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A Bite of the Big Apple: Five Tips for a First Time Visit to New York City

This blog post was updated on August 20, 2018.

If you have ever flown over New York City, you understand the definition of enormous perfectly. A city skyline so large, it almost doesn’t seem real. While it may resemble a movie simulation form above, New York City is very real once you actually touch down.

For those visiting the city for the first time, nerves and worries can build up over that enormity. If you are well prepared from booking your airline tickets early to keeping New York stereotypes at bay, you might never want to leave the gateway to the world.

New Yorker’s Aren’t All Unfriendly—Many head into New York under the assumption that New Yorkers aren’t the friendliest of people. Sure, you might not encounter someone who possesses the chattiness of the U.S. South, but New Yorkers aren’t all tight-lipped and cold.

It is important to remember that not all stereotypes are true, especially when it comes to New York City. You can find unfriendly people in the friendliest cities and friendly people in so-called “unfriendly” towns. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions simply because of preconceived stereotypes.

The Subway Can Be Manageable—I have heard those who have frequented New York on more than one occasion still find the city’s subway a mystery. If you are a little unsure about trying out your public transportation skills in one of the biggest cities in the world, never fear. There’s an app for that. Be sure to download the New York Subway app before you touch down. The app has a detailed map of each line in this overwhelming city.

There’s More Than One Airport—Even the daffy probably know there is more than one way to get to New York City, but this fact can slip your mind in the booking process. If you are looking for the best airfare deals to New York, be sure to search all airports. Most cities offer several, if not dozens, of flights a day to Newark Liberty International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport or LaGuardia Airport. Depending on where you are flying in from, check flights to the following airport codes: LGA, JFK and EWR.

Times Square Isn’t The Sole Place To Stay—If you are venturing to New York City for the first time, you probably have visions of hanging out in Times Square. CNN recently named this area of New York City one of the world’s worst tourist traps. While it is something to see if you have never seen it before, don’t focus your hotel searching to solely this area. Chances are after one or two looks you will be ready to explore the other facets to this metropolis.

Book Shows with Reputable Parties and In Advance—If you are dying to see the latest Broadway hit, don’t expect to score a seat if you just show up the day before to get tickets. The most popular shows don’t normally have availability for procrastinators. The ones that do will have you spending the day in line for cheap seats. Also be sure to check where you buy your tickets from for Broadway shows and other theater alternatives. Third party sellers can sometimes change the days around on you without letting you know.


Have you been to New York City? What words of wisdom would you pass along to a first timer?

About the author

Suzy Guese

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at

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