And Brooklyn, while bigger, is full of quirky shops, cafes, and great views of the skyline over the water.
The streets of New York are busy, but if planning and orientation aren’t your forte, there are practically endless walking tours to choose from, focusing on everything from food to history.
If architecture is your thing, New York’s Municipal Art Society is your best bet. Otherwise, Free Tours by Foot offers over 35 paid tours of Manhattan and Brooklyn, including a relaxing stroll through Central Park, a night tour of Midtown Manhattan, and trips to SoHo, Little Italy, and Chinatown. All of this is led by licensed guides and local New Yorkers who know the city better than anyone and love to share their knowledge with you.
Embark on a Cruise | Travel secrets New York City
From free boat trips to hop-on hop-off sightseeing tours to luxury dinner cruises, there are plenty of ways to see New York City from the water.
For example, Circle Line – the most popular cruise line – has an excellent selection of themed excursions and sightseeing tours around Manhattan from sunrise to sunset.
Alternatively, hop on and off the New York City River Taxi as many times as you like with a day pass. Not only does the service offer fantastic views of the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, and One World Trade Center, it also stops at 11 locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, giving you the chance to see the biggest neighborhoods, monuments, and monuments of the city to explore the city. and attractions at your own pace.
If your budget is tight, take the East River Ferry, a fast ferry that costs $ 2.75 one way and offers three convenient routes: Wall Street – East 34th Street to Midtown Manhattan, Wall Street – South Brooklyn, and Wall Street – Rockaways (in Queens).
Or, better yet, take the Staten Island Ferry, one of New York’s top free things to do that offers sweeping views of the Statue of Liberty, the harbor, and the towering skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan.
See the City from Above | Travel secrets New York City
- There are many ways to see New York, but seeing everything from above is a truly fascinating experience. Whether you climb iconic landmarks or just stroll the High Line and Brooklyn Heights promenade, you’ll experience a visual feast like no other.
- For an unforgettable experience, brave the crowds on Top of the Rock or on the 86-story deck of the Empire State Building. However, some of the city’s most extraordinary observatories are the Panorama Rooftop Bars, where you can enjoy million-dollar rooftop views for the price of a cocktail.
- Other sites with equally stunning views, albeit from different angles, include the Brooklyn Bridge, Belvedere Castle in Central Park, the Met’s Roof Garden, and the One World Observatory atop the One World Trade Center. , to name a few. .
- For a unique view of New York City, take the Roosevelt Island Streetcar, which winds down the East River and offers a unique view of the East Side of Midtown Manhattan. The aerial tram runs from the Upper East Side to peaceful Roosevelt Island, and the 4-minute ride costs just $ 2.75 each way (free with an unlimited MetroCard).
- If you want to see the Big Apple from an even wider perspective, almost nothing can beat a helicopter over Manhattan. While it doesn’t come cheap, this exhilarating experience lets you snap epic photos of New York City and create memories that will last a lifetime as you fly over some of the world’s most iconic landmarks in style. and comfort.
Go on a Movie Tour | Travel secrets New York City
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been in love with New York romanticized in movies and TV shows. Home Alone 2, Friends, Seinfeld, and Sex and the City were my first introduction to the city that never sleeps, and they obviously had an unforgettable impact on my future destinations and travel plans.
If you’re like me, you won’t leave New York City without seeing at least some of its famous film locations. Whether you do your research and explore on your own or opt for a themed guided tour led by a reputable company like On Location Tours Inc. or Walks of New York, you will be spoiled for choice. choice in this cinema- Perfect city.
If you add destinations such as Central Park South, Greenwich Village, and the Flatiron Building to your itinerary, you can see the building where Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Rachel lived, as well as many well-known American Hustle attractions, The Great Gatsby, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Gossip Girl and Spider-Man.
Cycle Around | Travel secrets New York City
Cycling is a fun, inexpensive way to get around New York City. This is not Copenhagen, but with a successful bike-sharing program (Citi Bike) and a growing number of designated cycle routes, you can easily cycle through different parts of the city, get in touch with nature and find your path around wonderful viewpoints.
Some of the best and most scenic routes include the Greenways along the Hudson and East Rivers, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the 6.1-mile full loop around Central Park.
