There are so many things to do in New York that you’re never quite done exploring.
Not many people know it, but at some point in my life I lived in New York City. After a short visit in December 2000, when I had a long layover on my way back to Sardinia, I realized that there were too many things to do in New York that I’d have to go back. So I made sure to get a job there, which would give me the chance to properly explore the city.
During my first time in New York, I did all the classic touristy things. After all, as self professed unsuccessful backpacker I see no point in going to a major tourist destination and skip the tourist attractions that make it just that – attractive. I am the kind of person that will spend hours in line to visit the Colosseum in Rome, or that will lose her balance because of a heavy backpack during a multi-day hike (that’s what happened during my Jesus Trail in Israel).
So, for all those of you who enjoy tourist attractions as much as I do, I have decided to put together a selection of the unmissable things to do in New York, with a few tricks on how to make the most of them even when time is limited.
40 Fantastic Things To Do In New York
New York Attractions
Take in the view from the Empire State Building
One of the nicest things to do in New York is taking in the amazing views. There’s nothing like enjoying great panoramic views of a city, even more so if that city is New York City. I have been on top a bunch of times, and every single one I get the chills. Completed in 1931, this was the tallest building in the world at the time it was built.
My advice is to go right before the sun sets, to take in a magnificent view both during the day, but you may also want to try a late-night entry.
The obvious issue with timing is that there may be lines for the tickets, and even going well in advance may mean having to wait before being able to ride the elevator to the observatory. Last time I went there with my sister, it took us well over an hour. The good news is you can buy tickets online here, and thus skip the lines. No more timing issues!
These are the best tours and tickets:
- Empire State Building Observatory tickets – an excellent skip the line option which includes an audioguide.
- Empire State Building day and night entry – is there anything better than having the chance of going up twice in a day?
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Opening times are 8:00 am to 2:00 am.
Visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
It would be absurd to go to New York and not visit the Statue of Liberty. This is the symbol of the city – actually, the symbol of the United States (in fact, it is located in New Jersey!), that has inspired so many immigrants looking for a better life.
The typical starting point to visit the Statue of Liberty is Battery Park, from where the Statue Ferry leaves. As it gets closer, the views of the Statue and of Manhattan are impressive. Once there, it is possible to get to the Pedestal to visit the museum and learn about the history of the Statue.
A proper visit of the Statue of Liberty generally continues on to Ellis Island, to visit the museum. A guided tour is actually a good idea – and one of the best things to do in New York – since not only there will be a guide to explain all the history and technical aspects of the Statue and the museum, but it will also allow you to skip the inevitable lines. Tours of the Statue of Liberty can even be bought online.
These are the best tours:
- Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island & 9/11 Tour with Priority One World Observatory Tickets – a great tour that takes you to some of the most world- famous attractions;
- Early Access Statue of Liberty Tour with Statue Pedestal Access & Ellis Island Tour – a fantastic early morning walk for incredible views;
- Statue of Liberty priority or flexible ticket – this 4 hours tour is an incredibly budget friendly option;
- 60-minute cruise around the Statue of Liberty – an excellent option if you don’t have much time;
Make sure to read my post “A Complete Guide To Visiting The Statue Of Liberty.”
Take the Staten Island ferry
Riding the Staten Island Ferry is one of the coolest budget friendly things to do in New York City. This ferry goes along Upper New York Bay 7 days a week, and goes between Whitehall Street and St. George on Staten Island. It gets more than 22 million passengers every year, each and every one enjoying the 25 minute ride thanks to the incredible views of the Statue of Liberty, as well as those of Lower Manhattan.
Wander around the Meatpacking District
One of the nicest things to do in New York is wandering around the Meatpacking district. Among the places that you shouldn’t miss there, make sure to hit the Ground Zero Museum Workshop, where you will be able to find out more about the lives of those who helped in the rescue works in the aftermath of the attacks. There is an interesting exhibit of photographs, audio and artifacts.
