Country: United States
Currency: Dollar (USD)
Peak Season: April-October
Shoulder Season: February-March, November
Median Temperature: 12.20 C / 53.96 F
Main Languages: English
Primary Modes of Transportation: Subway, bus, taxi, ferry
Recommended Duration of Stay: 4 days
Recommended Pocket Money: $200.00/day
Tourist Passes: New York City Pass
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There’s probably no place more talked about than New York City. It has all the distinctions of a metropolis: condensed sidewalks, rush hour gridlocks, 24/7 shops and skyscrapers, historical landmarks, art galleries, and let’s not forget being the headquarters of international media and technology corporations. Indeed, NYC never sleeps and for a good reason—New York is the face of American capitalism. And how could you, as a tourist, confine yourself inside a hotel room, knowing that sleep far from everyone’s minds here in NYC. If the pizza joints, hotdog stands, subways entertainment circuits and shopping venues aren’t reason enough to keep you excited on your first visit, go see a doctor.

If you’re in for a fine dining experience instead of a silly cheeseburger, New York City beats all other cities with its multitude of classy restaurants and bars that serve the most delectable dishes. History/technology/fashion/music junkies or any subculture will find NYC a jack of all trades with its array of snazzy to eccentric shops. Your wallets will be robbed by your own doing—being in the US’s most expensive city is a both treat and a curse, so spend money wisely here and acquire some “attitude” while you’re at it.

Packing List

  • “In” apparel; but since this is New York, you can wear your most eccentric dresses, provided it’s comfortable and seasonal for extreme winters and summers
  • A decent camera, laptop, and GPS device/street map, as even locals get lost in their own turf; the city is an electronic depot, so consider getting an upgrade if necessary
  • Essential medication, moisturizers and raingear; pack light on toiletries and clothes; remember that medical services are expensive here, so come healthy
  • Credit cards, since almost all establishments honor them and no one can never really tell if the cash you brought to New York is enough to get you by for a few days
  • Extra trolleys and shopping bags if you intend to splurge on Fifth Avenue; coupons are indispensable and bargains are year-round, especially during the holidays

Things to Do

  • Booking a ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty, which can accommodate 3000 and 240 people daily for the pedestal and crown, respectively; a trip to nearby Ellis Island is usually part of the package
  • Spending the evening walking around neon-lit Times Square, the epitome of metropolitan entertainment and consumerism; a lot of popular brands have their flagship stores here
  • Catching a star-studded performance at Radio City Music Hall at the Rockefeller Center; it is famous for its 6,000-person seating capacity and being the favorite venue of international artists
  • Watching a Knicks game at the Madison Square Garden (MSG) during the regular season or catching a practice game at the Yankees Stadium; locals have great passion for both baseball and basketball
  • Getting lost in 843-acre Central Park, one of the largest parks in the United States; cloistered by skyscrapers, the park is the favorite relaxation venue of locals and tourists

DON'T

  • Go there without planning your itineraries—it will save you lots (and we mean lots) of money; book a cheap room in advance and search for cheap eating/entertainment venues
  • Be appalled by “NYC attitude” and “NYC fashion”; instead, consider those blunt remarks, lack of eye contact and stoic gaits as the city’s welcome wagon to jumpstart first time tourists
  • Be afraid to discuss politics and religion with “mostly” liberal New Yorkers; however, 9/11 is a delicate topic and should not be raised to fill dead air
  • Make people wait, stop in the middle of the sidewalk, block doors, jostle/overtake in queues; in summary, don’t be a slowpoke and think ahead before dealing with people
  • Be impulsive in buying clothes, nor sightsee too much; it wouldn’t hurt to skip out on a few distant places and opt for a beeline of attractions (and a slice of pizza) instead