Have you ever visited a country and had a great time, only to discover later that you were ripped off visiting common tourist places? If you are, know that you are not alone. Most travelers have the same issue. If you do not have experience in avoiding these traps, you will spend much more money than you intended to. The same thing happens with families that move to another city. Remember that you are new in this town. It will take some time before you are accustomed to their way of living. In the starting period of living in New York, it is important to know where to spend your money. It is essential to understand how to avoid tourist traps in NYC, and what to do instead.
If you’ve just moved, or if you are planning to move, you will need to save as much money as you can. If you learn how to avoid tourist traps in NYC, you already saved yourself a lot of trouble.
What are major tourist traps in NYC?
When we talk about tourist traps in NYC, we can categorize them in three ways:
- Spending too much money
- Wasting time by standing in the lines
- Going to overcrowded places
Life is too short, so if you chose to move to New York, use it most effectively and productively.
Do not use Pedicabs!
There are many reasons for people to move to NYC, but Pedicab is not one of them. While it may look like a friendly and environmental way of going from point A to point B, we urge you not to use them! This way of transportation is unregulated and expensive. You can find these cheerful rickshaw drivers offering their services at any corner in Manhattan. What you don’t know is that this romantic and funny ride will drain your wallet. There is an example of a couple who were charged almost a 450 dollars for a 12-minute drive in Midtown.
The fees are not regulated, and you are running into risk of being virtually robbed. Instead, what you should do is take a subway which is by far the cheapest way of transportation. A ticket is only $2.50 per ride, and it can take you anywhere. However, if you want to avoid the crowd of the NYC subway system, rent a City Bike. Their kiosks are on every corner, and with the price of only 10 dollars per day, you can enjoy as many rides as you want.
Times Square – is it worth it?
We have to say, one of the major tourist attractions is the Times Square. However, at the same time, it is one of the main tourist traps in NYC. If you really want to see it, our advice is: Go, take a quick photo, leave, and never return. The Times Square is a money pit, with many overpriced tourist attractions and shops. If you are an aspiring young person hunting for a job at NYC, this is a great way to lose your money before you even get a job. We have to say that visiting Times Square is not that special; the Big Apple has much more to offer. It is understandable that you may have the wish to visit it, especially if you moved to NYC. But, if you decide to go for it, make it a quick one-time visit.
Cronut hype in NYC
Famous Dominique Ansel’s Bakery, the birthplace of the Cronut is one of the most visited bakeries in New York. This tasty mix between a donut and a croissant become wildly popular. You can find people waiting a couple of hours in the line, or even paying line-sitters to wait for them. All this just to taste this baked goodness. While we don’t deny its taste, we do not advise you to go and wait for it. You can find many bakeries in NYC that offer quality food.
The same rule applies to Magnolia, a famous bakery that’s been featured on Sex and the City and Saturday night live. Again, if you go there, you will enjoy a wonderful meal. However, you will spend hours of waiting in line, only to buy overpriced products.
Instead, head out to Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Or, pay a visit to the Doughnut Plant. Way less crowded, and the prices are more than affordable.
Empire State Building viewpoint
The view of the city from the top of the Empire State Building is great, but it is not worth the price you pay for the ticket. Again, waiting in line will have you lose interest in this tourist attraction. Or better, let’s call it one of the tourist traps in NYC. If you go to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, you will enjoy a healthy walk with a beautiful view of the city. Head out across the Brooklyn Bridge to experience New York’s fantastic skyline. Whether you go by day or night, this place will not disappoint you. It is free and gorgeous a must-visit location in NYC.
While the name may attract you, the experience will not deliver. It is a small, sad strip, just above Chinatown. If you wish to experience the real feel of Italy, head out to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. Here, you can find fresh, authentic Italian cheese and pasta. A perfect place to treat yourself with an amazing food experience in one of many Italian-American bakeries.
Experience NYC like a true local
We hope that we showed you how to avoid major tourist traps in NYC. If you are a new resident of New York, this is a great way to experience it like a true local. One of our last advice is to ask your neighbors or friends about where to go and what to visit. Nevertheless, since you decide to live in NYC you will have plenty of time. So, even if you decide to visit one of these tourist spots, we won’t tell!