Things you need to know about New York City

New York City is one of the premier destinations in the world. Whether you're a first time visitor, have made numerous trips to the Big Apple or even if you already live there, you'll never run out of new places to explore. In fact, one challenge that new visitors often have is to know where to spend their limited time.


Areas to Explore in NYC

New York City is made up of neighborhoods. The best known attractions are in Manhattan, but if you're adventurous you may want to explore some of the other boroughs, such as Brooklyn and Queens as well. The following are a few areas you shouldn't miss along with the main attractions you'll find there.


Museum Mile -This is the part of the city that several famous museums -The Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of the City of New York, the Jewish Museum, the Guggenheim and more. These and other museums are all located on 5th Avenue between 82nd and 104th Streets. This is a nice area to explore on foot. You can also wander into Central Park in between museum visits.


Times Square -This is where all of the Broadway theaters are located, along with hundreds of shops, restaurants, nightclubs and more. It's also the location of one of the world's biggest New Year's Eve celebrations. This is a chance to see a long-running musical or drama on Broadway. You can buy tickets in advance online. If you want a bargain, however, you can get discount tickets on the day of the performance at TKTS discount booths, which can be found near Times Square as well as downtown at South Street Seaport.


Chinatown and Little Italy -These two adjoining neighborhoods are downtown, below Greenwich Village (another area worth exploring). You can find hundreds of great Italian and Chinese restaurants as well as souvenir shops and quaint sidewalks that are fun for shopping and people watching.


Freedom Tower -This is now New York's tallest building and offers a great view of the city from the observation tower.


South Street Seaport - A historic area near the Financial District, where Fulton Street ends at the East River. You can look at restored ships, 19th century mercantile buildings and visit the Fulton Street Fish Market, among many other things.


Statue of Liberty -You can see this famous landmark by taking the Staten Island Ferry to Liberty Island. Some people find that the statue is better appreciated from a distance. You can visit the island and walk up the staircase, but it is fairly crowded and claustrophobic.


Where to Stay

New York City has a vast number of choices when it comes to hotels. While it's certainly not the cheapest place to stay, there is quite a variety when it comes to size, style and price ranges. You should first identify what part of town you prefer.


If you want to be centrally located, you might want to stay near Times Square. Some of the most popular hotels in this neighborhood include the Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel, Millennium Broadway Hotel and the Westin New York at Times Square. If you're seeking a budget hotel, you might consider the Manhattan at Times Square or the Comfort Inn Times Square.


Downtown, which includes Greenwich Village, Chinatown, Soho and several other neighborhoods, also has a variety of hotels. Several 4-star hotels downtown worth considering are Dream Downtown, New York Mariott Downtown and The Millennium Hilton. For the budget conscious, you also have many choices, including Cosmopolitan Hotel Tribeca, Best Western Plus Seaport Inn Downtown and Hampton Inn Downtown.


Tips For Exploring New York City

  • Consider how you want to get around. While your own car or a rental car is always convenient, New York can get congested with traffic. You might prefer relying on public transportation (buses and subways) and taxis. Uber and Lyft are also convenient options. Remember also that one of the most pleasurable ways to explore New York is on foot.


  • Explore some off the beaten path areas, such as neighborhoods in Queens such as Flushing or Astoria, which are full of ethnic restaurants and interesting shops.


  • Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by wandering into some great parks, which include Central Park, Washington Square Park and Union Square Park.


  • Want to save money on hotels? You can find cheaper accommodations outside Manhattan, especially in Queens and neighboring state New Jersey. On the other hand, you might prefer to pay a little extra to be right in the heart of the city.


  • Want to see the ocean? New York has several beaches, including Coney Island (where you can also visit the historic amusement park) and Rockaway Beach. In the warm weather, you might also venture down to Long Island, which has a number of beautiful beaches.