Best Ways to Navigate New York City For First Time Visitors

First-Time in NYC: Best Ways to Get Around the Neighborhoods

New York City is gigantic, crowded, and difficult to navigate, especially for newcomers. That having been said, most visitors make it harder than it needs to be simply because they don’t do their research. If you plan your routes and make a point of adapting to local circumstances, you can make local NYC transportation much easier. Here are some tips for first-time visitors.


Popular wisdom says you shouldn’t drive in New York City, but the reality is more complicated. The roads are crowded, so you do have to be very observant to avoid an accident, but it’s perfectly possible to drive safely. If you stay off the major streets, you can even avoid most of the traffic.

Drivers do need to apply some strategy to get the best results. In particular, the high cost of parking means it’s often better to rent a car as needed rather than to bring one in for the entirety of a long trip. You should also plan your route in advance, since nothing will lead to road rage like pausing in a crowded street while you try to figure out where you need to go. Car accident lawyers say distracted driving is probably one of the major causes of accidents in bigger cities. Finally, try to bring a copilot to help make sure you don’t miss any turns in the crowd.

Use a Driver

If you don’t want the hassle of navigating the city on your own, try hiring out for drivers for certain trips. Uber, Lyft, and other services are a great option if you are traveling a good distance or between destinations that aren’t near public transportation. This is also a good option if you aren’t sure how to catch a cab in the big city.

Going Between Boroughs

New York Bridge Skyline

Traveling between the boroughs can be easy or difficult depending on the nature of the trip. In general, Manhattan acts as a hub for public transport. That makes it easy to get from Manhattan to Queens or the other boroughs and back, but traveling between two outer boroughs on the subway can be a long trip. If you have the time, consider walking or biking so that you can see the city as you travel. There are also a lot of tours you can find that get you where you want to go. Most boroughs have easy pedestrian access routes, such as the bridges that run into Queens. They only take a little bit longer, and they’re a great experience for visitors.

Taking the Subway

Grand Central Station

It’s hard not to take the subway at least once during a trip to the Big Apple. If you expect to take several trips during your stay, a fare card is an absolute necessary to save money.

Taking the subway is a simple as choosing the right route, paying the fare, and taking a seat. It can get cramped, so be sure to be as polite as possible with the other riders. Since most subway lines are quite long, missing a stop will mean a huge delay, so be sure to get a free map from the clerk at the station and plan your route in advance. As long as you do that and keep an eye out for your stops, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Getting around the city doesn’t have to be as hard as it first appears. Most of the challenge comes from people using methods that are designed for different environments. If you adapt to the city, you can follow the flow of traffic and get around in relative comfort.

About The Author:  Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy. For tips on driving safety, Appleton car accident lawyers have some tips here.
Image Source:  Pixabay



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