How to Get Around in NYC

By Go City Expert

One city, 8 million residents, countless opportunities to get lost. Chances are, unless you know New York City very well, you will find yourself lost or on the wrong path once or twice. Don't beat yourself up if that happens to you, even native New Yorkers take the wrong train or walk in the wrong direction on occasion. To minimize the amount of time you waste getting lost, it's a good idea to get familiar with the plentiful transportation options New York City has to offer. [spacer height="20px"]

The New York City Subway

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7 Train in Queens | Photo by @nyclovesnyc[/caption] By far the most efficient way of getting around is the New York City Subway. Though the intricate web of colors and letters and numbers may seem daunting, this trusty old system will take you pretty to and from pretty much every corner of New York City. The NYC subway is one of the oldest in the world, and frankly, it shows. The vestibules are often smelly, dirty and congested and the old-fashioned trains are often late, or in desperate need of repair. Despite this, Most New Yorkers use the subway every day for their commute in place of driving, and you should too. Follow alert.mta.info for current delays or reroutes. The best way to navigate the subway is to get really familiar with the infamous Subway Map. This work of art will tell you everything you need to know, as long as you know roughly where you are and where you're going. Once you have found your destination stop and identify the line you have to take, you have to pay attention to whether the train is going Uptown or Downtown. The Uptown and Downtown terms are relative to where you currently are, typically if you're heading North (or to the Bronx or Queens), take the Uptown train and if you're headed South (or to Brooklyn), take the Downtown train. For easy navigation, you can pick up a hard copy of the map at most subway stations, or you can download it onto your phone. Several handy apps are also available, if you like to get thorough. If you're unsure about local customs, please familiarize yourself with Subway Etiquette. Keep in mind that each single ride on the subway is $3, or $2.75 with a preloaded MetroCard. If you're here for a while, you can get an unlimited weekly MetroCard for $32 or a monthly for $121. A new physical card will run you $1. [spacer height="20px"]

Municipal Buses

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MTA Bus Map[/caption] Much like the subway, the municipal buses are run by the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority). They are available in every borough and offer transportation to some areas the subway just doesn't reach. For most MTA buses, you can use the same MetroCard you purchased at the subway station (Express buses do not accept unlimited MetroCards). Unlike the Subway, the buses actually operate on a schedule decently well (many New Yorkers may disagree with this statement). Again, all you really need here is the schedule and a Bus Map and you're good to go! Unlike the subway, your phones will work here the whole time. [spacer height="20px"]

Citibike (and other bike rentals)

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Citibike rack | Photo via Siegel+Gale[/caption] Biking around New York has become not only a popular pastime, but also a popular mode of transportation. Health/earth conscious New Yorkers have opted for two wheels in place of cars and congested subways. If you don't own a bike, or for whatever reason can't ride yours, there are plenty of options out there. Perhaps the most popular is Citibike, a bike sharing program, available all over the city, offering short-term bike rentals. Citibike offers either yearly membership, or a day pass for short-term visitors. With the day pass, you can ride as many times as you want, for $12. Remember that you have 30 minutes before you have to dock again. Download the Citibike app to get information about the closest docking stations, including real-time availability map. If you would rather get a better bike for a rental, without being limited to the 30-minute timeline, you can try Central Park Sightseeing, Central Park Bike Rent or Blazing Saddles. Blazing Saddles offers cruiser rentals down at South Street Seaport, and pier 84, while the other two companies offer rentals and tours in Central Park and Brooklyn Bridge. You can rent from a [spacer height="20px"]

Hop on Hop off Bus

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Big Bus Tours[/caption] One of the most scenic and informative ways to see New York is on top of a Big Bus double-decker bus. These buses go around in several loops, have a tour guide and stop by most of the major attractions. You can either take Big Bus as a sightseeing tour and do the whole loop (each loop is about 2 - 2.5 hours) or hop on and off wherever is convenient for you. Keep in mind that the buses go in NYC traffic and can be quite slow. It's not the best transportation option when you're in a rush, but it's a great way to get acquainted with the city when you first arrive. Each New York Pass holder receives a free 1-day ticket, covering the Downtown, Midtown and Uptown loop. [spacer height="20px"]

