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Tips For First Time Visitor To NYC?

Vancouver
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Tips For First Time Visitor To NYC?

Hi, all!

There are just too many questions to be asked. LOL

Thanks in advance to anyone who is willing to post tips. :-)

Guided tour or explore on your own?

Best location for hotel/attractions? Not familiar with where anything really is. I usually hear about mid-town.

Must-see attractions? The usual, Central Park, SOL? Overrated attractions to skip?

Best restaurants to go to?

Tipping advice? Who to tip and how much?

Transportation? Walking or subway?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm just trying to cover all bases, and there is so much I need to know. Thanks again.

New Jersey
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1. Re: Tips For First Time Visitor To NYC?

I can only answer three of these questions.

I advise everyone, not to ever use a tour guide. I travel alot and I have never used one. I want to see what I want, NOT what they want to show me

Central Park - kinda boring to me, I need more excitement and I truly despise being in outside in the elements. My idea of "The Great Outdoors, is that awful area that I am forced to traverse, when I leave my luxury 5 star hotel and get into a taxi." All parks are terribly overrated, so are the beaches

Statue of Liberty is an even bigger waste of time. But you still have to go, skip Liberty Island, and head straight for Ellis Island, it is without a doubt the most fascinating place in all of NYC, it is a journey back in time and a glimpse of the lives of the people who helped create this great nation of hours.

My favorite restaurant = MESA GRILL 5th Ave at 15th

My fav bar - Kino's on Nassau Street

Broadway must see: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels SPAMALOT and of course the Lion King

Tip anyone who you think has performed a good service, Doorman and Valets $ 1 or 2, Concierge 10 or 20, Front Desk Clerk - $5 on check in, wait staff at least 20% or more

In order to get around in NYC like a native, you must take the Bus, Subway, walk and in some cases RUN! But never ever take a cab unless you absolutely have to! (kidding)

www.mta.com or www.hopstop.com

I have noticed that in this forum the more specific your questions are, the better answers you will receive

Sterling, VA
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2. Re: Tips For First Time Visitor To NYC?

Well---Guided tour or explore on your own. Basically, it's up to you. Some people feel more comfortable taking a guided tour when visiting a place for the first time, others prefer to explore on their own. So, I guess it depends on your own preference. If you want to explore on your own, consider buying "City Walks: New York 50 Adventures on Foot". It's a collection of 50 cards, each with a walking tour that's no more than a mile in length and each starts and ends at a subway station. If you can't find it in your local bookstore, you can order it on Amazon.

As for must-see attractions---I think everyone should visit the Empire State Building at least once. The view is spectacular! Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty are worth seeing--just be prepared for long lines. NYC has many great museums---it all depends on what your interests are.

For restaurants--again, it depends on what you like, what your budget is and whether you want casual dining or someplace where you have to dress up. For example, many people visit the Rainbow Room and the River Cafe--both which require you to dress up. But one thing I will say---in NYC there are some foods that I think are must-haves. Good pastrami and/or corned beef--our favorite for that is the Second Avenue Deli. However, there are other delis that are well-liked. Good pizza--we go to John's on Bleecker Street. Next, however, we plan to try Lombardi's or Grimaldi's. Also, great bagels --we like Ess-a-Bagel--many others say H&H Bagels are great (we'll have to try them!) We also aim to have at least one great Italian meal in NYC. There is so much more---so many different ethnic eateries that you won't find in most cities. Consider buying a Zagat Guide for NYC. You will get some great ideas for dining. Also look at menupages.com, too.

Tipping---20% in restaurants and for the hotel maid, at least $2.00/day. Please leave the maid a tip on a daily basis, not at the end of your stay.

Transportation---Both walking and the subway. You can get a free map at the information booth in the stations. There is also bus service, too. We've never used the buses--just the subway. You will find that NYC is very walkable, so bring comfortable shoes. In general, dress comfortably for the weather. Don't worry about standing out as a tourist--after all, there are people in NYC that come from all over the world and you will notice so many different styles of dressing.

San Diego, CA
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3. Re: Tips For First Time Visitor To NYC?

I think Central Park is one of the most beautiful parks I've ever seen, although I know Stanley Park in Vancouver is also beautiful; but I wouldn't miss Central Park, as it is part of what you always hear about New York and a wonderful place to walk around and explore, or just people-watch.

My personal favorite area to stay is the upper westside, as it is near Central Park, and it is more of a residential area away from the hustle and bustle of mid town. There are many wonderful restaurants in the area, and you can easily walk or get a subway to anywhere from there. It really depends on where you prefer to stay, or what you want to be closest to.

Subways are a wonderful form of transportation if you're going quite a ways, but if it's only a few blocks (or a couple miles) I enjoy the walk, as there's always interesting places between where you are and where you're going that you might miss on the subway. But... the subway is truly a fun experience on its own, and truly awesome public transportation that I really miss here.

