Things to do in New York

Explore the Big Apple with this New York City travel guide

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Ah, the Big Apple! Where crossing the street feels like a scene from a movie and the pizza slices are as big as your ambitions. Navigating through the bustling streets of New York can seem daunting, but fear not! I’ll help simplify New York City for a tourist with this guide. In a metropolis that practically buzzes with the energy of its 19 million diverse inhabitants, every corner harbors a new adventure. From towering skyscrapers to serene parks, you'll glimpse the world in the microcosm of its vibrant neighborhoods.

Why Visit NYC?

If you're itching for a cosmopolitan experience, then New York City should be at the top of your list. With its vast transit network of subways, buses, and even ferries, you can sail between boroughs with ease. Discover the various islands that make up the city, each with its own unique charm, or dive into the multitude of museums offering everything from modern art to historical artifacts. Not to mention, the countless cultural events, Broadway shows, and live performances that are a daily spectacle.

The diversity extends to infrastructure as well, from concrete landmarks such as Times Square, the Empire State Building, the Rockefeller Centre among others to green-spaces like Central Park, Washington Square Park, Bronx Zoo.The excitement doesn't stop there. NYC's culinary scene is a paradise for foodies, offering everything from Michelin-starred restaurants to the quintessential dollar pizza slice. And let's not forget about the shopping! Whether you're seeking high fashion on Fifth Avenue or elusive vintage finds in the East Village, this city has it all. Plus, New York's nightlife is second to none – trendy bars, speakeasies, and clubs that keep the city that never sleeps living up to its name.

Top 10 things to do in New York

Below is a NYC tourist map with all the prime attractions around the city that will help you chart an itinerary for yourself. Download this on your phone and keep it handy while visiting New York City.

NYC essentials




Time zoneGMT - 4


Country Code+917


Socket Type A & B


CurrencyDollar ($)

New York City trip planner

All you need before you book your tickets and zip your bag!

  • Weather

  • When to visit

  • Budget

  • Visa

  • Travel Tips

Weather in NYC

One can chose to visit New York anytime of the year as the city is beautiful and bustling throughout the year. Notably, New York is known for its unpredictable weather, which could switch not just from day to day but even hour to hour. Below is a generic season pattern to help you plan your trip and wardrobe accordingly. You can check the weather here.

spring in london
New York in Spring

A glorious time to visit as the mild weather makes it easier to explore the city on the foot. The mesmerizing backdrop of blooms accompanies the open air markets, which even make the locals to hit the street. Do pack some rain boots and an umbrella as showers are often expected.

summer in london
New York in Summer - Sun

A hugely popular time to visit New York as soaring temperature and school break inspires free activities such as kayaking on the Hudson to outdoor movie screenings to Shakespeare in the Park. Expect the hotel prices to be high and availability to be low, we suggest to get bookings done in advance.

autumn in london
New York in Autumn

The steep hotel rates continue as the winds starts blowing the summer away and fall sets in. Early fall offer crisp breezes and bright sun while late fall observes lower temperature, so carry a coat for sure.

winter in london
New York in Winter

There is nothing quite like the holiday season in New York; from dressed-up Fifth Avenue windows to the massive tree at the Rockefeller Center. While the holiday causes the prices to hike, as the temperature become harsher the hotel prices steps down a few notches.

New York Borough map

Understanding the geography of the city is very important before setting foot there. New York is divided into 5 boroughs - Bronx, Manhattan, Queens,Brooklyn & Staten Island. Here's a short introduction to each of the city's boroughs.

The Bronx

Home of the New York Yankees, the birthplace of hip-hop and host to dozens of cultural marvels, the Bronx is often, mistakenly, overlooked. Head to City Island for a bite to eat at one of the gorgeous waterfront restaurants, roam around the ‘real Little Italy’, visit the famous Bronx Zoo and much more.


The heart and soul of NYC, Manhattan is a thriving epicenter for business, art, fashion and entertainment. Visit iconic sites such as the Empire State Building and Central Park. Catch a Broadway show at the city’s prolific theater district, and experience the energy of Time Square.


