How To Tour New York Like A New Yorker

Statue of Liberty, Staten Island Ferry, Co-op City, Katz’s and Tiffany’s
Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, The Empire State where Dylan lived
Coney Island and Times Square, Rockefeller Center
Wish I was there.

– “New York City”, Cub

As a melting pot of cultures, ethnicities and peoples, New York City has long been the source of inspiration for many a writer and musician, and therefore, it is no surprise that it continues to exercise a magical pull over its denizens and visitors alike.

Now, there are countless things to do and places to see in New York City, but, no matter what your itinerary is here are 6 things you should do when you’re in New York City.

1. Walking

  • Walk. It’s the best way to get around the city.
  • Don’t even think of renting a car; parking is a right nightmare, as is the traffic.
  • And, if you’re with a group, whatever you do, always walk in single file: you don’t want to be the cause of a “sidewalk jam”.
  • If you have to stop to get your bearings, don’t do it right in the middle of the sidewalk causing people to walk around you; they will not take kindly to that.
  • Move towards the right, or away from the flow of foot traffic.
  • Always have a map on hand – Google Maps on your phone, ideally – to keep your bearings.

2. Taking The Subway

  • Taking the subway is the only other sensible way to get around the City – besides walking, that is.
  • Before you get on the subway, however, learn how the Metrocard system works.
  • Download a map of the New York City subway, and keep it at hand at all times.

3. Visiting The Classics

Start with the bright lights and giant billboards on Times Square and while you’re there, take in a Broadway Show in the Theater District.
You can head on from there to Rockefeller Center for a view of the iconic #30 Rockefeller Plaza. Head to the Top of the Rock, the observation deck on the top of the center for a breathtaking view of the city.
If you’re visiting during the holidays, you can catch the familiar view of skaters in the rink and the iconic Christmas Tree.
Take in the imposing Neo-Gothic façade of St. Patrick’s Cathedral on the 5th Avenue, and gaze at the imposing Pietà sculpted and the Saint Louis and St. Michael altars which were designed by Tiffany and Co.
Ride to the top of the Empire State Building to take in a breathtaking view of the city.

4. Central Park And Museums

central park museum

No trip to the Empire State is complete without a trip to the The Met and The American Museum of Natural History. You can also throw in a nice, leisurely stroll in Central Park in between visiting the museums.

5. Lower Manhattan

  • First stop: The Brooklyn Bridge. Take a walk across the pedestrian promenade across the historic bridge, take in the iconic Manhattan Skyline from your vantage over the East River.
  • After crossing the bridge, head over to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum; the entrance stands between The North and South Reflecting Pools that represent the places where the two towers originally stood. There are poignant reminders of tragedy, bravery and resilience in the center, and places for quiet reflection.
    Note: Sensitivity is important. Understand and acknowledge where you’re standing, and comport yourself accordingly. No selfies or ridiculous poses in front of the memorial.
  • From there head over The High Line, an elevated urban park built on a historic freight line on Manhattan’s West Side for a glimpse into the true spirit of New York. The street art, installations, exhibitions and food carts will leave you breathless.
  • Greenwich Village. Walk down to Grove Street and from there to Bedford Street, and you may come across a certain building that was a familiar sight on a certain popular sitcom.
  • From there, head on to Bleecker Street and indulge your taste buds like you’ve never done before! Whether it’s a slice or two (or more!) of the Bleecker Street Pizza or cannolis at the Pasticceria Rocco, you’re in for a delectable treat!

6. Staten Island And New York Harbor

  • Don’t miss out on the free 25-minute ride on the Staten Island Ferry to get a glimpse of the New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.
  • If you plan to visit the Statue of Liberty, make your bookings well in advance.

There is no shortage to the number of things you can do in New York, and you can certainly not do it all in one or two days. So, while planning your itinerary, it’s always best to see the city by grouping the sites together by proximity and spending an entire day on each leg.

The memories of your New York visit should not be left to be taken by strangers, nor should they be selfies only. Book with a professional PhotoTrek Tours photographer.