I think you might enjoy the statue of liberty, but if you don't want to go through the security and the wait to get directly to the statue, there is a 3-hour circle line tour that is really fun, and goes right past Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The 3-hour tour also goes all around Manhattan, which I found fascinating as you get to see all the bridges, and coming from a civil engineering background, I found that fascinating.

You might consider a guided tour one day to get your bearings and directions, and then take off on your own after that. Depends on what you're comfortable with. New York is a spectacular city, and the people are friendly and helpful, and I'm sure you'll have a great time!

waterford ireland
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4. Re: Tips For First Time Visitor To NYC?

Treat what honestjohn said about Central Park and the Statue of Liberty with a pinch of salt. Central Park is fab. When I was in NY in November time was very tight and we only barely scratched at the surface of Central park but on my next visit I plan on allowing myself a whole day to explore at my leisure thinking of hiring bycles to explore.

Didnt get to get out to Statue of Liberty again time factor but did take the ferry around the Hudson.

Walk as much as you can. Everywhere is a lot closer than it sounds and great way to soak up the atmosphere of NY. If you need to use the subways dont be afraid. Very easy to use, just keep asking people that you are on the right train.

Also remember to go with the flow a little bit and allow for the fact that you wont get to do everything on your plan. New Yorkers are so friendly and helpful and will offer you great help.

Enjoy your trip and you will probably love the city so much that when you come home you will be making plans for you next visit.

Maidstone, United...
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5. Re: Tips For First Time Visitor To NYC?

First of all, if you want advice, you've come to the right place although your timing could have been better. We are currently under attack from a troll who should be ignored (you won't miss anything - he only thinks he knows it all). Consequently, this forum is temporarily bereft of some of its finest contributors but it does have an excellent search facility where you can look up most of the subjects that you're interested in.

One piece of advice particularly suitable for first time visitors is to try and book a Big Apple Greeter - these are true New York experts who volunteer to show visitors around the city for free. A number of them post on this forum and they are always willing to answer questions. Book early though as they tend to be oversubscribed: www.bigapplegreeter.org

I think it might also be a good idea if you got yourself a good guide book (buy or borrow). The Eyewitness guide is excellent as it has loads of pictures to whet your appetite. This way you can make a short list of the things that interest you rather than slavishly following someone else's idea of what is the best that NYC can offer. Also you will be able to group attractions geographically by referring to the maps.

Keep coming back here with your questions - most of the time you'll get a sensible answer!

manchester england
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6. Re: Tips For First Time Visitor To NYC?

ignore who maidstone is talking about maidstone is right

my first time this month and statue of liberty ellis island really good

central park walk and go in a carriage

do a fluid itinery

dont worry as when we got there friendly nice place

jewish museum fantastic [battery park end]

all delis fab

ground zero upsetting with st pauls church

we tipped how we felt service is ok good and bad like anywhere

we walked everywhere did not like the taxis grightening

for a a base getthe circle line bus gives you an idea get at times square

do a show first timers have to do touristy things because you will go back

we are

have a lovely time dont worry you will love it if i had the money i would go again this year but instead touring in spain

manchester england
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7. Re: Tips For First Time Visitor To NYC?

we also got a guide book

the aa one really good

maidstone what is wrong with honest john

Maidstone, United...
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8. Re: Tips For First Time Visitor To NYC?

How long have you got?

Milwaukee
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9. Re: Tips For First Time Visitor To NYC?

Sunny,

As has been said some of the questions you ask are very subjective. What is better tour or explore on your own? Only you can answer what is better for you. If you think about it I bet you know the advantages and disadvantages of each.

I think one factor in deciding is how much research you want to do. If you take tours everywhere you don't need to think about much. If you are willing to take some time to research you can do a nice itinerary on your own. Many people suggest a guide book. I suggest going to Barnes & Noble, or some large bookstore and reading lots of guidebooks. Your library may have some too. If you read 1 guidebook, you get 1 opinion. If you read many books you get different opinions and hopefully decide what's best for you.

I agree with most peole who say take the boat ride around Liberty, but you don't get much extra by stopping. I am not as impressed as most others with Ellis Island, but I would not want to discourage you as my opinion s obviously in the minority.

The subway will be neessary for some trips no matter how much you like to walk. It may sound intimidating, but it really isn't.

Milwaukee
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10. Re: Tips For First Time Visitor To NYC?

I got so long winded I forgot your question about where to stay. If you want to be within walking distance of the msot things Times Square/Midtown are for you. I prefer the Upper West Side as it is more of a New York City neighborhood. My hotel of choice is the Milburn www.milburnhotel.com. It is a smaller hotel with kitchenettes and affordble prices for NYC.

It is on about 75th and Broadway. You would probably use the subway more from there, only a few minutes by subway to Times Square. The walk is 20 or 30 minutes. It is also near Central park. It is a very safe area.