New York City is such an exciting place to visit, you'll have memories of your trip for years to come. Follow these tips to experience NYC like a local, so your trip to the Big Apple will be even better.
Virtually every acre of New York City is full of restaurants, so finding somewhere to eat shouldn't be hard. However, if you're looking for a good restaurant and not sure where to start, try Greenwich Village, a tiny neighborhood in the middle of Manhattan, well known for its restaurants and night life. Greenwich Village is known to be a neighborhood where locals, tourists, college students and all walks of life can go to mingle on a fun Friday night.
For all its sidewalks, Manhattan is covered in green space, as long as you know where to look. Here are some of the favorite local hang outs:
- Central Park — it's not just for tourists. New Yorkers treat central park like one giant front lawn. On any Sunday afternoon in spring or summer, central park is where many locals go to sun bath and play baseball.
- Inwood Hill Park — This wilderness area in the northern tip of Manhattan is largely unknown by tourists and used mainly by local residents seeking adventure. Come to this park to walk the trails and escape the hustle and bustle of Manhattan.
- Riverside Park — This narrow strip of greenery on the western edge of Manhattan provides beautiful views of the Hudson river and places for visitors to walk, run and bike.
- Fort Tryon Park — The little brother of Inwood Hill Park, Fort Tryon is the home of the Cloisters, a little known annex of The Metropolitan Museum of Art where a fine collection of medieval art is on display in a magnificent castle-like structure.
- Washington Square Park — A good place to play a game of chess or hear street musicians, Washington Square Park is nestled comfortably in between Soho and Greenwich Village, within easy walking distance of restaurants and shopping.
Suggested Admission Museums
Tourists and locals alike visit the many museums in Manhattan, but many tourists are unaware that admission to some of Manhattan's best museums is only suggested - not required. These museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as the American Museum of Natural History, have a suggested admission starting in the range of $25.
This is the price you'll pay online and at electronic kiosks at the museum entrances. To pay a lower price, you'll have to stand in line at the ticket booths. When you pay for your ticket, tell the attendant the price you can afford to pay - whether that's $10, $5 or less.
Broadway may be famous, but locals know that off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway theater productions are more affordable and often more controversial. Check out the independent theaters scattered around Manhattan to see plays that are politically charged and artistically experimental. For those with their heart set on seeing a Broadway play anyway, check out the TKTS kiosk in Times Square, where same-day Broadway tickets are sold for low prices. For more information, check out the TKTS website.
Nearly all areas of Manhattanan and the outer boroughs can be reached by taking the bus or the subway. In fact, many residents of NYC don't even own cars because parking within the city limits is prohibitively expensive and traffic can be unmanageable. For more information about getting around on the MTA, visit their website.
Yellow cabs are abundant in Manhattan below 125th Street. To hail a taxi, simply stick out your hand on any major street and flag one down. Taxis won't drive north of 125th Street unless delivering a passenger. The alternative to taxis above 125th Street are called "gypsy cabs," or "car service vehicles." Car service vehicles usually take the form of Lincoln Towncars, and are far less regulated than yellow cabs. They often have no meter, and prices are negotiable. The process of hailing a gypsy cab is the same as the process of hailing a yellow cab, but prices should be negotiated before getting into the car.
Both airports can be reached by public transportation. LaGuardia is reachable by bus, and JFK can be reached by subway. This is by far the cheapest way to reach the airport, but definitely not the fastest. The flat rate for trips between Manhattan and JFK is currently $52. Check out the New York City Government website for updates and changes. Passengers going to LaGuardia will pay the standard per-mile rate in any yellow taxi.