Time Square, New York during daytime

How To Visit New York City – An Overview

What is the best time to visit New York City? Why should I go there? How much money do I need? All these questions answered in this article.

New York is a very versatile destination. Whether you are looking for a solo trip, going with friends, your partner, siblings, parents, cousins, organised tours, or school trips, it is the perfect destination to fulfil your needs, no matter who you are travelling with and it is worth to visit at least once in your lifetime.

Why should I go there?

New York is just a state of mind and it has all you need. It is a versatile destination suitable for all kinds of vacation purposes: city breaks, relax, party, experience different cultures in one place, sport, exploring…. really, you name it!

Best time to visit

woman facing towards Brooklyn Bridge in New York
Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash

The best time to visit New York City is from April to June, and from September to November. New York can have both very hot and very cold temperature. The above-mentioned periods are generally very mild in temperature with occasional rain, not as busy as in summer, and affordable.

ESTA

If you are planning to visit the USA for 90 days or less, you need to apply for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

Money

As you know, the currency used in New York City is the American dollar ($).

You might think it is easier to exchange some money in your home country, or to use your personal credit/debit card in the united states. Well, both cases might be way more expensive options as there may be commissions and exchange rate fees to pay.

person holding black samsung android smartphone
Photo by Sophie Dupau on Unsplash

You can use a multi-currency card. It is like a pre-paid card that you top-up with your own currency, and you can then exchange those money to a different currency with zero or very low commissions. It is like a normal contactless debit card and you can even withdraw money from a local ATM with zero commission fees. The amount you can withdraw monthly varies from different providers. But, in a developed world like the one we all live in today, you can pay nearly anything with the card, so you won’t need a huge amount of cash anyway.

The two most popular cards are:

How much do I need?

It is a very well known fact: New York City is very expensive. But let me re-phrase it: New York City CAN BE very expensive.

New York is just as expensive as you want it to be.

Your budget really depends on what kind of traveller you are, what your eating habits are, what your adaptability is in terms of cheap accommodations/restaurants.

The range of restaurants prices varies as per your affordability: you can find both expensive, moderately priced, and cheap restaurants.

Also, many attractions in New York City (including musea) are free in certain days of the week, if not every day.

So what is your daily budget?

it greatly depends on what kind of traveller you are. But generally speaking you are looking to spend around $60-$120 per day, this includes food, attractions, transport within the city with the Subway/bus, cheap souvenirs. This range excludes flight costs and accommodation.

people near house
Photo by Jessy Hoffmann on Unsplash

Sim Card Plan

Internet connection when travelling is vital, not only to get in touch with family and friends while away, updating your instagram and facebook sharing your amazing moment, but most importantly to have access to your map. It is genuinely the best thing you can use in order to where to go and how to get where you want.

So, make sure to purchase an American sim card with an unlimited internet usage. You can usually purchase it from amazon, and the data plan will vary depending on how many days you decide the plan to be active for.

Make sure to purchase it in advance and to activate it following the instructions written on the sim card.

Apps you need on your smartphone

First and foremost you need the map. Most smartphone will have it already built in, and if you don’t just make sure you download it. You will be using it a lot of times and it is a life saver.

It might be helpful to download NYC Subway as well. It does the same job of a normal Map, but it might be helpful if you are in the subway station where the signal strength might be poor.

Should I pre-book my attraction tickets?

The answer is. Yes!and No! Well, both.

It would make more sense to buy the tickets on the same day. The weather changes very quickly, and it might be annoying to have a paid outdoor attraction on a rainy day (Statue of Liberty, Top of the Rock, etc…).

So, reserve the indoor attractions for rainy days, and outdoor attractions for sunnier days.

That’s where purchasing a City Pass might be handy, you have all the pre-paid attractions and all the flexibility that you need. Just be aware that it might not be worth all the money you spend for it, as booking singular attractions and planning wisely free-entry places might be way cheaper than the pass itself.