York Travel Guide
New York Traveler's Guide to Make The Most Out of Your Trip
By The Non Fiction
Published by The Non
The Non Fiction Author
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Table of Contents
Welcome to New York - It’s Been Waiting For You!
1: New York City At a Glance (Manhattan and Its Surroundings)
2: Things You Must Absolutely Do and See In New York
3: Planning Your Trip Ahead (Tips & New York Itinerary
4: Where to Sleep (Hotels, Hostels, Tips, & More)
5: How to Use New York City’s Public Transport (Without
6: Travel Smart, Experience More, and Spend Less
7: Where to Shop - Crash Guide to New York Best Stores
8: Holidays in New York City (It's Simply Amazing!)
9: Uptown Manhattan
10: Midtown Manhattan
11: Lower Manhattan
12: Brooklyn and Queens
See You in the Big Apple!
Welcome to New York - It’s Been Waiting For You!
If you’re reading this, then
you’re thinking of or heading to one of the greatest cities in
the entire world. New York City (aka the Big Apple) is often referred
to as the “City that Never Sleeps”, and it stays true to
its nickname for a reason. It is the most populated city in the
United States of America, known as the cultural and financial capital
of the world, and is seen as a major “melting pot” due to
the early twentieth century mass immigration, extreme tourism, and
it’s global impact. New York City consists of five boroughs:
“trendy” Brooklyn, “food heavy” Queens,
“powerhouse” Manhattan, the cultural Bronx, and
traditional Staten Island. New York City is home to many corporate
offices for commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research,
technology, education, and entertainment. Additionally, it is home to
the headquarters of the United Nations.
impressive resume of headquarters, commerce, Ivy League colleges, and
trade, New York City has life like no other. The bright lights,
hurried cabs, and bustling streets attract over 55 million tourists
Any map or list can
tell you the popular places to go to in New York City. You can spend
hours in the Museums (which I do recommend if you have time), and not
know anything else but that. However, New York City isn’t just
Midtown Manhattan. It’s the running path along the East River
or the hidden speakeasy in the Upper East Side. It’s the place
where those who want to make it come and give it their all. It’s
a city filled with opportunity, hidden gems, and activities to ensure
you don’t sleep while you’re there. The historical sites
are truly breathtaking and unforgettable. The true New York charm is
a bit gritty, a bit unkempt, but full of heart. This guidebook
celebrates both the traditional historic charm of the concrete jungle
known, as New York City, as well as the hidden gems not the average
tourist will find.
New York City is
what you make it. With that, what will you choose in your time
visiting? Will you head to Brooklyn, home of the “hipster”,
sipping fresh cold dripped coffee and talking about the latest
off-Broadway play, underground band, or vintage boutique? Or, will
you head to the Bronx, grab a beer with a buddy, watch the famous New
York Yankees play, and eat some authentic Italian. What about
strolling along one of the biggest shopping streets in the world, 5th
Avenue, stopping at a gourmet deli, and dancing the night away in
SoHo? What will your New York be?
This guidebook takes
you to both the traditional and beyond the average tour route. A true
New Yorker wrote this guidebook; one who has lived in multiple
boroughs, worked in multiple neighborhoods, and drank anywhere they
can find a bar after noon. Who else would give you the best knowledge
of where you can find the best pastrami sandwich or martini at a
moment’s notice? As we’ve said before, this guidebook is
to take you to places that interest and excite you. New York is what
you make of it. It won’t create your itinerary, nor will it
tell you every little thing that is offered in this city. It would
take years to fully understand what New York has to offer. Even those
born and raised in New York wouldn’t claim to have seen it all.
This guidebook will be your essential pal that will nudge you along
your way, your beacon in sea of fast moving locals, and your guide
through transportation, hot spots, historical sites, and shopping.
But first, take it
Breathe in the city
smog, chuckle at the angry New Yorker trying to get by you, and look
up at the skyscrapers in awe. This is the home of the American Dream;
the land of ideas.
I hope you like
caffeine, because you’re going to need it to get through all
that we have to cover (and if you want to look like a real New Yorker
you must have a coffee in your hand).
