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!
*Disclosure: Business Traveler’s Wife receives compensation for purchases made using some of the links below.
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
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). To buy tickets for the crown access, you have to book through Statue Cruises, the only official source of the crown reservations. Make sure to book your tickets at least 4 months in advance!
For more info on visiting the crown, click here.
2. Buy your tickets online
It’s cheaper and 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 official city pass site for discounts and promos. Official New York CityPASS offers discount on packages or multiple attractions (SAVE 40% OR MORE on the 6 top attractions)
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!
Save your MetroCard in case you will visit New York in the next 12 months. You can reload it next time.
4. Book your Broadway tickets in advance (for famous shows)
A big part of the New York experience is watching its famous broadway shows. It’s expected that tickets gets sold out quickly for popular shows. Secure your seat and book your ticket in advance!
Check for prices and availability as soon as you have decided to visit New York.
The Lion King On Broadway
Phantom of the Opera On Broadway
Wicked on Broadway
5. Allot at least 15 mins. for the likely chance of getting lost looking for the right subway station
I didn’t expect that riding the city’s subway would be so difficult. On our first day, we lost at least 15 mins. looking for the right subway. 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.
We also encountered an entrance that didn’t have an overpass/underpass to transfer to the opposite platform. Check if you need to go Uptown or Downtown.
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.
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. 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.
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.
If you want to avoid the chaos, avoid going there on a Friday evening and pay $25 instead.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Looking for a place to stay in New York?
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26 Replies to “13 Untold Tips for Tourists Visiting New York”
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! 🙂
Right! Cross-over bag is a good idea! 🙂 Thanks Koko!
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.
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!
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!
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
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!
Aww, thanks a lot Alissa!! You’re a doll. 🙂 By the way, you can get the same share buttons using the Shareaholic plugin. 🙂
I added a few to my list of places I want to see in NYC! Thanks for the info!
Hey Perri, thanks for checking this post! I’m excited for your NY trip in August!! 🙂
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.
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! 🙂
I love NYC! Despite having been several times, these are some great tips…I will Pin them for my new trip 🙂
Thank you!! I’m glad that this post came in handy for you! 🙂
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 😀
Thank you so much! 🙂 Yes, a pair of comfy shoes is a must!
Thanks a lot! 🙂
Great post! We love going to new york for our anniversary! Thanks for sharing!
I loved going up in the crown!!!!!!
You do not need to buy Broadway tickets far in advance unless it’s a popular show (Dear Evan Hansen, Wicked, Lion King, and Hamilton are typically hard to get). Everything else you can find great discounts for, especially closer to the show date – either an online code, on TodayTix (up to two weeks in advance), or TKTs day of/day before.
Thanks Julia! That’s right, it’s for the popular shows. For the discounts, my friends line up on the same day for a chance to get super low prices.
can I ask on what website can i order the ticket to the crown of the statue of liberty? i can’t find any:(
Hi Karina! You have to book through Statue Cruises. I updated my post and included the link there. Hope this helps!
I just got back from a trip to NYC.
Wish i had found your article sooner lolz.
But ehum..the high line was a bit disappointed I thought..it is beautiful but also very touristy.
Aww, at least you have more things to look forward to when you return to NYC! 🙂
Oh, really? That is disappointing. I guess we were lucky when we visited the High Line because it wasn’t crowded then.