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1st trip to ny, any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Dundee
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1st trip to ny, any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Hi guys,

A group of four of us (3 adults and 1 child) are heading to ny for 10 days from 24/6 to 4/7. This being our first trip there, we are completely over-whelmed when trying to plan our stay! I would very much appreciate any general advice and/or answers to some (probably pretty obvious) questions I have!

Firstly, we are staying in the Upper West Side and are wondering what the best way to travel around the city is? We were considering purchasing a 72 hour HOHO bus tour, but after reading reviews on here were totally put off the idea!! Would a one day downtown loop be a good idea on the first day to get our bearings?

Also are there certain days and times when you would/wouldn't recommend any attractions? Such as any special deals etc...

Any other hints and tips would be sooo appreciated!

Thanks :) x

New York City
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1. Re: 1st trip to ny, any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Some advice:

I don't know what "the best way to travel around the city' has to do with a 'bus tour". Travelling around the city is one thing, and taking a guided tour is another. The two have little to do with each other. If you want to travel around the city -- that is, to get from point A to point B -- take the subway, rather than a guided tourbus which almost certainly does not go directly from A to B. Guided bus tours may or may not be something you enjoy, but think of them as guided bus tours, and NOT as transportation.

Note that every attraction and every show is not open every day of the week. If you have decided in advance you want to see this play or that museum, check ahead of time to find out its hours on the day you want to see it.

Note that when Americans write dates, we put the month first and the day second. To an American, 4/7 is the seventh of April, and not the fourth of July. Be VERY careful when you write dates in correspondence with Americans, or when making reservations on line!!!!!!!!!!

Unlimited use MetroCards for bus and subway will probably suit all of you very well.

Without some idea of your tastes and your ages (for example, a child of 2 and a child of 13 have little in common when it comes to travelling), though, it is impossible to give you specific advice.

England
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2. Re: 1st trip to ny, any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

First of all, do not be overwhelmed, NYC is one of the easiest places to negotiate your way around,and oh so safe and nearly everyone is so friendly. Even by default, you will have full and eventful days. Re the HO-HO, with you being there for 10 days, you will have the best of all options.I know for a fact that locals do not rate or recommend the HO-HO's, but then they are not tourists, I personally would indulge in at least a short HO-Ho if only to give you a feel for the place. I would then buy a 7 day pass for the subway, it is money well spent. Having said that, do not overly rely on the subway, as there is so much to see and take in at street level. Trust me it will all fall into place once you get there...enjoy.

New York City
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3. Re: 1st trip to ny, any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Mrs. Puddle, you are once again misunderstanding the advice given here by locals on this subject. If visitors like guided bus tours, they should certainly take them, and that is what all the locals here say -- but the locals also want the visitors to be clear that HO-HO buses are meant as guided bus tours, and not just another alternative means of transportation to be used for travelling around the city. Just as a subway train, which is a good form of transportation, is not a guided tour and should not be thought of as performing the same function, in the same way a guided tour on a set route in a single direction should not be considered an alternative for normal transportation. Many visitors ask, as was asked here, "which is the better way to travel around the city?", or "which form of transportation should I use -- the HOHo bus or public transportation?", with the preconception that this is an either/or question. The simple answer is that tour buses are not transportation; they are tours, and it is not helpful to suggest that the two are in any way interchangeable.

As for "overly relying on the subway", I will just note that it is six miles from the Staten Island Ferry to the southern end of Central Park. Some people would find the two hours it would take to walk this distance an exciting and pleasant prospect, but others who would find the distance, or the idea of walking in July heat, or the necessary time required to be less pleasant thoughts. Since we have at least three adults in this party, I think they are probably more than capable of deciding for themselves when they want to walk and when they want to ride without being faulted for "overly" relying on the subway. If they do want to ridem, though, the subway is the best way to go to cover longer distances quickly, cheaply, and efficiently.

Edited: 20 June 2010, 00:07
England
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4. Re: 1st trip to ny, any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

GWB, with all due respect I am not misunderstanding anything, I am merely replying in a polite fashion...as a tourist with many experiences, and trying to offer what I feel is good solid advice, if for whatever reason you wish to challenge my motives for wanting to impart such information, then that is your choice. I will (in the meantime), concentrate on continuing to offer my advice, if that's all right with you ?

New York City, New...
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5. Re: 1st trip to ny, any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

The island of Manhattan is huge - sites are all around the island and getting around by subway is your best bet - costwise and efficiency wise.

Walking is a terrific way to see the city but if you want to see a lot of different sites in various parts of the city and not waste a lot of time (and money) standing around waiting for a tour bus for transportation - jump on the subway.

You can get a good idea of how extensive the subway routes are by looking over the MTA subway map before you come over - and, the price is a steal at $27 unlimited for the week which includes public buses and transfers.

http://www.mta.info/nyct/maps/submap.htm

It may look complicated but subways run frequently and there are both local and express subways so you can cover the six miles mentioned above in a very short period of time.

The HoHo bus is a good way to have a look see, but it would be an incredible waste of money to use it as anything other than a tour.

New York City
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6. Re: 1st trip to ny, any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

MrsPuddle, with all due respect you are indeed misunderstanding something, as you showed when you stated that you "know for a fact that locals do not ... recommend the HO-HO's". That statement is false, as reading (or at least, reading attentively) the advice given on this forum by locals will show. The HO-HOs are regularly recommended by locals, so the contrary cannot be "known for a fact".

The only thing that locals want visitors to note is that HO-HOs should not be considered the equivalent of other forms of transportation for travelling around town. You may remember that this topic was discussed in an earlier thread on May 1 in which you admantly held that all tourists who ask about HO-HO buses were "well aware that it is, a means to see the city as a 'sightseeing exercise', and not as a means of transportation." In fact, though, this is not at all the case, as has been shown time and again on this forum by the way the question is phrased by potential visitors. You may also recall that in the earlier thread Ztaks -- who is a guide on those buses -- replied from her own direct experience that the majority of the passengers on the buses on which she herself worked had the mistaken idea that the HO-HO buses were efficient alternatives to the subway, to which you gave the surprising response that Ztaks should be "pleased" by this confusion on the part of tourists as it was what "keeps [her] in employment."

Please note that in disagreeing with your advice I do not challenge your "motives", than which nothing could interest me less. However, you should also realize that when you say something inaccurate, you may expect contradiction, whether that is "all right with you" or not. ;o)

7. Re: 1st trip to ny, any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

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melbourne
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8. Re: 1st trip to ny, any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Good on you MrsPuddle!!!!

Yalesville...
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9. Re: 1st trip to ny, any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

What I would ask the OP is have you checked any guidebooks that offer suggested itineraries? Also the FAQ's to the right of these postings gives a lot of good advice. If you fancy a downtown loop tour, by all means go for it - however as mentioned, the subway and also city buses offer the most convenient means of transport from here to there.

Also as mentioned not all attractions are open at the same time/day so you would have to schedule your sightseeing to what you wish to see.

And to reiterate, a guidebook is invaluable in planning - and if you do not wish to buy one, libraries often have several different authors in the stacks.

And I also wanted to say everyone has their own opinion and disseminates it in their own manner - so there it is.

Poppa

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10. Re: 1st trip to ny, any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

greetings from the aussie!

I am heading to new york city for the first time in september and I use trip advisor for all sorts of advice. Everyone has different ways of travelling around a city but if i were visiting a city such as new york for the first time, i would personally do some kind of tour to get your bearings. I am doing a tour with 'real new york tours' on the 2nd day im there (on the first i arrive mid afternoon..)

From then on, together with a little planning, i hope to see what i want to see in the short time i am there.