InterviewsJournalNorth America

New York City Travel Guide

New York City has a lot of activities to offer in the bustling streets, lively nightlife places and delicious eateries. It has a number of landmarks, fascinating museums and a lot more. You can enjoy some of the best moments of your life while exploring NYC.

 

Why should anyone visit the city?

 

The city has a lot to offer whereas it has some amazing things to see.

 

  1. New York has some of the world’s most amazing Museums.
  2. Almost any kind of food from the world made by some of the master chefs.
  3. Theatre of the city has more than a hundred-year history with some of the finest actors of the world.

 

Is the city safe?  What areas are not safe?

 

Crime rate of NYC is very low as compared to the other parts of USA whereas some areas are not safe for tourists especially in the night. Unsafe areas of New York are Woodlawn-Nordwood, Hunts point, Bed ford park, Mott haven, Soundview, Brownsville, Fordham, High bridge, Tremont, and South Bronx.

 

What’s the weather like?

 

  • June to August and November to December are the most crowded months of New York. However, most of the locals travel to other places so the city appears to be less crowded. December is the holiday month so it remains packed with the locals and tourists. During these months it is necessary to do pre booking because the accommodation prices are high and chance of availability is low.
  • March to May and September to October are the best season months of the city and the tourism is very low. This is the best time to plan a visit to New York.
  • January to the beginning of March are very cold and chilly months. The hotel and flight charges are also low.

 

Is the US Dollar widely accepted?

 

Yes, US dollar is the official currency in New York City. However, many shops accept different foreign currencies as well. A sign is also placed on the entrance saying “Euros accepted”. You can also find different money exchange throughout the city.

 

What are the best areas or districts to stay in the city?

 

Midtown West

 

This area is best for the first time visitors of NYC. The area has many main things and attractions very close and easily accessible. It has Times square, Bryant Park, Columbus circle, Broadway Theatre, the area going toward the Hudson river, Cruise ship terminal and many sights to visit by walk.

 

Midtown East

It is the best area to stay for the sightseeing of NYC. The major part is the tourist zone with towering skyscrapers and corporate hub. This area also has a modern New York residential vibe. MoMA, Empire state building and Grand Central station are the main landmarks of this area.

 

Upper side West

 

It is the best area for the families to stay because there are many attractions which are kids friendly. This area has many parks, interesting walking areas, opera and shopping places. It is also one of the safest areas of the city.

 

What’re your top 3 hotels and why?

 

The Langham, Fifth avenue

It is very close to the Empire state building. This is a very artistic place to stay in very comfortable rooms with natural lighting. The lobby has original works of the artist Alex Katz. The apartment suits of the hotel have their own stainless steel kitchen.

Gramercy Park Hotel

This is designed in a fantastical way with velvet, wood and leather in browns, golds and crimson. The first look of this hotel is like a painting. Another amazing feature is that, the hotel has the best bar and Italian restaurant in Manhattan.

The Lowell

It is located in the upper east side of the city. The marble flooring, grisaille wallpaper and custom made products by DDC28 are the specialties of the hotel. Staying in the Lowell is a very personalized feeling because of the ambiance and it is not very huge.

How does one get around the city?  Taxi, Uber, similar apps, ATVs? Include links to public services

 

New York has a lot of ways to get around. It is very convenient to visit different neighboring attractions by walk or renting a bike. Getting around on car is not a good idea because there is a lot of traffic and proper parking is not available at many places. The public transportation used by majority is the subway system, public buses and ferries. Most of them are available 24/7. Subway has different routes that connect Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Bronx. Bus system is mostly used and has stops in almost every corner of the city. You can find the suitable bus from the display of the stop.

Sightseeing buses is the best way to explore New York on the first or second day of arrival. It gives a quick tour to the entire city for an idea to explore it later in more detail. There are more than 25 stops where you can hop-off or hop-on the bus, that is the name of the service. Yellow taxis are available throughout the city and you can easily hire one from anywhere. Other travel solution is Uber that is reliable and reasonable.

 

Can you highlight the MUST see sight?  Minimum of 5, feel free to share as many as you would like.

 

The Museum of Modern Art

The MoMA is a must visit place of New York to witness some of the most amazing works of the modern artists. The permanent exhibition includes the works of Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Warhol and Calder. Van Gogh famous starry night is displayed in MoMA. Some of the art pieces are provocative, shocking or confusing so it is highly inspirational and impactful for some artists and art lovers.

 

Walk on the Brooklyn Bridge

It is the most beautiful and iconic bridge of NYC. The bridge crosses over the East river and gives some of the most fascinating views of Manhattan. It is amazing but sometimes it is crowded by the visitors or locals.

