Useful Tips

New York Online Blog


The drinks

There is good news for Starbucks coffee lovers - you should pay the full price for coffee only once, the first time you visit a cafe. Further, all you need to do is to save a cup of coffee, and returning to any cafe in the network just ask to make a refill - actually repeat the order. Refil cost 54 cents. It can be said almost for nothing. Here is another secret of Americans' love for popular coffee - not only the highest quality and best taste (and there is no reason to argue with the best Starbucks in the USA), but also at a good price. Save, join.

Also, in many restaurants and cafes there is a free soda refill - drink as much as you like, paying only once. True, unlike coffee, you can not leave the cafe, refills apply only to visitors inside, and not to those who have kept a glass. Which is not surprising, otherwise it will not take long to go broke.


In order to eat with good health and not expensive in New York, track special deals of cafes and restaurants, basically the special price is valid during breakfast and lunch. You can find out about this either via the Internet or on a cafe board - which are exhibited on the streets, in front of the entrance to the institution.

For those who want to have dinner and also save some money, I advise all you can eat buffet - for lovers of large portions and unlimited amounts of food. Finding such places is quite easy on the Internet. And if you were lucky enough to be in New York during the so-called restaurant week, then the best restaurants for $ 35 per person are at your disposal a 3-course dinner. True, you need to book seats in advance, but this is perhaps the best opportunity to visit the most famous restaurants almost for nothing, because usually instead of $ 35 you will have to pay from $ 100 to $ 300 so that saving on a person.


The most budget shopping can be done via the Internet - on numerous sites where promotions are constantly active and there are sales. Well, for those who prefer real to virtual shopping, I can recommend two Century 21 or Marshalls malls - here you will find things from leading world designers at very low prices. You can also turn to professional shoppers - they will help you make purchases based on your budget and wishes. And their services will be more than beaten off at the expense of money saved on shopping.

By the way, in the USA there is an out-of-class rule - the seller in any boutique can give the buyer an additional 10% discount if he has placed him to himself. So try to be cute and it may be you who becomes the buyer.

A good option for those who are in New York permanently or planning a trip in November is the so-called Black Friday (Black Friday) - Friday following Thanksgiving, on this day all the country's stores open their doors at night and lower prices for goods up to 80%. There is one minus - multi-kilometer lines and the struggle is not for life, but for death for every thing.

And of course, do not forget about seasonal sales, which are pleasantly pleasing to all shopaholics in the world.

P. S. If you slip or God forbid you fell at the entrance to a cafe or restaurant, say in rainy weather, when the restaurant manager did not manage to lay a special rug to prevent such situations, then most likely your order will be free. True, I do not recommend falling on purpose, the risk of harming yourself is something higher than the chance to get a bonus. And such a number will not work in the store, although who knows, maybe taking pity on your failure, the seller will give you that extra-class extra discount.

Freestyle pass

I'll start with the new Freestyle Pass, which appeared only in 2016.

  • double decker tour: Uptown, Downtown, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Night Loop. The ticket is valid for 72 hours, you can ride on these routes as much as you like for 72 hours. If you received a ticket, for example, at 15:00 on Monday, then the ticket is valid until 15:00 on Thursday.
  • 90 minute cruise - A great opportunity to see the famous panorama of Manhattan skyscrapers, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, the new World Trade Center.
  • There are two options for the pass: in addition to the double decker and cruise, you choose 3 attractionsthat you want to visit, or 5 attractions. In fact, these are not only sights, but also museums, lunch or dinner in a restaurant, or thematic excursions (for example, a tour of Madison Square Garden or the Lincoln Center). This part of the pass can be used for 7 days. The plus is that you don’t have to decide in advance exactly where you want to go. You get a universal coupon, a universal coupon that must be used in three or five places for 7 days.
  • discount card Eat & play - Additional discounts in New York for shopping, restaurants, shows.

Worth Freestyle Pass in the option of 3 attractions for an adult $139, $119 - children (3-11 years old), and $169/$149 in option 5 attractions. Prices include all taxes.

Now let's take it.

At full cost, also with taxes:

  • double-decker, tour 72 hours - $ 69
  • cruise 90 minutes - $ 31
  • Attractions: let's take, for example, a $ 32 ticket for Top of the Rock, $ 25 for the Museum of Modern Art and $ 35 Madame Tussauds, and for the 5 attractions, add the Empire State Building $ 34 after taxes and the Guggenheim Museum $ 25.

