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Things to know before visiting!

Southampton, United...
8 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
Things to know before visiting!
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Hello, I am visiting New York next May 2022 with a friend. This is the second time I’ve been but this time I’m going for a week (instead of 3 days like last time).

Although I have been once before, it was in December and with older family members. This time it is in much different circumstances and with a friend (we will be 26&25).

So I would love to know what people think is “Need to know information” before visiting NYC!? what did you wish you knew before going? Tips, tricks and inside info appreciated :-)

20 replies to this topic
Santa Fe, New Mexico
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11,478 posts
18 reviews
136 helpful votes
1. Re: Things to know before visiting!
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Do your best to learn the subway and buses. I find Citymapper app for my phone indispensable.Pick your hotel wisely, By researching the things you want to do in relation to your hotel choices.

Where did you stay last time?

Downtown (South of 23rd St. or even better IMO south of 14th St).is probably best for people your age ,you could base yourself there.

The east village has lots of bars And restaurants and young people in their 20s. As does Greenwich Village but In my opinion, The Village is more expensive to do everything ,eat drink etc.

The lower East side Has a lively night life with the same But, it can be very much a drunken mess sometimes in the evening. That’s my opinion.

Chinatown is a fun place to explore and there’s lots of good Chinese restaurants at low cost. The west village should also be explored .Tribeca Has lots of restaurants although I think it’s more expensive there. Soho Has good shopping.. The flatiron district should also be explored ,if you haven’t already.

I would explore comedy clubs as well.

Tips

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g60763-i5-k8949287-Tips_Hints_and_Suggestions_for_First_Timers_to_NYC-New_York_City_New_York.html

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Brooklyn
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33,056 posts
6 reviews
2. Re: Things to know before visiting!
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-Utilize the subway. It's the best way to get around.

-Purchase an unlimited 7 day Metrocard.

-Don't necessarily plan every hour of the day. Leave time to roam the city and experience what it offers.

-NY'ers are very helpful. Ask if you are unsure.

-Google "What to do in NYC this week/end" prior to your trip. There may be events taking place that you may not know about.

-Subway etiquette....stand to the side when the train pulls in. Let the people get off first.

-If taking an escalator, stand to the right if not walking up/down.

-You don't have to spend loads of $ on meals. There is everything from $.99 pizza to $250+ vegetarian.

-Don't necessarily go for a hotel w/breakfast. You can get(as an example) an egg/cheese/tomato/bagel and an OJ at loads of places.

-Locals will seem as if we are always in a rush. We are. But we will stop and help.

-Please understand that tipping is a thing here. Bars. Restaurants. Cabs. Hotels. Etc. Please budget that into your trip.

Just a few.

I also tell this to many people who visit NYC...or any other city in the world:

Put down your cell phones for a day(or more.) Just go out and experience the sights, sounds and smells and not be drawn into mapping every route or posting every pic.

Syracuse, New York
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22,291 posts
27 reviews
9 helpful votes
3. Re: Things to know before visiting!
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I would purchase a hard copy guidebook or get one out of the library. It can be a good source of info not only for the normal tourist attractions but also out of the norm things. I would shore this with your friend & each of you make a list of your personal must dos & sees & then share the lists with one another to ensure that each of you are on the same page regarding what to do. I suppose you could do this on the computer but people tend to search only for things they are familiar with & a hard copy guidebook will open your possibilities IMNSHO.

Edited: 24 August 2021, 22:39
Brooklyn, New York
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for Brooklyn
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33,056 posts
6 reviews
4. Re: Things to know before visiting!
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-Hailing a taxi? Make sure the light on top of the vehicle are on.

-Bodegas and drug stores are great for picking up snacks/items for your hotel room.

-Some stores offer discounts for visitors. Just ask.

-Check the weather a few days prior to your trip. May weather can one glorious one week and chilly the next.

-Do try to explore outside of Manhattan. There are great neighborhoods and attractions in the other 4 boroughs(Brooklyn, The Bronx, Staten Island and Queens.)

-ATM's are everywhere. You don't need to carry a lot of cash.

Just some more.

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Brooklyn
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33,056 posts
6 reviews
5. Re: Things to know before visiting!
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Definitely get a guide book and start picking out places/attractions/things to do. Create a flexible itinerary. You don't have to have 7 days worth of plans. Leave a day open to check out an area without and schedule.

Stop in a local restaurant for lunch. Check out some shops/boutiques. Have a drink at a local bar.

Boston...
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9,296 posts
1 review
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6. Re: Things to know before visiting!
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Other than things specific to your tastes for how to spend your time I don't there's really anything someone from South Hampton, so presumably been to London plenty, really 'needs' to know. Especially given that you've been there before.

Edited: 25 August 2021, 00:12
Boston...
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9,296 posts
1 review
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7. Re: Things to know before visiting!
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.....maybe the fact that converting currency and bring hard cash isn't a good idea if your one of the people who still thinks you should do that.

Montreal, Canada
Destination Expert
for Montreal
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7,096 posts
101 reviews
94 helpful votes
8. Re: Things to know before visiting!
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Check out sites such as untapped cities and secret nyc to find different things to see

For restaurants, I suggest making reservations, it's always better to make sure you can get in rather than wait in line for an hour

I use Google Maps to map out the places I want to see and do, I set it to walking and triple the time mentioned to take into consideration that I will be slowed down by foot traffic or interested in a shiny thing a in window. Try to map your days based on areas, you do not want to be crisscrossing the city.

I do like the suggestion made by Ter to make sure the light on the cab is on when you hail it, however, as a tourist, I can honestly say that the light, during the day, is very hard to discern, so just hail away 😁

Before you leave, check with your bank if your debit and credit cards will work in New York and if you have to advise, in advance, that you will be using them outside your own country.

I travel to New York city often as a solo female, I know you will be with a friend, but be aware of your surroundings, New York is not a scary city at all, but like any big city, listen to your inner voice, don't walk around with your purse opened on your back and if you need directions, please ask, I have never had anyone not help me whether on the street or on the subway.

Southampton, United...
8 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
9. Re: Things to know before visiting!
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Thank you all for your replies and suggestions! very helpful :-)

Edited: 25 August 2021, 02:28
Greater Sydney...
Destination Expert
for New York City
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24,413 posts
20 reviews
75 helpful votes
10. Re: Things to know before visiting!
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One thing to add. In NYC there is daily housekeeping in your hotel room so a daily tip of around $5.00 for two people would be welcome. Leave the cash in a prominent place such as on the bed (not under the covers) so the housekeeper will see it. You can leave a note with it if you like (I don't do this, the cash is understood by the housekeeper and always taken). Please leave the tip daily because the housekeeper may be different every day.

In regards to things to do, May is usually the start to warmer weather and a great time to be outside. Street fairs become a thing with many neighbourhoods having outdoor stalls and food and music. It's too early for May 2022 listed events, but do a search for street fairs sometime early next year.

Other things you might like are the Smorgasburg weekly food events. They start in May outdoors and end in the colder months indoors. There are a couple of locations, one in Williamsburg Brooklyn (the original location), one in Prospect Park Brooklyn, and a smaller one in Lower Manhattan. The Williamsburg one is great for views back over to the skyline of Manhattan.

https://www.smorgasburg.com/

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