Travel

Useful Tips for First-Time Visitors to New York City

We're putting together an editorial staff that reflects our broad audience and their various financial circumstances. We value and encourage the experiences and perspectives that help us connect with our readers, answer their questions, and win their trust. Please read our disclosure for more information.
Updated on July 28, 2023 by
Useful Tips for First-Time Visitors to New York City

CommonCentsMom.com is advertiser-supported: we may earn compensation from the products and offers mentioned in this article. However, any expressed opinions are our own and aren't influenced by compensation. The contents of the CommonCentsMom.com website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this site (“Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional financial or legal advice. Always seek the advice of your Financial Advisor, CPA and Lawyer with any questions you may have regarding your situation. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website!

Welcome, intrepid travelers, to the city that never sleeps, the Big Apple, the concrete jungle where dreams are made of—New York! Brace yourselves for a whirlwind adventure filled with towering skyscrapers, iconic landmarks, and an energy that will leave you buzzing long after you depart. As you venture into this vibrant metropolis, we’re here to guide you through the bustling streets, revealing hidden gems, and sharing tips to make your first-time experience truly unforgettable. Get ready to fall in love with the charm and charisma of New York City!

The first thing we must recommend though, is regarding your transportation in the city. Public transport is widely available, and functions 24/7, meaning no matter what time of day or night you arrive, you can catch a train. Yet, for some, public transport isn’t very efficient. In those cases, an airport taxi to JFK will be a much better option. By pre-booking an AtoB airport transfer, you not only have the luxury of being able to quickly get back to your hotel to allow the vacay to begin, you can also customize your ride with the addition of child seats, additional stops, extra waiting time, and more. If you prefer to travel in style, an JFK airport transfer is your go-to option.

1. Embrace the Subway Serenade:

Hopping on the subway can feel like stepping into a grand orchestra, complete with buskers and performers showcasing their talents. It’s New York’s unique symphony, and you’ll encounter everything from jazz bands to breakdancers. Enjoy the show and don’t forget to show some love by tipping these street performers—they’re the heartbeat of the city’s underground.

2. Master the Fine Art of Hailing a Cab:

Calling for a yellow cab in New York is an art form. Raise your hand confidently, stand tall, and lock eyes with the driver—it shows you’re a seasoned New Yorker, even if it’s your first time. Remember, a whistle or a shout won’t cut it; you need that classic, movie-style cab hail.

3. Time-Travel in Grand Central Terminal:

Useful Tips for First-Time Visitors to New York City

Step back in time, take an airport transfer and explore the breathtaking Grand Central Terminal, a transportation hub that doubles as an architectural marvel. It’s a bustling hub, so keep an eye out for your departure platform, but don’t forget to look up and admire the celestial ceiling painted with zodiac constellations.

4. High-Five Lady Liberty:

No trip to New York is complete without meeting the emblematic Lady Liberty. While visiting Liberty Island, don’t be shy to give her a high-five—after all, she’s all about freedom and welcoming hugs.

5. Pizza Pilgrimage:

Prepare for a pizza pilgrimage and sink your teeth into a New York-style slice. Debate the best pizzeria with locals—everyone has a favorite, and it’s a topic that ignites fiery passion!

6. Comedy Club Bonanza:

Hire an airport taxi and indulge in an evening of laughter at one of New York’s famous comedy clubs. From up-and-coming talents to comedy legends, the city’s comedy scene is second to none. Just be prepared for some seriously sore cheeks from smiling and laughing.

7. Museum Marathon:

New York boasts an impressive lineup of museums, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Museum of Modern Art. Book an JFK airport taxi, embrace your inner culture vulture and explore the city’s art and history, but don’t attempt to visit them all in one day—you’re not Usain Bolt!

8. Central Park Chillout:

Amidst the urban chaos, find tranquility in the heart of Manhattan—Central Park. Take a leisurely stroll, rent a rowboat on the lake, or simply relax on the Great Lawn. Embrace the calm, because soon enough, you’ll be back in the buzzing hive of activity.

9. Bagel Bonding:

Savor the iconic New York bagel topped with cream cheese and lox. It’s a bonding experience that will leave you with lifelong love for these doughy delights. Don’t worry about the calories—walking around the city will burn them off (we hope)!

10. Iconic Broadway:

New York’s Broadway theater district is the epitome of showbiz magic. Catch a live performance and let the actors transport you to another world. Who knows, you might even spot a famous celebrity in the audience—just remember, no heckling!

11. High Line Stroll:

Discover the urban oasis of the High Line—an elevated park built on an old railway track. Stroll amidst greenery, sculptures, and art installations while enjoying scenic views of the city. It’s the perfect opportunity to get away from the hecticness of NYC, all while enjoy some beautiful greenery.

12. Bargain Hunting in Chinatown:

Embrace your inner negotiator and haggle your way to a great deal in Chinatown’s bustling markets. From trinkets to souvenirs and delicious street food, you’ll leave with treasures without breaking the bank.

13. Learn the Language of Crosswalks:

Navigating New York’s busy streets is like mastering a new language. When the pedestrian traffic light shows a white walking figure, it’s your time to shine! When it turns to a red hand, halt—unless you want to test your agility against oncoming taxis.

14. Helicopter Heights:

For a birds eye view of the city’s skyline, take a private helicopter tour. There are various options to choose from, with options to fly around the statue of liberty, to a complete tour of Manhattan. Hey – you can even high-five a few seagulls from up there – just don’t try leaning out of the helicopter!

15. Brooklyn Bridge Connection:

Useful Tips for First-Time Visitors to New York City

Take a leisurely stroll or rent a bike to cross the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. Marvel at the stunning architecture while feeling the history beneath your feet. Just don’t get caught up taking selfies—remember to enjoy the scenery too!

16. Jazz it Up in Harlem:

Immerse yourself in Harlem’s vibrant jazz scene, where soulful melodies and foot-tapping rhythms await. Join locals in celebrating this rich musical heritage and remember, there’s no such thing as too much dancing.

17. The Art of Flagging a Hot Dog Cart:

Hail the hot dog vendor like you would a cab, and you’ll be rewarded with a classic New York hot dog—topped with mustard, onions, and sauerkraut, if you dare. Remember, the messier, the better!

18. Spectacular Views from Top of the Rock:

To get the ultimate skyline view, take an AtoB airport taxi and head to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center. You’ll feel on top of the world, and your Instagram feed will thank you for it.

19. Window Shop in Style on Fifth Avenue:

Even if high-end shopping isn’t on your agenda, take a stroll down Fifth Avenue and do some window shopping. Admire the luxurious storefronts and let your imagination run wild.

20. Meet Sleepless at Times Square:

Useful Tips for First-Time Visitors to New York City

Finally, use an JFK airport taxi to embrace the dazzling chaos of Times Square. It’s the beating heart of New York’s neon-lit soul—a place that truly never sleeps. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped onto a movie set, so take it all in and make some magical memories.

There you have it, —a comprehensive list of useful tips for your first-time adventure in the world-famous city of New York. From subway symphonies to bagel bonding, each experience is a brushstroke on the broader canvas of your upcoming journey. Embrace the charm,eccentricity, and diversity that this city has now become famous for the world over, and you’ll discover that in New York, the magic of possibility awaits around every corner. So, pack your bags, book your AtoB airport transfer, ready your spirit of adventure, and let New York work its irresistible charm on you. Bon voyage and happy travels!

(Visited 46 times, 1 visits today)

🏔 Read Next 🏔

Best Side Hustles of 2023

The 27 highest paying side hustles you can start today.

View article ➞

The Common Cents Mom Newsletter

Join thousands of curious consumers getting the inside scoop.