Plan Your Trip to New York City in 10 Steps

  • 01 of 10

    When To Visit New York City

    umbo Art Festival , Entasis Sculpture Dan
    ••• Travelstock44 - Juergen Held/The Image Bank/Getty Images

    The first thing to decide when you are planning a trip to New York City is when will you come? Some people already know when they are coming -- maybe your plan is to come to town for a particular weekend or over a specific scheduled vacation -- in that case, check out our New York City Month By Month guides which have information on offer information on the expected weather, special events and other helpful things you should know about different times of the year in the city.

    If you have a special holiday or event that you want to celebrate in New York City (St. Patrick's Day, Thanksgiving, and the Holiday Season are all popular times to visit) our list of Annual Events in New York City and New York City Holiday Dates can be helpful places to start.

    Are you uncertain about when you want to visit? New York City is a year-round destination, and each season brings its own advantages and disadvantages.

    Winter: Despite the cold weather, winter in New York City offers a variety of seasonal...MORE activities that can only be enjoyed as the weather gets colder, including Chinese Lunar New Year, ice skating and Winter Restaurant Week. Of course, you can't talk about winter in New York City without thinking about spending a special holiday here, like Christmas or New Year's Eve.

    Spring: Spring in New York City is a wonderful time of year. Spring brings warmer weather and there are tons of things to do outdoors. During a springtime visit, you can enjoy Easter, the Tribeca Film Festival, walking tours, and Central Park.

    Summer: Throughout the summer in New York City there are numerous concerts, film festivals, and events -- many of which are free! Summer is a popular time for family vacations in New York City and despite the warm weather, it can be a great summer travel destination. Consider attending a free Shakespeare in the Park performance or even visiting ones of New York City's great beaches.

    Fall: Autumn is probably my favorite time in New York City -- the days are fairly warm, nights are a little cooler making it a beautiful time to visit. Two highlights of fall in New York are the leaves changing colors in Central Park and the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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  • 02 of 10

    Traveling to New York City

    Plane Taking Off
    ••• Plane Taking Off. Andrew Howe / Getty Images
    Flying
    For international travelers and visitors making short trips from far away, flying into New York City is a great option. I've gathered all the information you need to fly into New York, from helping you to get the best airfare to navigating your way from the airport to Manhattan.
    LGA Airport Guide | JFK Airport Guide | EWR Airport Guide
    New York Area Airports

    Taking the Train
    Trains to New York City can be an efficient, stress-free, and affordable way to visit and are available from throughout the United States and Canada.
    Trains Serving New York City

    Taking the Bus
    Buses offer travelers an affordable way to visit New York City. Buses to New York City are particularly convenient for visitors from Washington, DC, Boston and Philadelphia, as well as New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
    Buses Serving New York City

    Driving to New York City
    Since you probably won't need a car when you get to New York City, parking is quite expensive, and driving can be confusing for the uninitiated, I...MORE highly recommend taking one of the commuter trains from Connecticut, New York or New Jersey rather than driving into New York City. If you decide to drive, pay close attention to parking signs, because getting your car out of the pound can be expensive and time consuming.

    Getting To New York City From...
    If you're traveling from another city in the northeast, we've put together some helpful guides to help you consider your travel options:

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  • 03 of 10

    Where To Stay in New York City

    King Sized Bed in Hotel Room
    ••• King Sized Bed in Hotel Room. Nat Girish / Getty Images

    New York City Hotels

    Hotels With Special Amenities and Perks
    Some people choose their hotel because they're looking for a particular view or feature. If you want to stay in a hotel room with a view of Central Park, you'll find yourself with many luxury options. When money is no object, these New York City luxury hotels are the perfect way to indulge. With great service and indulgent amenities, these hotels will pamper you. New York City is home to great hotels and great spas, but these New York City hotels offer visitors the ultimate indulgence -- on site spa services. Check out these New York City Hotels with Free Wifi Access if you can't bear the thought of being unplugged during your vacation.

    Budget Friendly Hotels
    Sometimes a hotel is just a place to lay your head -- these cheap hotels in New York City won't break your budget, and they will let you enjoy your visit with some funds left over for meals and souvenirs. Mark Kahler, About.com's Budget Travel wiz has great...MORE information about cheap hotels in New York City including helping you understand what cheap means in New York City.

    More New York City Hotel Help
    Put your preferences into this hotel wizard and you'll get a recommendation for a New York City hotel that will suit your needs. If you're flexible about which hotel you stay in, using Priceline to save on New York City Hotels can be a great way to stay at a 4 or 5 star hotel for a 2 or 3 star price!

    Other New York City Accommodations


    These
    will give you a taste of living in New York City while you visit, as well as enable you to cook some of your own meals for additional savings. Make the most of your stay with our
    .

    Is finding the cheapest place to stay your goal? Don't mind sharing a shower? Perhaps a
    is right for you.

