Your first visit to New York City can be an intimidating experience. With a long list of public transportation and bright yellow taxis wherever you turn, navigating around the City That Never Sleeps is easier than you think. NYC is big, fast, and unlike any other city in the world — a true urban adventure. Just like any other adventure, the key to making your trip an enjoyable and exciting experience is to arm yourself with some knowledge before you go, make a plan, and leave a little room in that plan for the unexpected.
New York City is served by a great mass transit system consisting of 660 miles of subway track and 208 bus routes that serve some 7.6 million people daily. Most subway lines and bus routes run 24/7 with reduced service during late night, holidays, and weekends. A free subway map can be picked up at a manned ticket booth is any subway station. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York City’s public transportation system which consists of subways, buses, and ferries with most lines operating 24 hours a day. Here are tips that will help ease your navigating around New York
Want to cram in the beauty of the big apple?
These are your best options; the two simple ways of navigating New York.
New York City is the world’s greatest walking city. All five boroughs can be explored on foot, but Manhattan is probably the easiest and most popular for pedestrians.
Manhattan is easiest for first-time visitors because all streets north of Houston St. are laid out in a numbered grid pattern, with streets traveling east-west and avenues going north-south. Streets are numbered low to high going north, and avenues are numbered low to high going west. Twenty “street” blocks (e.g. 40th St to 60th St) equals one mile (1.6 km) and usually takes 20 – 30 minutes to walk. Fifth Avenue is the longitudinal meridian of Manhattan, and street numbers are prefaced with “East” and “West”. For example, at 7th Avenue, New Yorkers say “West 35th Street” but at 3rd Avenue, say “East 35th Street.”
Walking is best for people who want to see all the details – the architecture, people, businesses, and street life. If you walk around New York City, there is a good chance you will stroll past movie stars, television personalities, music icons, and models – whether you notice them or not. If you are going to walk, and you don’t want to get lost, ask locals for directions. Most New Yorkers love giving directions, but be prepared to be quick and specific! Just ask where you want to go. Anyone will gladly help you, but they’ll always be in a hurry! Don’t take it personally if someone curtly says, “3 blocks that way” and keep walking. There are countless walking tours available in NYC.
Hop-On-Hop-Off (HOHO) Bus
Navigating New York on foot can be very rewarding but it can also be practically impossible, imagine the sores you could get. Not to worry there are HOHO buses.
These buses are great for those who want to get a general survey of city sights, but they are not as useful as regular transportation. Most first-time visitors enjoy the HOHO buses, especially in good weather.