According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Queens is considered to be the most diverse place on the planet. Eat food from around the world, hang out at one of NYC’s best parks and explore incredibly unique art exhibits and museums.


From flea markets to microbreweries, live music spots to trendy eateries, Brooklyn rivals Manhattan as the city’s hot spot. Bike ride across Brooklyn Bridge, relax at Prospect Park, or hop over to Coney Island - there’s plenty to do and see in this favorite NYC borough.

Staten Island

Hop aboard the Staten Island Ferry and take in up-close views of the Statue of Liberty before. Or opt for a more luxurious cruise and sip champagne while you take in the sweeping skyline and iconic sites from an incredible vantage point.

Detailed New York City itineraries

We've done all the hardwork for you! All you have to do is pick the number of days you'd like to visit New York for, and find a readymade NYC itinerary, tailored to suit all age-groups!

NYC travel guide 1/2 Day
NYC travel guide 3/4-Day
NYC travel guide 5/7-Day

How to save money in NYC

New York can be really pleasing on your senses; from your eyes to your taste bud, but the same cannot be said for your wallet. Ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the United States, NYC can be more than a handful if not maneuvered correctly. While various online discounts can enable you to stick to your budget, here are some tips to save you some more.

  1. Plan, plan & plan some more: New York has heaps to offer, so plan ahead if you don’t want to get daunted by where to go and where not to. Apart from a smoother experience pre-planning can save you galore.Depending upon your desired destinations you can plan your stay, the inter-city travel and much more. Once you have a rough sketch for your visit, browse through a bunch of offers, discounts, passes, free tours that suits your itinerary. New York is usually bustling with offers both off-season and in-season, keep an eye for them to enjoy guilt free and pocket friendly trip to the Big Apple.
  2. Use public transportation: Public transport not just let you read the pulse of a city; it is mostly the cheapest and fastest to go about explorations. NYC boasts one of the world’s most extensive and inexpensive mass transit systems. With a widespread, 24-7-365 network of buses and subways, you are sure to find a stop not far from your point of boarding or destination. Grab a MetroCard for more savings and hassle free travel. Take The Staten Island Ferry or the Hop On Hop Off tour bus or both for some breathtaking views along with an overview of the city.
  3. Buy the NYC Pass: Aimed at visiting the NYC’s most popular attractions - Empire State Building, Statue of liberty, 9/11 Memorial Museum is your answer. The pass gives you free access to over 100 New York attractions and discounted entry at others. Alongside saving money, it cuts down the time spent in long-line on individual ticket windows at each attraction. Additionally, procuring the pass is a breeze; you can collect it from the collection desks or can opt for the handy mobile version. Further discounts can be availed while booking the pass online.
  4. Attend the free Events: While budget friendly, exploring the boulevard streets on foot is among the best ways to inhale some New York air. Observe the locals at the central park, or take a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge or saunter at the High Line or choose and enroll in various walking tours that explore different parts of city such as the Greenwich or the Chinatown. The city is infamous for free events and attractions including free museum days, free exhibits, pay as you wish tours, free comedy shows, free concerts to name a few. You can check the listings and in fact plan your trip around such events.
  5. Stay in the cheaper boroughs: While this is one area where your pocket definitely feels the pinch, there are ways to budget your stay in New York City. To repeat ourselves, pre-planning can land you a great deal with the hotel and save much money to splurge on something else. Although the city doesn’t really get the term off-season, the hotel prices are comparably affordable during the months of January and March. Most budget travelers choose to stay in Hostels, B&Bs, Couchsurf or Airbnb over the regular hotel experience. New York offers tons of possibilities around the same, though one has to surf thoroughly through these offers to ensure safety and profitability.
  6. Eat pocket-friendly bites: Food in New York can be a friend or a foe to your budget depending upon where you choose to eat. The City’s food cart/truck culture keeps pushing the gastronomical envelope and offers food that can make you weak at the knees. A secret tip to score some scrumptious food inexpensively is to opt for take-out like many locals to avoid high cost of restaurant service. And then there are happy hours, you can not only score a good deal on drink specials but on food as well. Some restaurants offer happy hour seven days a week, check online or the scan the local newspaper for such offer.
  7. Visit attractions on free Days: Many of NYC's attractions, museums & galleries allow free entry or pay-what-you-wish options on select days of the month or evening hours every week. Those traveling to NYC on budget can take advantage of these free or low-cost admittance and experience NYC's art without burning a hole in their pocket. You can check out the list of free days to visit here.

