New York City is a massive concrete jungle covered in nooks and crannies full of culture. It’s impossible to see it all, even for those who live there. This is one of the things that makes New York so special; the overwhelming abundance of cool bars, tasty restaurants, art galleries, quirky neighborhoods, famous landmarks, and interesting people. If you’re planning a one week visit to New York City, abandon your expectations to see all of the things you want to see and instead focus on immersing yourself in the city’s rich, vibrant culture. Here are some tips on how to do that:
Seek Out Alternative Options for Accommodation:
Look for accommodation on Couchsurfing.com, or AirBnb.com. Besides the fact that these options will cost considerably less that a hotel, they will also give you the opportunity to stay in an apartment in a residential neighborhood rather than in a more tourist-centric neighborhood. In fact, if you go with couch surfing or a single room on AirBnb, you may even end up staying with locals who are interested in showing you around their neighborhood and introducing you to their favorite spots.
Stay Close to Home:
Although New York City is full of cool and unique neighborhoods that you will be curious to check out, you may get more from your trip if you opt to stay in one neighborhood for most of your time. This way you’ll be familiar with the geography around you and you’ll get a little taste of what it would be like to live in New York.
Be a Regular:
If you discover a café or bar that you particularly like, go back several times. Although this limits your opportunities to see more cool cafes and bars, you will start to know your barista, bartender, and the regulars. This can be yet another easy way of feeling a bit like a local yourself.
Engage in Daily Life Activities:
Try dropping in at a yoga studio in your neighborhood for a class or two, or join the notorious ‘Bridgerunners’ if you want to meet some very open and cool New Yorkers. A plus of joining one of New York’s many running crews is that you’ll cover so much ground on foot that you may witness parts of the city that you wouldn’t have visited otherwise.
Be Selective About your Tourist Attractions:
New York has some of the most abundant must-see museums in the world. From the MoMa, to the Met, to the Guggenheim, it would be worth coming to New York to do nothing but visit museums. Let alone the city’s many famous landmarks including the Brooklyn Bridge, the ‘Imagine’ mosaic in Central Park dedicated to John Lennon, and of course the Statue of Liberty. Instead of trying to pack them all in, just pick two or three that really interest you and do them all in one day. The more free time you have in New York, the more you will discover, and the more you will enjoy your trip.
Walk, bike, and take the subway as much as possible. Taxis are expensive and usually just sit in traffic.