The hustle and bustle combined with the fairytale magic of New York is what makes it a dream destination for many people. However, once you touch down in the in the Big Apple, all the bright lights and busy people might prove to be a little more overwhelming than expected.
Don’t worry – navigating any city for the first time can be an adjustment. It’s simply a matter of making sure you’re as prepared as possible before you get to know your new surroundings. So, to get you feeling ready to tackle this city, here are some tips on how to survive in New York.
1. Be careful when walking down the streets of the city
As the stereotype goes, New Yorkers are always in a rush – time is money, after all. They’re often too busy (and too used to crowds) to notice tourists or other people around them. That’s why it’s important to respect the street rules. Never walk on the left side of the road or stop in the middle of the sidewalk. New Yorkers don’t like it when people block the way to consult a map or when they take selfies in the middle of the sidewalks.
Many people in New York also ride bikes to get around the city, so make sure you don’t walk on the bike lane. People will not take kindly – especially on the Brooklyn Bridge!
2. Buy a MetroCard
Even if walking is one of the best ways to explore the many highlights of New York, sometimes a quicker tactic is navigating the city via the subway. The regular MetroCard carries a real dollar value that decreases every time you take the subway. You can keep topping up the card whenever your balance runs low. The fee to buy the card itself is $1.
With this card, the cost of taking the subway comes to $2.75 per ride. You can buy a MetroCard at any subway station, either at the ticket booth or the MetroCard vending machine located inside the subway station.
3. Download Google Maps
With so many streets, subway stations and busy corners that look the same, it’s not difficult to get a little bit disoriented in New York City. If you’re wary of looking like a tourist, just use Google Maps. Even if it sounds like a cliché tip, Google Maps can come in very handy – especially when it comes to taking the subway.
The subway in New York can be scary at first, but once you understand whether to go uptown, downtown or midtown it’s a piece of cake! If you’d rather dodge technology and go the old-fashioned way, New Yorkers are very used to tourists. So if you ever get lost, don’t hesitate to ask for directions.
4. Create a schedule
When visiting New York for the first time, it’s important to approach the city with a schedule. Exploring a city of this size takes time and energy, so it can be helpful to plan in advance for what you’d like to visit each day. Trust me, having a schedule to follow will help you relax and really enjoy your stay in New York to the fullest.
5. Always check the weather before going out
Remember to consider the weather both when planning your trip to New York and once you get there. Before leaving to roam around the city, always check the daily weather forecast. It can often be unpredictable during the summer and winter. It can be particularly tricky over summer, when the AC is at full blast in hotels and malls to fight the heat – don’t forget to pack a sweater or scarf!