Here's a quick
rundown of our guide for easy reference.
• Chapter 1: A
brief overview of New York City-Historical knowledge on its boroughs
and neighborhoods to give you an initial understanding of the city
and its landscape.
• Chapter 2 –
Essential New York Experiences: A brief “To Do” list of
New York City’s top attractions from a visitor's perspective,
helping you to narrow down your list and help set your itinerary.
• Chapter 3 –
Essential New York Trip Planning: This chapter starts with a rundown
of the best of New York City, important things to consider when
planning your trip, and a “To Do” list of top
attractions. Whether looking for historical, famous, sights or
preferring adventure with the unknown attractions, we have you
covered. The weather got you down? We even have options on what to do
on a rainy day!
• Chapter 4 –
Where to Sleep: From hostiles to five star luxuries, New York City
hospitality is just as diverse as the city itself. Whether staying in
a penthouse or sleeping on a couch, we have options for every
preference. This chapter covers it all and includes what apps to use,
what websites to check out, and what places to look for specifically.
• Chapter 5 –
How to use New York City’s MTA/Public Transportation: Everyone
uses public transportation. From cabs to subways to buses, we have
the inside scoop on all you need to know. Before you know it, you’ll
be nudging people out of the way like a true New Yorker.
• Chapter 6 -
How to Travel Smart, Experience More, and Spend Less: New York City
regularly appears in the top lists of the world's most expensive
cities. However, you don't need to max out three credit cards to
experience the Big Apple like a local. We can’t afford rent and
buy shoes without cutting some corners! This chapter helps take the
spending out of the stratosphere.
• Chapter 7-
Where to Shop-Ready to shop until you drop? This Chapter provides the
best shopping areas as well as great stops along the way to keep you
8-Holidays in NYC-The holidays in NYC are truly a magical time. There
is something about the twinkling Christmas lights, snowy streets, and
mulled wine that put anyone in a good mood. Here is our list of the
best places to go and get in the holiday spirit.
9-12: An in depth look into New York City’s Most Popular
Neighborhoods These chapters provide great tips, details, insights,
noteworthy attractions, and hidden gems in each of New York City’s
distinguished neighborhoods. They're packed with local tips of where
to eat, drink, party, and how to experience the New York City off the
12-Brooklyn and Queens
• Chapter 13:
See you in the Big Apple! A brief conclusion and thank you.
New York City At a Glance (Manhattan and Its Surroundings)
In 1609, English explorer Henry
Hudson re-discovered the New York Metro region when he sailed his
ship into the natural New York Harbor. Although he was searching for
the Northwest Passage to the Orient, the Dutch’s claim on New
York City and Hudson’s employer the Dutch East India Company
helped New York City start to grow as an initial trading post. It
wasn’t until the 1700s when the British acquired the land and
saw the growth potential, and invested in the land to make it a major
New York City is in
the Northeastern United States. The location at the mouth of the
Hudson River and along the East River, feeds into a natural sheltered
harbor and then into the Atlantic Ocean. This has significantly the
city grow into a major trading port. Most of New York City is built
on the three islands of Long Island, Manhattan, and Staten Island.
New York City's five
boroughs are home to some of the world's most recognizable, cherished
landmarks and attractions. From the bright lights of Times Square to
the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building to beautiful Central
Park. Our prestigious museums include The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, and the Museum of Natural
History, among many others. The island of Manhattan packs more famous
icons into one compact area than any other place on earth; and we
haven’t even started talking about the City's four other
boroughs—The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island—each
of which contains its own roster of must-see destinations. With so
much to see and do, a trip to NYC may seem a little overwhelming. New
York’s neighborhoods are each distinct with their own
characteristics and personalities.
Island is the most densely populated and well-known borough. Home to
Central Park, most of the city skyscrapers (including the world’s
tallest skyscraper), as well as all of the major shopping, theater,
and arts districts. Randall's Island, Wards Island, and Roosevelt
Island in the East River, and Governors Island and Liberty Island to
the south in New York Harbor also reign under the Manhattan borough.