The total cost is $ 192 in the version with 3 tickets, and $ 251 - 5 tickets. In this way, we save $ 53 on one adult ticket when visiting three attractions and $ 82 on one adult ticket when visiting five attractions.

Pros: decent savings, flexibility (there is no need to limit yourself in advance to the choice of places you want to visit), there are 72 hours for an excursion and a week for attractions.

Another plus: the double-decker tour is convenient in that it covers almost the whole of New York, not only Manhattan, and makes it possible to see Brooklyn and the Bronx. The Manhattan part of the tour includes all the most famous attractions. More about the tour. But there is a minus in the double-decker - the live guide there is only English-language, but there is audio in your language. The difficulty is that audio sometimes does not work. According to the operator company Gray Line, audio is in 90% of buses. We cannot check all 90% of buses, but we know that buses without audio come across. Before you get on the bus, it makes sense to ask the driver if there is audio or if the audio in his bus works better without specifying the language “Does audio work?” The route is very convenient, it covers most of the famous places in New York, buses go every 15-20 minutes in the warm season, and every 30-40 in the winter. There are 50 stops in the route, at each of which you can go out, go for a walk, and then board the same double-decker and move on along the route.

The cruise lasting 90 minutes now also has several stops, and also works on the principle of hop-on, hop-off. The cruise has 4 stops where you can get off, and then return to the boat again, or transfer to a double-decker - and this is another plus. Routes intersect, see map. Cruise stops: Pier 78 / Pier 78 - Midtown Manhattan, World Financial Center - One World Trade Center, Pier 11 - South Street Seaport and DUMBO, Brooklyn.

All in all, very comfortable and a great combination of price and quality. If you are going to New York for the first time, or traveling with someone who is new to New York and you want to show them the city, then the Freestyle New York package + 3 tickets or +5 tickets is a good choice and money saved, which there is always something to spend in New York. See the description, a list of attractions to choose from, and buy tickets online.

CityPASS is one of the most popular discount booklets in New York, very many people use CityPASS. CityPASS costs $ 116 and includes visiting 6 attractions, while if you paid for the entrance to each of them separately, you would have paid $ 194.

CityPASS includes a visit to 6 attractions in New York:

  • Empire State Building Lookout
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • The metropolitan museum of art
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum OR Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
  • Observation deck Top of the Rock or Guggenheim Museum (choose one of the attractions)
  • Cruise to the Statue of Liberty and to Ellis Island or Circle Line Cruise (choose one of the cruises).

It should be noted that the American Museum of Natural History and The Metropolitan Museum of Art operate on the principle of “suggested admission” - this means that you can pay any amount for entry, even a dollar. But this can only be done in the museum, and there is a chance that you will have to spend some time in the queue (they are very long, and sometimes there may not be a queue at all). CityPASS in its calculations takes into account the total cost of a ticket to these museums, $ 25 in Met and $ 27 in Natural History. But even with the “suggested admission” of museum ticket prices, CityPASS still saves you money. You decide, but as a rule, everyone pays the full cost of the admission ticket to support the museums.

From my point of view, the advantages of CityPASS are as follows:

  • you have the opportunity to go without a queue to all the attractions that are included in CityPASS, and this is a very great value, because well, I don’t want to spend time in New York on the queue,
  • You can visit Empire State Building twice in one day - during daylight and dark. In the evening - from 10 pm to the time of closing (ESB is open until 2 nights, the last elevator rises at 1.15 nights). From my point of view, it’s absolutely worth it, because the view is completely different, and bewitching in different ways.
  • no need to waste time buying individual tickets - all in one booklet.
  • CityPASS is valid for 9 days from the date of first use.

Less - a set of attractions is predetermined in advance. But on the other hand, these are the “right” attractions, so if you do not want a double-decker tour, then CityPASS is a good choice. If you want an excursion, then the Freestyle Pass, which is described above, allows you to save more. CityPASS can also be bought online. Or you can buy CityPASS and a double-decker separately for 48 hours or 72 hours.

New york pass - honestly, I don't like it. The New York Pass includes 80 attractions, and this, of course, is good, but it is almost impossible to catch up everywhere so that there really is a cost savings. You will not have time to really see anything. To save money in any of the options for their pass, you need to visit at least 3 attractions a day, which is a lot. This is not a contest “who is faster”, and even after two attractions a day, in general, you get tired. Maybe I'm wrong, but looking at the list of attractions that are included in the New York Pass, knowing the distances between them, understanding how long it takes on average to visit a museum or attractions, I would rather say that you overpay by buying a New York Pass.

