New York City Guide
New York City has an unparalleled energy and standard for dining, shopping, fashion, theater, art, activities, and more. Here you’ll find endless opportunities for entertainment from some of America’s most iconic landmarks and museums to off-Broadway shows and your new favorite corner deli. You won’t have a dull moment in this urban jungle ridden with historical architecture alongside trendy bars and shops. You also won’t go hungry with an endless list of mouthwatering restaurants and cafes everywhere you look, from dim sum to pizza to Michelin star restaurants.
Each borough (Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island) has its own vibe and attractions worth exploring. Trying to fit everything you’ll want to do in the city into one trip is a daunting and exciting task, but as soon as you step out of the taxi upon arrival, you’ll be sure to find a taste of the culture with every turn.
New York Travel Tips
- Look for reduced admission options. While planning your sightseeing and museum trips, check the websites to see if they offer discounts on certain days or hours. The Guggenheim, for example, offers a “Pay What You Wish” discount every Saturday from 5:45pm to 7:45pm.
- While people think of Manhattan when they envision the city, take a day to explore a few of the other boroughs (Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx) to get a well rounded and less touristy view of NYC.
- You can get a 7-day ($31) or 30-day ($116.50) MTA Metro Card for unlimited subway and local bus rides until midnight daily – the cheapest and most efficient way to get around the city during the day.
- Most of the public parks in NYC have free outdoor WiFi, so if you’re itching to get some work done on your vacation you can do so in one of New York’s most scenic locations!
- You can skip on pricey boat cruises to get a view of the Statue of Liberty– the Staten Island ferry goes right past most of the same sights and, best part, it’s free!
- Taxi drivers generally change shifts around 4pm, making this the hardest time to flag down a cab.
- Tipping in New York is typically 15-20%, and is frequently included in your check so make sure to triple-check your bill before leaving an additional tip! And don’t forget to tip your taxi driver!
Top New York Attractions
- Central Park
- Empire State Building
- Grand Central Station
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- One World Trade Center
- Statue of Liberty
- Times Square
- World Trade Center
Cuisine of New York City
New York is home to people from all over the world. With them, comes a multitude of ethnic cuisines with authentic flavors and experiences. You could find something from just about every ethnic cuisine you could think of, but it would turn into a lifelong endeavor to attempt to try all of the food options in NYC, so it may be best to stick to the classics.
- Italian: from pizza by the slice to Grandma’s home-style cooking to fine dining, there is an abundance of Italian food sprawled out across the city, namely in Nolita (aka Little Italy)
- Chinese: You can’t go through Chinatown without stepping into one of the cozy dim sum restaurants for lunch or getting a cup of tea at any one of the number of tea shops.
- Eastern European and Jewish: whether its matzo ball soup or a bagel with lox, Eastern European and Jewish culture and food can be found just about everywhere.
- New York’s own culinary ventures: New York has put its own twist on cultural foods popularized in the city including hot dogs, New York-style pizzas and bagels, deli sandwiches and more. NYC is also home to some of the world’s most “instagrammable” and wildly trendy brunch menus.
- Fine Dining: New York is home to a long list of famous chefs who have opened their flagship restaurants in the city. If you are celebrating a special occasion or you’re just looking for a classy night out, there are endless fine dining possibilities.
New York City Neighborhoods
- East Harlem
- East Village
- Financial District
- Greenwich and West Village
- Hell’s Kitchen
- Lower East Side
- Nolita and Little Italy
- Times Square
- Union Square
- Upper East Side
- Upper West Side
- Washington Heights
Top New York City Museums
- American Museum of Natural History
- Frick Collection
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Museum of Modern Art
- The Guggenheim
- Whitney Museum of American Art
Notable New York City Chefs
- Anthony Bourdain – Les Halles
- Daniel Boulud – Daniel
- Daniel Meyer – Gramercy Tavern
- David Chang – Momofuku Ko
- Eric Ripert – Le Bernardin
- George Mendes – Aldea
- Jean-Georges – ABC Kitchen
- Lidia Bastianich – Felidia
- Mario Batali – Casa Mono
- Masaharu Morimoto – Morimoto
- Thomas Keller – Per Se
- Tom Colicchio – Craft
Where to Eat in New York City on a Budget
- Gray’s Papaya: Hotdogs and breakfast items at a promising price.
- Patacon Pisao: Authentic Venezuelan sandwiches that the locals love.
- Los Tacos No. 1: Tacos and quesadillas under $5
- Artichoke: Italian-American classics.
- Shake Shack: Try any of the 7 locations in Manhattan for one of the most popular burgers on the East Coast.
- 99¢ Fresh Pizza: The name says it all.
- Tony “The Dragon” Dragonas: Greek food that will satisfy both your taste buds and wallet.
- Faicco’s Pork Store: Italian market with homemade sausages, plus meats and cheeses – the perfect one-stop sandwich supply shop.
Shopping Neighborhoods of New York City
- Chelsea: If you’re looking for fun vintage jewelry or cool local markets, Chelsea is definitely worth a visit.
- East Village: An abundance of trinket and consignment shops await in East Village.
- Greenwich/West Village: Sweet shops, record stores, designer consignment shops and more!
- Meatpacking District: The ever-so trendy and fashionable Meatpacking District is home to popular designer storefronts including Diane Von Furstenburg and Christian Louboutin.
- Midtown: Quintessential New York shopping (read: Barneys and Bloomingdale’s).
- NoHo: Urban chic finds.
- SoHo: Street wear, home goods, and beyond.
- TriBeCa: You’ll find a little bit of everything in TriBeCa- from bookshops the chic boutiques.
- Upper East Side: More classic NYC shopping, the Upper East Side has the flagship stores of both Barneys and Alexander McQueen.
- Lower East Side: Fun boutiques and up-and-coming designers.
- NoLIta: Everything from upscale vintage boutiques to hip local shops.