Manhattan is home to most of the cultural and financial capital to
New York City. It is home to many corporations, the United Nations
Headquarters, universities, and many cultural attractions. Iconic
scenes such as the Plaza Hotel from Home Alone 2 or Audrey Hepburn
strolling the streets in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, or Carrie
Bradshaw in Sex and the City, are all filmed in Manhattan.
Manhattan Island is
separated into neighborhoods that fall into the Lower, Midtown, and
Uptown sections. Uptown Manhattan is divided by Central Park into the
Upper East Side and the Upper West Side, and above the park is
Harlem. New York City's remaining four boroughs are known as the
• The Bronx is
home of the famous home of the New York Yankees, as well as the Bronx
Zoo: the world's largest metropolitan zoo. The Bronx is also the
birthplace of rap and hip-hop culture. It is known for its growing
• Brooklyn is
currently one of the fastest growing areas of New York City. It’s
located on the western tip of Long Island. Brooklyn is known for its
“hipster” culture, art scene, ethnic neighborhoods, and
architectural heritage. Iconic Coney Island and their world famous
hot dog competition reside at the tip of Brooklyn.
• Queens on
Long Island east of Brooklyn is the largest borough as well as the
most ethnically diverse county. Queens is home to the New York Mets
and their renowned Citi Field stadium. The annual U.S. Open tennis
tournament takes place in Queens. Additionally, two of the three main
airports for New York City (LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy
International Airport), are located in Queens. (The third is Newark
Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey.)
• Staten Island
is the most suburban and stereotypical (due to media) of the
boroughs. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge connects Staten Island to
Brooklyn and to Manhattan by way of the free Staten Island Ferry, a
daily commuter ferry (Insider’s Tip: It’s FREE) and
popular tourist attraction, which provides unobstructed views of the
Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Lower Manhattan. Getting
is smaller in comparison to Brooklyn or Queens (Brooklyn is actually
three times the size of the big island!), it is a melting pot of
culture and variety. The Commissioners’ Plan of 1811 was the
design that established Manhattan’s famed street grid. The plan
is well known to be called “the single most important document
in New York City’s Development”. Although this plan was
commissioned before the building of Central Park, its planned grid
that uses Streets for roads East to West and Avenues from North to
South is not only used today, but it’s organization has been
contributed to helping the city’s fast growth. During this
grow, many immigrants moved to certain neighborhoods due to the
strong language barrier. Decades later, these neighborhoods stuck!
Manhattan’s diverse and largely populated area is split into
distinct neighborhoods, which are separated by both architecture and
culture. To truly understand New York City is to understand the
neighborhoods and the history behind each.
Manhattan-the area above 59th Street (The Upper East Side, Upper West
Side, Lenox Hill, Carnegie Hill, Yorkville, etc.)
Manhattan-the area above 96th Street (Inwood, Harlem, Washington
Heights, Fort George, Morningside Heights, etc.)
Manhattan-the area below 14th Street (NoHo, East Village, West
Village, Lower East Side, Alphabet City, Greenwich Village, Nolita,
Downtown and Midtown- (Kips Bay, Gramercy Park, Chelsea, Flatiron
District, Union Square, Waterside Plaza, Stuyvesant Town, etc.)
Manhattan-the area below Chambers Street. (TriBeCa, Financial
District, Battery Park City, Chinatown, Little Italy, etc.)
Manhattan-the area between 34th Street and 59th Street (Midtown,
Columbus Circle, Sutton Place, Rockefeller Center, Diamond District,
Turtle Bay, Madison Square, Hell’s Kitchen, Times Square,
Herald Square, Murray Hill, Garment District, etc.)
• The West Side
refers to the area west of Fifth Avenue, while the East Side refers
to the area east of Fifth Avenue. In the cases of the Upper East Side
and the Upper West Side, the two areas are split by Central Park.
Tricks for Street
Orientation: Walk Like a True New Yorker!
Here are some
useful memory tricks that are easy to remember and might help you get
your bearings in NYC.
• Although the
island of Manhattan is actually tilted toward the northeast, everyone
here uses north/south, or uptown/downtown.
