13 November 2014

5 Travel Tips for NYC (and my favorite apps to use!)

I've now lived in NYC for just a bit over 5 years and love the place to pieces. It was quite a whirlwind when I moved but each day I learn more tricks, tips and helpful hints. I will now bestow some of that wisdom on to you...

1) Public transportation is your very best friend- and Google maps (my favorite trip app). In other places it might seem a nuisance to take the bus, or not worth the time to climb on a train - but in NYC it's a necessity. Depending on the length of your stay it even be worth it to purchase an unlimited bus/subway pass. Many stations have self-service kiosks as well as an attendant to talk to- one who  might be able to give you your best options.

2) IF you do need to take a cab- which yes, you may want/need to at some point- always flag a yellow cab. the black/gypsy cabs can grossly overcharge you and they are sometimes super sketchy. Also note- a green cab (new to these parts) are the same as yellow cabs- they can only be hailed though in outlying areas though (Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Upper Manhattan). Don't expect a green cab to stop in the middle of Times Square- he cannot.

A cab is available if the yellow light is lit (see wonderful picture below). I can't tell you how many angry/disappointed tourist faces I see each day when they stick their arms out and can't figure out why a car isn't stopping. A super useful app for this is Uber. I love Uber in NYC because one of the options is getting a yellow cab (uberT).

3) Don't eat near the touristy places!! Time Square can be lots of fun and an exciting place to see but all the food in that area is super super overpriced and doesn't taste that good- besides the fact that is mostly chains you can probably find down the street from your house. Your best bet is to use another great app- Yelp. Yelp can help search the best or most reviewed places nearby, how much the location costs and give you the distance to them. I've found many gems on Yelp, places I still go back to with friends and family.

4) Ask for help. Besides the reputation we have, New Yorkers are actually pretty friendly and very helpful. Now, this doesn't mean you try and ask the businessman hauling butt down 5th Ave to stop and give you directions- he is going somewhere and needs to be there now, but there are plenty of other locals walking about leisurely that you should be able to spot, stop and ask.

5) Go to the Museums! Both the MET and the Natural History Museum you can pay what you want to get in- they are also almost exactly across from each other (with Central Park as a separator) Make a day of the two- start at one, walk through the park then go to the other! It makes for some great sights, a nice walk, and is light on the bank. And by walking from the east side to the west side (or vice versa) you experience a completely different view of the city.

One of my favorite things about NYC is that everything is so different. There is a neighborhood for everyone, from the Bronx to Brooklyn you can always find something new, unique, and beautiful. Spring/Fall are great times to visit because the weather is typically mild and that makes the subways, and walking about much more enjoyable. And if you have the time- do walk. The subway is convenient and can be quicker but walking gets you the best experience of all.

Hit me up when you come for a visit! I love sharing places to eat, visit, and meeting with new people for a drink/chat.

Image Map


  1. I have always wanted to go to New York…like, ever since I was a little girl. This post was great, I feel like people stereotype New York to be a certain kind of city, but I am determined to go there and fall in love with it:)

  2. You totally will! It's such a wonderful place, never a dull moment and so many things to do. Just have to come with an open mind!

  3. I have been to NYC 6 times and am so fascinated with it and what it would be like to live there. I have a good friend that lives there and I am itching to visit. Oh and I love the lego demonstration, I actually did not know that about the lights.


  4. My husband and took our honeymoon to to NYC, and we definitely want to go back. We went around Christmas time because I wanted to experience NYC at Christmas, and we had an absolute blast. My favorite part was going to Bryant Park for the big tree and all of the food vendors and merchants selling their goods (pickle me pete was my favorite and I still have his business card lol). I would say the most overrated things I experienced were times square, Rockefeller center, and The Shake Shack (we have something similar in OH that taste 20x better)! I would definitely go again in the spring or the fall because central park was a bit of a let down in the winter... Love this post and I love your tips as well!

  5. It can be rough to live in sometimes, but for the most part I wouldn't change anything- so much to do, see, so many people to meet. You can be content sitting all day doing nothing or find a million things to explore.

  6. Thanks! you definitely need to come visit again!! I would agree with rockefeller center- it's nice to see the tree but other than that its like whomp whomp. Early fall is the best- the weather isn't crazy yet and the leaves are starting to change, everything looks so good!

  7. It's definitely on our list to do again! I think we enjoyed lower Manhattan the most, especially by the 9/11 memorial, as well as Washington square and the NYU campus area. I'm very excited to come back to the big city and be less of a tourist this time around!