Oddly enough New York City is actually not a difficult place to get around and explore. You would be forgiven for thinking the opposite as it is a bustling city, with a huge population and incredibly culturally diverse.
However, NYC has a wonderful public transport network and there are other options for getting around the many interesting and colorful neighborhoods within the 5 boroughs that make up the city. It is, in fact, a lot easier that you might think to get around, at least as easy as winning a Fair Go casino bonus! You can enjoy all of the wonderful attractions and really experience the life of the city.
Below are the many different ways you can explore the City of New York. You can walk, cycle, sail, fly or take the subway or bus
Exploring by Foot
One of the best ways to really explore the city is on foot and it doesn’t cost anything. By foot you get to experience the ambience of the city, walking through the colorful neighborhoods and engaging with the culture and its local populous. But NYC is not small so it would be good to make an itinerary of all the attractions you want to see, according to neighborhoods, then you will save a lot of time and energy.
Manhattan is of course loaded with sights to see. Another must see is Brooklyn, full of quirky cafes and shops and fabulous views over the water. If organizing an itinerary is difficult for you, there are many walking tours you can choose from, ranging from history to food.
If you like to explore architecture then try the Municipal Art Society of New York. There are many free walking tours led by licensed guides who just love to share their knowledge with you. These walks cover Manhattan – including a walk around Central Park, Brooklyn, Soho, Chinatown and Little Italy.
Take a Cruise
There are countless options. You have free boat rides, hop-on-hop off boat tours and even luxury dining cruises where you have sight-see from the water.
The most popular of the cruises is the Circle Line, which offers different “themed” excursions and tours all around Manhattan all day long. Otherwise if you purchase an “All day access pass” you can spend the day hopping on and off the New York Water Taxi. From here you can see the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State and the Brooklyn Bridge. You have 11 different location stops in Manhattan and Brooklyn which allows you to get off and explore at your own pace.
However, if you are on a tight budget you could jump on the East River Ferry for only $2.74 one way. It offers three good routes. Another alternative is the Staten Island Ferry, free of charge which gives you great views of the Statue of Liberty, the harbor and all the amazing towering buildings of Lower Manhattan.
View the City from above
Seeing the City from above is truly a thrilling experience. You can view the city from the tops of some of the City’s famous landmarks. Head on up to the top of the Empire State Building where you can view the city from the panoramic rooftop bars while enjoying a much welcome cocktail.
There are a number of other spots where the views are also mesmerizing. There’s the Brooklyn Bridge, Belvedere Castle in Central Park, One World Observatory at the top of One World Trade Center and also the Met’s Roof Garden and there are others.
Another possibility and one that offers you an interesting outlook is the Roosevelt Island Tram. Its route takes you above the East River and gives you vistas from above of the East Side of Midtown Manhattan.
If you are able to stretch your budget, nothing beats a helicopter ride over Manhattan. An experience that will not be forgotten and the opportunity to take some epic shots of Manhattan that will give you memories for a lifetime.
Explore by Bike
Whist New York City is not Copenhagen, cycling is becoming a more popular way of getting around the city. Now there is Citi Bike, a bike sharing program, and there are more designated cycle routes and bike lanes which makes it a more viable and appealing way to explore the city. There are some very scenic routes including the greenways aside the Hudson River and East River, Brooklyn Bridge Park and Central Park.
Use the New York Subway
Cycling and walking around the city is a great way to really get a feel of the neighborhoods and to actually speak with some of the natives. However, if you need to get across the city quickly then you really should use the public transport network which is cheap and covers long distances.
The New York City’s subway system could well be the largest in the world. It functions 24 hours a day and it is possible to get you to basically anywhere you want to go in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and also the Bronx. Initially it might be a little overwhelming and difficult to find your way around but you can access one of the many free apps that are available which explain very clearly how the subway works.
If you plan to be in New York for a longer vacation and plan to use public transport it is worth buying a 7- day MetroCard which is around $33 and gives you have unlimited access to buses and the subway. This way you can explore the city at your own pace and experience it the way the locals do.
Jump on a Big Bus – NY Sightseeing Tour
This is a great way to explore the city. Yes, it is for tourists but, so what? The Big Bus tour is an excellent way to be introduced to the city, especially if you are a first- time visitor. It takes you around the entire city and lets you get on and off when you want to, making it a very flexible way to explore the different attractions.
On the bus you have an English- speaking guide who is explaining and describing the sights for you. You also have free Wi-fi which is useful. You will pass through Downtown, Uptown, Midtown and Brooklyn and all the most popular attractions along the way, such as Central Park, Times Square, The Rockefeller Center, Wall Street. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brookyln Bridge. At any of these stops you can get off to explore and then rejoin the tour later.