Foot

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The High Line | Photo via TimeOut New York[/caption] [spacer height="20px"] The most popular way of getting around in NYC, hands down, is walking. New York City is one of the most walkable cities, due to its concentration on a relatively small piece of land. You can technically walk the entire island of Manhattan in the span of a day. When visiting New York, it's a good idea to bring a pair of comfortable shoes, because unless you want to shell out big bucks for taxis, chances are you are going to do quite a bit of walking regardless. Manhattan above 14th St. is very easy to navigate on foot, because the streets are organized in a grid. 12 Avenues go North to South and 200 some streets cross them East to West. The boundary between East side and West side is 5th Avenue. Things get more complicated Downtown, where there is no street organization to speak of. It's recommended to fire up Google Maps while strolling below 14th St. [spacer height="20px"]

New York Water Taxi (and other ferries)

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New York Water Taxi[/caption] Most of New York City is essentially a cluster of islands, as such it is intertwined with a body of water, which presents a great opportunity for water-based transportation. There are many ferries servicing the New York City Waters, one of them is the New York Water Taxi, which offers stops all along the New York Harbor for you to hop on and off. For transportation to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, use the Statue Cruises Ferry departing from Battery Park. For transportation between Brooklyn and Manhattan, you can use the East River Ferry, or the New York Water Taxi. If you're looking to sightsee on the river, check out the Best Cruises in NYC. [spacer height="20px"]

Taxi

One of the most quintessential transportation methods in NYC has to be the signature yellow cabs. Taxis are convenient, quick, and you take take them pretty much anywhere. The drawback is the cost, if you rely on taxis only for all your transportation needs, it'll cost you. Certain routes and times of day may also make you delayed due to traffic. Yellow cabs are most popular in Manhattan, but you can catch one in outer boroughs as well, except the cars will be green. New York City taxis are heavily regulated, so you don't have to worry about getting ripped off if you hail a cab, but please remember the etiquette attached to riding in a taxi. Regardless of how far you go, please remember to tip your cab drivers, preferably in cash. [spacer height="20px"]

Uber (and other ride share programs)

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Uber | Photo via The Bubble[/caption] Uber has become insanely popular in recent years. Ride share programs have a few advantages over taxis. They tend to be cheaper, you can call them from an app, wherever you are, and you don't have to tip. You can call an Uber, Lyft or Juno, at any time, wherever you and and in a few minutes your car will be waiting for you. One draw back is that during peak time, in popular areas, Uber has surge pricing, so you can end up paying much more than you would in a taxi. If you need a ride on a Friday night in West Village, you may be better off hailing a taxi than calling an Uber. in outer boroughs, rude share apps are almost always more accessible.

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5 Days In New York City - Andrea Serrano