Another interesting museum in the Meatpacking District is the Whitney Museum of American Art, which houses an incredible collection of works by American artists.
Lat, but definitely not least make sure to spend some time in Chelsea Market. It’s the perfect place to grab a bite, with the fabulous bakeries!
Walk the High Line
One of the nicest free things to do in New York is walking the High Line. This is a railway viaduct that cuts down the west side of Midtown Manhattan. Abandoned in the 1980s, it’s been subsequently turned into an elevated park of about 2 km which was designed by Piet Oudolf, a Dutch landscape architect. The park opened in 2009. It runs through Chelsea, so you can visit the market before you actually walk the High Line. The highlight is the view of the Hudson River.
Visit New York Public Library
New York Public Library has to be one of my favorite places in New York City. You will recognize it from the gorgeous facade. It is a massive building with a vast collection of books in subjects such as social sciences and art. You can even go on a guided tour – they are held Mondays to Saturdays at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm.
TIP: Watch out for special exhibits!
Go to Times Square
One of the most classing things to do in New York is visiting Times Square. Indeed, nothing screams New York more than Times Square. We have all seen it a million times: during new years’ eve celebrations, and day in day out on the news whenever they mention the stock exchange. In fact, there’s no way to avoid Times Square, for it is the heart of Downtown Manhattan – close to Grand Central Terminal, Madison Square Garden, etc.
Yet, seeing it in person is a whole different experience. It is a bit overwhelming – bright and shiny as it is. But it really deserves a visit. Seeing Times Square is – quite simply – a must-do.
Pay a visit to National 9/11 Memorial and Museum
Whether you visit this memorial or not, it is up to you. To me, it is a must-visit. I was in New York on 9/11 so to me it is a way to pay respect to the thousands of people who died on that day, as well as those who died in the 1993 bombing. Hence I feel compelled to include it in the list of things to do in New York.
The memorial consists of twin reflecting pools that are an acre in size and that are meant to be the footprint of the Twin Towers. There is a man made waterfall – the largest in North America. You’ll also see bronze panels that report the names of those who died on the two different attacks. The museum will walk you through the history of the terrorist attacks. Not a merry place to visit, yet so interesting.
Perhaps a tour may help you better appreciate this memorial and its museum. These are the best ones around:
- 9/11 Memorial Tour & Priority Entrance 9/11 Museum Tickets – a very good tour of 9/11 Memorial;
- 9/11 Memorial Tour with Priority Entrance Observatory Tickets – this is the most inclusive option;
- 9/11 Memorial, Ground Zero and optional museum entry – the most budget friendly option, though it does not include the museum.
Check out my post “How To Get 9/11 Museum Tickets And Skip The Lines.”
Go up One World Trade Center Observatory
It took almost ten years to complete this skyscraper which, with its 541 meters, is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and is located where the World Trade Center once stood. Its name comes from the north skyscraper of the Twin Towers.
The view from the Observatory is 360 degrees and from there you can admire all the way across Upper New York Bay and the Statue of Liberty, the Hudson River and the Brooklyn Bridge on the other side. The best time to go up is right before sunset – the light is magic then!
These are the best ticket options to get to the Observatory:
- One World Observatory and World Trade Center tour – the best option as it actually is a guided tour;
- One World Observatory skip all lines – a more budget friendly option. You get an iPad to guide yourself around;
- One World Observatory all inclusive flex package – a very inclusive tour where you also get credit to be spent on drinks.
Go to Wall Street
Among the unmissable things to do in New York there’s paying a visit to Wall Street. This is one of the most famous streets in the world and it gets regularly mentioned in movies, news, tv shows and what not. As it is located in lower Manhattan, you can head there once you are done visiting 9/11 Memorial and Museum – or even better, go before for a chance to see lots of businessmen and women on their way to work, all dressed up in power suits.
Two things you can’t miss in Wall Street are the statue of the Charging Bull and that of the Fearless girl.
