What to know for a trip to New York

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Martí Micolau
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New York is that city to see at least once in a lifetime, that city seen and reviewed as the location of our favorite films. And trust me, walking the streets of New York along Fifth Avenue will really make you feel like in a movie! There are so many things to do and see, a month would not be enough!
Lose yourself in the views from the top of the Top of The Rock, climb the Empire State Building and enjoy a river cruise to the famous Statue of Liberty.

This is one of those trips that you have always dreamed of, so everything must go the right way! We advise you to organize every single part well to avoid unexpected events. Here what to know for a trip to New York!


  1. Best time
  2. Required documents
  3. How many days
  4. How to dress and what to bring
  5. To see
  6. Getting around
  7. What to book in advance
  8. Accomodation
  9. Where to eat
  10. How much
  11. How to pay
  12. Safety
  13. Useful advice and rules of conduct
  14. User questions and comments

Best time

We assume that New York is beautiful all year round!

It is characterized by a continental climate, therefore with humid and hot summers and very cold winters, with often snowfalls between January and mid-March. Furthermore, in this area, since there are no large mountain ranges that block the currents, masses of cold air coming from Canada and hot air masses coming from the south often collide, causing a certain climatic instability.

The best time it is made up of the intermediate seasons, that is spring and autumn, more precisely the months from mid-April to June and from mid-September to early November. In these spans the temperatures are mild, neither too high nor too hot. In these months, moreover, we are not really in high season (July, August and December), so you can find more offers. Finally, if you are not too afraid of the cold, the month of December is also recommended, during the Christmas period!

Required documents

To enter America you will need a series of documents, starting with passport with expiry date after the date scheduled for the return to Italy.

For stays of a tourist nature you won't need a real visa, but you will apply for ESTA authorization at least 72 hours before departure, as it takes a few hours before approval. Cost of $ 14,00 (approximately € 12,90). More info on how to obtain the ESTA authorization.
Attention: from February 18, 2016, individuals who went, from March 1, 2011 onwards, to Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan or Yemen will have to apply for an entry visa, ESTA will not be enough.

Finally, it absolutely is it is recommended to take out health insurance before the trip! The health system of the United States is very different from the European and Italian ones. If you don't have health insurance you will have to pay thousands of dollars for even a simple ride to the hospital!

How many days

  • Minimum travel time: at least 7 days
  • Recommended duration of the trip: at least 10 days

How to dress and what to bring

If you are planning a mid-season trip, then spring and autumn, it will be important to dress in layers, to cope with sudden changes in temperature. So pack short-sleeved and short-sleeved dresses, some sweatshirts and heavier suits. Don't forget a raincoat and umbrella for rainy days.

In summer you will have to bring instead light clothes for high temperatures, but also a light sweatshirt for when you visit museums or enter shops and buildings, as the temperature difference caused by the air conditioning is very strong.

In winter you prefer very heavy clothes and warm, like sweaters, sweatshirts and a heavy jacket. Don't forget a hat, scarf and gloves to face the low temperatures!

To see

Saying what to see is really very difficult, as there are so many attractions and main faces! If you are going to the city for the first time we recommend you visit the great classics, like Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Top of the Rock, the MET, the Moma, without forgetting the beautiful Central Park!

If, on the other hand, you go to the city for a second time, you could perhaps return to the places that most fascinated you and then dedicate yourself to discover all the neighborhoods outside of Manhattan: for example Jersey City, Hooboken (where there is the famous pastry shop at Carlo's, whose owner is the Boss of the Cakes Buddy Valastro), the neighborhood of Brooklyn with Coney Island. And not only that, you could visit other very important museums in the city, often overlooked by a first tour, such as the wonderful Frick Collection.

  • If you are visiting the destination for the first time: Times Square, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, MET, MOMA, Central Park, 9/11 Memorial
  • If you are returning to the destination: Jersey City, Hooboken, Brooklyn with Coney Island, Frick Collection, New York Botanical Garden, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Getting around

Moving only on foot is impossible, as it is also the main attractions are really far from each other. For example, the distance between Times Square and the 9/11 Memorial, despite being both in Manhattan, is 6km! From Times Square to the Guggenheim Collection it is almost 4 km.

