Common New York City Travel Questions

No two people travel the same, and everyone has a different set of questions. We’re sharing some of the frequent questions we receive from people visiting New York City and the answers we provide.

August 3, 2023

Common New York City Travel Questions

Planning a trip to New York City involves a lot of research. We are a team of local New Yorkers who help people visiting NYC figure out what to do in NYC, where to eat, and the best way to get around NYC. Each week we publish information on our website for anyone creating their own trip to get some inspiration. For people who are short on time or just want to get local expert perspectives on their existing trip plans, we provide access to our team via our plan your trip page. 

If this is your first time reading our blog, here’s our introduction. We are a team of NYC-based trip consultants who share our knowledge to help travelers discover the NY experiences they want. We use our shared knowledge, connections, and network to give our customers the same experience our friends and family receive when they visit. 

We know No two people travel the same, and everyone has a different set of questions. We’re sharing some of the frequent questions we receive from people visiting New York City and the answers we provide. Hopefully, you find an answer to your NYC trip planning question in this list.

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Custom Tailored NYC Trip Plans

Ok, on to the questions ...

1- Do you need a car in NYC?

If you're planning a trip to NYC, you won't need a car to get around. In fact, it might cause you more headaches than it's worth due to heavy traffic, limited parking, and high fees. Did you know that only 22% of people who live in Manhattan own a car? Unless you're traveling outside of the city or to the outer boroughs, public transportation options like buses, subways, taxis, or ride-sharing services can get you to most places easily. Additionally, walking is a great way to see the city and experience all that it has to offer.

2- How safe is NYC?

If you're wondering about safety in NYC, the good news is that it's generally a safe city for tourists. However, like any major metropolitan area, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to stay safe.While some neighborhoods may have higher crime rates than others, most areas that are popular with tourists are relatively safe. You can further ensure your safety by taking some common-sense precautions, such as staying in well-lit areas, avoiding unpopulated streets, and keeping valuables out of sight when in public. By taking these simple steps and staying alert, you can enjoy all that NYC has to offer without any safety concerns.

3- How do I ride the NYC subway?

I. Get a MetroCard or use contactless payment: To access the subway, you'll need to pay the fare by either purchasing a MetroCard at a vending machine or ticket booth, or by using your phone for contactless payment. The current subway fare is $2.75 for a one-way trip.

II. Enter the subway station: Once you have your MetroCard or phone, swipe or tap it at the turnstile to enter the subway station.

III Choose your train: Look for signs indicating which trains are available at the station and check the electronic boards for the train schedule and route.

IV. Board the train: When your train arrives, wait for passengers to exit before boarding. Pay attention to any announcements or signs indicating which direction the train is going.

V. Ride the train: During your ride, keep an eye out for your stop, which will be announced and displayed on electronic signs inside the train

VI. Exit the train: When you arrive at your stop, exit the train and follow signs to the station exit.

4- Should I take a taxi to get around?

Whether or not you should take a taxi to get around NYC depends on your personal preferences, budget, and the specific circumstances of your trip. Taxis can be convenient if you need to travel to a destination that is not easily accessible by public transportation, or if you prefer the privacy and comfort of a personal ride. However, taxis can be expensive, especially during rush hour or peak travel times, and traffic in the city can be heavy and slow-moving. It's important to also consider the availability of ride-sharing services, such as Uber or Lyft, which can be a more cost-effective and efficient option for getting around.

5- What's the best way from JFK to Manhattan?

The best way to get from JFK Airport to Manhattan is by taking the AirTrain to Jamaica Station, which is a Queens transportation hub for the Long Island Rail Road and NYC subway. From Jamaica Station, you can either take an LIRR train to Penn Station (which is now also called Moynihan Train Hall) or take the subway to travel to different parts of Queens, Brooklyn, or Manhattan. Planning your trip with Khonsu means you can access travel advice from locals, which can make navigating public transportation stress-free. So, if you're worried about getting around on your own, don't be. We're here to help!

6- Which hotel should I stay at?

There are many great hotels in New York City, and the best one for you depends on your budget, preferred location, and specific needs. Some popular areas to stay in Manhattan include Midtown, SoHo, Greenwich Village, and the Upper West Side. You might consider factors such as proximity to tourist attractions, access to public transportation, and the quality of the hotel amenities when choosing where to stay. It's also worth considering alternative lodging options such as Airbnb, hostels, or even staying in a borough outside of Manhattan like Brooklyn or Queens. We have a number of recommended hotels listed. We've posted recommended hotels in Times Square,  and newly renovated hotels in NYC.

7- What should I do during my trip to NYC?

There are so many things to do during a visit to New York City! Here are some popular options:

1. Visit famous landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Central Park, and Times Square. For more, read our top attractions blog here.

2. Explore the city's museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the American Museum of Natural History.

3. Go shopping on Fifth Avenue or at one of the many street markets around the city.

4. Try the city's famous food, from pizza and bagels to hot dogs and street vendors.

5. See a Broadway show or other performing arts production.

6. Take a walk through one of the city's diverse neighborhoods, such as Chinatown, Little Italy, or Greenwich Village.

7. Take a boat tour around Manhattan or a ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

8. Visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum to pay tribute to the victims and learn about the history of the attacks.