Visit Rockefeller Center
Famous for the Christmas tree that is lit – a bit too early if you ask me – as Christmas season begins and for the ice skating rink that goes with it, the Rockefeller Center is one of the most famous places to visit in New York. It is made up of 19 buildings, 14 of which is a fantastic Art Deco style. There is a sunken plaza in the center. All of the buildings were commissioned by the oil magnate Rockefeller family.
Make sure to admire the Atlas statue – it was first placed in 1936 and it is right in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Go up the Top of the Rock
For impressive views, one of the nicest things to do in New York is going up the Top of the Rock – that’s the nickname of the 1930s Art Deco skyscraper located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. It’s not as tall as the Empire State Building, but I promise the views are special: you get to see Midtown and Downtown skyscrapers as well as Central Park.
There is a timed entry to go up the Top of the Rock – so you may want to book your tickets in advance. These are the best options:
- Top of the Rock observation deck flexible ticket – a great option if you want a bit of flexibility, as you don’t have to schedule a day and time for your visit;
- Top of the Rock observation deck – the most budget friendly option.
Visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Visiting St.Patrick’s is one of the most iconic things to do in New York. The Neo-Gothic Cathedral of New York City was inaugurated in 1878 and is located on Fifth avenue, where it occupies an entire block. Chances are you’ll come across it while walking along the street, so you may as well pop in for a quick visit.
Explore Central Park
Think that there’s nothing better than a walk in the park to get away from an urban jungle? Well, Central Park is indeed a park, but also much more than that, and visiting is among the best free things to do in New York. The park is actually huge. From Columbus Circle, its southern boundary, to the northern one, it is 4 km. It is 800 meters wide. The whole surface is 315 hectares.
Yes, Central Park is much more than a city park. It is a tourist attraction in and of itself, with some incredible landmarks: Strawberry Fields, aka John Lennon’s memorial; the beautiful Bethesda fountain and terrace; Belvedere Castle; the Lake; Gapstow Bridge (one of the most iconic sights in the park) and more.
Central Park is also a very romantic place to spend some time with your loved one (for more romantic cities, check out this post). And you can even do bird-watching!
Another nice thing to do is exploring the park by bike. You can book your bike rental here.
To be honest, finding one’s way across Central Park isn’t easy. That’s why I recommend taking one of Central Park Tours. They are 100% responsible (no animal use, which to me is a bonus as I can’t stand the use of animals in tourist attractions), and great value for money.
TOP TIP: For a lesser known but beautiful park go to Prospect Park in Brooklyn. The effort to get there will pay off!
Then go to Bryant Park
Not far from New York City Public Library, this used to be a place for drug dealers and prostitutes but its reputation changed once it was finally renovated in the 1990s. It is a lovely place to hang out – less touristy than Central Park. It’s not uncommon to come across groups practicing yoga or even martial arts. People-watching at Bryant Park is one of the most offbeat yet nice things to do in New York.
TIP: If you visit New York City in the summer, don’t miss the Monday movie nights!
Get lost in the Metropolitan Museum of Art
One of the unmissable things to do in New York is visiting the MET.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) is one of the finest art galleries in the world, with works that range from ancient Egypt to the modern era. The museum is so vast (there are 19 curatorial departments that host various collections) that it takes an entire day to explore, if not more. The good thing is that re-admissions are allowed on the same day, so it is possible to leave and come back to continue the visit. If you want to avoid the line to enter MET, you can get your tickets online here or here.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: MET is open every day from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm, except on Fridays and Saturdays when it closes at 9:00 pm. Admission is $25.
Go around in circles at Guggenheim Museum
The Guggenheim Museum is one of the must sees of New York. It was was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and opened in 1959. The building is a real work of art, both on the outside and on the inside. The hosted exhibits change regularly, so make sure to check what’s on when planning to visit. However, if you ask me it actually is the architecture of the building that is simply unique.
