The Big Apple attracts huge numbers of visitors with its famous landmarks, intriguing attractions and diverse neighbourhoods. You’ll need plenty of time to discover all that New York City has to offer and if you’re planning a trip to this bustling metropolis, don’t forget you can book hostels in New York City from our great selection.
We asked our community on Facebook about their top New York tips and here’s what you told us.
Get stunning views of the city at Top of the Rock
Renato Vieira says:
Wanna see the city from above? Go to the Top of the Rock! It’s cheaper and less crowded than the Empire State Building, and the view is waaaay better 😀
Sybil Ramos Sheen says:
In addition @top of rock in Rockefeller Center u can have a great picture with the Empire State as background! Just go on a day without fog
The Top of the Rock observation deck at the Rockefeller Center offers incredible panoramic views of New York City. From here you’ll get great views of top New York attractions like Central Park, the Empire State Building and lots more. Don’t forget to bring your camera.
Location: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 50th Street (between 5tn & 6th Aves), Midtown.
Opening hours: Daily from 8am-11pm.
Save time when visiting the Statue of Liberty
Megan Atlas Portelli says:
Buy tickets to see the statue of liberty BEFORE YOU GO (on the internet) to avoid standing in line for hours!
Donated to the United States by the French in 1886, the Statue of Liberty is one of the world’s most instantly recognisable landmarks. Thousands of people visit the Statue on a daily basis so the queues can get long. In order to save yourself some time, why not book your tickets online and print them off before you even get to Liberty Island. For more information about ticket prices and ferry schedules, check out www.statuecruises.com.
Explore the city on foot or use public transport
Nina Infortuno-Camacho says:
Walk…walk…walk. New York City is the best walking city, a lot to discover. Start early and end late. Take the subway. Take the bus. Experience the city like a local. Get lost in the city, one street at a time. Best city to get married too! Don’t hurry. Take pictures. Lie down on the grass at Central Park on a clear day.
Sanna Salmela says:
Good shoes. Walk, walk, walk. Occasionally take the bus.
New York’s diverse neighbourhoods are best experienced on foot, so don’t be afraid to walk around and get a real feel for the city. However, in order to get to some neighbourhoods, boroughs or attractions you will need to use public transport. There are plenty of options if you need a break from hoofing it; these include the subway, buses and the city’s omnipresent yellow taxis.
Take a helicopter tour for unique views of the city
Oliver Fox says:
The Heli Flight around Manhattan was an amazing experience – Miss Liberty, the Yankee Stadium and the Skyscrapers – wow 🙂
A number of different agencies offer helicopter trips around New York City. Starting at around $150, these tours give you a bird’s eye view of Manhattan spread out below. Along the way, you’ll pass by top NYC attractions like the Empire State Building, Ellis Island and more.
Make up your own mind about Times Square
Jianqun Zhang says:
I will say time square… the energy is unexplainable… u have Broadway, you have shopping… and Ya Da!! The screen from Heroes.
Helge Fredheim says:
Times Square is a no-go. Try Punjabi on Houston. Indian food like in India!
Karolina Kolarikova says:
Times Square and environs at 4-6 a.m. in summer. It’s almost empty, fresh air, and has special breathtaking atmosphere when a new day is coming and the city life wake up and accelerate.
Stepping into the electric circus that is Times Square for the first time is quite surreal thanks to all the towering buildings and bright lights. The area’s manic energy and ever-present neon aren’t for everyone, but if it’s your first trip to New York then you should definitely check it out.
Spend some time exploring Greenwich Village
Fay Dreamerr says:
Greenwich Village is THE place to be! Great boutiques and even greater bars… met some awesome locals there last year… got free drinks and accommodation out of it!
Also known simply as The Village, Greenwich is one of the coolest neighbourhoods in New York City. Instead of towering skyscrapers, this neighbourhood is home to more low-rise buildings along with a wonderful selection of boutiques, cafés and bars. In terms of nightlife, most of the action is centred on the intersection of Bleecker and MacDougal Streets. Other attractions in the area include Washington Square Park.
Check out the Oyster Bar in Central Station
Fernando Nogueira says:
Oyster bar – central station
This popular restaurant inside New York’s Grand Central Station serves up a smorgasbord of seafood. A huge variety of oysters are available at the Raw Bar. On top of that, you can sample chowder, lobster, crab, fish and more. If you’re not in the mood for seafood, the Oyster Bar also serves up some non-fishy options as well as a tempting array of desserts.
Location: Grand Central Station, Midtown.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11.30am-9.30am, Sat noon-9.30pm, closed Sundays.
Visit Coney Island
Filippo Celli says:
Coney Island in winter is awesome
Silvia Cave says:
Go to Coney Island by underground and then walk back to Manhattan crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. You will see NYC come to you!
Coney Island is home to a number of different attractions including the popular beach which is open year round and the Boardwalk, a great place for a stroll. The area is probably best known for its collection of amusement park rides and attractions. On top of that, the New York Aquarium is just off the Boardwalk and there are plenty of places to get something to eat such as delicious New York hotdogs. Located in Brooklyn, Coney Island is around an hour from Manhattan on the subway. To get there, take the D, Q, N or F train to the Stillwell Avenue station.