9. Catch a sports game or event at venues like Madison Square Garden or Yankee Stadium.

10. Experience the city's nightlife scene by visiting one of its many bars, clubs, or music venues.

Of course, these are just a few ideas to get started. The city has so much to offer that it can be overwhelming. If you’d like unique ideas that cater to your interests, use Khonsu when planning your trip and we’ll be happy to assist.

8- Where should I eat during my trip to NYC?

New York City is known for its incredible food scene, so there are plenty of great places to eat depending on your tastes and budget. Some popular options include grabbing a slice of pizza from one of the many pizzerias around the city, trying a classic New York bagel with cream cheese, or visiting a famous deli like Katz's. For a more upscale dining experience, there are countless Michelin-starred restaurants and trendy spots serving up everything from sushi to farm-to-table cuisine.To get the most out of your dining experience, it's best to do some research ahead of time or rely on Khonsu's expertise to guide you in finding the perfect spot that caters to your tastes and preferences. If you enjoy steak, take a look at our list of best steakhouses here.

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FREE NYC Day Planner

9- When is the best time to visit NYC?

The best time to visit NYC depends on your preferences and priorities. If you enjoy mild weather and fewer crowds, consider visiting in the spring (April to June) or fall (September to November). The summer months (June to August) are the busiest and hottest, but also offer outdoor activities such as concerts and festivals. Although winter (December to February) can be cold and snowy, it has its unique attractions such as ice skating in Central Park, gift shopping at winter markets, and viewing the holiday displays on 5th Avenue or the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

10- What are the best family friendly museums in NYC?

There are many family-friendly museums in NYC, each with its own unique exhibits and activities. Some popular options include:

1. American Museum of Natural History - known for its dinosaur exhibits and planetarium.

2. The Children's Museum of Manhattan - offers hands-on exhibits and activities for children of all ages.

3. The New York Hall of Science - focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education with interactive exhibits and activities.

4. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum - features historic aircrafts, submarines, and space shuttles that kids can explore.

Finding the perfect museum for your family depends on your interests and preferences, which is why planning your trip with Khonsu can be so helpful. Our team understands that every family has unique needs and interests, and we can offer tailored recommendations to help you make the most of your time in the city. For more options, take a look at our list of the best interactive family museums in NYC

11. Whats the best steakhouse to visit in NYC? 

Gallagher's Steakhouse is a great choice for steak lovers visiting NYC. Located right in Times Square its an easy location for most visitors. But there are lots excellent steakhouses in NYC to consider. Some other popular options include Peter Luger Steak House, Keens Steakhouse, and Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse. Ultimately, the best steakhouse for you will depend on your personal preferences and budget. If you provide us with some more information on what you're looking for, our team at Khonsu can provide tailored recommendations to help you find the perfect steakhouse for your taste and budget. If you're looking for more options, take a look at our list of recommended steakhouses for visitors in NYC

12- Where are the best bagels in NYC?

Some popular bagel shops in NYC that you might want to consider checking out include Russ & Daughters, Ess-a-Bagel, and H&H Bagels. Ultimately, the "best" bagel will depend on personal taste, so it's worth exploring and trying out different options to find what you like the most.

13- Where is the best pizza in NYC?

Ask 5 New Yorkers this question and you’re bound to get 5 different responses. Joe’s is usually included in that list as the best traditional pizza. But you’ll also hear other names like Prince St Pizza, Bleeker St Pizza, Lucali & Di Fara. Every New Yorker has their favorite and when you get local enough you’ll discover other favorites …. Rubirosa and Scarr's Pizza are two popular spots with loyal followings that we personally love. Rubirosa is known for its thin-crust pizzas with fresh ingredients, while Scarr's Pizza serves classic New York-style pies. However, everyone's opinion on the best pizza shop can vary. You can also explore many other great pizza places throughout the city, including quite a few hidden gems in Staten Island and Brooklyn. If you need help with recommendations or guidance, don't hesitate to reach out to Khonsu for expert advice or read our pizza blog here.

14- What’s the best interactive museum in NYC?

In New York City, the possibilities for interactive museum experiences are endless. The Museum of Ice Cream offers a playful environment with tasty treats, while the Museum of Sex provides bold displays on human sexuality for those looking for something daring. Visitors to the Museum of Optical Illusions can challenge their perception and perspective with visually stunning exhibits, while fans of espionage will love the thrilling world of secret agents at the Spy Museum. With new museums and experiences constantly popping up in NYC, it can be overwhelming to choose where to visit, but Khonsu can help with expert recommendations tailored to your interests and preferences. For more, read our NYC interactive family museum blog here

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10 Pre-Built NYC Travel Guides

15- What’s the best observation deck to visit?

There are several options to choose from, including the iconic Empire State Building, which offers breathtaking 360-degree views of the city from its 86th and 102nd floors, along with exhibits on its history and construction. The Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center is another popular option with stunning views of the city skyline, while the One World Observatory provides a unique perspective from the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. If you prefer to enjoy the views with a cocktail, there are several rooftop bars in the city with beautiful panoramic views. Khonsu can give you expert recommendations tailored to your trip for an unforgettable view.