Tickets to the Guggenheim can conveniently be bought in advance. Here are the best options:
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The museum is open daily from 10:00 am, and closes at 5:30 pm on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Closing time is 8:00 pm on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Admission is $25.
Admire some real iconic art at MoMa
There is little doubt that visiting MoMa is one of the things to do in New York.
Home to some truly iconic works of modern art such as Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night, or Warhol Campbell’s Soup, as well as works by Matisse, Gauguin, Picasso, Dali and Pollock, MoMa is a great place to spend an afternoon. I went for the first time with a journalist friend of mine who specialized in art, and it gave me the key to understanding and appreciating modern art.
Tickets to MoMa can be bought in advance. These are the best options:
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: MOMA is open every day from 10.30 am to 5:30 pm, except for Fridays, when it closes at 9:00 pm, and the first Thursday of each month, when it also closes at 9:00 pm. Admission is $25.
Learn about international affairs in the United Nations Headquarters
As I said at the very beginning of this post, the first time I visited New York I fell so in love with it that I vowed to live there, at least for a while. I then started looking for jobs in the city, and I eventually landed an internship at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters. After having visited the headquarters on a guided tour, I got to spend a few months actually working there.
Not many know, but there’s actually more than one United Nations building. We are used to seeing always the same one in the news, but the entire area where this is located, called UN Plaza, is home to the various offices and departments of the UN.
One of the most interesting things to do in New York is visiting the United Nations Headquarters, in a guided tour of about one hour. The tour goes to the main lobby, the General Assembly Hall, the Security Council Chamber, the Trusteeship Council Chamber, and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Chamber in the renovated Conference Building.
The tour of the UN main building costs $22 for adults and shall be booked in advance on the UN website here.
Visit the American Museum of Natural History
This is a nice museum to visit if you are traveling to New York with children, as it is bound to keep them entertained with the interesting exhibit of animals such as the Alaskan brown bear, the blue whale, mammoths and tyrannosaurus rex.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The entry fee to the main exhibit is $23 for adults and $13 for senior and children. The museum is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:45 pm. It is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Walk across Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge is one of the landmarks of New York and one of the things to do in New York is admiring the views and walking across it.
The view of it, and the view from it are simply amazing. But there’s more. The bridge, completed in 1883, links Manhattan to Brooklyn across the East river and is the first ever suspension bridge built. You can cross it as a pedestrian – last time I was in New York there was a parade and it was incredibly crowded, so if you are shooting for an empty place, make sure to double check for events and races!
TOP TIP: Another cool bridge that connects Brooklyn to the rest of the city via the East River is Williamsburg Bridge. The views from there are stunning.
If you have more time to explore this part of the city, make sure to go to Prospect Park. It’s a great place to people-watch as it is a bit more local. Not far from it you’ll also find Green-Wood Cemetery.
Admire the views from Brooklyn Heights
Right on the other side of Manhattan from the bridge, this is the first suburb of New York City. It is a gorgeous area, with beautiful old buildings, historic churches and – from the Brooklyn Promenade – a spectacular view of Lower Manhattan, which includes New York Harbor and even the Statue of Liberty.
Guided tours of Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Heights also include a visit of DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Overpass), which used to be an industrial area and is nowadays a beautiful artistic district packed with shops and galleries.
Go to church in Harlem
Ok, I don’t mean to literally go to mass. Indeed, one of the most fun things to do in New York is listening to a gospel choir, and there’s no better place to do that than Harlem. I went there the first time I visited New York and enjoyed the experience so much that I took my sister there when she visited me. The music and singing are very cheerful and a lot of fun, and anybody listening is bound to be in a really good mood afterwards.
There are gospel choir tours of Harlem, which add to the already fun experience of listening to the choir also a visit to Apollo theater and other landmarks of this part of the city.