Enjoy a meal at Good Enough to Eat
Markus Klausz says:
Check out breakfast at good enough to eat
Home cooked comfort food is what you’ll find on the menu at Good Enough to Eat, a restaurant serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner. For breakfast expect to see all the favourites from pancakes to waffles to eggs and biscuits. A wide variety of salads and sandwiches are available at lunch, while dinner dishes include mac and cheese, fish and chips, meatloaf, steak and more. If you’re not full after all that, don’t worry. Good Enough to Eat also serves up a delectable dessert menu featuring pies, cakes, cookies and homemade ice cream.
Location: 483 Amsterdam Av (at 83rd Street).
Opening hours: Mon-Thurs 8am-10.30pm, Fri 8am-11pm, Sat 9am-11pm, Sun 9am-10.30pm.
Invest in a New York CityPASS
Stephen Fox says:
NYC pass for 79 dollars buy it at planet Hollywood
Shawn Krowski says:
Get the New York Pass it saves you so much money on the attraction, food and shopping.
The New York CityPASS covers your admission to 6 of the top things to do in New York. These are the Empire State Building, MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (or the Circle Line Cruise), and Top of the Rock (or the Guggenheim). The pass coasts $79 and is valid from 9 days after you first use it. As well as saving you some money overall, the pass allows you to skip ticket lines at most of these attractions.
Make sure to explore all of the city’s boroughs
Tatjana Meyer says:
The promenade on the Queens side of the east river (between. 50th and 46th Ave): you’ll have a breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline!
Elana Hartman says:
Don’t just see the tourist attractions. Check out the areas by the unis (NYU and Columbia mainly) and go to Brooklyn (in the summer the free concerts at prospect park are amazing). And when you’re on the upper west side, check out the Hungarian pastry shop on Amsterdam and 110
There’s a lot more to New York City than just the skyscrapers of Manhattan. Get out and explore the city’s four other boroughs – Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. There are plenty of things to see and a great variety of neighbourhoods to explore throughout all these boroughs so don’t miss out.
Save money in a variety of ways
Matthew Clemente says:
If you’re going out for a fancy meal, see if they have a lunch sitting. Same great food and service at a fraction of the price.
Robert Schroed’er says:
Second hand book stores in Brooklyn!!
Visit the Guggenheim
Anita Seman says:
Solomon r Guggenheim museum as always!
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, which is simply known as The Guggenheim, is one of the coolest museums in New York City. Housed inside a unique building designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, this museum houses a huge collection of modern art from the all over the world including pieces by famous artists like Picasso.
Location: 1071 5th Avenue (at 89th Street)
Opening hours: Sun-Wed & Fri 10am-5.45pm, Sat 10am-7.45pm, closed Thursdays.
Admission: $18; ‘Pay What You Wish’ on Saturdays from 5.45pm-7.45pm.
A few more New York Tips you might like…
Catherine Gray says:
Get a Yankees ticket for as cheap as $9 on stubhub.com and chill out in Riverside Highway Park.. and don’t forget matinee and student rates for Broadway shows. I ? (and miss) NY!
Tim Zheng says:
Don’t stop in the middle of foot traffic
Julie Chilton says:
Take your time and have a plan!
Lydia K-Punkt says:
Brooklyn bridge by night is awesome…NYC is breathtaking… and Metro DINER 2641 Broadway (Corner of 100 th Street) has FAB BREAKFAST and it’s also good for dining!!!
Bart Karski says:
Bike around the streets of Manhattan at sunrise on a weekend
Mark Haynes says:
Spend as much time as you can there…AMAZING city, everything you see on tv…true!!!
Scott Bixler says:
Go to Tom’s Restaurant for breakfast or lunch. It’s OK to walk around in Harlem and the Bronx. You will see where the hipster stars and wannabe’s get their bling jewellery. Like anywhere else, be vigilantly careful about night life if it’s not in the most expensive central area. Use the subway to get a taste of the old city underneath and whatever you do, hold on!
Madalina Caraba says:
Try to do what i did 2 years back: 3 days on your own in NYC getting everything planned beforehand. Sleep in east harlem hostels, try not to get lost, eat on the streets, buy tours tickets, including night tour which is breathtaking, and of course Top of the rock Rockefeller Center. And do try NY Cheese Cake! 😀
Michael Kollbauer says:
Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center) at night, Columbia University, a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square (very amazing), a short trip to long island, Chinatown (a little bit crazy), Little Italy, Statue of Liberty (with the ferry to Staten Island – it’s free)….New York City is amazing!!!
Nadja Baer says:
Don´t miss Dumbo … especially in the evening, night. Amazing view to the skyline of Manhattan and the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge, best option for great night pictures. And of course all the normal sightseeing, best to walk everywhere and at least 1 week time, better more 😉
Inna Gesheva says:
Map, money, camera, good mood, friends and more of one week free time 😉
Rai Johnson says:
Go off the tourist routes and discover the real NYC. If you’re not tired every night then you’ve not discovered enough of this beautiful city. Hop on hop off buses are a must (always plenty of ticket agents in Times Square) and use circle line ‘cause you get a free cruise around New York, east river to Hudson via Statue of Liberty. At night it’s breath taking.
Julie Maddox says:
I will never forget my very first trip to NYC in 1998 when I was only 18 years old (I’m now a 7 year resident of Brooklyn)… I stayed at the IYH in East Harlem…. waiting in line for the Ferry to Ellis Island a street performer called out to the crowd: “Remember folks! It’s not the sights and monuments that make this the greatest city on earth… it’s the people who live here!” He was so right on. So when you visit the city… be sure you make friends with a few locals.
Hopefully these top New York tips will help you make to most of your visit to New York City.