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New York City Guide
Public Transport and How to Get Around New York City
One of the best ways for first-time travellers buying flights to New York City to explore is on foot. You'll still need to use public transportation to get between the different neighbourhoods, but once there take in the sights at your own pace. Who knows, you might discover a hidden eatery or some interesting street art!
The quickest way to get around NYC is with the subway. It's open 24 hours a day, and you can start exploring as soon as your flights to New York City land. The base fare starts at $2.75 ($4.31 NZD), or you can purchase a 7-day pass with unlimited rides for $32 ($50.20 NZD).
Another affordable way to explore the city is with the public bus service. Travellers buying airfare to New York City can use the MetroCard to pay for bus fares and metro rides. The one thing you do need to keep in mind is that traffic is notoriously gridlocked in the city. If you need to use the bus, give yourself enough buffer time between destinations.
Metered taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft operate in NYC. However, it's not the most budget-friendly way for travellers buying cheap flights to New York City to get around. Plus, you may be sitting in the city's traffic longer than necessary. If you can, avoid taxis and take the subway to save time.
Many travellers booking return flights to New York City from New Zealand will land at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The other New York airports are LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Newark International Airport (EWR). There are many different transportation options to help you get to your accommodation from JFK. Travellers can use the JFK AirTrain, book an airport transfer, hop onboard one of the MTA buses or take a taxi. The average cost of a taxi ride from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) into the city is $52 USD ($81.58 NZD), plus tip.
The Best Time to Visit New York City
Each season in New York has something special, and there's always an endless list of things to do and experience. One of the most popular times to book flights to New York City is for travel between September and November. The temperatures are mild, and you'll be in town for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the New York Film Festival and Halloween.
The only downside is that hotel rates can be steep over this period. Book your tickets to New York City and accommodation well in advance to find a good deal. From December to February, you can experience the magical festive season in NYC. The Rockefeller Center puts up its massive Christmas tree, and you can plan your entire trip around attending the Times Square New Year’s Eve festivities. If you're looking for cheap flights to New York City, it can be helpful to skip December and visit the city in late January or February.
For warm summer days in the Big Apple, book your return flights to New York City for travel between June and August. Temperatures and humidity levels are high, but it's one of the best periods to visit. You can attend the NYC Pride March, watch opera performances in the park or celebrate the Fourth of July with the locals. March to April is shoulder season for the city. You may have an easier time finding deals on flights to New York City and there will be smaller crowds at the top attractions.
Tips for First-Time Travellers to New York City
Accommodation in New York City
Whether you're buying an NYC holiday package or you're booking your accommodation and flights to New York City separately, make sure that there are sufficient funds on your credit card. Hotels in NYC usually take a pre-payment before you arrive and if the card is declined, your reservation may be cancelled.
Restaurants in NYC
If you're a foodie buying flights to New York City, you're going to need to have a big budget for meals. Eating out in the city is not always a budget-friendly activity - especially if you have a fondness for dining at some of the city’s most iconic and renowned establishments.
You may find yourself spending more on food here than you would back home, so it can be helpful to plan out any special restaurants you may like to visit before you depart on your holiday. It is also best to make reservations for any of the city’s top-rated restaurants. To save a bit of extra budget, you can cook meals at your accommodation or opt for cheaper choices like street food and finds from local food markets.
Prices for tourist attractions in NYC
Here is a guideline to what travellers buying return flights to New York City can expect to pay to see some of the top attractions: Hop On Hop Off cruise: approximately $30 USD ($47.06 NZD) Hop On Hop Off bus: $29 USD ($45.50 NZD) Empire State Building: $34 to $54 USD ($53.34 - $84.72 NZD) Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET): $25 USD ($39.22 NZD) Top of the Rock: $36 USD ($56.48 NZD)
Free things to do in NYC
For budget travellers buying cheap flights to New York City, you don't need to splurge to able to enjoy the sights. Here are some of the best things to do that won't cost you a cent: Walk around Times Square Explore Central Park Wander along Brooklyn Bridge Take a photo in front of the Flatiron Building See Bushwick's street art Hop on-board the Staten Island Ferry Go to the famous Grand Central Station