Travel and Lifestyle Blog

Watch The Design Tourist Airing on

Travel Tips for First-Time NYC Visitors

Planning your first visit to the Big Apple? Having a guide to fill your itinerary can help you structure your day so that you can experience NYC to the fullest.

Touring New York City and everything it has to offer is a thrilling and fulfilling experience. Truly a melting pot of sights, tastes, cultures, and backgrounds, this city keeps even the most experienced tour guides on their toes! Hosting millions of visitors each day, the Big Apple can be overwhelming, especially to people without a plan—but it doesn’t have to be. One visit won’t make you an expert, but here you’ll discover travel tips for first-time NYC visitors that can make a difference in your trip.

Don’t Wing It

Some people enjoy spontaneity, but the element of surprise doesn’t always work in New York City. Visits to attractions and museums can require booking in advance to control crowd attendance.

You can use many apps to skip the lines and purchase tickets to shows, museums, and ferry rides in advance. Accommodate extra time to commute to these venues so that you don’t miss your time slot.

Book Hotels in Convenient Locations

Reserving your stay somewhere central, such as Manhattan, and locating shopping centers and attractions within walking distance fills an open day in your schedule. It gives you the opportunity to purchase souvenirs, snacks to bring with you on your adventures, and necessities you missed while packing.

Wear Comfortable Walking Shoes

Exploring NYC requires a great deal of getting around and often involves doing so on foot. Pack your most comfortable shoes to avoid making an impromptu stop at the nearest pharmacy for Band-Aids. Avoid sporting shoes that you explicitly purchased for your trip, especially if you didn’t have a chance to break them in.

Get a Feel for Your Surroundings

The more you venturing into the same nooks and crannies of NYC, the easier moving throughout the Big Apple will be! Familiarizing yourself with street names and avenues will have you navigating New York City like a pro and encourage smoother visits in the future.

Ride the Subway

Unless you enjoy the pain of sitting through long traffic waits, avoid using taxis and buses as methods of transportation on your first trip. The Metro isn’t just speedy; it travels everywhere! Consider purchasing a weekly pass if you’re staying for more than four days.

Stay Away from Overpriced Restaurants

Did you know there are enough restaurants in NYC for you to try something new each day for 50 years? Locating a trendy spot to splurge is excellent; however, the feeling of discovering a hidden gem is thrilling. And who knows? You might find your new favorite dish just by expanding your palate and trying something at a lower cost.

Broaden Your Horizons

NYC has multiple boroughs and neighborhoods that each have their own vibe and sights to see. Touring these areas provides you with more action to experience and cultures to enjoy. You can make time to walk along the Brooklyn Bridge or even visit the Bronx Zoo!

Enjoy Yourself!

Feeling stressed at the extensive compilation of sights and activities you’d like to see is only natural—but remember to have fun! New York City is a beautiful and bustling place to venture to, and you’ll need more than a day to appreciate everything it has to offer. With these travel tips for first-time NYC visitors, you’ll spend less time worrying about where to start and more time falling in love with the city’s charm and quirks. Safe travels!


Picture of Contributor Post

Contributor Post

Share the post on social media


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up for the latest travel news and insider tips

Latest blog posts

Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

NATJA Gold Award

NATJA Bronze Award