This is the best gospel choir experience in Harlem:
Walk around SoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown
SoHo is one of my favorite areas of New York, just so scenic and so picture perfect. I also like Little Italy – though the Italian in me won’t ever fully appreciate the food served in the restaurants there. And Chinatown feels like a whole different planet, with all the small shops and restaurants.
One of the nicest things to do in Manhattan is visiting these 3 neighborhoods, which are right next to each other. There even are guided tours that take to all the important landmarks – ie the site of the first ever recorded murder case in New York City. You can book yours here.
Go for a baseball game at the Yankee Stadium
If you are a baseball fan, you really should pay a visit to the Yankee Stadium, best if for a game. The old stadium has been replaced in 2009 by a new one, from where you can enjoy great views of the game below.
You can visit the stadium museum at Monument Park and then stay along for a game.
Standard tickets for a game are in the range of $20 USD and can be bought directly on the Yankee Stadium website.
Admire Grand Central
Built in 1913, Grand Central is not just a train station – it’s an architectural wonder of Beaux-Arts. You will surely end up there at some point during your visit, so make sure to wander around a bit and take in the incredible building, where a multitude of shops and restaurants are located. Stop to admire the ceiling – painted with the constellations – and search for the whispering wall – it’s a part of the station where, if you stand in one corner, you can actually hear what the person staying in the opposite corner is whispering – definitely one of the most unique things to do in New York.
The whispering wall is located on the lower level in front of the Oysters Bar. It’s a 4 arched passage way so you can’t miss it.
Visiting Grand Central is actually free, but if you want more information you can go on a self-guided tour that you can book here.
As Grand Central is quite close to Madison Square Garden, you can make sure to pop in there as well when you visit!
And the Flatiron Building
Located on Fifth Avenue at the end of Madison Square, this interesting looking skyscraper resemble an iron. It dates back to 1902 and it’s 87 meters tall. It’s one of those iconic buildings you just want a photo of!
Hang out in Union Square
One of New York’s most famous gathering places, Union Square is full of life and art – with monuments, art installations, a market (though not every day). The area where it is located is also famous for nightlife and the incredible restaurants, and it has a more local feel than downtown. Make sure you go on Saturdays for the market, and hang around a little longer to enjoy dinner.
Go to Coney Island
One of the nicest things to do in New York if you have enough time during your visit is to go to Coney Island, which for a long time was used as New York seascape. The waterfront, which for a long time was mostly abandoned, has now seen a new influx of visits and the amusement park is a famous attraction. The rollercoaster is from 1927 and one of the oldest functioning in the world!
New York really is shopping paradise and everyone knows that shopping is one of the things to do in New York. Whether you decide to walk along Madison Avenue or go for the quirkiest boutiques of Soho or the Village, you will be in for a real shopping extravaganza. You just need to prepare your credit card because – don’t say I didn’t warn you – New York is not cheap!
Tasty things to do in New York
Go on a food tour
One of the nicest things to do in New York is eating. The selection of restaurants (including Michelin-starred ones), the street food scene, the eateries available are all incredible and it would be a pity to miss out. A cool way to enjoy at least some of all the amazing food on offer in New York is by taking a food tour. There’s various around town. I like Greenwich Village so I recommend you opt for a food tour in that area.
I have selected the best food tours in New York for you:
- Cupcake tour of the Greenwich Village – the perfect tour if you have a sweet tooth.
- 3-hour food and history tour with a local guide – doesn’t get any better than this tour where you get the best of both!
- Little Italy Italian food tasting tour – a great way to get to know one of NY city most fun places.
- Hell’s Kitchen walking food tour – a great tour of an up and coming part of New York.
Have a slice of pizza
The Italian in me may scream at the thought of pizza that is not baked in a wood and brick oven, but let’s face it: New York thin crust pizza is pretty tasty and world-renowned. For as heavy and greasy as it is, this is comfort food at its best and I honestly recommend trying it!
There are many places in town where you can grab a slice of pizza – which you absolutely have to eat with your hands. Among the best ones there are Artichoke Basille’s Pizza and Juliana’s Pizza.
