Planning a Trip to New York City as a First-Time Visitor

Getting to New York City is easy. This exciting city welcomes over 50 million visitors every year. Whether you are arriving from another U.S. state, or making an international trip,flights to New York City are plentiful and cheap.

Airport Transfers

Transfers to New York City hotels from LaGuardia Airport, Newark Liberty Airport, or John F. Kennedy Airport can be booked online. Choose a shared shuttle transfer, or spoil yourself with a limo service. One thing you won’t want to do is rent a car in Manhattan. The easiest alternative is to use a yellow cab, sit back, and let your New York driver deal with the traffic. Cab drivers are usually happy to give you some tips for places to eat and things to do, so make the most of your 40-60 minute journey to pick up some local tips.

Best Places to Stay in New York City

There’s a wide choice of hotels in New York City, from the centrally located Novotel New York Times Square to cheaper hotels further south, such as the Wyndham New Yorker or the Holiday Inn New York City Wall Street. Manhattan is a compact island, just 13 miles long and about 2 miles wide. By booking a cheaper hotel further away from Times Square and using the underground, or walking, you can save money for special treats.

Finding Your Way Around

There are several fun ways for first-time visitors to get acquainted with the layout of New York City. Excursiopedia offers a choice of tours. Interactive, cell-phone guided walking tours of various districts are a fun way to learn about the city in the form of a game. There are guided walking tours, bus tours with a commentary, or leisurely horse-drawn carriage tours around Central Park. Book a Semi-Circle Boat Cruise and get some great photographs of the Statue of Liberty and the city skyline from the water.

How to Get a Great Deal for a Broadway Show

Attending a Broadway Show is a must-do for first time visitors to New York City. There’s something for all ages and tastes, from The Lion King to Les Miserables. You can easily browse all the current shows and musicals on ScoreBig and book tickets direct from their website. If you have no particular preference which show you see, the TKTS ticket booth on Times Square has last-minute bargains. It is at the junction of Broadway and 47th Street, and is usually open daily from 3pm to 8pm.

Where to Go Shopping in New York City

Most people want to hit the shops of New York City for some retail therapy. You’ll find Macy’s department store on Herald Square (West 34th St), just off Broadway. The Burlington Coat Factory has the same brands for less on Union Square, a short walk south from Macy’s. Bloomingdale’s is another New York institution, on 3rd Avenue. Chelsea Market in the Meatpacking District is a great place to buy foodie souvenir gifts.

Any visit to New York City is exciting, and you’ll probably find your first visit won’t be your last!


About gillianbirch

Greetings from your international roving reporter! Based in beautiful Cornwall UK, I am a freelance travel writer and published author of several travel books. As the wife of a Master Mariner, I have travelled extensively and lived in exotic locations all over the world including the Far East, Europe, Australia and the Republic of Panama. I would describe myself as having “endless itchy feet and an insatiable wanderlust”, as I continue to explore Europe, Florida and further afield, writing about my experiences with humour and attention to detail. BTW, I have a Diploma from the British College of Journalism and am a member of the International Travel Writers’ Alliance and the Gulf Coast Writers’ Association.
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