    Looking for an intimate alternative to a hotel in New York City? Consider one of these
    or
    .
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  • 04 of 10

    Getting Around New York City

    Subway Entrance at Times Square
    ••• Subway Entrance at Times Square. Heather Cross

    New York City Mass Transit

    Riding New York City Subways
    The New York City subway offers visitors an affordable, quick and easy way to get around New York City.

    Tips for Riding the Subway
    These tips for riding the New York City Subway will have you traveling around New York City like a native NYer in no time.

    Taking Buses in New York City
    Buses may not be as quick and efficient as the Subway, but they offer visitors great views of Manhattan, as well as easy access to areas located away from Subway lines.

    MetroCards 101: Paying For Subways and Buses
    MetroCards are easy to purchase and use, and this information will have you using your MetroCard like a local in no time.

    Taxis

    Taking Taxis in New York City
    New York taxis offer the convenience of having a car without the hassle and expense of parking. Learn about New York taxi fares, rules and tips to make your next New York taxi ride a breeze.

    Maps of New York City

    New York City Neighborhoods
    This New York City neighborhood map offers a great overview...MORE of Manhattan, as well as links to maps focused on individual Manhattan neighborhoods. There are even printable maps available to bring along with you when you travel to New York City.

    Bus, Train and Subway Maps
    Find maps from the MTA for New York City subways and buses, as well as maps for commuter railroads serving New York City.

    More New York City Maps
    Find all the New York City maps you need to make getting around easy. Includes New York City maps for mass transit, driving and walking.

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  • 05 of 10

    What To Do In New York City

    Photo of North View from the Empire State Building 103rd Floor
    ••• Looking North from the Empire State Building's 103rd Floor, you can see the skyscrapers of Midtown Manhattan, Central Park and the Upper East and Upper West Sides. Heather Cross

    My Favorites

    My Favorite Things To See and Do in New York City
    Often, people ask me what to see and do in New York City, so I've assembled a list of my favorite New York City sights and tours. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a New York City regular, there is sure to be something great for you to do here.

    Attractions and Landmarks in New York City

    Can't decide how to spend your time in New York City? Start with this list of New York City's most popular attractions. Make the most of your New York City travel budget with by including some of these free New York City attractions and landmarks on your agenda. Want even more free ideas? Check out Mark's advice on New York City Sights on a Budget. He's even got some more great ideas about free things to do in New York City.

    New York City Museums

    New York City is home to many of the world's best museums. Can't decide which New York museum to visit? Use this list of popular New York museums to help narrow the choices. If you want to...MORE visit museums and save,check out this listing of free and "pay what you wish" days and nights at many popular New York City museums.

    Recommended Guided Tours of New York City

    Recommended Guided Tours of New York City
    Visitors to New York City often enjoy including a guided tour in their itinerary, but it can be overwhelming to find the best New York City tours with so many available.
    Walking Tours | Sightseeing Tours | Bike Tours

    Best New York City Sightseeing Cruises
    Whether you're looking for a long, leisurely cruise or a quick speed boat ride, these are the best sightseeing cruises in New York City.

    Have Just One Day in New York City?

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  • 06 of 10

    Where to Eat in New York City

    Pizza
    ••• Pizza. Vegar Abelsnes Photography / Getty Images

    New York City Recommended Eats

    Best Pizza in New York City
    When you visit New York City you don't want to miss out on the delicious pizza. Whether you want a whole pie or just a slice, New York City is a great place to enjoy delicious pizza.

    Best Delis in New York City
    Whether you want hot corned beef on rye, matzo ball soup or chopped liver, look no further than one of New York City's best delis to fulfill your cravings. Both kosher and non-kosher delis exist throughout New York City.

    Best Bagels in New York City
    New York City bagels are world renowned. Several New York City bagel stores even offer worldwide delivery for New York bagel lovers.

    Top Dim Sum in New York City
    Try dim sum at some of New York City's top Chinese restaurants offering dim sum. This meal is served traditionally for breakfast/lunch, but there are even a few restaurants in New York City where you can get dim sum at any time of day.

    Best New York City Steakhouses
    Whether you want a juicy porterhouse or New York strip steak,...MORE New York City's steakhouses offer a variety of delicious steak options. From old New York style to hip and trendy steakhouse restaurants, New York City steakhouses have something for everyone.

    Outstanding New York City Prix Fixe Lunches
    If you want to experience some of New York City's outstanding restaurants without breaking the bank, visiting during lunch can be a great strategy for saving money. These restaurants around New York City offer fantastic prix-fixe lunches.

    Dining By Your Budget

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  • 07 of 10

    Shopping in New York City

    Whether you're looking to stock your closet with high end designer clothing or seeking great discounts, New York City has something for every sort of shopper -- even men! Another great thing to remember: clothing and shoes under $110 are tax-free in New York City!