Try a bagel
You may think you know what good bagels are – but trust me, until you have them in New York you have no idea of what the real thing is all about. Whatever your taste in food, one of the best things to do in New York is trying both a savory and a sweet bagel. Sweet ones are packed with fruits and cinnamon, spread with sweet cream cheese; savory ones often come with smoked salmon and cream cheese. Ess-A-Bagel is the place to go.
Visit Chelsea Market
I have already mentioned above that visiting the Meatpacking district is one of the coolest things to do in New York. One place you definitely don’t want to miss there is Chelsey Market. If you are hungry or simply a foodie, that’s where you need to be! The building where the market is located occupies one entire block – so you get the idea of how big it is. It inevitably attracts lots of visitors too – and you will realize why quite quickly when you get there.
There are 35 vendors at the market, so you get quite a good selection of food. One of my personal favorites there is Miznon, an Israeli chain that focusses on delicious stuffed pita.
Even more so if you are visiting during the summer, one of the things to do in New York is eating ice-cream! There are about a million places where you can get good one in town. A place I found truly decadent is Morgensterns – they have a few locations in town. I have been to the one in Rivingston St. and loved it.
Things to do in New York at night
Go for happy hour at an oyster bar
In a city as expensive as New York, you will be relieved to know that oyster bars now offer happy hour so you can get your drink of choice and snack on oysters for a real deal. Look for the best oyster bars in the city and double check in case you need to have a reservation – nights in town can get extremely busy!
Go to a comedy show
There’s nothing better than spending an evening laughing so much until your stomach and jaw hurt and this is the place to do it! Watching a comedy show is definitely one of the most fun things to do in New York. Comedy Cellar is one of the best places for that – but make sure you book your tickets in advance.
Shakespeare in the Park
One of the best things to do in New York in the summer is watching a movie at the open-air Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Movies are shown Tuesdays to Sundays at 8:00 pm between May and August, and that’s been done since 1962 so that’s quite a tradition they have going!
There obviously are limited seats available so getting tickets is easier said than done. Tickets are distributed starting at 12:00 pm on any show day and you will have to wait in line and must be have a Public Theater Patron ID. A person can get a maximum of two tickets so there is no such thing as sending one person to get tickets for a group of friends – and the rules are implemented tightly!
Attend a show at the Metropolitan Opera House
Speaking of shows, one of the best things to do in New York is seeing ballet or opera at the Metropolitan. The Metropolitan House of New York is located in Lincoln Center. It’s a massive modernist building where – if you go there during the season – you can attend opera or ballet. I recommend doing so – I went to see La Boheme and enjoyed every minute of it!
Dance to a Broadway show
If you love musicals as much as I do, then one of the things to do in New York that you are bound to enjoy the most is heading to Broadway for a show. There are a whopping 41 theaters, some of them with lights that are more than a century old, showing a variety of shows every night. If you like a quirky one, try to get tickets for The Rocky Horror Picture Show – it was my first ever musical in Broadway (actually, it was Off-Broadway!), with lots of interaction between the actors and the audience, and it was a lot of fun.
Other Useful Information To Plan Your Trip To New York
When to visit New York
If you ask me, I’ll tell you that any time is a good time to visit New York. I visited during Christmas time and it was pure magic; I lived there throughout fall and winter and loved to see the color changes and to experience it under the snow. And I went in the summer and enjoyed the incredible vibe. So, to make a long story short: go whenever you feel like it!
Where to stay in New York
A city like New York has no shortages of places to stay. The only two issues when looking for accommodation in New York are picking the right area, and finding something that doesn’t blow the budget.
I used to live in Manhattan (initially near Madison Square Garden, then near the Lincoln Center) and I loved it, though it could be chaotic at times. The southern bits are definitely quieter and give more of a feeling of neighborhoods where it is pleasant to walk around, and I would recommend staying there.