As a former New Yorker, this city will always represent the most profound part of my life. It was a time where my focus was my career in the fashion industry and knowing where the hottest party was every night of the week. The one thing I didn’t take advantage of was the diverse tourist attractions. As a local, going to all of the sites isn’t usually a top priority unless you have family or friends in town. 13 years and 2 kids later, coming back to New York for 5 days as a tourist was actually the most important thing on my list. These sites are a reminder of how New York is the epicenter of culture and continues to influence the world. The New York Pass is your ticket to all of the sites in the city and beyond. If you are planning to visit New York City and want to pack in more than a few attractions then The New York Pass is the way to go. There are several packages you can buy - 1 day, 2 days, 3 days, 5 days, 7 days and 10 days. Purchasing this pass guarantees lower rates for each site and faster entry at given locations. The other great addition is the guidebook that is divided up by area. The book provides a description of each site, and the nearest buses and trains to take. Starting at $119 for a one day pass to $399 for a 10 day pass the value is undeniable. [caption id="attachment_1370" align="aligncenter" width="2000"] Day 1: You can’t go to New York without going to Central Park. This big slice of greenery in the middle of a concrete jungle is your only escape into nature in the city. The Alice in Wonderland sculpture is the perfect place to capture a moment with your family. [caption id="attachment_1375" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Central Park - Andrea Serrano[/caption] Day 2: This day was jam packed with adventure! We started out at The American Museum of Natural History and if you have kids, this is a must. We took in the underwater re-creations of oceans all over the world, the evolution of man, and ancient dinosaur bones. This massive museum could also take days to walk through, but with more stops along the way we had to keep it moving. The next stop was the Top of the Rock to view the city. The breathtaking views from the 70th floor of the Rockefeller Center are breathtaking and the waiting time to see it wasn’t that bad. We ended the day at The Statue of Liberty. If there are only a few places you have time to see in New York, this should be on the top of your list. This was the 1st passageway for so many immigrants who made America what it is today. Taking the ferry over to the island, you wonder what these people were feeling as they set their sites on their new home. You must do the audio tour which is included in the package. The history and the stories are palpable as you listen to recordings of real immigrants on their journey to the land of the free. [caption id="attachment_1377" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Statue of Liberty - Andrea Serrano[/caption] Day 3: With so much to see in the city it could be overwhelming. We opted for a break in the hustle and bustle to check out Coney Island. I’ve been there more than a few times, but in the past few years they have made some great updates including new rides and the vibrant Coney Art Walls. With the New York Pass you can get 4 hours of rides at Luna Park plus access to Deno's Wonder Wheel which is great because you can really cover a lot of ground in those few hours. Other new additions were some great new gift shops with quality Coney Island merchandise and restaurants with some healthy food options that were non-existent just a few years ago. [caption id="attachment_1378" align="aligncenter" width="850"] Deno's Wonder Wheel - Andrea Serrano[/caption] Day 4: Our weekend continued in Brooklyn as we visited the New York Transit Museum. Located in a defunct subway station in downtown Brooklyn, this is one of the sleeper hits when it comes to taking in history of New York. Housing historical artifacts of the New York City Subway, bus, commuter rail, and bridge and tunnel systems it’s impressive for both children and adults. I love going into all of the old subway cars and seeing all of the beautiful details like padded wicker seats and old advertisements on display. [caption id="attachment_1385" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] New York Transit Museum - Andrea Serrano[/caption] Day 5: We ended our trip with the 9/11 Memorial Museum. I remember living in New York when this happened and how it forever changed so many people’s lives. I’m so glad I did, especially to pay respect to everyone who lost their lives and the first responders who risked everything. The museum did a a great job of documenting that day and displaying all of the artifacts. It was incredible to see people from all of the world there and realize how many people this event affected. Sharing all of these sites with my family over the 5 days of our trip was such a bonding experience and I can’t wait to come back and explore more. There are so many attractions to see and many that I wouldn't mind visiting over and over again. The New York Pass made my vacation easy and hassle-free. I would totally recommend it to anyone who is looking to conquer as many attractions as they can in New York.
Go City Expert
New York
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2 Days in New York City - A Sample Itinerary with The New York Pass®

