Welcome to the Big Apple!
NYC is without a doubt one of the greatest cities in the world. From iconic landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge to the world-class museums, beautiful parks, and historic neighborhoods, there is an endless array of things to discover. To escape crushing crowds and overcrowded tourist hotspots, explore NYC as a worldwide local to discover some of the lesser-known attractions. This insider’s guide offers local tips for visiting New York City and allows you to experience all the best-hidden gems and secrets, only the locals know about.
Where to Begin: Neighborhood Highlights
Kick off your NYC travel adventure with a visit to the Upper West Side, a quiet residential neighborhood with tree-lined streets and a laid-back vibe. While at times it may seem like the New York City population is infinite, this neighborhood always gives off an air of peace and tranquility. Whether you wish to see the American Museum of Natural History, go for a walk through the lovely Lotus Garden, or explore the Hayden Planetarium, this peaceful neighborhood has plenty of unique attractions worth visiting.
Well-known for its romantic appeal, Greenwich Village was once the center of the bohemian movement in NYC. Today, this vibrant neighborhood is well-known for its independent cinemas, comedy clubs, and hidden alleys, dotted with Greek revival houses. To make the most out of your visit to Greenwich Village, explore the lively Bleecker Street and go for a stroll through the picturesque Washington Square Park. Taking in the various, talented street performers here is one of the most fun things to do in NYC.
Worldwide Local Tip: No matter the weather, NYC is the perfect place to visit anytime! Spring and summer offer comfortable temperatures with plenty of outdoor sightseeing opportunities, while fall and winter offer better rates at the pricey NYC hotels and a chance to admire all those beautiful holiday decorations. Beware, though, that the NYC weather hourly can go from dry to wet to windy.
Explore a Different Borough: Brooklyn!
Visitors who wish to get away from the giant Manhattan’s skyscrapers can pay a visit to Brooklyn Heights. Walk along the Brooklyn Promenade to witness magnificent views across the East River, spend an afternoon chilling in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and admire the exhibitions at the New York Transit Museum on Schermerhorn Street. Instead of visiting the touristy Metropolitan Museum of Art, follow advice from the locals, and check out the amazing Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park. This museum houses numerous artifacts from medieval Europe including art, architecture, and illuminated manuscripts. The building itself looks spectacular and is a great alternative to the busy NYC museums.
Worldwide Local Tip: The best way to discover top attractions in NYC is by walking. Of course, you’ll definitely have to use public transportation to cover great distances, and using the subway is the easiest and quickest way to travel around the city. It operates 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, and can easily get you all the way uptown to see the New York Yankees play. It is also a great way to feel like a local during your stay in the Big Apple.
Visit Battery Park
New York’s Central Park is one of the most famous parks in the world, but for a local experience, head out to the lovely Battery Park. This is a great spot to watch the sun go down and offers easy access to attractions like Liberty Island and Ellis Island.
For the ultimate foodie experience, a local usually goes to Smorgasburg, a delicious alternative to the best NYC restaurants. This seasonal outdoor foodie market attracts many hungry patrons and offers a wide selection of food stalls, where you can try everything from ramen burgers to Japanese fried chicken and inflated soufflé pancakes. NYC is definitely a foodie’s paradise. From tasty Italian cuisine in Little Italy, and Korean specialties in Queens, to local NYC dishes in Brooklyn, and Russian delicacies in Brighton Beach, there are plenty of food options to satisfy your taste buds.
Worldwide Local Tip: To avoid long lines in front of the major tourist sightseeing spots in NYC, it’s best to visit on weekdays. Along the same line, the best time to check out popular attractions is in the morning or late in the afternoon, when you won’t have to spend a couple of hours waiting in line.
Enjoy NYC as a Worldwide Local
NYC is one of the best cities in the world, and it attracts millions of tourists each year. To make the most out of your stay, it’s important not to get consumed by the city’s overcrowded and busy tourist spots. Exploring the city as a worldwide local allows you to have a special time in NYC, and enables you to visit all those fabulous attractions that not many people know about.