Things to know before visitng NYC

5 Things You Must Know Before Traveling to NYC

Your first trip to NYC will create memories that will last a lifetime. Here are 5 things you must know before traveling to NYC to ensure you get your very best experience. These 5 NYC tips and tricks will help you plan your trip to the Big Apple. 


How long should your NYC trip be? 


There are so many factors that go into this, including budget, where you’re traveling from, and how much time you can realistically take off. 24 hours in NYC is definitely better than no hours in NYC. You can also stay in NYC for a year and never run out of things to do. That being said, five days and four nights is a great length for a first trip to NYC. This will give you the time to enjoy the main attractions, wander off the beaten path, and get a good feel for the energy of the city. You definitely won’t run out of things to do. 


When to visit: 


New York City never really has an “off-season.” All attractions, restaurants, and hotels are pretty much open 365 days a year and in all weather. So when you’re picking a time, you really want to decide what aspect of NYC’s personality you want to experience. 


The summer time is a great time to visit because the days are long, the weather is warm, and there are tons of fun, free outdoor activities. Some people want to avoid the heat. The most popular time to visit NYC is the holiday season. It’s hard to imagine any city in the world doing Christmas better than NYC. NYC is home to the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, the Lights on Fifth Avenue, the holiday markets, Radio City Rockettes, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. NYC goes all out for the holidays! Many people will advise that September and October are the best months to visit NYC. The summer weather begins to cool off a bit and the craziest crowds go away. If you truly want to avoid the crowds, January and February are your best bet. Because the winter months are the least crowded, there are lots of great deals for budget travelers. Hotels will often be less expensive in January and February, and events like Restaurant Week, Broadway Week, and Must-See week let you experience the best NYC has to offer at greatly-reduced prices. March through May is “spring break.” The weather can be unpredictable. One day can be warm, the next can be cold. There is often cold rain, slush, and lots of wind. Spring break also brings insane crowds because NYC is a popular destination for large student groups. 




NYC is made out of 5 boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island. Nearly everything first time visitors do will be in Manhattan. This is where you’ll find Central Park, Fifth Avenue, Times Square, Greenwich Village, Little Italy, World Trade Center, Wall Street, and Battery Park. Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island are often referred to as the “outer boroughs.” Each is rich in culture and awesome things to do. If you wish to explore the “outer boroughs,” check out the Bronx Zoo in the Bronx, DUMBO and Williamsburg in Brooklyn, a ride on the Staten Island Ferry and the Empire Outlets in Staten Island, and then the incredible food found in Astoria, Queens.  


What to pack: 


What you pack for NYC will greatly vary depending on the seasons. No matter what the weather, the most important thing to pack is COMFY SHOES! Pack a ballgown if you want, just be prepared to wear your comfy sneakers with it. You will be walking a lot, so comfy shoes are a must. Visitors will also want to master the art of layering clothing in all seasons. In the summer, it can be extremely cool inside air-conditioned spaces. You’ll also likely be spending much of your time exploring outside your hotel. Because of this, a backpack or bag that’s big enough to carry everything you need throughout the day is extremely useful. You will also want to invest in a portable phone charger or battery. It will definitely get used. 


What NYC attractions you need to book far in advance


Some NYC attractions need to be booked far in advance. The Statue of Liberty crown might just be the hottest ticket in town. Less than 500 people a day are allowed to visit, so tickets are extremely limited. Statue of Liberty Crown tickets tend to sell out four months in advance.


NYC has several 3 Michelin star restaurants. It’s very difficult to score reservations at these restaurants. You might need to pay as far as three months in advance for the most popular time slots. A fabulous hotel concierge can also help you get a table. 


Sunset times at NYC’s observation decks sell out during high season. While one can frequently just walk up and buy a ticket, sunset times require some advance planning.


Finally, the hottest Broadway shows can sell out months in advance. Ticket resellers might have tickets for purchase, but the prices will be significantly higher than if you booked ahead. 


After experiencing one of the most coveted NYC attractions, celebrate your experiences with a slot on the Welcome to Times Square Billboard. Visit to learn how. 

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