Tips to NYC travel

Once you have completed your Work and Travel program successfully you may choose to travel in the US before returning home to University.  For many LifExchange participants NYC is on your list of places to visit.

Here are some tips to assist you with your planning

The Basics:

Buying a metro card:  We recommend you but an unlimited 7 day pass for $29.00.  This allows you to travel 24 hours per day for 7 days anywhere I the city for one cost.  Find out more at the MTA.  Taxis are not cheap – with the heavy New York traffic and the compulsory tip, expect to pay $10 for even a short cab ride.
Accommodations:  For cheap accommodations look up http://AirBnB.com for in home stays, or for a little less visit http://Hostelworld.com.  Both of these options are cheaper than a hotel unless you are traveling in a group and willing to share a hotel room.  Depending on the dates, Hostels can be found for around $30 – $45 a night, depending on whether you want a private or shared room. Book your accommodation before you travel, especially in peak season.
Food: Most hostels don’t serve breakfast, so a diner breakfast will set you back about $10 – not including the tip. New Yorkers don’t do things by halves – and this includes their food portions.  Try the street vendors, there are a lot of great meals you will find for less then $5.00.  China town and the East village are also great neighborhoods for great finds.  Want to splurge and treat yourself to something great?  Visit Open Table for suggestions and reservations.

Things to do:

The Statue of Liberty – (http://www.statueoflibertytickets.com/) ferries for the Statue leave every 25 minutes from 8.30am-4.30pm from Battery Park. Perhaps the most recognizable icon of the USA, expect a long wait with queuing and security checks before boarding the ferry.  The ferry continues on to Ellis Island, where you might find a long lost family member on the Immigrant Wall of Honour.
The Staten Island Ferry is free- and while there is not much to see on Staten Island you will get stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan Skyline. This ferry runs 24 hours a day.
Central Park – Probably the only place in the city you’ll find some peace and quiet. It would take a week to view the whole of this park, but try and fit in a few of the highlights during your stay. Strawberry Fields, dedicated to the late John Lennon, is worth a visit and the Jackie Onassis Reservoir is beautiful on a sunny day.
New York Public Library – Worth a visit if only to view the two famous stone lions sitting outside – said to represent Patience and Fortitude. Oh, and it’s free.
Ground Zero- For decades, the World Trade Centre was the most visible tourist attraction in Lower Manhattan. Post 9/11, the site is surrounded by a Viewing Wall, that allows visitors to see the rebuilding that is now underway. The names of the 9/11 victims are included within the wall.

Cheap Stuff

Although New York is an expensive city, there are plenty of things you can do for free or cheap. The city is best seen on foot. In addition to the most current cheap options listed below, check out The Skint for day to day activities and options for great stuff to do in NY.

Among the free things to do are Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, the Staten Island Ferry, most national park sites many of the museums, some guided tours, and all TV show tapings.
 Studio tickets for SNL, Daily Show, Letterman and more
Tickets to other shows taped in NYC are easier to snag and usually for free. Here’s an updated list of shows that tape with a live audience in NYC:
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Colbert Report
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Late Show with David Letterman
Good Morning America
The Early Show
The View
Live! with Regis and Kelly
The Martha Stewart Show
The Rachel Ray Show
The Dr. Oz Show
The Wendy Williams Show
MTV studio audience
Who Wants to be a Millionaire
The Marriage Ref
The Tyra Banks Show
Comedy Central Presents
Other resources:
On Friday mornings during the summer both Today Show and Good Morning America offer free outdoor concerts. Usually no tickets are required.
The automated Twitter feed @DailyTix tweets when new tickets are available for the John Stewart or Stephen Colbert shows.
Free hours at NYC museums, zoos and gardens
Museums with free or pay-what-you-wish hours in 2011
Mondays
Museum at Eldridge Street – Free 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (normally $10)
Yeshiva University Museum – Free 5 to 8 p.m. (normally $8)
Tuesdays
McKim rooms of the Morgan Library & Museum – free 3 to 5 p.m. (full museum access is $15)
Brooklyn Botanic Garden – Free all day (normally $10)
China Institute Gallery – Free 6 to 8 p.m. (normally $7)
Staten Island Museum – Free noon to 2 p.m. (normally $3)
Wednesdays
Bronx Zoo – Pay-what-you-wish donation all day (normally $16)
Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust – Free 4 to 8 p.m. (normally $12)
El Museo del Barrio – Free 6 to 9 p.m. (normally a suggested $9)
Staten Island Zoo – Free 2 to 4:45 p.m. (normally $8)
Yeshiva University Museum – Free 5 to 8 p.m. (normally $8)
NY Botanical Garden – Free grounds access all day, but excludes the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, Rock and Native Plant gardens and tram tour (grounds-only access normally $6)
Van Cortlandt House Museum – Free all day, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (normally $5)
Queens Botanical Garden – Free from 3 to 6 p.m. (normally $4)
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2 thoughts on “Tips to NYC travel”

  1. To compliment this list… I would check City Maps before you venture out into the city, Its a virtual NYC Map that shows every business in the city, block by block. You can click on any building and get all the info from hours, to prices, to reviews. Between this blog and that website you will be good to go!

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