Tourist Tips for Planning to Visit New York City
Many times friends ask for opinions of where to go, what to do or where is the best place to eat in New York City. Living near the New York City area and frequently going to events, shows and restaurants I can give you an inside view of what to expect. I am by no means as knowledgeable about the city as a NYC tour guide nor do I know all of the sightseeing hot spots for tourist attractions or types of tourism packages. No matter how many times I visit New York City there is something new to see. And with every visit the feel of excitement as I enter the town filled with activities and energy. I would like to share some tips, facts and recommendations from my experiences about getting around New York City with some insight of what to expect from the people who live and work here.
As a tourist you have to understand that NYC is not only a big tourist destination, it is also the work place for millions who commute here daily. New Yorkers for the most are friendly and will try to help visitors as long as you respect them. Do not assume that every New Yorker walking on the street is a tour guide or think that all New Yorker's know the directions to every famous tourist attraction or place of interest. Do assume that you may be interrupting someone as they are rushing to work or on their lunch hour and sometimes they don't appreciate you asking “where is the Empire State Building” as you may be standing right in front of it. New York City is probably the fastest paced city in the world and a minute for a tourist is like an hour to the native New Yorker's that live and work here. Remember the famous quote “in a New York minute”.
If you are planning on sightseeing in the city do some research before you visit and get information on things that are interesting to you. After you narrow down your interests or events to see check listings of events within that category. The City has many free events going on daily and there is not always a need to pay admission or buy tickets. In spring and summer the City Parks have free activities or exhibits weekly. Throughout the year there are numerous street festivals and parades for special interests and nationalities. With so many events the city has to offer it is easy to get sidetracked from your itinerary of the day.
NYC is one of the safest large cities for tourists. Use common sense and avoid areas you feel uncomfortable in. Beforehand get familiar with landmarks, local streets and mass transit areas. The easiest way for getting around town is by simply walking or taking the local buses or subways. If you are going to places within a ten or twelve block radius don't hesitate on walking, it will probably be faster than by taxi. If you have a car, find a centralized parking lot to go for all of your activities.
New York City is known for its many famous & fine restaurants and expect to pay above average when dining out at these. If this is your first visit to NYC you owe it to yourself to dine at any of these famous fine restaurants. Some places to try- Patsy's Italian restaurant, Carmine's, Ben Benson's Steakhouse, although a chain- Ruth's Chris Steakhouse is always a favorite.
Sightseeing and events. With an endless selection of things to do for singles, couples and families in New York City, narrow your search into categories like; Central Park, City Parks, Broadway Plays, Shows, Music events, Concerts, City Cruises, Restaurants & Dining, Walking Tours, Arts, Entertainment, Museums, zoos, calendar of events, shopping, spas & resorts, photo tours, helicopter tours and much more. Most important don't forget your digital camera to take pictures of the New York Cityscapes.