New York City: 10 Quick Tips

There isn’t another city quite like New York City.

New York City [NYC] consists of five boroughs – Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island. Over 60 million tourists visit NYC annually.

Discover neighborhoods, enjoy a show, satisfy your food cravings, visit a museum, and much more. Given the wide range of activities and attractions in NYC, it might seem overwhelming at first. The following tips will help you plan your visit.

1) Book your hotel early

There's no lack of hotel rooms in NYC. Manhattan itself has over 90,000 hotel rooms. Any room in one of the boroughs will cut down your expenses considerably. New Jersey might seem like a good option but be prepared to spend a lot of time getting into Manhattan.

2) Bring your walking shoes

I like to walk in NYC. Bring your walking shoes.

3) Enjoy the green spaces

Central Park is known all over the world and is the most visited urban park in the U.S. It might comes as a surprise that the park is almost entirely landscaped, including its seven man-made bodies of water.

Located in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan, I recommend the High Line. Also known as the High Line Park, it is a 1.45-mile-long linear park built on an elevated section of a disused railroad spur.

4) Take the subway

The New York City Subway is a fast and reliable method of transportation. It is the largest rapid transit system in the world by number of stations – 472 stations in operation. If you use the hop-on hop-off buses, be prepared to wait around at street corners. There are several apps for the subway and bus system.

One easy and helpful tip is the difference between a local and express train – local trains stop at every station while express trains can skip 3-4 stations. Another tip is the Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard, which is quite handy if you are a solo traveler or traveling with your family.

5) Look up

If you like architecture, you're going to love NYC. The city is filled with noteworthy buildings in a wide range of architectural styles and from distinct time periods.

The Chrysler Building is an example of the Art Deco style, with ornamental hub caps and a spire. The spire also satisfies a 1916 Zoning Resolution that required setbacks and restricted towers to a percentage of the lot size in order to allow sunlight to reach the streets below.

6) More than what meets the eye

Grand Central Terminal or Grand Central Station or Grand Central; the word is Grand. It covers 48 acres and has 44 platforms, more than any other railroad station in the world. All the platforms are below ground.

There is more than what meets the eye in Grand Central. Read up before you visit or download a paid audio tour. There is a free guided tour on Fridays [look up Grand Central Partnership].

7) Visit a museum or two

If you plan to visit museums [and you must], my recommendation is to start early. Check for opening times on museum websites.

The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA, is regarded as one of the largest and most influential museums of modern art in the world. Avoid free entry nights, usually Fridays, because of the long waits and crowds on the inside.

If you have time to visit only one museum, choose the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

8) Times Square

Times Square is one of the world's most visited tourist attractions, drawing over 50 million visitors annually. It is also the hub of the Broadway Theater District. Most of the area around Times Square is geared towards tourists.

Personally, I think Times Square is overrated but that's me. Well okay, you have to be there once. I prefer heading out towards the side streets that have a lot of good eating places.

9) Skip the chain restaurants

I think NYC has the best food options from all over the world. From food carts to cafés to restaurants, NYC caters to every palate and this includes peanut butter concoctions to "Indian Chinese" food.

10) View from the top

Be it the Empire State Building or One World Observatory or Top of the Rock, you must see NYC from the top, either during the day or night. Lines can be long at these venues but it's worth the wait.

My favorite is the Observation Deck at the Empire State Building. Mid-week visits are best. Buy your tickets in advance. Download the app.