New York General Tip and Advice
New York, New York
New York General Tip and Advice Reviews
NYC General Tip and Advice Nov 20, 2011
New York is generally an expensive city. But not all places are expensive. After researching and sharing of tips by passionate NYC travel buddies, I like to share some cost-saving tips in New York. I decided to compile important facts together so that it is more convenient. Thanks to all the awesome TBs who readily shared their insider tips and advice. Initially I was scare of travelling alone, but after seeing the overwhelming responses in the forum, I just booked the air ticket to New York and embarked on my first solo trip, the most memorable trip so far. You could say they gave me the courage to travel halfway around the world. I enjoyed the trip in New York because most of the New Yorkers are so kind. When they saw me standing in the street especially below 1 St, they would ask if I were lost, then kindly provide instruction on how to proceed to the attraction.
Besides the ubiquitous yellow taxi, which cost a flat fee of $45 including tolls from JFK airport to manhattan, there are other options like taking the subway, airtrain and shuttle bus. The bus NYC airporter costs $15.50 from JFK airport to Manhattan Grand Central Terminal,Port Authority Bus Terminal and Penn Station.
NYC Airporter: http://www.nycairporter.com/
I didn't take any cab in New York. I enjoyed walking to explore New York from 30th St to 80th St. However when my legs ache from all the walking, I just took the subway and local bus. I brought the 7 day unlimited metro card at $29.00. At the subway,I was really surprise that the platform is quite small and it is quite scary when the train zoom past. However, it is quite efficient. I didn't wait for long for the train to arrive. Alright the subway looks like it need renovation, but it serves its purpose.
The NYC airporter service is good and you get to enjoy scenic view of Queens borough. If you alight at the Grand Central Terminal, you can use the super shuttle van to your hotel in the mid-town area for free. Make sure you keep the ticket. Although taking subway and airtrain is cheaper at about $5.00, I think it’s a hassle to carry a luggage and heavy backpack around in the subway.
Depending on traffic, the bus at JFK airport could take about 40 minutes to an hour to reach Manhattan and vice versa.
During my stay, I felt very safe because there are police everywhere, even in some of the subway. Else, you see subway personnel. Still, I like to go back to my hotel before 10.30pm as I normally like to explore New York early in the morning. During fall, sun set at 4.30 pm.
If you love musical, go to TKTS, which is located, at Times Square to buy discount ticket at 50% off. The queue shortens very fast. I got a good seat for Spiderman at row G, 101 at $79.00 despite buying it at 5pm on the day itself. At about 5pm, there is not much queue. For the popular Jersey Boy, I got the mezzanine row, which is not so great and I purchased the ticket at about 2pm. Maybe you can just go to the August Wilson theatre for better seat at 10.30 am to buy discount price ticket.
For Wicked, they don’t sell it at the TKTS. You got to go to the Gershwin theatre when they open at 10.30 am to buy the ticket. I got a good price at $126 (about 50% off) at row D that is about 8 seats away from the stage, center position. However, if you are free and are willing to take the chance, you could try to take part in the lottery at 2.5 hr before the show and you can get the front row seat at $26.50. I brought the 2pm show and I notice that at the back of the theatre, it was quite empty.
New York Pass
I brought 7-day New York pass, which allows access to about 55 attractions at about $175.00 and it comes with a guidebook. However with air delivery, I paid additional cost. They also have another package with the city guide hop-on hop-off bus.
I think you can skip that and just buy the gray bus (red ) hop-on hop-off as the buses look newer and is more frequent if you want to travel on a hop-on hop-off bus. However some tour guides at CitySight are pretty good and passionate of their cities. I just hope the companies can upgrade the buses soon. Sometimes, it really depends on luck to get good and humorous tour guide.
So if you got your New York Pass, some great attractions that are highly recommended are as follows:
• Empire State Observation deck (86th floor only)
• Top of the Rock observation deck
• 3 hours Circleline cruise which circle the whole Manhattan island. (Subject to weather
• Food on Foot Tour
• Museum of Modern Art
• Solomon Guggenheim Museum
• Metropolitan Museum
• Natural History Museum
• NBC tour (must reserve early)
• NY water taxi tour
• Statue of Liberty Island and Ellis Island Museum
• Discovery Times Square
• Madam Tussaud
• Radio City Music Hall tour
I tried the skyride. The experience is nothing like IMAX. It’s just a video made in the 80s and you just sit on a seat that jerked from left to right and front to back as you journey in NY streets, above the river and over the city. Some people felt giddy. You waste 10 mins of your time watching the top 10 attractions before the ride. The actual ride is about 7 mins.
So if you have some days left after using the 7 day pass, you could go to some free attractions as follows
New York Public Library
Washington Square Park
Union Square park
Lower East Village
Staten Island ferry
Walk along Hudson river
Some museums have free access after certain time during certain day. Just visit their museum and find out more. Most museums are suggested donation. But it be good to donate to the museum.
Try to avoid Time Square chain eatery like Applebee, as it is expensive, has bad service and horrible food. Some of the best foods at really cheap price are at Lower East Side, East Village and Hell’s Kitchen. Some of the recommended foods that I enjoy are as follows
Veniero's Pasticceria and Caffe'
Starbuck Cranberry Bliss bar (I really love it but they don't have it in Singapore :( )
Junior Cheesecake restaurant at Times Square
Some TBs recommended Elieen’s cheesecake, but I did not try it.
That’s all for now. Hope you find it useful.
Part of the When You Visit New York, You See the World. travel blog
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