• Traffic on
1st Ave, 3rd Ave, and Amsterdam Ave goes north, aka uptown. You can
remember this by picturing the number 1 as a rocket (it goes up), the
number 3 as two balloons (they go up), and the letter "A"
as the head of an arrow pointing up.
• Traffic on
2nd Ave, 5th Ave, and Columbus Ave goes south, or as New Yorkers call
it, “downtown”. You can remember this by thinking of the
numbers 2 and 5 as being s-shaped (for "south"), and the
word "Columbus" as the country Columbia, which is south of
• Streets run
east/west. Even streets run east, which you can remember by thinking
of how "even" and "east" start with the same
letter, while odd streets run the opposite way (west)
addresses use "west" or "east" depending on which
side of Fifth Avenue you're on—for example, 157 E 68th Street
and 157 W 68th Street. You know you’re not a local when…you
mistake is to walk the wrong direction along a street because you're
looking for the address on the wrong side of Fifth Avenue
Street is pronounced “HOWston” not “HOOUSTON”
• When giving
directions in a cab, make sure to say the street first and then the
avenue. Example: “I need to go to 71st and 2nd please. AND STEP
Each of Manhattan’s
neighborhoods pack diversity and culture into each area, which makes
it hard to choose which neighborhoods to travel to, especially if
your travel is limited. Most of the iconic New York areas and
skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, the
United Nations and Times Square are found in the heart of the Big
Apple: Midtown Manhattan. The Financial District holds major
corporate hubs such as the Freedom Tower, the World Trade Center
Memorial, as well as many international corporations. Cultural areas
mostly speak for themselves in their name. From Chinatown to Little
Italy to Little Korea you can find some of the world’s best
ethnic cuisine at the drop of a hat.
not only accessible but also easy to understand throughout Manhattan
and it’s boroughs. Whether by bus or subway, locals commute on
publish transportation. Although they may moan and groan about delays
or subway construction, it’s much more affordable than a
taxicab, and can take you home sometimes in the same amount of time.
Everywhere in Manhattan and the other boroughs are connected through
one line or another. Chapter five of this guide provides detailed
information on how to effectively use New York City’s public
transportation like a pro.
neighborhoods are as unique as their residents. Depending on the
neighborhood, you can find that shopping, museums, and even culture
vary depending on the location. When you’re looking at where to
go, where to stay, or where to eat, we’ve compiled a few
noteworthy destinations for each neighborhood!
The iconic Upper
West Side is known for it’s “old money” roots and
high end suits. From baby strollers to dog walkers, the Upper West
Side is indeed the most family oriented of the more popular Manhattan
neighborhoods. Traditional brownstone buildings line the streets with
picturesque views. Many of the most expensive retail shopping is
available in this area, along with quiet tree strewn streets and
local bakeries. Keep an eye out for celebrities, as many prefer this
posh and quiet neighborhood. The Lincoln Center for the Arts,
prestigious Columbus Circle, and satellite classrooms to the
prestigious Fordham University and Columbia University can be found
in the Upper West Side.
The Upper East Side
is one of the more quiet neighborhoods of New York. Located along the
east side of famed Central Park, it extends from 59th Street to 96th
street. Important museums run along the Upper East Side’s
section of Fifth Avenue, which is nicknamed the “Museum Mile”.
This “mile” includes the Metropolitan Museum of Art
(www.metmuseum.org/), the Jewish Museum of New York
(www.thejewishmuseum.org), The Frick Collection (www.frick.org), as
well as the Guggenheim Museum (www.guggenheim.org), among others.
Although the subways run along Lexington Avenue, stroll down to 2nd
Avenue, where an array of local known restaurants and pubs are found
along the street.
If looking for New
York City’s renowned bright lights and city hustle, then head
to Midtown. This small neighborhood is not to be judged by size, as
its streets are home to some of the most well known buildings such as
Chrysler Building, Grand Central, and the Empire State Building, and
the iconic Bryant Park. Be sure to look at the New Year’s Eve
Ball and the bright billboards in Times Square.
Due to the large
corporations and tourist attractions like Times Square, you will find
your most expensive options for dining and nightlife in Midtown.