Best museums in New York City

New York is a treasure chest when it comes to museums and cultural institutions. With well over 80 museums dedicated to history, culture, art, immigration, military, science, natural history and cinema; museum choices in New York are abundant. With so many options, narrowing them down to fit your travel itinerary can be difficult. In this guide, we will look at the 10 Best Museums in New York City. This guide focuses on museums which are home to some of the most exquisite collections and exhibits in New York. Among the horde of museums in New York, these are also the largest and most popular.

We have arranged the 10 best museums in New York in order of popularity based on Tripadvisor ratings and Headout customer reviews; so choose your pick and go museum ambling in New York. Make sure you don't plan more than 2 museums a day as it becomes hard to really absorb what the museum has to offer if you're rushed.

Best tours in New York City

NYC is a city best explored by foot and there are many guided and bus tours to help you make the most of your visit. Here's a quick list of the top tours in NYC.

NYC Travel Guide - The Ride
The Tour - The Ride The Ride is a New York experience unlike any other. It uses New York City and its landmarks as the backdrop for a theatrical event that blurs the boundary between tour and performance.
Read More
NYC Travel Guide-Central park TV
Central Park TV & Movie Sites Tour TV and Movie buffs will love this unique tour that walks you through over 30 film and television locations. From Breakfast at Tiffany’s to When Harry Met Sally and many more.
Read More
NYC Travel Guide - Boroughs
New York City Boroughs Tour Explore the culturally diverse boroughs of New York and get to know the different sides of Brooklyn, the Bronx, Harlem, and Queens.
Read More

New York cruises

A hot favourite with tourists of all age groups, New York City is a heady mix of colossal skyscrapers, historic buildings, treasure trove museums, iconic monuments, designer showrooms, vibrant bars, happening joints and much more. Arousing a stir inside, this city with its dazzling vibes tops the dream list of many travellers! Captivating millions of visitors, NYC is a trendsetting city with a unique charm of its own. Out of scores of things to do in this delightfully animated city, one thing you cannot miss are the famous New York Cruises. A scenic and relaxing cruise in the Hudson or the New York harbour is a quintessential New York experience. You can admire the famous New York skyline dotted with iconic buildings, spectacular bridges, famous monuments and many other best known sights, chilling on a cruise while you are filled up with interesting historical information and fun facts through onboard narration.

Why go for an NYC cruise?

Away from the busy city life, New York Cruises are the best way to enjoy the view of this active city while relaxing on a world class cruise. When you take the NYC Cruise you can virtually experience the feel of those millions of people who headed to this country hundreds of years back in hope of living the American dream! The view of the Manhattan clustered with multitude of famed buildings is best enjoyed while cruising along the coastline of New York City. Witness the often seen in pictures view of this incredible city from the peaceful comfort of your air-conditioned area or the open observation deck of the New York City cruises. Your cruise glides down the Hudson River presenting the best view of New York’s must sees like the Brooklyn Bridge, One World Trade Centre, Trump Towers, Statue of liberty, Empire state Building and many others. A distant view of the skyline with towering glass skyscrapers and watching the iconic Statue of Liberty from close quarters gives you a unique perspective of the place. View of the bustling city from the peaceful comforts of the cruise, whether you are travelling alone or with family and friends, is a memorable experience you shall always remember.

NYC Sightseeing Cruises

Nyc travel guide

Out of scores of things to do in this delightfully animated city, one thing you cannot miss are the famous New York Cruises. A scenic and relaxing cruise in the Hudson or the New York harbour is a quintessential New York experience. You can admire the famous New York skyline dotted with iconic buildings, spectacular bridges, famous monuments and many other best known sights, chilling on a cruise while you are filled up with interesting historical information and fun facts through onboard narration.

Read all about the best NYC Sightseeing Cruises.

