If I had to tell you which is the place in the world where I left a piece of my heart without any hesitation I would answer “New York”. It’s been two years since I visited this amazing city for the first time and a few months since I was lucky enough to come back there. If I only think about my two trips to New York tears fall and watching movies or photos set there is a blow to the heart every time. Forgive me for all these poetical words, but I considered them necessary to make you understand how much I care about this destination and how much I devoted myself to write this article that I hope will help you to visit New York in 7 days.
-Take out paper and pen because, if you are looking for all the necessary tips to visit the Big Apple, you are definitely in the right place! -
NEW YORK IN 7 DAYS: GENERAL INFORMATIONS
Before going into the heart of the guide to visit New York in 7 days I want to give you some general informations that will be very useful to plan your trip to the USA without being unprepared upon the arrival in the city.
Documents for New York: passport and Esta
The documents you need to enter New York are a passport valid for the United States and the ESTA: Electronic System for Travel Authorization. The ESTA is issued by completing an online form within 3 days of departure, its cost is 14$ (to be paid by credit card or PayPal) and it allows you to go to the USA for 90 days without a visa and it has a duration of 2 years.
(click HERE to get the ESTA form)
-If during the 2 years of ESTA's validity you change your passport it will be necessary to apply and pay the tax again.-
How to reach New York from the airport
The main airports of New York are the JFK and Laguardia and to reach the city from there you can choose between several options. The most practical are the following ones:
- Shuttle: to be booked online and paid before your arrival, it will wait for you at the airport and will take you directly to your destination;
- Taxi: they provide flat rates to reach Manhattan and the other districts of New York. You don’t need to book them, because you will find them directly at the airport exit;
- Airtrain + metro: the first one is a train that connects the airport terminals to the New York City subway;
- NYC express bus: it is a bus that connects the airports of New York to the city and you have the possibility to book it online.
-To reach Manhattan from the JFK I always opted for the taxi, comfortable and quite affordable: the rate is 52$ (tip not included).-
New York in 7 days: The climate
The climate of New York is humid continental: very cold in winter and very hot in summer. Sometimes in winter, from December to February, there are snowfalls that often tail the city. Being a city particularly exposed to the Atlantic currents the weather changes from day to day so I advise you not to fully trust the weather forecast.
-It has often happened to run into bad forecasts and to enjoy, instead, wonderful days! -
How to get around New York
You have several options to get around New York in 7 days: subway, taxi, uber and get around by walking. If you stay in Manhattan, however, I suggest you to move as much as possible by walking also organizing your daily tours divided by neighborhood. Walking around NYC is the best way to fully experience the essence of this crazy city by discovering the most hidden and less touristic corners.
-If you are not a fan of long walks or if the weather is not good, you can take a taxi. It will be a solution that will allow you to taste the greatness of this metropolis.-
Tipping in New York
In New York, as in the rest of the United States, the tip is mandatory and should be left to anyone who gives you a service (taxi drivers, waiters, bell boys, barmen etc…) because it is most important part of their salary. In particular, on the bill at the restaurant you will see three amounts of possible tips to leave, but despite this you can choose another amount and leave the tip you prefer (minimum 15% if the service was bad and maximum 20% of the bill!).
-About the tip to leave at the end of a taxi ride you can choose to leave from 15% to 20% of the total or, if you pay by card, you must choose one of the three amounts that will be shown on the screen before proceeding to the payment.-
WHEN TO GO TO NEW YORK
If you are looking for the best period to go to New York there is not a universal answer. The Big Apple preserves its iconic charm during all the periods of the year because every season has its peculiarities that make it unique in its kind. I visited New York twice during two very different periods: December before Christmas and April and here I want to tell you what were the differences between my two trips to NYC.
Christmas in New York
I have to admit that the trip that has mostly remained in my heart was the one organized in New York during the Christmas period. The city is full of lights and decorations that make it extremely fascinating, ice skating rinks invade the parks and not only (Central Park, Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center), Christmas choirs walk around the streets of the city and the windows of the great stores are transformed into unique open-air performances (do not miss the light show of Saks Fifth Avenue … if I think about it I get shivery!).
-New York at Christmas is one of those experiences to do at least once in your life. Do not mind the cold weather, equip yourself with warm clothes and immerse yourself in a journey that will exceed your expectations.-
Spring in New York
An year after my first trip to the Big Apple, I decided to come back and enjoy another aspect of this city. New York in spring, in fact, completely changes its face and offers the possibility of being fully experienced by walking through the streets and the most beautiful parks. The mild climate is a great advantage that gave me the chance to explore the majestic Brooklyn Bridge, discover the most beautiful corners of the Highline Park and enjoy a delicious picnic in Central Park.
-There were also rainy and cooler moments, but I must say that I had the opportunity to move a lot by walking and taste te real New York spirit.-
NEW YORK IN 7 DAYS: DISTRICTS AND NEIGHBORHOODS
When we use the term “New York” we always refer to the island of Manhattan, but in reality it is only one of the 5 districts of New York: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. I have only visited Manhattan and part of Brooklyn so I will focus on these two districts in my guide. Manhattan, however, is divided into several neighborhoods whose main ones are Midtown, Upper East Side and Upper West Side, Chelsea, West Village, East Village, Tribeca, Financial District and Harlem.
-Walking through the streets of New York you will notice how these different neighborhoods perfectly mix with each other so, if it was not for the characteristics that differentiate them, you would not even realize you had passed from one to the other.-
WHERE TO STAY IN NEW YORK
If you are looking for where to stay during your trip to New York you must know that the choice will be really hard. The Big Apple, in fact, has countless hotels and apartments located throughout the city’s neighborhoods. If I had to recommend you the best area to choose your accommodation I would definitely suggest Midtown where I stayed during both my NYC trips. The advantages of staying in Midtown are the proximity to many attractions (Empire State Building, Times Square, Central Park and Central Station just to name a few) and many shops and restaurants. The downsides of the choice are the chaos and the crowd of tourists around you, so if you prefer a quiet neighborhood opt for Soho or the Upper East/West Side.
The first part of the guide to visit New York in 7 days ends here. Stay tuned because the second part of the article will be published soon with all the tips on what to see, what to do and where to eat in New York in 7 days!
-Are you a travel addicted? Then don't miss the Marrakesh guide!-