Popular chains and retail stores reside closer to Times Square. If
you’re traveling on a budget or looking for local cuisine, walk
west to 9th Avenue in Midtown to the Hell’s Kitchen
neighborhood. Hell's Kitchen, also known as Clinton or the Midtown
West neighborhood, is located between 34th to 59th street, between
Eighth Avenue and the Hudson River. “Restaurant Row” is
located between 8th and 9th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen.
The Lower East Side
is seen as one of the “trendier” areas of New York. It
consists of shorter buildings, street graffiti, street vendors, and
laid-back vibe are a far cry from looking like the tall cityscape of
Midtown. Whether in the mood for a quick bite at the famous Katz’s
Deli (katzsdelicatessen.com), or strolling the streets to view the
street art, the LES filled with buzzing restaurants and bars.
looking for something a little off the beaten path, the East Village
is for you. Don’t be weary of the graffiti signed walls and
flannel wearing hipsters. Instead, bask in the freedom of art. The
East Village is known for its vibrant history in the arts and
nightlife. Their kitschy restaurants are unusual and delicious; so
don’t be afraid to go right in! Some of the best coffee houses
are in the East Village such as the East Village Coffee Lounge.
SoHo is known for
its eclectic shopping, art galleries, and restaurants. The
traditional cobblestone streets of New York’s past offer
landmark cast iron buildings, which hold some of the most unique and
pricier shopping in the world. Whether looking for local boutiques,
chain retail stores, or high-end items, SoHo has every shop you could
The rapidly growing
Brooklyn area of Williamsburg has a lot to offer if you’re
willing to take the journey. The easiest access is by subway. The
redefined Williamsburg area will likely surprise you, as its recycled
and renovated industrial buildings hold new apartment buildings and
local businesses. Bedford Avenue, the longest street in Brooklyn, is
know for its versatile nightlife and gorgeous brownstone buildings.
DUMBO stands for
Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass, and is one of Brooklyn’s
fastest growing neighborhoods. From exclusive art galleries to
Brooklyn Bridge State Park, DUMBO is becoming a trendy area for
startups and boutiques. The East Rive Ferry stops at the Brooklyn
Bridge Park, and allows scenic views of the skyline as well as
Brooklyn and Queens.
Astoria is 15
minutes or less from Midtown Manhattan by subway or cab. The N and W
subways lines run through the heart of the vibrant neighborhood,
above 31st Street. This area is not known for it’s heavy
nightlife, but rather it’s authentic restaurants and corner
bars. From a bohemian beer garden to breathtaking views of the
skyline, Queens is not to be forgotten on your stop.
Many become confused
between Long Island and Long Island City. Long Island City is
currently under a dramatic renovation and revitalization. Luxury
apartments with amazing views of the skylines are rising everyday,
and there is a reason for it. Long Island City’s bars and
restaurant nightlife is upping their game. With only one stop on the
subway from Manhattan, it’s easy to get to and worth the trip.
From Skinny’s Cantina mouthwatering margaritas to the relaxed
atmosphere of the Alewife Pub, Long Island City offers something for
Things You Must Absolutely Do and See In New York
As we’ve said before, New York
is what you make of it. From the thousands of restaurants, dozens of
original Broadway shows, to the art and nightlife scenes, New York
City is a mecca for anything you can dream of. As any New Yorker will
tell you, there's no way to see all the highlights of this vast,
complex city in just one visit. That's part of the thrill of visiting
the Big Apple—there's always something new to discover. From
iconic landmarks to local favorites these essentials must be at the
top of your list.
The “City That
Never Sleeps” is a fast paced, hustling, metropolitan island
filled with dreams and go-getters. Countless movies, television
shows, and other forms of media place their settings in New York due
to its limitless boundaries and interesting characters. As a cultural
melting pot, many true “New Yorkers” are actually not be
originally from New York. Those that have wanted to follow the New
York dream have moved to fulfill their goals. In return, they have
developed certain characteristics/preferences that they learn and
evolve to in New York will make them locals. We’ve compiled a
list of ways you not only can spot a New Yorker in New York City, but
also how you can spot them outside of their habitat.