Hudson River Cruises

Nyc travel guide

A 315 mile waterway surrounded by the Catskill Mountains to the West and the Taconic and Berkshire Hills to the East, the Hudson River is surrounded by breathtaking beauty and seeped in history. The villages peppered on its fringe date back to the Dutch and English eras and feature architecture seen in no other parts of America. If you're interested in witnessing this historic part of New York from the comfort of a cruise, our curation of the Best Hudson River Cruises will reward you just that!

Read all about the best Hudson river cruises.

Broadway in New York

NYC travel guide

Broadway, New York City’s very own theatre district, is teeming with fabulous shows and breathtaking performances. A good time is all but guaranteed at a Broadway show, but getting tickets for the good shows can be a tad challenging. Wondering if there’s a way to score great seats for some of the best shows on Broadway for cheap? Well, our guide on the best ways to get Broadway discount tickets can help you out!

Here is our first timer's guide to Broadway NYC.

New York Helicopter Tours

NYC travel guide

When it comes to exploring NYC, taking the city in from a bird's eye view pretty much takes the cake. Sure, you can enjoy stellar views from one of the many rooftop bars; however, nothing captures the city’s impressive skyline like a helicopter ride! For tourists and locals alike, it's an adrenaline pumping experience that can't be topped. Literally. After all, when else will you be able to come eye-to-eye with the Statue of Liberty?

Truth be told, it's an experience worth every penny and it's quite likely your exhilarating air time will turn out to be some of the most thrilling minutes you ever spend in the city. In fact - the incredible panoramic views had such an impact on one young man, that they inspired him to create an intricate, 18ft drawing of New York’s skyline - entirely from his memory! Stephen Wiltshire’s masterpiece is a living relic of how powerful a single experience can be.

So how do you pick the right tour? How can you be sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck? From hacks to getting the best helicopter ride for two, to which tour is best for large groups, we’ve laid it all out for you.

Getting Around New York City

NYC travel Guide - Transport

New York’s public transportation is the city's heart beat and best way for locals and travelers to go about the city. While taxis gets pretty expensive for everyday travel, buses and subway offer a much better alternative.

On the surface, deciphering the map of trains and busses network looks quite a laborious process. But the well connected system that lends the fast pace city its real pace is not that difficult. We suggest that you download a map and keep it handy while traveling around NYC.

Additionally, to make your travel smoother choose travel cards that suits your itinerary. This way, you can avoid the long lines at the ticket windows and travel like a local.

Where to stay in NYC

NYC tarvel guide

Questions about which neighborhood to prefer while planning for a stay in NYC, is amongst the most puzzling one. To put it simply, there is no ‘best place,’ it all depends upon your budget and itinerary which neighborhood might suit you better than the other.

  • Midtown : This has the city’s largest concentration of hotels. Neighboring landmarks like the Empire State Building, the Museum of Modern Art the bright lights of Broadway have attributed it as the best neighborhood in regards of sightseeing. It offers shopping at the 57 Street and Madison Avenue boutiques to dining spaces that span across everyone’s budget.
  • Lower Manhattan and the Financial District : The southern tip of the island is also one of New York’s most flourishing neighborhoods with new shops, hotels and restaurants. Many hotels of the financial district offer good rates during the weekend, when the business travelers go home.
  • Tribeca and SoHo : The triangle below Canal(Tribeca) and South of Houston (SoHo) are two reformed neighborhoods from former warehouses. Known for their spacious and pricey loft apartments, both Tribeca and Soho are home for fine dining and trendy shopping. It is among the best Neighborhood for foodies.
  • Upper West Side : Lined with playgrounds and parks it is amongst the best NYC neighborhood for Families. Served by two subway lines and several buses the area’s hotels offer affordable family accommodations

What to Eat in NYC

NYC is a foodie's paradise. You'll never get tired to eating in this city and exploring them all is a distant dream. However, here are a list of delicious delights which you simply cannot miss enjoying!

1. Bagels

New York is home to some of the world’s finest bagels, so much so that many people claim that it is the water here that makes it so yummy. It is amongst the favorite breakfast for the locals and the travelers alike.

