New York Do’s & Don’ts: A First-Timer’s Guide

by Benjamin Lewis

New York can easily intimidate an unprepared, first-time visitor to the city.  And, there’s a pretty steep learning curve for those who relocate to New York.  So, if you’re just planning to stay for a week or two, you can probably forget about trying to localize.  The best you can hope for is to not annoy the locals, not get yelled at, and not get trampled by the daily stampede of commuters.  So, here are some quick New York do’s & don’ts to help you go with the flow, stay safe, and have fun in New York:


Do Take The Subway And Taxis

New York’s subway and taxis are important N.Y. attractions in their own rights.  One of the first questions you’ll likely get from your friends back home is “Did you take the subway?”  You’ll want to use it to save yourself time and money; but, you should also want to have the memory of getting around town like a New Yorker.

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Don’t Rent A Car

Unless you have the patience of a saint and some experience navigating New York’s roads, skip the rental car.  One can’t overstate how bad New York’s notorious traffic can get.  Plus, imagine the highest amount you would even consider paying for parking and then double it.  That’s the price you’ll be paying, if not more!

Do Plan Your Route Ahead Of Time

One of the most annoying things a visitor to New York can do is to stop in the middle of the sidewalk.  Not only are you likely to get some side-eye and a snide comment; but, you might get bowled over, as well.  So, it’s best to plan your route and stick to it once you’re out on the town.  This is a big one on any New York do’s & don’ts list.

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Don’t Ask For Directions At Random

Try to use a little judgment when asking for directions.  First, try to discern whether the person you have decided to bother will even know the answer to your query.  Then, as you begin to receive your directions, gauge both the genuineness and confidence behind his or her response.  Some local hooligans enjoy giving bad directions just for kicks.  It’s a New York do’s & don’ts classic!

Do Eat Outside Of Your Comfort Zone

You’ve come all the way to New York, a foodie Mecca, and all you eat is fast food while you’re here?  Tsk, tsk.  It’s one of the few places in the world where you can find at least one outstanding restaurant serving any cuisine you might have hankering for.  Immigrants from all over the world have settled here and opened up shop.  Take advantage!

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Don’t Expect The Best Food In N.Y.’s Ethnic Enclaves

You might think that you’ll find the best Italian food in Little Italy or the best Chinese food in Chinatown.  And, more than likely, you’d be wrong.  Sure, you might discover some traditional, authentic cuisine in Koreatown.  But, chances are, the best Korean restaurant serves its customers elsewhere in the city.  Since you have such limited time during your New York vacation, don’t settle for anything but the best.

Do Visit Boroughs Other Than Manhattan

It’s easy to find enough things to do in Manhattan to fill an entire New York trip.  But, you’d miss a lot of what New York has to offer in terms of food and fun if you don’t branch out into Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island.  Then, once you’re there, you’ll discover all the little things that give the boroughs their distinct feel.

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Don’t Pay Full Price For A Broadway Show

In all the excitement leading up to your arrival in New York, it’s easy to get caught up and pay full price for a Broadway Show.  But, as most New Yorkers know, that’s usually quite unnecessary.  Countless discount codes can be found online for just about anything that’s playing during your New York trip.  Just do a minimal amount of searching and you’re sure to come up with something.

Hey there!  Do you have some New York do’s & don’ts for first-time visitors to New York?  Mention it in the comments and we just might add it to the list during our next update!




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