Blame it on the excitement of the winter months during Christmas and New Year's Eve, but visitors flock to the city each holiday season and may battle freezing weather conditions, and on a rare occasion, extreme conditions like a polar vortex. In the same regard, tourists love coming to New York City in the summertime, which can be quite hot and uncomfortable, particularly in the crowded subways.
But, no matter what time of year you visit, if you pack properly, you should remain relatively comfortable.
What to Pack When Traveling to New York City
Although you may not think of New York City as an outdoor destination, you should expect to spend a good portion of your visit outside, usually walking. This means you will need to pack and dress appropriately for all weather, even if the forecast predicts mild, sunny skies.
- Rainboots: There seem to be puddles around New York the size of small lakes, waiting for an unsuspecting victim to plant an unsheathed foot into its chilly waters, rendering them cold for the duration of the day. Pack some rain boots and a dreary day can become a rainy day of exploration. You should also bring a raincoat and a rainhat instead of an umbrella. With so many people packed in tight on the sidewalk, plus the wind gusts, an umbrella can be more hazardous than helpful, so it's better to stick with a rain hood or hat.
- Winter Footwear: Warm shoes or boots can make a huge difference in your comfort and happiness if you're visiting when it's cold out. Even late April can be extremely cold, so pack toasty boots or shoes, and perhaps a pair of SmartWool socks to fend off cold toes.
- Layers: Year-round, layers are always a good idea, because when it's cold out, you're likely to want to remove some layers when you head inside, and when it's hot out, you might find the air-conditioning in stores and museums makes you uncomfortable if you're wearing just a tank top. A good rule of thumb is lighter layers when it's warmer, and thicker ones when it's cold.
New York City Climate
The chart below provides the most current average monthly temperatures as well as the rainfall in both Fahrenheit and Celcius.