And Freestyle Pass and CityPASS are really convenient and allow you to save on the cost of excursions and entrance tickets when traveling to New York.

Published by Marina Petrova Monday, April 11, 2016 What to see

How many airports in New York

There are three airports in New York:

  1. John F. Kennedy International Airport, JFK - The largest international airport in the United States. Located in the Queens area, 20 km southeast of Lower Manhattan. John F. Kennedy Airport is connected to the New York Underground and suburban rail lines by AirTrain and bus services.
JFK New York Tickets
  1. Newark Liberty International Airport, EWR - An airport located in the cities of Newark and Elizabeth in the state of New Jersey. Located 24 km southwest of New York's Midtown area. It is connected to New York by the bus network and the AirTrain Newark monorail.
Newark Liberty Tickets
  1. La Guardia (LaGuardia Airport), LGA - An airport located in the northern part of Queens in New York on the shore of Flushing Bay. Bears the name of the former mayor of New York, Fiorello La Guardia. You can travel to New York by public and private buses or by train on the Long Island Railroad.
La Guardia Airport Tickets

Do not settle in Manhattan

Manhattan, which is already familiar to everyone from its favorite films and TV shows, is New York’s most expensive neighborhood. It is very difficult to find housing without a frantic extra charge simply because it is Manhattan. Visiting Central Park, the Upper East Side, the Museum Mile and the World Trade Center is a must, but renting a hotel room or apartment next to them is unreasonable: overpay at times compared to, for example, similar or even better options Brooklyn

Not ready to pay extra for a trendy geotag for hotel photos on Instagram - look for options away from the historic island. If for you the dream of a lifetime is to live in Manhattan at all costs, see hotels in the Bowery area just north of Chinatown. The level of comfort and service here is not the highest, but there is a choice of relatively inexpensive hotels.

There are five boroughs in total in New York:

  • Manhattan: a lot of iconic places, it is convenient to get to the sights and other areas, but living and having fun is expensive.
  • Brooklyn: three times the size of Manhattan, a huge selection of housing - from expensive apartments in the Brooklyn Heights area with marvelous views of the skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan to cheap hotels and apartments on Brighton Beach by the ocean. There is a golden mean too.
  • Queens: New York's largest borough, vibrant and multicultural neighborhood. Recently, Lonely Planet experts recognized it as the fastest growing area of ​​the city.
  • Bronx: New York's only borough that is located almost entirely on the continental United States. Most of the inhabitants of the Bronx are Hispanics. It is considered not the most prosperous place in the city.
  • Staten Island: New York's most sparsely populated borough. Hotels can be counted on the fingers, but here it is quiet and calm. A free ferry runs to Manhattan, and it takes 25 minutes to get there.

The best boroughs in New York in terms of price-quality-safety ratio are Brooklyn and Queens. Only in Brooklyn, look for hotels farther from the Bedford - Styvesant, Brownsville and East New York areas. In Queens, it is worth avoiding the poor and densely populated area of ​​Jamaica, where African and Latin Americans live, as well as immigrants from China, India, the Philippines and the Caribbean.

The most dangerous and disadvantaged areas of New York are the South Bronx and Harlem.

You can save significantly by settling in the neighboring state of New Jersey. This is especially convenient if you are arriving or departing from Newark Liberty Airport. Hotels and apartments in Newark are noticeably cheaper than New York, and the PATH train from Newark Penn Station to the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan takes 25 minutes.

Save up to two times with MetroCard

New York is great for hiking, but the main attractions are spread out across the city. Distances in the city are large, so it’s more convenient to cut off many sections of the route by metro or bus. To see more, less get tired and save a lot, buy an unlimited MetroCard pass.

One ticket for a subway or local bus in New York costs $ 2.75 - for 20 trips you would give $ 55. If you take MetroCard for a week for $ 32 and within seven days use public transport the same 20 times (this is only 3 trips per day), each trip by public transport will cost you $ 1.6. Saving one and a half thousand rubles out of the blue.

Buying a MetroCard is profitable if you plan to go down the subway or travel somewhere by bus 12 times or more in a week in New York.

Do not overpay for a yellow taxi

It only makes sense to board a yellow taxi in New York only if this is a separate attraction for you and a must-have item in the cultural program. From any other point of view, this is an extra waste of money.

The starting fare for a yellow taxi ride in New York is $ 2.5, then down the counter. There are several additional fees - for example, for a trip from 8 pm to 6 am add 50 cents, and for travel during peak hours from 4 to 8 pm on weekdays - 1 dollar. In New York, it is customary for drivers of an official city taxi to leave a tip, regardless of whether you pay by card or cash.

