The City That Never Sleeps got that nickname for a reason. New York City buzzes with activity. Whether it’s the world-class museums, shopping, theater, dining and entertainment venues, there is always something to do in this 24-hour city.
But don’t get overwhelmed when planning a trip. Start with these essentials first:
The best time to visit New York City
There’s no bad time to visit the Big Apple. It really just depends on your personal preference.
The holiday season, with all its twinkling lights and good cheer, is a wonderful time to make a trip — there’s nothing like ice skating in Central Park or stopping by bustling Rockefeller Center and its world-famous Christmas tree.
Summer brings a certain carefree attitude to the city and with it comes a full calendar of only-in-New-York events like Shakespeare in the Park. The richness of colors seen at the cusp of autumn is indescribable.
New York City winters can be brutal, but once the flowers start blooming and temperatures begin to rise, a palpable energy fills the air. Spring might just be the best time to visit. You can hit the rooftop bars, stroll through Central Park or simply take a leisurely walk through Manhattan or Brooklyn.
What to pack for a trip to New York City
When traveling to New York City, you have to pack smart. There are two main factors that you’ll need to consider — shoes and the weather.
You’ll want to have fashionable footwear, but you also have to be practical. Pack something that keeps with your style that won’t leave you hobbling after walking around the city for hours.
Then you need to consider what time of year you’ll be visiting. Going for a summer trip? Pack comfortable and light clothing that will keep you cool — the subway station gets hot when you’re waiting.
Heading to the Big Apple in the winter? Bring layers, a heavy coat and all cold-weather essentials (hat, scarf, gloves). Just be sure to check the weather before you start packing.
Practicalities aside, be sure to bring a few stylish outfits or shop for new ones on Fifth Avenue. When in doubt, you can always fall back on an all-black ensemble — simple, chic and always en vogue.
Public transportation in New York City
Public transportation is one of the great benefits of life in New York City. It is dependable, safe and fast.
There is a certain allure to taking taxis, Lyft and Uber — not only because they travel in the streets where you can watch the city whiz by — but, unfortunately, they are often the slower (and of course, more expensive) option.
The answer is the subway and downloading the corresponding app on your phone. Subway service is best when moving north and south (uptown and downtown) and express trains that skip local stations can help you cover great distances quickly.
Moving east and west can be more of a challenge, but there’s always the city buses, good old walking or the few subway lines like the L and the 7 that travel across town.
Get yourself a MetroCard (a prepaid card that you swipe to pass through the turnstile) and if you have any questions, ask the attendant in the booth or a person nearby — despite the rumors, New Yorkers can be helpful and warm.
For some more New York City tips, click here.