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13 Untold Tips for Tourists Visiting New York





Planning a trip to NYC is overwhelming.  There’s so much to do in so little time.  I did an extensive research before our vacation but I didn’t come across these helpful tips.  So, here are 13 untold tips for tourists visiting New York.  Believe me, I wish I have known them sooner!

13 Untold Tips for Tourists Visiting New York:

1.  If you plan to go up to the Crown of the Statue of Liberty, you have to book in advance (at least 4 months)

We were too late when we bought our tickets.  Tickets with Crown access were already sold out for the duration of our trip.  It’s unfortunate because the ticket costs only $3 more than the normal ticket ($25).  tips for tourists visiting New York - statue of liberty

2.  Buy your tickets online

It’s cheaper and it’s less cash to bring.  Usually, online tickets are cheaper because of the promos which are not offered at the actual site.  Just make sure to purchase from official websites.

Check out the two official city pass sites below for discounts and promos:

Official New York CityPASS –  offers discount on packages or multiple attractions  (SAVE 40% OR MORE on the 6 top attractions)

Official New York Pass website  – definitely more expensive but you can skip lines and you can visit as many attractions as you want for certain no. of days

3.  The 7-Day Unlimited Pass (MetroCard) is very convenient and relatively cheaper for tourists

The cost of a Single Ride ticket is $3 while a 7-Day Unlimited Pass costs $31.  If you plan to use the subway at least 10 times, you could already benefit from the unlimited pass.

In our case, we used the MetroCard at least 4-6 times per day for 3 days.  It’s also more convenient since you don’t have load it every time or worry about the balance.  Just swipe it and you’re ready to go!

tips for tourists visiting New York - metrocard
Save your MetroCard in case you will visit NYC in the next 12 months.  You can reload it next time.

4.  Allot at least 15 mins. for the likely chance of getting lost looking for the right subway station

I didn’t expect that riding NY’s subway would be so difficult.  On our first day, we lost at least 15 mins. looking for the right subway.

5.  Look very hard for those subway stations

Green lights/lamps designate entrances that are always open.  Look very hard for these green lamps!

We got lost because the subway we were looking for turned out to have a very small post and the green lamp was on a canopy that was adjoined to a building.  Confusing!

subway lamp
This is an easy one.

We also encountered an entrance that didn’t have an overpass/underpass to transfer to the opposite platform.  Confirm if you need to go Uptown or Downtown.

tips for tourists visiting New York - subway




6.  Check out Federal Reserve Bank of New York at Wall Street

If our local friend didn’t tell us, we wouldn’t have known that the majestic building was the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

tips for tourists visiting New York - federal reserve
Look at those grills and bricks!

7.  Allot 3 hours for 9/11 Memorial and Museum

The museum was larger than I expected.  It took us 3 hours to absorb everything.

tips for tourists visiting New York - 911

Coming from someone who wasn’t interested in going to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, I now consider it as a must-see.  Not to offend anyone, but, I was under the impression that I wouldn’t be able to find a personal connection.
It was hard not to be moved by the memorabilia.  It features last phone call recordings of flight passengers, recollection of survivors, pictures and videos captured during the event.

tips for tourists visiting New York - 911

8.  MoMA is free for all visitors every Friday from 4pm to 8pm

If you’re after the free admission, get ready to visit the museum with hundreds of other visitors.  When we went there for the free admission, it was very chaotic.  It was difficult to appreciate the art because it was very crowded.  There were even several people taking selfies with the paintings.  Oh, and if you’ll avail the free admission, be sure to line up outside the museum to get the Uniqlo Free Friday Nights Tickets.  Backpacks are not allowed but you can store it at their lockers.

tips for tourists visiting New York - MoMa Free NYC Museum

If you want to avoid the chaos, avoid going there on a Friday evening and pay $25 instead.

tips for tourists visiting New York - MoMa Free NYC Museum famous artworks
Some of the famous artworks in MoMA

9.  There is a ‘secret’ whispering gallery in Grand Central Station

Without any signs or markings, the archway in front of Oyster Bar & Restaurant is actually a whispering gallery.

tips for tourists visiting New York - whispering gallery grand central terminal
Try to whisper at one arch and have someone listen at the arch diagonally across yours.

10.  There are several museums that always have free admissions or pay-what-you-wish

Two of the most popular in this list are American Museum of Natural History and Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Here’s the website that I found that lists these museums.

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11.  High Line is underrated

This is one of our favorite sights.  It’s a beautiful elevated park that was once a railroad.  I love its industrial-meets-nature vibe.  I regret that we didn’t go here earlier during the day.

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12.  Plan every meal/dessert that you want to eat

There are so many food options in NYC, it can be overwhelming!  You can easily be enticed by the restaurants near you.

I carefully planned our food itinerary to the point of locating the branch to the nearest NYC sight.  For more tips on our food itinerary, you can check it here.

what to eat in NYC

13.  Bring your most comfortable shoes and a pair of flip-flops

I cannot stress too much how tiring it is to tour NYC.  It was a big relief for my feet when I changed to my flip-flops at some time.  My average no. of steps per day was around 30,000!  Of course, it still depends on you on how many sights you’d want to go to.  We opted to make the most out of our trip.

Bonus:  Itinerary tips for tourists visiting New York, click here

In 3 days, we were able to visit 15 famous sights, try 10 highly recommended NY food, and stay at the luxurious St. Regis Hotel.
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20 thoughts on “13 Untold Tips for Tourists Visiting New York

  1. Great tips. So many wonderful things to see there. The subway was interesting and fun at the same time. Cross over body bag is a good thing to have too. We walked everywhere and loved every minute. Great post! 🙂

  2. I loved New York when I visited. I stayed in Brooklyn. Unfortunately I didn’t get change to do the High Line but I definitely want to revisit NY so that will be at the top of my itinerary.
    I made sure to visit a fancy high rated bakery in the Upper East Side for a proper slice of New York Cheesecake. Mmmmmm.

    1. We weren’t able to tour around Brooklyn that much. It’s in our next itinerary. 🙂 High Line is lovely! You should go there next time.
      Try Eileen’s Special Cheesecake. It’s so light and fluffy! Yum!

  3. Such valuable information. Wow, a 4 month wait to go to crown of the Statue of Liberty – I did not know that. Didn’t know MOMA was free on Friday’s between 4 and 8pm…that’s great!

    1. Yup, as of now, September tickets are the earliest you can book online. MoMA is crazy on Fridays! There are so many tourists (including me). lol

  4. These photos are beautiful and the tips are super helpful! Thank you 🙂 I also love love love the little details you put into your blog.. like the share button saying “sharing is caring”. Super excited for more posts!

    1. Aww, thanks a lot Alissa!! You’re a doll. 🙂 By the way, you can get the same share buttons using the Shareaholic plugin. 🙂

  5. We were ther for 4 nights and 5 days but it wasn’t enough! Like you, I planned our food itinerary which included cronuts at Dominique Ansel, Halal Guys, Banana pudding at Magnolia bakery among others. Will definitely go back and use some of your helpful tips.

    1. I wasn’t able to try the cronuts from Dominique Ansel. Was it great? I haven’t tried Halal guys but it’s next on our list when we return to NYC! 🙂

  6. These are some awesome, awesome tips! I fully agree with the comfy shoes and I feel that is applicable for almost all places where you know you are going to walk a lot lol. I once made the mistake of wearing flats during our SFO trip and by the end of the day my legs were paining so much. I wish I had worn something comfy 😀

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