16- What NYC rooftop should I visit?

If you're looking for a rooftop to visit in New York City, you're in luck - there are plenty of options to choose from! The 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar boasts breathtaking views of the city skyline, while the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge provides a fun atmosphere with carnival games and eclectic decor. Monarch Rooftop is another great option with its trendy ambiance and delicious cocktails. But with so many choices, it can be overwhelming to decide which one to visit. That's where a trip consultant like Khonsu can come in handy. We can provide expert recommendations tailored to your preferences and trip in NYC, ensuring that you have the best possible experience during your time in the city. For more options, look at our list of best rooftops for visitors.

17- Which Broadway show should I book?

There are so many amazing Broadway shows to choose from in New York City! It really depends on your personal interests and what you're in the mood for. Some popular shows right now include Hamilton, The Lion King, Wicked, Dear Evan Hansen, and Moulin Rouge! The Musical. If you're into classic musicals, you might enjoy Phantom of the Opera or Chicago. For a more modern twist, try Hadestown or Come From Away. If you're still not sure, a trip consultant like Khonsu can provide expert recommendations based on your preferences and help you find the perfect show to book.

18- Which tour of New York City should I book?

Khonsu can provide expert recommendations for a variety of tours in New York City based on your interests and preferences. Some popular options include the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tour, the hop-on-hop-off bus tour, the Central Park bike tour, and the food and cultural walking tour in Lower Manhattan. Whether you're interested in history, architecture, food, or anything in between, Khonsu can help you find the perfect tour for your trip to NYC.

19- What are the most popular New York City attractions?

There are several popular attractions in New York City. Some of the most well-known include:

The Statue of Liberty: A symbol of freedom and democracy, visitors can take a ferry to Liberty Island to see the statue up close and explore the museum.

Central Park: A massive park in the heart of Manhattan with beautiful gardens, walking paths, and iconic landmarks like the Central Park Zoo and Bethesda Fountain.

Times Square: A bustling commercial and entertainment hub with bright lights, billboards, and plenty of shops and restaurants.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: One of the largest and most comprehensive art museums in the world, with an extensive collection spanning several millennia and cultures.

The Empire State Building: An iconic skyscraper with observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors offering stunning views of the city.

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum: A tribute to the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, with a moving memorial and museum documenting the events of that day.

These are just a few of the most popular attractions in New York City, but there are plenty more to explore and discover during your trip. Read our popular attraction blog here.

20- Is there anything to do outside of Manhattan?

Yes, there are plenty of things to do and see outside of Manhattan in New York City! Some of the most popular attractions include the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, the famous Coney Island amusement park in Brooklyn, the Queens Night Market with its international food vendors and live music, and the massive Bronx Zoo with over 4,000 animals across 265 acres. Another great option is the free Staten Island Ferry ride, which provides stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and the New York Harbor. But these are just a few examples; there are many more attractions and activities to explore outside of Manhattan. For even more personalized recommendations, don't hesitate to ask Khonsu for help!

FREE NYC Day Planner
FREE NYC Day Planner

21- Is Katz deli worth the visit?

If you're a foodie and looking for a classic deli experience in New York City, then Katz's Deli is definitely worth the visit. Their sandwiches are renowned for their delicious flavors and generous portions. However, it's important to note that this popular spot can get quite crowded, so be prepared to wait in line, especially during peak hours. If you're not a fan of waiting in long lines, you can also consider visiting during off-peak hours or ordering takeout instead. Alternatively, if you want to explore more options for NYC deli food, you can ask for recommendations from a knowledgeable consultant at Khonsu.

22- Is the Vessel closed?

As of April 2023 - yes, the Vessel is currently closed to visitors. However, Hudson Yards is still worth visiting for its many shops and restaurants, as well as photo opportunities of the unique architecture and skyline views.

23- What is there to do in NYC when it’s raining?

There are plenty of things to do in NYC when it's raining. You can explore the many museums in the city, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the American Museum of Natural History. Alternatively, you can catch a Broadway show or a movie at one of the city's many theaters. You can also visit indoor attractions like the One World Observatory or the Empire State Building. Another option is to go shopping in one of the city's many indoor shopping centers, such as the Oculus or the Shops at Columbus Circle. And of course, there are plenty of cozy cafes and restaurants to enjoy a warm drink or meal. We actually wrote a whole blog on this, you can check it out here.

Custom NYC Trip Plans
Custom Tailored NYC Trip Plans

Our team of trip consultants builds tailored plans for travelers from around the world visiting NYC. We’ve built a wide range of plans for family trips, anniversaries, birthdays, and other special occasions, even for solo travelers treating themselves. Each plan is built with a 3-step process: 

Step 1: Bucket your must-see attractions 

Step 2: Add in restaurants, rooftops & other hidden gems 

Step 3: Create a custom map and provide transportation tips, so you know the best way to navigate the city. 

Click here to have our team tailor your New York trip itinerary today or check out a few of our sample plans here.

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