It is therefore essential to use public transport, starting with the subway, one of the largest in the world! Active 24 hours a day, it has 24 lines and will take you to every corner of the city. At first glance, the map may seem really confusing, but as soon as you take your hand, moving will be very simple. Also, it is much better than buses or taxis as it allows you to avoid the heavy traffic of New York!
Instead, to get out of the city and maybe make some day trips you can also count on the efficient rail system that connects all the main cities of the entire New York State.

What to book in advance

E' essential to book as soon as possible! This is because it is a very expensive city, where the cost of living is really high, and during the high season (which we remember being July, August and December) the prices skyrocket.

Assuming that the first things to book are Flight and Hotel, then you will have to take a look at any excursions and tours, as they sell out very quickly!

You can find tours of all kinds and lengths: from those that will take you to explore entire areas, such as the Wall Street tour, to those that will allow you to skip the line, such as priority access to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum ; from those discovering food culture, like the Midtown Manhattan Street Food Walking Tour, to out-of-town excursions, like the one-day Wtour in Washington DC


This is one of the most important points while organizing a trip to New York. The city is very large and the offer is really wide. If you are visiting the city for the first time, we recommend that you stay in Manhattan. You don't have to worry about getting around: there are metro stops almost everywhere.

Among the best areas there are Times Square and the Broadway District. Here you will be in the center of it all and, of course, this is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city.
For something more alternative and bohemian you can choose the Greenwich Village, if you want to be in the most artistic and shopping area, the best districts for you are those of Soho e Tribeca. Finally, if you are looking for something more peaceful and maybe you are also traveling with children, the perfect district is that ofUpper West Side.

Where to eat

It is also known as the city that never sleeps, where at any time you will find people moving and crowding the streets. Consequently, the catering sector he has adapted to this: there are numerous clubs that hold open 24 hours on 24! Obviously, the offer is very high, as well as the types of restaurants: you can find simple fast food restaurants, high-level and starred restaurants, itinerant stalls that mainly sell hot dogs and hamburgers and restaurants of any type of cuisine from any country in the world!

E' It is possible to eat cheaply, thus taking advantage of the hot dog stands or going to places far from the tourist streets (thus avoiding all those, for example, around Times Square). At least one day, treat yourself to brunch, an activity much loved by New Yorkers, especially on Sunday mornings, and don't shy away from trying new experiences and new types of cuisine!

How much

  • Cost of flights and travel: from € 400,00
  • Accommodation cost: from € 80,00 per night per room
  • Minimum daily budget for meals and attractions: € 100,00

How to pay

La credit card is accepted everywhere! You can pay with your card even for a simple coffee or for expenses of a few dollars! You can also top up your metro cards. Before departure, make sure that your credit card can also be used abroad without problems (you can check this directly with your bank).

Always keep with you even some cash. In fact, we advise you to pay in cash for the short taxi rides and at the hot dog and fries stalls.


There are no particular dangerous situations which can cause difficulties for travelers. Obviously, since it is one of the largest and busiest cities in the world, it is important to always maintain a careful and scrupulous attitude, avoiding unsuitable or too remote areas, especially in the evening or at night. Also, always keep bags and backpacks tightly closed and close to you, especially when traveling on the subway or in very crowded places.

Before leaving and throughout the journey keep yourself constantly updated directly on the official website of the Farnesina United States section.

Useful advice and rules of conduct

  1. Don't forget tips: it is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended to tip both on the taxi and in the restaurants. In restaurants it is about 15%
  2. Buy the Metrocard: it is a rechargeable card that will allow you to use the subway without having to buy a ticket every time. A ride on the metrocard costs $ 2,75 (approximately € 2,50)
  3. Do not go to too remote areas at night: as in all big cities it is really not recommended to go to peripheral areas and away from the busiest streets at night
  4. Buy the City Pass: there are many different city passes based on the experience you want to live. We recommend purchasing the NYC Explorer Pass
  5. Travel / health insurance: recommended.

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