With The New York Pass, you can tailor a sightseeing itinerary to your own interests. This two-day New York City sightseeing itinerary below is just an example of how you can use your New York Pass to visit attractions and save big on admission. Follow the itinerary below, or, just use it as inspiration to start planning your trip and visit any and as many of the other included attractions as you want. This sample two-day itinerary includes: Big Bus Classic Panoramic Tour Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island 9/11 Memorial & Museum Top of the Rock American Museum of Natural History and more... DAY 1 Big Bus Classic Panoramic Tour The best way to start your trip—get acquainted with New York City’s top attractions, landmarks, sights, and layout on a comprehensive, bus tour with live narration. You’ll be able to hop on or off at any of the 25+ stops along the tour’s 3 bus routes: Uptown, Downtown, and Midtown for the full New York City experience. Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Immigration Museum Take a ferry from Battery Park and visit the Statue of Liberty to see it up-close before heading over to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Explore the history of immigration to the United States, with a specific focus on the immigration process through Ellis Island and the 12 million immigrants to were processed at Ellis Island, walk through the institution's historic halls and galleries, and more. 9/11 Memorial & Museum Located at the World Trade Center site, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is a poignant testament to the terrorist attacks and tragic events of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. A visit to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is educational and emotional. The galleries feature artifacts from the wreckage, photographs of the events that illustrate the events’ timelines, stories and first-hand accounts from survivors and family members of victims, and more. You’ll be able to pay tribute to the victims and service members who perished on 9/11 at the memorial site, where there are two twin reflecting pools with man-made waterfalls inscribed with the names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks. Madame Tussauds New York Meet all your favorite celebrities and interact with A-Listers at Madame Tussauds New York, right in Times Square. You’ll get to get up close and pose with Lady Gaga, Morgan Freeman, Carmelo Anthony, some of your favorite Marvel superheroes, and more as you explore the museum’s five floors of themed rooms. Get as close to the stars as you want, there are not bodyguards to shield you away! Insider tip: Madame Tussauds opens 1 hour early, exclusively for New York Pass holders. Top of the Rock Head to the 70th floor of historic Rockefeller Center for 360-degree, sweeping views of Manhattan and beyond from the famous Top of the Rock observation deck. On your way up, you’ll get to learn about the history and symbolic significance of the iconic building and Rockefeller’s vision for the building complex. When you step out onto the three-story observation deck, you’ll have unbeatable views of all the New York City skyline landmarks. Insider tip: download the free app or use the multi-media displays to help identify buildings and landmarks in view. DAY 2 The Ride Experience New York from the best seat in the city and see the streets transform into a live, Broadway stage. You’ll board a custom-made bus with stadium-style seating and large windows for unobstructed views of street performers on their various ‘stages’ throughout the city. This 75-minute traveling theater features fun, interactive entertainment and takes you to some of the top sights in New York, including Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, Chrysler Building, New York Public Library, Central Park, and more. Central Park Bicycle Rentals Explore Central Park’s 843 acres on two wheels with a guided bike tour—you’ll get to see more than you would by foot and your knowledgeable guide will make sure you see all the top sights. American Museum of Natural History Visit one of the largest natural history museums in the world and learn about everything from extinction to the evolution of plant and animal life around the world. From our origins as a human species to Siberian Tigers and a 122-foot titanosaur (a 70-ton herbivore), you can get up close to it all at the AMNH.
Kirsten McCroskrie
Blog

Attraction of The Week: Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn Museum | The New Yorker Brooklyn Museum While most of New York City's major museums exist in Manhattan, there is one museum that has shown over the years that the trip to Brooklyn is well worth it. Located on Eastern Parkway, the Brooklyn Museum is a lively hub where art, culture and entertainment are celebrated. Throughout the year, the museum displays changing exhibitions as well as live performances for all respective age ranges. All five floors in the Brooklyn Museum offer something different with themes and styles that connect flawlessly along the spacious walls. Collection Founded in 1895, the Brooklyn Museum has pulled together quite an impressive collection of artistic works over their 122 years of existence. Today the museum's collection totals around 1.5 million pieces and boasts the likes of legends like Georgia O'Keefe, Max Weber and Mark Rothko. In 2002, the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation also gifted the beautiful Judy Chicago exhibit known as 'The Dinner Party' to the museum. Many view 'The Dinner Party' as the first major feminist artwork and now it is a permanent exhibition on display. Brooklyn Museum | @nytimes With all of the works residing in their collection, it certainly helps to have some space. The museum occupies around 560,000 square feet along Eastern Parkway and measures as the 3rd largest museum in all of New York City. Prior to the museum's construction, the plan was to make it the world's largest art museum. Although it didn't become such, third place is nothing to scoff at in this regard. First Saturdays In addition to the many exhibitions, you can also expect events to be happening at the Brooklyn Museum all year 'round. One rather fascinating event that the museum holds is called First Saturdays. On the first Saturday of each month, a huge, free party is held for all of New York to visit. Some of New York's most exciting young DJ's like Kitty Cash and Jasmine Solano have played at First Saturdays. Great music fills the rooms as everyone gets to dance and view the museum for free on a Saturday night. Brooklyn Museum | Timeout If you're interested in stopping by the Brooklyn Museum, visit the attraction page and plan your trip today!
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