 

American Museum of natural history

It is the largest museum of the world for the natural history with the most extended collections of land, sea and outer space. There are 45 halls with the display of thousands of artifacts. This is not only fascinating for the kids but for adults as well.

 

Explore Downtown Art

 

The beautiful building by Renzo Piano has amazing art scene with the space of about 50,000 sq. ft. and outdoor area of more than 13,000 sq. ft. This is like a festival with galleries, gardens, sculpture, décor items and dining options. Some galleries remain open until late at night and you can get some complimentary wine.

 

Visit Lincoln Center

The Lincoln center has amazing shows of opera and ballet in two or three of the 23 theatres. This is an amazing building to enjoy some architecture inspiration. There are dance schools in it and one branch of New York public library.

 

What’s the best place to take a photo?

 

West village is a very charming neighborhood of New York where sometimes you can have celebrity encounter. You might get a chance to click a memorable fan moment there. The other place is the famous Time Square to click some amazing photos with typical NYC vibe.

 

What is the one thing you MUST eat in the city?

 

There is a huge list of foods to try in New York but the one most recommended are the bagels. It is said that the water of NYC makes the bagels amazing. There is a variety of delicious bagels commonly available. The other things you should try in the city are burgers, sandwiches and pizzas.

 

What about food markets?

 

Chelsea food market

 

You can call it a birth place of Oreo cookie and it is a repurposed factory. You will find a variety of stalls selling artistic products and delicious foods. There are stalls selling different types of cheese, fresh lobster, pasta, coffee, Tacos and many more. It opens from 7am to 2am entire week.

 

Gansevoort Market

 

It is very close to the Chelsea market but is a bit calmer and less crowded than that. You can visit both in one day. It had a night club that was also added into the food hall where the variety of food is sold. It opens daily from 7am to 9pm.

 

Urbanspace Vanderbilt

 

It is the best place to take a meal break in the midtown New York. There is a huge variety of foods from the local dishes to the international cuisines. It is a very modern food pace with casual and high energy atmosphere. It remains open from 7am to 10pm.

 

Where should one go at night?  Any bar/nightlife areas or districts you recommend?

 

West Village

 

You will find some of the best bars and legendary bar tenders. There are many interesting places to grab a drink created by some extraordinary creative bar tenders, having the classic drinks recipes on their fingertips. The top bars of this area are Little branch (by Sasha Petraske) and Employees only.

 

Greenwich village

You will find every kind of place from old school to the classic and modern vibe. It has some of the celebrity favorite places as well. Some of the best places of this area are Dante, Café Reggio and Existing conditions where you will find some high tech machines to make cocktails.

 

East Village

 

This is the most recommended place for nightlife in New York with the punk vibe. There is a huge variety that keep the vibrant dance floors on with loud music. The best bars of East village are McSorley’s Old Ale house, Death and Company and Amor y Amargo (specialize in Italian cocktails)

 

Can you recommend the best shopping areas?  Best shopping mall?

 

Soho shopping

 

The south of Houston (Soho) was the main home for the galleries and artists. You will find a huge variety of creativity in this area. There are retailers, independent boutiques, designers and some vintage clothing places. You will find many stylish places selling accessories, crafts and some of the amazing trendy collectibles.

 

North of little Italy Shopping (Nolita)

 

It was the Italian immigrant area that eventually became a tourist destination and one of the best shopping areas of NYC. You will find many clothing, accessories, design emporiums, cosmetics and many more shops to stop by.

 

Do you recommend any tours outside the city?  Islands? Boat Tours?

 

The Delaware River

 

It is an amazing area to explore the outer parts of New York. It runs through 5 states and then reaches the Atlantic. The areas it passes by in New York are perfect for a day trip. You can plan a trip to enjoy Canoe, Tube ring or have fun at the bank of the river.

 

Wineries on Long Island

 

The area is the rural wine county having some of the world class wineries. You can enjoy a day at the wineries and try some wine. Overall the area is very calm and relaxing to get away from the city. It will be a good gesture if you pay some tip after visiting the wineries.

 

Are Casinos allowed?  Blackjack tables?  If so, what’s the best Casino in town?

 

The only commercial betting in NYC is on the sports. The legal casinos are located in some states like Atlantic City. The best casino is the Empire City Casino that has a race track in it. The building has a gaming floor with black jack and other gaming table and machines.

 

Any last advice for people visiting the city?

 

  • If you are a first time visitor then do not stick to the Times Square only, there is a lot more in the NYC.
  • Do not drive because of lack of parking and traffic. Public transport is more convenient.
  • Dress stylish and comfortable and enjoy the vibrant New York as much as you can.