These are the best places to stay:
- French Quarters has nice, cozy room (if only a bit small) and it at walking distance from a lot of attractions. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
- Hotel 50 Bowery has much bigger rooms and is a cute boutique hotel located in Chinatown. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
- CitizenM New York Times Square offers comfortable, well organized modern rooms in an unbeatable location. For an extra fee you can opt to stay on one of the top floors. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
Here’s an even more detailed list of where to stay in Manhattan for under $200 a night.
Another option could be staying in Brooklyn – after all, the public transportation system in New York works really well. I love converted buildings and
These are the best places to stay in Brooklyn:
- Wythe Hotel is located in what used to be a factory – so in a charming building. Rooms there are large with stylish decorations. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
- Pod Brooklyn offers small but incredibly well organized and comfortable pods. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
- 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge has very modern spacious rooms with unbeatable views. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
How to get to New York
New York is fantastically connected to the rest of the world through its airport. You can fly to JFK, Newark and La Guardia. If you can, make sure to opt for JFK as it is the one best connected to the city.
Getting from JFK to Manhattan
From JFK, you can count on buses, taxis, uber and even the AirTrain and subway to get all the way to the town.
Taxis are a convenient and fast way to get to your final destination. They have a flat rate of $52 to which you need to add the tolls and a $4.50 surcharge during peak hours (between 4:00 and 8:00 pm on weekdays). It’s honestly expensive, but if you can share the costs with other people, it’s not that bad.
UBER costs more or less the same – so if you don’t have internet to book your UBER, you may as well opt for a yellow cab.
Shuttles are a much cheaper yet comfortable option. They start at around $20 and can be booked online prior to your arrival. You can book yours here.
Finally, you can count on the AirTrain which takes you to Manhattan for under $8. Keep in mind that the AirTrain has 3 different lines.
This post explains everything you need to know on how to get from JFK to the city in more detail.
Getting from JFK to Brooklyn
You can get from JFK to Brooklyn via cab for around $65 – so in this case you may really want to opt for an UBER.
The AirTrain costs just as much as it does to get to Manhattan – make sure to pick the right line and to change at one of the stations there to get your connecting subway to your final destination.
How to move around New York
New York is super easy to move around. The subway works 24/7 – though service is limited at night – and you can also count on a web of buses, on the yellow cabs and on Uber. I recommend walking as much as you can – as with anywhere, it really is the best way to experience a city.
You may want to consider getting a hop-on hop-off bus pass that will connect you to the most popular places to visit in town. There are 24, 48 and 72 hours passes. You can get yours here.
Using the New York CityPass
You may want to consider getting the New York Pass to enjoy discounts (you can save up to 41% in total) and get access to a lot of attractions. Most passes also come with access to transportation. You can get your pass here or here.
The New York CityPass includes entrance to the Empire State Building, the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Top of the Rock Observation Deck or Guggenheim Museum; the Statue of Liberty or Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum or Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
Other useful information
No matter where you travel in the world, make sure to also get a good travel insurance. Get yours here.
Check out my post “Why You Need A Good Travel Insurance.”
Further readings about the US
Are you planning a trip to the United States? Make sure to read my other posts:
- A Wonderful Itinerary For A Day In New York
- The Perfect Itinerary To See New York In 2 Days
- A Fabulous Itinerary For 3 Days In New York
- An Easy To Follow Itinerary For 4 Days In New York
- 5 Days In New York: An Easy To Follow New York Itinerary
- A Great Itinerary For A Week In New York
- Where To Get The Best Views In New York
- A Great Itinerary For 3 Days In San Francisco
- The 10 Best Places To Visit In California (That Aren’t Just Cities)
- 15 Unmissable Things To Do In California
- 10 Things To Do For A Fabulous Trip To Miami
- Seven Adrenaline Filled Things To Do In Yellowstone (With Kids!)
- 10 Not To Miss Hikes Near Denver
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