How To Plan Your First Trip To New York City | Inspiration: Travel Tips

Have you booked your first trip to New York City? Oh my! I am so excited for you because I can still remember what my first trip to the city that never sleeps was like. It can be overwhelming since there’s so much happening in this big city but it can also feel like home weirdly. To date I have been to New York three times, once in 2013, then in 2015 and also in 2018. I feel so lucky to already have visited this city three times and with traveling to New York more than once, I kind of know what to expect from this city and what to keep in mind. So, over the past few weeks I’ve collected everything I believe to be helpful when you’re traveling to New York for the first time and put them in this blog post. Hopefully you find these travel tips helpful!

Staying in New York

I know, I know. When you visit New York for the first time, you want to experience it all. You want to be in the middle of all the busy city. The first time I visited New York I stayed in Tribeca, the second time in Manhattan and the third time in NoMad (near Koreatown). All very different neighborhoods of New York and that’s what made my visit to New York different every single time. So, you don’t have to stay right at Times Square or something like that. Btw, don’t expect too much of the hotel rooms in New York because most of them are small. But in all reality, you won’t be there a lot right? During the day you will be busy exploring the city. Just look for a hotel in your price range and research the neighborhood a little bit before booking it. What’s important to you? A modern hotel? Good breakfast? Near a metro station? Near big sights? Restaurants nearby? Research, research and research. This is when you’ll definitely find the hotel for you. If you want to be a little more adventurous and live like a real New Yorker, book an Airbnb! If you book through this link*, you’ll get €25,- off!

Food, food and more food

New York is filled with places to eat. Oh my. On almost every corner you’ll find a selection of different restaurants or cafes. There are so many cool hotspots to eat at in New York. Some might be very expensive, others a little more inexpensive. My tip: Check deli’s in the neighborhood. Every time I visited New York, I also got food from different deli’s. They have all types of food here and it’s very delicious! When walking past a restaurant you might see a grade the restaurant or cafe got from the health department. The highest grade, and A, is earned if the restaurant is clean, up to code, and free of violations. So, if you see a grade lower than an A, I would maybe go and sit down at another restaurant… Just to be sure.

Transportation in New York

Everyone knows New York by their yellow cabs, honking all the time. This might seem like a typical way for transportation in New York but there are actually also different options. For example, the metro. When you first take a look at the metro lines cart of New York, it might look impossible but it’s actually very easy to understand. You can buy a single ticket in every metro station. If you are planning on using the metro more often in New York, it’s recommendable to go to a big station and ask what type of card to get. And when you’re getting on the metro, make sure to check if you’re going the right direction. Besides that, when typing in a location on Google Maps, it will give you tons of suggestions on how to get from your location to the desired location, with metro, cab, bike and even a helicopter haha.

Visiting New York sights

A big part of your New York trip, especially when you are going for the first time, will be visiting the different sights. Sight seeing is very fun but for most sights you have to buy a ticket and those can be very expensive or there can be a very long line. The second time I went to New York, we actually got the New York Pass. This is a sightseeing card which you buy for certain days (from 1 up to 10 days) and it gives you discounts for different sights and you will be able to skip the line. If you plan on visiting the Empire State Building or The Top Of The Rock, definitely buy your tickets beforehand. This way you are able to choose a time sloth of your liking for example. I would recommend going when it first opens on a clear day because it won’t be as busy and you’ll get to see the sunrise. Also, don’t buy anything from people on the streets. Some things might seem legit but they really aren’t or they are getting you the pay even more than it really is to visit a sight.

The New York neighborhoods

New York is divided in different boroughs: Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. Within these boroughs are different neighborhoods. From Midtown to Chelsea, Williamsburg and more. Since there are so many different neighborhoods, I would recommend making a list of hotspots per neighborhood (food, shopping, sights, etc.) and decide on the day itself where to go. I find this so helpful because I can see what is where, especially when you put all the hotspots in a Google Maps folder. Besides that, you can decide on the day itself where to go because when visiting The Top Of The Rock you want it to be clear outside to have the best view of the New York skyline. Don’t be afraid to leave Manhattan. The last time my mom and I went to New York, we actually took the metro to Williamsburg! Here you’ll be able to escape the busy vibes of New York for a little and explore this beautiful neighborhood. It’s filled with so many cute concept stores and coffee shops, so add Williamsburg to your list as well.

Check my other New York related blog posts:

I definitely urge you to browse through my previous blog posts about New York City because they feature tons of hotspots and also some other tips I want you to know. Besides that, with all the photos I took you might already get some wanderlust… Sorry not sorry! I am already looking forward to visit NYC again. Let’s just say the plans are there but nothing is booked yet. I bet that after another trip to New York I am able to share even more tips. For now, this is the list I’ve made with the travel tips I’ve collected. I would like to know: Have you ever visited New York? What is your ultimate travel tip for New York?





    • Neeltje
      February 6, 2020 / 10:34 am

      Thank youu! Hopefully you’ll visit it soon because it’s such an amazing city. X

  1. February 7, 2020 / 1:53 pm

    I am from New York and this post made me so homesick – great round up!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

    • Neeltje
      February 7, 2020 / 5:24 pm

      Ah, thank you!

  2. February 12, 2020 / 11:36 am

    You really can’t run out of good things to see in NYC! Love your guide dear!

    Jessica |

    • Neeltje
      February 12, 2020 / 11:44 am

      I know right! Thank you so much! X

    • Neeltje
      February 12, 2020 / 11:44 am

      Ah thank you! I am glad you like it. X

  3. February 16, 2020 / 5:38 pm

    Dank voor de tips! New York staat heel hoog op mijn lijstje! Wil er al zo lang naartoe, maar nog steeds niks gepland. Nu dat ik je blog zie wil ik zo graag gaan.

    • Neeltje
      February 20, 2020 / 11:53 am

      Het is zo’n gave stad! Hopelijk ga je binnenkort eindelijk 🙂 X

  4. February 16, 2020 / 7:36 pm

    Dank voor de tips ook al ben ik er 2 keer geweest en begin maart voor de derde keer staan er dingen in die bruikbaar zijn , dus dank

    • Neeltje
      February 20, 2020 / 11:54 am

      Ah jaloers dat je binnenkort weer gaat! Ik kan niet wachten om weer te gaan 🙂

  5. June 14, 2020 / 6:39 pm

    Ik ben jaren geleden in New York geweest en als ik dit zo lees en de foto’s zie, gaat het bij mij kriebelen om er weer heen te gaan!

    • Neeltje
      June 14, 2020 / 10:38 pm

      Ah, leuk om te horen! New York is zo’n beleving om heen te gaan 🙂

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