First Timer’s Guide to New York City

New York City is the place where millions of people (8.6 million to be exact) live and have their careers. There are over one million offices and headquarters located in the 302.6 square miles that make up the City, there is a reason it is called the Media Capital of the World. While there is a ton of work to be done, there is a ton of fun to be had.

Travelling to New York City for the first time can be scary. There are many roads, bridges, sidewalks and pathways to wander and explore. It is easy to get lost among all of the people and all of the clustered and similar-looking buildings. There are many things to enjoy in the Big Apple. there is food to eat, games to play, plays to watch and drinks to be had. There is a never-ending list of activities to go to, both free and not free. we will go over the top few places in each category.


Barney Greengrass – located on Amsterdam Avenue

Price: $$$

This fish-centered delicatessen has been serving the people of New York City for over 100 years. They have their specialty down to a T. It began as a family business and continued on for 100 years. it has stood the test of time and people still rave about their sandwiches (Sable and Sturgeon on Pumpernickel is a strange but great pairing). Anthony Bourdain even had a favorite, the Nova Scotia Lox egg scramble.

Mamoun’s Falafel – located on Macdougal Street

Price: $

This falafel joint is a staple for NYU students. The business first opened its doors in 1971 and has been serving the patrons of New York City ever since. With its brightly colored dishes, you will take photos of your food before you actually eat your food. This place has the greatest Shawarma in a 10 mile radius.

Veselka – located on 2nd Avenue

Price: $$

The watermelon salad is absolutely incredible. The produce is localized and great way to support the local economy and the farmers in the area. The homemade salmon burger is another favorite.

Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles – located on Doyers Street

Price: $

This is a great place to try in Chinatown. it is cheap and flavorful and there is so much to choose from. Different meat/add ins; beef tendon, pork dumplings, beef tripe, roast duck, lamb, oxtail, eel, you get the idea. There is so much to try and many combinations to choose from.


The Magician – located on Rivington Street

Price: $

The cocktails are great (typically $5 during happy hour). there is space for game night with friends and it is an open area that can be used for what you want to. it is cash only, so beware. But the atmosphere, friends and the drinks will get you buzzed for about $20.

Minetta Tavern – located on Macdougal Street

Price: $$$

This is a super cute French-themed restaurant. The bar is more focused on the atmosphere than the bougie food and drink but both are fair in its own right. Enjoy a Manhattan and scoff at those who wish they were you.

Ophelia – located on Mitchell Place

Price: $$$

This bar is boujee. It sits on top of Beekman Tower and it has an incredible view over the city. it is expensive but the atmosphere is worth it.

Jimmy’s Corner – located on West 44th Street

Price: $

This is a historic place near Time Square. it is definitely a dive bar but it is worth a visit for the adventuring couple.


Broadway Shows

Price: $$-$$$$

Broadway shows are a typical answer for activities. You can see a show that is relatively cheap or you can go all out and see Hamilton for a good chunk of change. it is whatever you want to spend. It will be a great experience to tell stories about no matter what.

Central Park 

Price: FREE (except the ride to get there)

This iconic piece of land is a must-see when you visit New York City. You need to have a picnic (or a simple sit down) on the lawn and people watch. For those who think it is boring to just sit on some grass, you are not alone. You can play frisbee, go for a run or just walk along the trails until you have soaked up enough natural that you can handle. Be sure to get your picture on the lawn with the skyline in the distance. It is more authentic that way, or else it is just a lawn.

Ferry Rides

Price: FREE (except the ride to get there)

The views (and picturesque moments) are worth the trek and wait for the Staten Island Ferry. It does not matter when you ride it, it is free. The ferry will take you from Staten Island to Manhattan and back again. 

9/11 Memorial and Museum – located on Greenwich Street

Price: FREE (except the ride to get there)

This historical monument is a perfect stop for any American. You will instantly feel more patriotic and humble and grateful as soon as you see this place. It is incredible. The architecture, the symbolism that is behind everything, is a wonderful sight to see. Words cannot describe what this “activity” will bring.

Museum of Modern Art – located on

Price: FREE on Friday nights

It is a great trip to see modern art and also have your picture taken in one of the most beautiful and scenic buildings in North America. It is gorgeous and the art is to live for.

All of these activities (and countless others that are offered) can be a great way to get to know New York City, if that is your goal of the trip. Planning ahead can also help you make the most of your time here. Check out and book your morning, noon or night, weekend or weekday trip and party buses while in the City. The whole point and purpose of is to prevent and save people from bad driving decisions while adding an extra flair to your whole trip. It is relatively cheap compared to other rideshare companies and way more fun than an Uber or Lyft ride.


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