Wanderers But Not Lost

New York travel tips

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New York is a wonderful city, full of tourist attractions and places to explore. It will take you at least five days to explore the city. But the ideal is to make a script of seven or eight days because it allows you to know the city better and visit some places outside the traditional routes. However, it is an expensive city to travel, so the visit must be properly programmed to become an affordable destination. Here you are our New York travel tips.

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General tips:

Book the hostel on time because this will save you a lot of money;

– Try to travel outside weekends; on week days the prices are lower;

– Choose a hostel with kitchen, which allows you to buy food at the supermarket and cook. Meals with some quality (not fast food) are extremely expensive in New York. Food prices in the supermarket is equivalent to prices in Europe, so eat healthy at the hostel;

– If you have student card, Youth card or teacher card take it with you.  It will give great discounts in museums and monuments;

– Visit the museums in the days and times that have free entry;

– Visit the museums that have suggested donations only paying $ 1 per person;

– Choose well the places where you will have lunch. Give preference to street food, like hot-dogs, pizzas and sandwiches. They are cheap, quick and allow you to enjoy a longer day.

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Transportation

Access to the airport: There are several ways to get to and from JFK airport to New York. The metro is the fastest, economic and frequent option. However, before taking the metro you need to take the AirTrain.

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A. You must take the AirTrain, a type of train that connects the airport to the MTA New York City Transit system (metro, bus and train NYC). You must catch the AirTrain inside the airport and to get to Jamaica Station or Howard Beach Station. It costs $ 6 and the ticket is purchased just outside the station. From these stations you take the metro to the nearest station of your hotel. The metro and the AirTrain operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The metro tickets must be purchased in vending machines at stations. Daily tickets or passes can be purchased. We bought a pass for 7 days which cost us $ 30 / person. For more information on connections with other means of transport and prices you may consult the website of AirTrain JFK.

new-york-801x1024B. Another option is the NYC Airporter bus that runs every 30 minutes, every day of the Manhattan terminal Grand Central Terminal (between 42nd Street and Park Avenue), Penn Station (between West 33rd Street and 6th and 7th Avenue) and Port Authority Bus Terminal (42nd Street between 8th and 9th Avenue).

At the airport just look for the counter of the NYC Airporter in the airport terminal and there you can purchase your tickets. The service runs from 5 am until 11.30 pm. Each trip costs $ 16 / person (one way) or $ 29 / person (round trip). For more detailed information see the NYC Airporter site.

Within the city: There are several options for moving around within the city, such as subway, bus, train and boat. The MTA New York City Transit tickets are for all means of transport. Tickets can be purchased in vending machines available at all stations and kiosks on the bus or the metro stations. You can pay the tickets with money (notes and coins) or ATM card (also accepts the european cards).

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Metro: the metro system is quite widespread and practically suitable for the entire area that you will use. The Metro website allow you to plan your trip and check the connections required as well as practical information on access to the city from the airport, as well as trains and buses. The MTA is the system that brings together all urban transport in NYC. Just visit the website.

Train: You can take the train in Grand Terminal Station and Penn Station for several US cities. If you are planning rail travel, you should be aware that most of the trains leave from the Grand Terminal Station (which in itself is worth a visit) but there are other trains that leave from other city stations. You must buy tickets in advance to get good rates. To plan your trip you should check the Amtrak site, where you can purchase tickets online.

IMG_2516-1024x768Boat: The Staten Island ferry is free and is one of the best places to enjoy the skyline of New York City. You can learn more if you click here, as you can read our experience and see the photos we took.

Coach (bus): New York has a system of complex and dense buses but, for those who will spend much time in the city, it can be a good option. Buses provide a visual information of the name of the next stop which is very handy, although this information is not available on all lines. On the streets, you can find the bus stops looking for a yellow pole. They have the numbers and the itinerary of the bus at the top. The buses are operated by the same company that operates the metro and urban train – the MTA.

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What to do and see?

– Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

– Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center)

– Empire State Building

– Lower Manhattan

– Staten Island Ferry

– Watch a musical on Broadway

– Metropolitan Museum

– Natural History Museum

– Guggenheim Museum

– Columbia University

– Times Square

– UN Headquarters

– Little Italy

– Soho

– Federal Hall

– Chinatown

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Carla Mota

I am a tirelessly curious portuguese world wanderer and also a travel photographer. My main passion lies in capturing disappearing ancient cultures, human condition and amazing nature wonders, challenging situations. My passion for travel photography has taken me to more than 80 countries which has helped me to create a vast collection of images of people and places from around the world.

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  • Rui Pinto

    The city that never sleeps… And while we were there, we almost didn´t ! 🙂

    • Carla Mota

      NYC with <3