If you are late somewhere and the metro is not an option, use the Uber or Lyft taxi call applications - it will turn out much cheaper. You can save even more on taxi in New York if you select the Pool option and share the trip with other passengers.

Look at the Statue of Liberty for free

The cheapest ferry ticket to the Statue of Liberty with disembarkation on the island costs $ 18.5. But you can see the legendary symbol of New York for free. A free ferry to Staten Island departs every half hour from the Staten Island Ferry Pier at Whitehall Street. From his deck, the best photos of the famous statue are obtained and unforgettable views of Manhattan are opened.

Refusing a paid excursion to the Statue of Liberty, you have nothing to lose: at the foot you will not make spectacular photographs of the monument. Therefore, a ride past the Statue of Liberty on the free ferry The Staten Island Ferry is the most reasonable solution from all sides.

Buy discount Broadway tickets

If you want to check the box next to “View this Broadway musical”, look for TKTS discount kiosks where tickets for the same day are sold at a discount of up to 50%. One of these stalls is right on Times Square, but there are long lines. At other points, TKTS are usually freer - for example, at the South Street Seaport port on the Lower East Side.

In the summer at Bryant Park, you can see fragments of the best Broadway musicals live and completely free. See the schedule on the official website.

A room with the purchase of cheap Broadway tickets on the day of the performance will not work if you have a long-standing dream of getting into a certain legendary musical that has been gathering full rooms for many years. In this case, book your tickets on the official website in advance. If you do not have time - try to approach the box office of the Manhattan Theater District by the opening, at about 10 in the morning. At this time, sometimes unredeemed tickets for evening performances are put up for sale. Among RUSH tickets there are tickets to the first row and other good places 4 times cheaper than the face value.

Snack pizza for a dollar

In New York, it’s very easy to eat cheap - and not necessarily fast food. The city is multinational - at every step you will find inexpensive cafes and restaurants with cuisine of different nations. On hearty and cheap dim sums from Chinatown, you can easily hold out all day and not get hungry. And Asian eateries regularly hold All-you-can-eat (All You Can Eat) promotions, when for a small fixed amount you get unlimited access to a buffet with food and drinks.

Inexpensive food can be found not only in Chinatown and other national neighborhoods. Many pizzerias throughout New York offer a slice of pizza for a dollar, which is convenient to eat on the go. Other restaurants - for example, The John Dory Oyster Bar on Broadway - announce happy hours during which you can get a portion of oysters for the same $ 1.

Dissuade yourself from shopping in New York

Buying clothes, perfumes, accessories and appliances in New York boutiques and stores is expensive. Locals prefer online shopping and keep a close eye on Black Friday discounts, promotions and sales.

If you still want to bring something from America to yourself or relatives, keep in mind that at the iconic Macy’s department store in Manhattan, all foreigners are given a 10% discount. And look at the Marshalls and Century 21 discount stores, which sell items from world-famous designers at discounted prices, or take the train or bus and head to the malls of neighboring New Jersey. The shops there are no worse, and you don't have to pay giant New York taxes.

Visit attractions for free

Interesting open-air events are constantly held in New York that you don’t need to spend money on: for example, yoga classes for everyone in Central Park, free street movie shows and concerts or city excursions from local people for a symbolic bribe.

And even in the top museums you can get for free. For example, the MoMA entrance to the Mecca of Contemporary Art and the Museum of the Moving Image Museum of Cinema and Computer Games are free on Fridays from 16:00 to 20:00.

The Brooklyn Brewery brewery tour is free on Saturday and Sunday, albeit without tastings. And the Museum of American Folk Art Museum of American Folk Art doesn’t take any money from the entrance.

In some museums, the zoo and the Botanical Gardens of New York, the recommended price is indicated at the entrance (for example, $ 10 instead of the usual $ 25) or it says "pay what you want." If you do not want to at all - you can go for free, no one will turn you around. You can also give less than the recommended amount and get, say, to the Solomon Guggenheim Museum on Saturday night for $ 1.

Calculate the benefits of New York travel cards

When deciding on the timing of a trip to New York and an approximate plan, calculate how much entrance fees to museums and other attractions from your list are. And then look at sites like CityPass New York and New York Pass and look at offers on tourist maps.

Perhaps in your case it will be more profitable to take a pass with discounts in order to save on the cultural program. In addition, tourist maps of New York often allow you to skip to popular attractions without queues.