NYC Travel Guide - Bagels

2. Pastrami on Rye

A Jewish delicacy that is omnipresent and amalgamated in New York City’s culture since the 19th century. As popular as ever, the classic beef pastrami smeared with yellow mustard between two slices of rye bread holds the heart of most locals.

NYC Travel Guide- Pastrami on Rye

3. BEC

The bacon, scrambled egg, and cheese sandwich or the “BEC” is power house breakfast that fuels the pace of New York. Available at almost every deli in the city this delicacy is what a diet conscious New Yorker will surely cheat for. The best one comes from Bodega.

NYC travel Guide - BEC

4. Dollar slice

A piece of pizza priced at $1 or less, “dollar slice,” is locals pick for the best cheap meal in the city. While the economic crises have forced this trend to slow down a lot of local chains like 2 Bros. Pizza or 99¢ Fresh Pizza, still serve a consistent dollar slice.

NYC travel Guide - Dollar Slice

5. New York Cheesecake

As the cheesecake lover will put it, there’s Cheesecake and then there is New York Cheesecake. Restaurant owner Arnold Reuben claims his family invented the cheesecake in 1929. Fair warning - you won’t be able to go back to your local cheesecake after you tasted this one.

NYC travel Guide - New york cheesecake

Where to Eat in NYC

Now that you know what all you should eat in NYC, here's where you can find the best of these delicasies.

Absolute Bagels

While on the pricier side in terms of hamburgers, a Balthazar hamburgers undoubtedly is your money’s worth. One of the bestsellers ‘Balthazar Cheeseburger’ is priced at $21, and comes perfectly grilled with a thick slab of melted cheese and a side of crunchy fries. Read more here.

Crif Dogs

Invented by German butcher Charles Feltman in Coney Island in 1871, hotdogs have been everyone’s favorite since. Crif Dogs envelopes the traditional dish with a twist of flavors. For instance the Spicy Red Neck has a bacon wrapped dog with coleslaw, chilli and jalapeños. Read more here.

Balthazar Restaurant

While on the pricier side in terms of hamburgers, a Balthazar hamburgers undoubtedly is your money’s worth. One of the bestsellers ‘Balthazar Cheeseburger’ is priced at $21, and comes perfectly grilled with a thick slab of melted cheese and a side of crunchy fries. Read more here.

Dominique Ansel Bakery

If you haven’t heard about the cronut than visit this place, if you have heard or eaten one, taste this one to know what the real deal is about. The bakery introduces a new exotic flavor every month and offers flavor profile from strawberry balsamic to mascarpone with basil sugar. Read more here.

The Halal Guys

What started as a single food cart in Midtown in 1990 has now evolved into a nationwide chain that serves a big pile of tender, heavily seasoned chicken accompanied by lamb over rice and a healthy serving of a lip-smacking white sauce. Read more here.

Grand Central Oyster Bar

This 104-year-old restaurant in Grand Central, is as iconic to New York as the train station’s starry ceiling over the cavernous main concourse. Their platter of raw oysters or the iconic, creamy oyster pan roast is sure to steal your heart Read more here.

Food Tours In NYC

NYc travel guide

They say, the best way to experience the beat of a city is by sampling the local cuisine of the city. New York , the city of immigrants brings to the platter an array of cuisines, each of which has become the city's own over the years. Experiencing the best of all the city's cuisines can be hard, but not if you sign up for an NYC Food tour. Food tours in NYC take you through different boroughs of the city and expose you to the best tuck and tipple, be it China Town or Brooklyn. All you have to do is, figure out which Food Tour in New York sounds most interesting to you, grab your ticket and reach there with a massive appetite and lots of excitement!

Valentine’s Day In NYC

Nyc travel guide

14th February is just around the corner and the air is already chirping with the upcoming festivities. Never short of activities, the city of New York poses endless possibilities when it comes to Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day in New York can be tailor made to suit what you love as a couple. Whether you want an old school celebration or you want to explore the wild side this year or you want to pop the question, New York City presents you with a whole lot of quirky and interesting options. Look through our special guide to find a date idea that suits you and your better half the best.

