The Big Apple is a city of wonders. Packed with sights that will mesmerize nearly every tourist who comes through, it’s definitely a city that’s worth putting on your bucket list, whether you’ve traveled extensively or not at all. But if you’re a rookie going to New York, there are a few things you should know before you go.

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New York is bigger and busier than a lot of other American cities. It’s also home to people who are actually friendly (despite their reputation) but have no patience for clueless tourists. That’s why it’s a good idea to follow these fool-proof travel tips before heading to New York.

10 There Might Be Buskers On The Subway

In general, you should be prepared to see a lot of odd sights in New York. If you come from a conservative town or city, you could be in for a shock! One thing that you’ll probably see in NYC is performers on the Subway. Although this may be entertaining, it’s also illegal.

By all means, support the buskers that you see in subway stations if you want to. But as the Eternal Arrival travel blog points out, don’t encourage illegal behavior on the subway cars by supporting the performers who dance and sing inside them.

9 You’ll Get Used To The Traffic

The traffic in New York is one of the sights that might take a little getting used to. It really is as bad as you’re imagining it to be and it never slows down. Even at night, there will still be banked up traffic and cars honking like crazy.

While this can be overwhelming at first, you’ll get used to it. Don’t bother trying to stay somewhere you can’t hear the traffic, because you can pretty much hear it everywhere. Then you adapt and it’s as if the noise isn’t even there!

8 The Hotel Room Will Probably Be Small

Speaking of accommodation, it’s a good idea to know what to expect before you get to New York. That way, you won’t be disappointed. The rooms tend to be quite a bit smaller than what you might be used to elsewhere. Even if you’re paying a lot of money for a five-star hotel, the room probably won’t be that big. It will just have nicer furnishings, or maybe a great location.

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Of course, it is possible to get more sizeable accommodation in New York, but you have to be ready to fork out a lot of money.

7 You Can Leave Manhattan

When most tourists come to New York, they head straight for Manhattan. They spend all their time in this one borough and leave the city without exploring anything else! While most of the famous landmarks are in Manhattan, there’s no reason to remain solely in this area. In fact, there are plenty of reasons why you should get out of Manhattan.

Once you visit Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, or the Bronx, you’ll get a better idea of what life is really like for the majority of New Yorkers. It will also be far less busy!

6 There Is A Subway Etiquette

To get around New York, the subway can be a far better alternative to a taxi. They can always get a taxi in Sex and the City, but in real life, it’s not always that easy (or cheap). The public transport system is simple enough to navigate, but you’ll have to be familiar with New York subway etiquette first.

Don’t get in people’s way on route to the subway, as most people are in a rush. This means not blocking the turnstiles and not dawdling in the entrance to the subway cars.

5 You Might Run Into A Celebrity

Don’t set your heart on running into your favorite celebrity while in the Big Apple. Remember, it is a huge place with millions of people. However, it might happen. A lot of celebrities call New York home and spend a lot of time there for work.

If you do run into a celebrity, remember to play it cool. As tempting as it is to ask for their autograph, you’ll be less embarrassed if you don’t. New Yorkers (paparazzi not included) tend to give celebrities space and respect.

4 Swap Little Italy For Bleecker Street

Fans of Italian food might be determined to eat in Little Italy. But according to The Globetrotting Teacher, this is a mistake. Although the area was once great, it’s now overly touristy and overly priced. Plus, there are so many other places in New York to get great Italian food.

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Instead of Little Italy, try out a pizza joint on Bleecker Street. Located in Greenwich Village, the street is famous for its Italian shops and eateries. The food is authentic and fairly priced (for New York). It’s where the locals go!

3 You Could Easily Spend A Day In Central Park

If you’re like most first-time visitors to New York, Central Park is probably on your bucket list. We absolutely recommend visiting Central Park, but most people don’t dedicate enough time to seeing this city landmark. It really isn’t just another park. You could easily spend a whole day there.

Keep in mind there are so many things to do inside the park, from ice skating and fishing to watching concerts or visiting the zoo. It’s also brimming with gorgeous spots where you can just sit and absorb the scenery. Make sure you allow enough time to make the most out of it!

2 It’s An Overwhelming City, But Mostly A Safe One

It’s true that New York can be overwhelming to people who have never been or are used to quieter cities. In the past, it had a reputation as being unsafe, but it’s actually quite safe. As long as you follow all the standard commonsense rules that you would follow in any other major city, there’s no reason why you would run into trouble.

The best way to avoid scammers that target tourists is to walk confidently as if you were a New Yorker. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and follow your instincts.

1 Don’t Stay In The Iconic Places

There are probably endless iconic spots that you’re dying to see in New York. When you’re planning your trip, it might seem like a good idea to book your accommodation right in these locations. But these accommodation options are mostly expensive. To save money, don’t stay directly in Time Square or any other major tourist hotspot.

By all means, stay in a central location that makes sense according to your itinerary. And make time to visit all the places on your bucket list. But you can save money by avoiding staying directly in these hotspots.

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