New York City is incredible: from its bright lights to famous people to delicious food of all sorts, it is no wonder non-natives want to visit it so badly. However, it is easy to get caught in a tourist trap and have a terrible trip. Because NYC is always evolving, you’ll want to read some of the following advice that real New Yorkers live by when you make your way into the city that never sleeps.
Using Public Transportation
There is no need to drive your car to get around NYC unless you love being caught in traffic and never actually seeing the city. While it is often said that New Yorkers love to walk, the city has a great public transportation system. If you are going to be in New York City for a few days to a week, it is a good idea to pick up the unlimited subway pass to get around the boroughs.
When you ride the subway, it is a general rule of thumb to not make eye contact with anyone. Understand that the express subway skips half the stops, so only get on this train if you are confident in where you’re going – and confident that it will stop there. Otherwise, take the local subway, or bus, even though it does take longer.
Don’t get stuck up when it comes to eating in New York City – there is no reason to get picky when there is so much available. While you should make sure that it is safe to eat there, there are seemingly thousands of hip and delicious eateries throughout that will amaze you.
Off the Beaten Path
There is no need to stay in Times Square for an extended amount of time unless you’re taking in a few or more Broadway shows. The crowds are large and limitless, everything is overpriced (for tourism), and there are mostly chain restaurants instead of those cute local dives. Stop by for a photo and a coffee, maybe catch a show, and leave: New York City has much more to offer.
While, as a visitor, you’ll want to visit the big names – the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Central Park – it is always better to veer off the beaten path, the crowds, and the tourist trap prices. Don’t get us wrong: Manhattan sightseeing, whether you’re on a formal tour or with local friends, is a beautiful thing. But when you love New York City, you love it all.
Be Extra Safe
Whether it is hiding from scammers or being afraid to drink the water, there are a few safety tips to keep in mind. The water is safe, head out to museums and tourist attractions early (before the crowds arrive after 10 in the morning), and New Yorkers are not as rude as they are on television.
However, you should keep your purse or bag close to you always and be careful of afternoon shows on the Subway. Avoid tourist traps and travel by the local path if you can – you’ll save a lot of money. If you are a female and traveling single, be extra careful – this includes much more than avoiding catcalls and creepy men.
New York City is a vibrant, ever-growing city. There is much more to do than what is seen in magazines and much more to eat than what is posted on Instagram. When you are able to visit NYC as a local, you’ll truly get an authentic taste of this beautiful city – and want to come back again and again.