Surviving New York City as a Tourist

Categories Travel
New York City - Times Square
New York City is one of the most exciting cities in the world! Surviving the city requires some knowledge prior to your trip! Let us help you out.

New York City is one of the few cities in the world that looks better in person than it does on postcards. New York City has so much to offer that it’s definitely not possible to do everything you intended to do during your trip. Although NYC offers tons of famous landmarks and tourist attractions, there are certain parts of NYC that you should experience while visiting to feel the genuine NYC experience. Most tourist hotspots in New York are avoided by locals at all costs. So you want to venture deeper into the city and explore the stores, restaurants and attractions that the locals enjoy.

Master The Subway!

NYC Subway

New York City has the best underground mass-transit system in the world. Their Subway is always on time & is unbiased. If you’re 5 seconds late, it will leave you behind! Understanding the Subway is both of the most stressful and rewarding experiences of NYC. So many tourists in NYC choose to Uber or take a Cab everywhere, in fear of using the Subway.

The Subway is super inexpensive, so it’s perfect for young travelers. It also covers at least 80% of the city, so you can take the Subway from and to just about anywhere!

There are many different trains ( 1 Train, N Train, Q Train, R Train, etc), each with their own path. Using Google Maps makes finding out which train to get on easily. Always find out if the train is traveling North or South – super important!

If you travel to NYC and don’t use the Subway, I guarantee that you have missed out on a once in a lifetime experience.


New Yorkers Are Friendly!

NYC Street Food

I’m not sure who said that New Yorkers are rude, but they must have been really unpleasant to talk to. If you are well-presented and friendly, New Yorkers will always help you. Although I like to master my own navigation, there were a couple of times I had to ask for help and each time was a great experience.

New Yorkers are extremely busy and always in a rush (still haven’t quite figured that out) but if you have a question ready that can be easily answered and you are well-presented and friendly, they will take the time out of their day to assist you – Most even offered more help than I needed.

Don’t be afraid to approach someone who looks like they’re from New York.

Note: A lot of New Yorkers walk around with earphones in – These are the one’s you don’t want to ask for help!

Be Prepared For Crowds

NYC Grand Central Station

Before visiting New York City, I had a vague idea of how busy it’d be. But it’s only when you’re in the city & are part of the madness that is NYC Street & Car traffic do you fully understand how crazy it is. Although the crowds and foot-traffic can be overwhelming at first, I grew to love it. When you’re walking around, never stop in the middle of the sidewalk to take a picture or check your phone – in NYC this is as bad as stopping your car in the middle of the road!

The Walking pace in NYC is a lot faster than you’ll be accustomed to, but once you pick up the pace & understand how the foot-traffic flows, you’ll feel like a New Yorker!

Tourist Hotspots become extremely jam-packed at peak hours, such as Times Square at night – But don’t see it as a bad thing. Part of the New York City charm is that it’s the city that never sleeps & there are people walking around at all times!

South African expat living in Miami, FL.
Co-Founder of Eclectic Elite
Interests include photography, fashion, blogging, SEO & anything technical.
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