Touring New York City During Your First Visit

July 14, 2017

When people visit New York City, they want to see it all. Every first-time visitor will have a list of things to do, places to visit, bars to drink at, restaurants where to eat, and other itineraries. Yes, it is a lot to handle; with a frantic schedule and so much to see during your typically four or five day visit.

New York City offers numerous attractions that are impossible to see in one visit. To make the most of the time you have, here is how to tour New York City during your first time visit:

Early Start Schedule: Keep It Simple

If you are anything like me, every time you visit a large city, you most likely end up wasting half a day staring at maps, trying to figure out where to go, or to understand the public transportation system. For your first time visit, always keep your schedule simple and start early!  

New York City is fast paced and lines build pretty quickly at popular destinations. Departing early for planned tours allows you time to squeeze in some extra stops along the way.

Take Offbeat Tours

A few days may seem limiting, but one of the best ways to explore New York City is by taking offbeat tours. Leave the usual chain bus tours or the complicated subway system that you cannot quite figure out and go for something more fun, like bike tours. There are numerous bike rental companies offering cheap rentals across the city. Visit for affordable bike rentals and a variety of planned New York City bike tours.

Bike tours can be random, personalized, or planned in groups with guides offering opportunities to explore the best views, as well as major and hidden attractions in and around the city. On a bike, you get to cover more ground and enjoy a personalized touring experience.   

Mark Out Popular Spots

A visit to New York City is never complete without touring the most popular spots. There are many: Empire State Building, Central Park, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, Trinity Church, World Trade Center & 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Central Terminal, Times Square, and countless others.

Visiting these places during the weekend means having to deal with long waits and many visitors. Identify popular attractions like the CentralParkHorseCarriage you want to visit most and compact them into one or two days. This way, you will get to see more with less waiting. A 21-year New Yorker and concierge at the St. Regis Hotel, New York offers simple travel tips on what to do in a single day in New York City.  

Scope Out The Neighborhoods

From the elevated, historic rail line to the neighborhoods of Meatpacking District and Chelsea on the West Side of the City, to the Brooklyn Bridge and City Hall on the East side, there is a lot to see and experience in New York City’s diverse neighborhoods. The best thing is that you get to sample different foods and drinks in numerous eateries and bars along the way.  

Dress Like A Local

Yes, you do not want to look utterly odd or attract rude behavior from locals. New York is a walking city, so dress comfortably. According to, wear something trendy and elegant like well-fitted jeans, cute fashion sneakers, and a nice top or t-shirt. Have a wardrobe of season-appropriate clothes that look good as they feel.    

Whether you decide to walk, take bike tours, or boat rides, there is a lot to discover in New York City. Do not miss the pace of life, the culture, and the people as you get around!

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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