New York is the most expensive city in the world. And it’s no wonder why. A large and diverse city, there are many things to do that will keep you busy for months.
Perhaps even years, if you’re lucky.
New York is also one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. From chic neighborhoods like Greenwich Village to the wild west of Midtown Manhattan and Wall Street, to the legendary party scene of SoHo and TriBeCa, this sprawling metropolis has something for everyone!
And yet despite all this diversity and wealth, New York is still a very small place. It is a city as big as any other in America or Europe – with a population just shy of seven million people – but most people only know New York for its famous landmarks like Times Square or Madison Square Garden. But there are lots more landmarks than that. There are also plenty of restaurants, theaters, and nightclubs where you can lose hours just on your own with no one around to bother you. And if you really want something special, find your way to one of New York’s hidden gems: some of these hidden places may not be open to the public at all (like Occupy Wall Street!), while others might have a closed sign posted on their door warning visitors that they are private property (e.g., Chinatown).
But before we go on about any of these hidden spots, let me introduce you to one of my favorite new features in Draft 2: NY City-Solo Travel Itinerary (NYC Solo Travel In Review) . I’ve been working on this document since late 2016 when I started working full-time as an editor at Zagat. The reason it took so long for me to start drafting this itinerary was that I wanted everything about it to be perfect – which meant putting myself out there by writing everything down exactly how I wanted it because then nobody would mess up my work! Now that I’m finally done with all my work-related planning documents I can finally give a full review!
I took these photos from our friend John’s Flickr stream. You can find his photos here.
Table of Contents
2. The Best Way to Reach your Perfect New York Holiday
Every year it’s the same story: It’s a new city, in a new country, and you’re renting a car that you don’t know how to drive. You have no idea how you will get around. That feeling of uncertainty and confusion is enough to make you question your sanity, so we broke down a perfect itinerary for your New York holiday (and a few tips on how to make it work).
Pick an itinerary that allows you to explore all the things that New York City has to offer (and don’t worry if you want to spend less than $100). This is where the fun begins: If you want something different, pick an itinerary with lots of different sights and activities. And if you want something familiar, pick one with few places but lots of variations. There are more than 50 tours and attractions in New York City alone!
Also, read our 10 tips for booking budget hotel rooms in NYC (and remember: there’s no point in booking a budget hotel when good hotels are right next door!).
3. The Top Five Things to Do in New York City
When you book an NYC Car Service, you typically get the following: a) A fixed price and auto-pilot cruise out of the city. b) To be sure there’s an early depart YORK SOLO TRAVEL ITINERARYture once we arrive at our destination, so you can spend as much time as you want in the city. But what exactly should you do in New York City?
This is a great question that begs to be answered by those who have driven through it. For the last few years, I’ve been taking solo road trips across the U.S., and I’ve come to appreciate how useful good planning can be when on the go and with limited time to fly around the country.
Here are my top five things to do in New York City:
1) Walk NYC’s Highline: At a whopping 14 miles long, this park is easily one of the biggest attractions for any visitor to this city (and it’s free!). It’s also a pretty amazing walk with an endless path of beautiful views along The Highline trail that meanders through Central Park. For an enjoyable stroll or jaunt, head up to Harlem.
2) See Niagara Falls: The falls are always a great attraction when witnessing first hand from your hotel room windows (as many hotels overlook them from their property). The best is still at Niagara Falls State Park where they are visible from all levels of the park including high up on top of Maidstone Hill. An easy walk up there will take you directly into view of the beautiful Maidstone Peak (the tallest mountain in southern Ontario).
3) Take in some great Broadway shows: There are plenty of Broadway shows being performed on any given night and all appear to be doing well – which makes it easy enough to make it back home without wasting too much time waiting in lines! Best known for musicals like ‘Oliver’, ’42nd Street’ and ‘La Cage aux Folles’, Broadway has shown after show after show playing year-round – but don’t miss out on lesser-known musicals like ‘Rocket Man’ or ‘Cabaret’. Read more about Broadway here.
4) Shop local at Midtown Manhattan’s main shopping district – Madison Square Park. There’s something for everyone here whether it’s hats, scarves, or shoes – even fashionistas can shop smartly with brands like Zara, Barneys, Coach, and Ralph Lauren. A recent development has been a huge addition just down from Madison Square Park
4. Top Ten Nightlife Spots in New York
The New York City Car Service is a program to make it easier for you to get around town, and it even works when you’re not in the city. You can use the service from your home or office, and it costs $15 per day (the gym is $20).
It works best when you need to get somewhere at a specific time of day, so it’s best for those who want to set up their schedule ahead of time. And if you don’t have a car of your own, here are some great options for getting around town: Ride-On: http://www.rideon.com/ The cheapest option is $10 per day and $30 every week. UberEats: https://www.uber.com/ Uber doesn’t have a taxi service like Lyft or Sidecar, but they do offer uberPOOL, which is just a coupon code used together with their uberX service that lets people ride uberPool together. It’s cheaper than taxis but not as cheap as ride-on, so people can choose between those two options if they’d like to take advantage of the user pool’s lower fares first before choosing between cabs and ride-on later on in the trip (Uber Pool rates are 30% cheaper than ride-on rates).
5. Budget-Friendly Hotels in New York City
New York City is one of the most mind-blowing, and approachable solo travel destinations in the world. Easy to steer, endless views, and countless mouthwatering eateries and hotels to suit everyone’s budget. This city just makes you feel alive.
If you’ve ever been to New York City you know a lot of people will argue that it’s not really a great place for a solo traveler due to its high crime rate, stressful commute, and general lack of individuality. But the truth is New York has some great places to stay that are affordable enough for solo travelers on a tight budget (and at the same time offer plenty of room for personalization).
One place that I’ve stayed in both as a solo traveler and as a business associate/client and I can say with certainty is Hotel Astor which is conveniently located on Astor Place in Manhattan for $139 per night (this includes breakfast). The room is clean, basic but comfortable enough for me (I’m 5’4” and 175lbs), there’s free wifi, sofas are comfy, the location is perfect – just across the street from Grand Central Station which means that if you want to take the train anywhere in Manhattan you’re only 30 minutes away from your destination.
The other hotel I mentioned above (which I’d highly recommend) is also located near Grand Central Station with similar amenities but this time it’s called Hotel Astor which offers a more upmarket experience with private bathrooms (yes there are rooms without private bathrooms: they’re called “rooms”!) along with complimentary airport transfers directly to your hotel or home. If you have any plans or dates that involve taking advantage of New York City’s convenient location this summer then check out my personal recommendations below!
When you hear the phrase “nice city”, you automatically think of Manhattan. And that’s because it is. But in recent years, some of the world’s smartest tech companies have been based down in the borough of Queens, so named for the fact that this neighborhood was home to some of the world’s first settlers. The New York City Solo Traveler has spent years on research, trying to make this city a more welcoming place for newbies to explore on their own. For example, we know that there are great sights (like the Empire State Building) and amazing neighborhoods (everywhere from Little Italy to Astoria), but people often don’t know how to get there or where they can stay at reasonable prices.
Our goal is two-fold: make it easy for newbies to enter New York; and make sure they get there safely. We want those who are new to solo travel to experience a smooth transition into New York – whether they are on vacation or starting a business here – and will help guide them through their first few days here.