Take the Subway
Hiking and biking are great ways to get a feel for the neighborhood, people-watch, and get to know this great city. However, when it comes to traveling long distances quickly, there is nothing more economical and efficient than public transport.
The New York subway system is one of the largest and most extensive in the world. It works 24/7 and will take you almost anywhere you want to go in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. It might seem complicated to first-time visitors, but there are tons of free apps out there to help you better understand how it works.
If you’re looking to make heavy use of transit in New York City, buy a seven-day MetroCard for $ 33 and get unlimited subway and bus access. Not only does it save you money, but it also helps you explore the city like a local and get a feel for the real New York City.
Eat Your Way Around (Ethnic) Neighborhoods
As a melting pot of cultures and races, it’s no wonder NYC has an incredibly diverse food scene. From bakeries and pizzerias to Michelin-starred restaurants, the menu is superb. And if you want to feed yourself anywhere in the world, you can do that just by exploring the (ethnic) neighborhoods of the city.
In the East Village alone, you can spoil your palate with Argentinian, Australian, Greek, and North African dishes without having to walk too much. East Harlem has plenty of Mexican, Dominican, and Puerto Rican restaurants, while Chinatown in Manhattan and Flushing in Queens are dreams come true for Asian food lovers.
Avoid Manhattan’s touristy Little Italy and visit the Bronx district on Arthur Avenue, where Italian culture, history, and heritage are more alive than anywhere else in the city.
In Queens, Indian and Latin American restaurants are well represented in Jackson Heights, while Astoria has excellent Greek tavernas specializing in traditional seafood and mezze.
Alternatively, visit Brooklyn for authentic Polish specialties (Greenpoint), great Mexican food (Sunset Park), and daring Eastern European dishes (Little Odessa).
Hop on a Big Bus New York Sightseeing Tour
It might sound touristy, but taking an open-top Big Bus ride in New York City is a fun and remarkably convenient way to get around the city, especially for first-time visitors. The tour takes passengers around the city and gives them the option of getting on and off the bus at any time.
This way you can see all of the Big Apple’s top attractions or easily customize your sightseeing itinerary to suit your interests while enjoying free WiFi onboard and engaging narration from an enthusiastic English-speaking guide.
The routes cover areas such as Downtown, Uptown, Midtown, and Brooklyn. Popular stops include Times Square, Wall Street, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
A classic day ticket (49.50 USD) is only valid for downtown, downtown, and downtown. The best thing to do, however, is to grab the New York Explorer Pass and list your favorite attractions.
Book a Shopping Tour
With gourmet grocery stores, trendy independent boutiques, and the world’s greatest department stores, New York’s shopping scene knows no bounds. The only problem is where to start.
There are shopping trips here, and the city offers countless great opportunities – from fun excursions through different parts of the city to ultra-exclusive experiences with a personal stylist.
Depending on your budget and interests, choose from complimentary New York Fashion and Vintage Fashion Shopping Day tours from Foot in charming Gramercy. a two-hour retail therapy session at the chic independent boutiques of SoHo and Nolita with Shop Gotham; or a day trip to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in the Central Valley – one of the largest outlet malls in the world.
For the ultimate private VIP shopping experience, you’ve come to the right place in the Style Room. Here, fashion specialist Karen Parker O’Brien offers tours to exclusive designer showrooms and studios as well as limousine rides, chilled champagne, and premium discounts.
Make the Most of Your Visit with New York Explorer Pass
If you save the best for last, this is your number one ticket to the city’s top attractions and tours, all at a great prepaid price.
The 30-day New York Explorer Pass is the best way for visitors to explore the city at their own pace while saving valuable time and money.
Choose a pass with 3, 4, 5, 7, or 10 choices and enjoy access to a pre-selected number of attractions, tours, and cruises from over 90 attractions on offer, as well as exclusive in-store offers and local restaurants and a free bag. Travel guides filled with maps and useful information.
Travelers who want to explore the city with the New York Explorer Pass not only save up to 50% on admission but can also skip the line at popular attractions such as the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, or the Metropolitan Art Museum.
In addition to the famous museums, monuments, and tourist sites, there are also sightseeing cruises, horse-drawn carriage rides, and interesting hiking and bus tours. And best of all, you can decide which attractions to visit along the way.
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