    New York City's Top Department Stores
    New York City's department stores offer a wide array of merchandise for shoppers -- from cosmetics and housewares to designer fashions and accessories. Whether you're interested in the cutting edge styles of Barney's New York or the classic style and service of Saks Fifth Avenue, there's a New York City department store for every style and budget.

    Discount Shopping in New York City

    Sample Sales in New York City
    From clothing and shoes to handbags and housewares, New York City sample sales are a great way to get designer goods at deep discounts. Get information on finding sample sales as well as tips for shopping at sample sales here. How To Find Sample Sales | Sample Sale Shopping Tips

    Top New...MORE York City Discount Shops
    Check out these great New York City stores that sell designer brands at a discount every day.

    More Shopping Resources

    Shopping in New York City
    Even with all the attractions and events in New York, nothing beats a day of shopping at the fine shops in New York City.

    Best New York City Chocolate Shops
    New York City is home to a wide array of famous chocolate shops -- including many that make their own chocolates in New York City.

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  • 08 of 10

    New York City Nightlife

    Broadway Shows

    Best Broadway Musicals
    With so many Broadway musicals coming and going, it can be hard to choose which one to see.

    Best Family Friendly Broadway Shows
    Young children enjoy the excitement and experience of Broadway shows, but it's important to find shows that are engaging and appropriate for a family audience.

    Broadway Discount Tickets 101
    Whether you want to get discount tickets in advance or on short notice, in person or online, this information will make getting Broadway discount tickets easy.

    Comedy Clubs

    New York City Comedy Clubs
    Looking for a few laughs at a New York Comedy Club? These New York Comedy Clubs offer a range of comedians -- from newbies to more famous comedians in every budget category.

    New York City Music Clubs

    Jazz Clubs in New York City
    Check out one of New York City's many top quality jazz clubs for a great night out.

    Live Music in New York City
    Find listings by date and by venue for all sorts of live music in New York City.

    Drinking in New York City

    New York City...MORE Bars
    New York City is home to a wide variety of fantastic bars, so choosing the best one for your visit is the challenge.

    More New York City Nightlife

    New York City Bars, Clubs and Music Venues
    Still need more ideas? These extensive New York nightlife resources offer a wide variety of choices for every budget and interest.

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  • 09 of 10

    New York City for Families

    Family at Restaurant
    ••• Family at Restaurant. Andersen Ross / Getty Images

    Where To Eat

    Kid Friendly Restaurants in New York City
    For families traveling with kids, these New York City restaurants are great choices.

    What To Do in New York City

    Best NYC Attractions for Families
    New York City has some great attractions that will please parents and children alike.

    Free Things To Do For Families in NYC
    For families looking for budget-friendly options, our list of free ideas is sure to help you save money!

    Top NYC Attractions for Toddlers
    These New York City attractions will keep your 3-5 year old entertained.

    Top 10 Things to Do with Teens
    Teresa shares some of the best activities to share with your teen in New York City.

    New York City Children's Museums
    New York City is home to several children's museums, all of which offer engaging and entertaining opportunities for children of all ages. New York City's Zoos and Aquariums are also great options for families visiting New York City with their children.

    Best Family Friendly Theater
    These are the best Broadway (and Off-Broadway)...MORE shows for families currently playing in New York City.

    Where To Stay

    Short-term Apartment Rentals in New York City
    Renting an apartment in New York City can be a great choice for accommodations instead of of staying at a New York City hotel.
    Tips and Advice for Vacation Apartment Rentals

    Top 10 Kid-Friendly New York City Hotels
    New York City hotels that cater especially to families with special amenities, supervised activities, and family-friendly room layouts and suites.

    More Family-Friendly New York City

    Traveling with Your Kids in New York City
    These articles and links will make your family vacation to New York City a success.

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  • 10 of 10

    Tips for Visiting New York City

    Safety Tips for Travelers
    First time visitors planning a trip to New York City often ask me Is New York City Safe? Many people are surprised to hear that New York City consistantly ranks as one of the safest large cities, which includes cities with populations of half a million or more -- New York City's population exceeds 8 million. This Visitors Guide to Safety in New York City will calm your fears and give you some common sense tips to keep you safe while you visit New York City.

    New York City Subway Tips
    The New York City Subway is a fast, affordable way to get around New York City. Read these tips for riding the New York City Subway and you'll be traveling around New York City like a native in no time.

    New York City Sample Sale Shopping Tips
    Want to get great deals on designer clothing at New York City Sample Sales? This list of tips will help you get the most out of New York City's fabulous array of designer sample sales.

    Statue of Liberty Visitor Tips
    Make the most of your visit to the...MORE Statue of Liberty with these helpful tips. Avoid long waits and get insider advice for visiting the Statue of Liberty in New York City.

    Empire State Building Visitor Tips
    Make the most of your visit to the Empire State Building with these helpful tips. Avoid long waits and get insider advice for visiting the Empire State Building in New York City.