Festivals in New York

The spirit of New York in and around festivals is as wonderful as the main event. Several festivals are planned throughout the year; here is a list of some of the most notable one’s.

  • The Tribeca Film Festival - Created by Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro in 2002, the Tribeca Film Festival showcases a diverse selection of independent films to a broad audience. The festival garners an estimated three million attendees including celebrities from the worlds of art, film, and music.
  • The Museum Mile Festival - A 40 year old festival, that knits together art lovers from New York and beyond. Museums open their doors to the public at no charge; the streets are flooded with live music and entertainment converting the Fifth Avenue into the city’s largest block party.
  • Fleet Week NYC - The members of the United States Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps are honored and celebrated in a week long affair. It starts with the Parade of Ships cruising along the Hudson River, leads into military demonstrations and concludes with a Memorial Day ceremony
  • Five Boro Craft Beer Fest - Live music with over 100 event-exclusive small-batch beers by 50 local and out-of-state breweries, what more can a beer lover ask for. The all-you-can-drink fest offers you to chat up with the brewers while you sip their two-ounce pour.
  • Lunar New Year Parade & Festival - A cultural celebration to ring in Lunar new years, that takes place in Manhattan’s Chinatown, as well as in Flushing, Queens, and Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Crowds of hundreds of thousands gather to witness elaborate floats, marching bands, martial artists, Asian musicians, magicians, acrobats and processions by local organizations.

There are plenty more Events & Festivals in NYC and a quick cursory glance across the internet will expose you to many more.

NYC Festivals in Summer
  • St. Patrick's Day Parade (March)
  • Easter Parade (April)
  • Burt's Bees Earth Day (April)
  • Ninth Avenue International Food Festival (May)
  • Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit (May)
    NYC Festivals in Summer
  • Belmont Stakes (June)
  • NYC Pride March (June)
  • Shakespeare in the Park (June)
  • Metropolitan Opera in the Parks (June–July)
  • July Fourth (July)
  • New York International Fringe Festival (August)
  • NYC Festivals in Autumn
  • New York Film Festival (September-October)
  • Haunted Halloween Carnival (October)
  • New York City Marathon (November)
  • Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (November)
  • Lighting at Rockefeller Center (November)
  • NYC Festivals in Winter
  • Times Square New Years Eve (December)
  • Westminster Kennel Club Show (February)
  • NYC Culture Tips

    It is understandable that New York City can be a daunting destination with so much to absorb, so much to see and so little time. Barring that you also need to understand that while you are on a trip, New Yorkers are going about their strict daily schedule. So, it is important to follow some typical New York’ish etiquettes that will not hinder the local’s life.

    • Sidewalk etiquettes – Whether to ogle at the sites or to refer a map, shift on the pavement. The citizens are rushing towards their respective destinations and definitely wouldn't appreciate running into you in the middle of the sidewalk
    • Subway/public transport etiquettes – While you are getting accustomed to the pace of the place, do observe how speedily New Yorkers like to cross through. Keep the metro card handy for smooth swipe through the turnstile. Do not crowd the subway door, way before your stop, letting others pass and board with ease.
    • Quick help – New Yorkers while stern don’t mind helping out, though they might not have time for a chit-chat. So ask your prompt questions.
    • Place your order quick – Do not keep the line waiting while you decide your order. Try and sort it before you reach the counter.

    Tipping in NYC

    New Yorkers in the Service industry expect some love and appreciation from you in the form of tip.

    • Note that these days many restaurants implement a no-tipping policy and apply add on service charge or administrative charge, so you need not pay tip in that case.
    • A tip of 15- 20 percent of total bill for Wait staff and Bartenders in the general norm in restaurants.
    • Hotel staff expects a tip for their services, depending upon the service rendered by the guest. The norm suggests $1 to the hotel doorman for hailing a cab, $1–$2 per bag to the Porters and bellhops, $1–$2 per day of your visit to $5 per day for the housekeeping staff.
    • The taxi drivers are usually paid a tip of 15–20 percent of total fare.
    • If you happen to visit the salon or avail similar services, a tip of 15–20 percent of total service cost is expected.

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