How To Plan Your First Visit to New York City

New York City Travel Tips

Easy Steps for Planning Your First Trip to New York City

New York City Travel Tips

Are you considering traveling to New York City when travel restrictions are eased again?  If so, you will likely have many questions about where to stay and what sites to see?  New York City is one of the world’s most popular cities and has attractions to suit every taste.  Whether your interest is in the iconic architecture with soaring skyscrapers, acclaimed theater performances, trendy restaurants and world-renown museums, you will never have a dull moment when visiting New York.  Let’s take a look at some of the convenient ways to tour New York City.

Where to stay in NYC 

The first step in your planning is to consider where to stay in NY. The primary consideration should be where you intend to explore as a tourist or where your business meetings are if you are traveling to NY on business.  For instance, Brooklyn is well-known as a wonderful tourist spot to visit and it makes a great place to say.  Hotels in Brooklyn tend to be more affordable than many in downtown Manhattan.  If you are visiting Brooklyn, the best hotel to stay in, in our opinion, is the Condor Hotel.

On the other hand, if you have business meetings in lower Manhattan, it is a good idea to book your accommodation at one of the many Manhattan hotels like The Wall Street Inn or the AC Hotel by Marriott New York Downtown.

Things to do in NYC

Let’s assume that you intend to spend time visiting NYC’s most popular and high-profile sites. And, if there is still time, you can spend time meandering around the Williamsburg neighborhood, enjoying the gentrified ambiance as well as visiting some of the local eateries.

Times Square New York City

If this is your first visit to New York City, it’s a smart choice to take an organized tour.  There are several New York tour packages that are worth considering if you are interested in seeing as many of the NYC highlights in as short a time as possible. Here are the ones that we recommend:

Freestyle Pass Attractions

The first option is to purchase one of the three Freestyle Pass Attractions offered by Freestyle Pass New York.

Note: All of the Freestyle Pass Attractions include a 3-day All Around Town tour plus your choice of 3, 5, or 7 attractions from a list of attractions, museums, eateries, tours, and boat tours. The options are vast, including the Empire State Building Observatory, 9/11 Memorial and Museum, American Museum of Natural History, Ground Zero Museum Workshop, New York Botanical Garden, Rockefeller Center Tour, RIB New York – Highspeed Harbor Tour, Broadway Walking Tour, and lunch at Grotta Azzurra (Little Italy).   Here’s a link for a complete list of attractions on offer.

The good news is that you do not have to choose the places to see and tours to take until you arrive in New York City on your vacation. Even though these tours might seem expensive at the outset, it is essential to note that you are saving up to 40% of the walk-in price of all attractions.

The Freestyle Pick, 3 Attractions Pass, costs $109 per adult and $89 per child, and you can pick 3 of the many attractions offered on the list. A sample itinerary could include the following:

The 72-hour hop-on, hop-off bus tour in a double-decker open-top bus

  • Empire State Building Observatory tour
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ferry
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Freestyle Pick 5 Attractions costs $134 per adult and $114 per child. This pass allows you to pick five attractions from the extensive list described above. A sample itinerary for this pass looks as follows:

The 72-hour hop-on, hop-off bus tour in a double-decker open-top bus

  • 9/11 Memorial and Museum
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ferry
  • Madame Tussaud’s
  • Museum of the City of New York
  • Times Square North

Finally, the Freestyle Pick 7 Attractions costs $169 per adult and $149 per child. As with the other Freestyle Passes, you can choose seven attractions from the extensive list described above. For instance, an example itinerary could include the following:

The 72-hour hop-on, hop-off bus tour in a double-decker open-top bus

  • Rockefeller Center Tour
  • 9/11 Memorial and Museum
  • Madame Tussaud’s
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Central Park Bike Tour
  • Lunch Grotta Azzurra (Little Italy)
  • Broadway Walking Tour

Brooklyn is known as one of the best boroughs in NYC to visit. Thus, once you have completed one of the tours highlighted above, here are a few Brooklyn attractions that are worth visiting.

The Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge Park

This much-loved landmark suspension bridge was opened in 1883 and is the first bridge to span the East River, between Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan. It is an iconic Brooklyn site and has allowed a free flow of traffic without interruption for over 100 years, providing a route over the East River for pedestrians, cars and cyclists.

Brooklyn Bridge New York describes the Brooklyn Bridge Park as an “85-acre world-class sustainable park on Brooklyn’s East River shoreline.” 1.3 miles of Brooklyn’s post-industrial waterfront starting at Pier 6 and ending in Jay Street north of the Manhattan Bridge have been revamped or revitalized with facilities like boat launches, Jane’s Carousel, basketball courts, sports fields, and Pebble Beach.

Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims 

While this seems a fairly underrated option, it is a favored attraction in Brooklyn for its important part in the abolitionist movement.  Not only is this church a place of worship, founded in 1847, but it was also a stop along the Underground Railroad, a network of individuals and locations that helped escaped slaves flee from the South towards Canada.


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