Are you traveling to New York City on a budget? The limousine and taxi service in the city can be expensive and the standard cab ride charge may be a tad bit too much for out-of-towners.
However, with multiple bus routes, bike share programs, a subway system that goes through the five boroughs and Go New York Tours: NYC double decker bus tours, it is actually affordable and easy to get to and from wherever you want.
Explore the Underground
New York City’s underground subway system is extensive, at most times reliable, and a cheap option for helping you discover the city’s hidden treasures. In addition, you will also get to spot a few celebrities riding the trains. You can purchase MTA MetroCards at any ticket machine in any station, or from an agent’s booth.
Entrances to downtown-bound trains are usually on a street’s west side, while uptown-bound trains are on the east side. During summer, the subway cars are air-conditioned and heated in winter, but the platforms are not. If travelling with kids or the elderly, be aware that there are lot of subway stair steps.
Generally, the Big Apple is considered as the walker’s paradise, no matter the time of day or night. The city is organized in a grid, making it easier to find your way. Plus, getting lost in some of the confusing villages like the Financial District, the Greenwich Village and the West Village can turn into an adventure in itself – as long as you are wearing comfortable shoes since the concrete jungle can be tough.
Rent a Bike
New York City’s Citibike is a bike share program that operates around 10,000 bikes in 600 stations in Jersey City, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. The bike program is an affordable and easy way of getting around – as long as you don’t mind riding among pedestrians and traffic. You can purchase a single ride, a day pass or a 3-day pass at any of the many Citibike kiosks.
Take a Ferry
Are you looking for a different perspective of the Big Apple? Then board a ferry for great views of the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and the lower Manhattan skyline. The ferries run along the East River and Hudson River and near lower Manhattan.
Explore Specific Neighborhoods
You can also choose to explore specific districts that you are interested in to save time. If your shoes can handle the streets, why not explore nightlife of the Meatpacking District. You can also explore the affluent, walkable area of the Upper East Side for a taste of the finest society lifestyle trappings.
For a cheaper experience, you may hone in on the authentic Lower East Side. This area is crammed with new and old buildings that characterize NYC’s energy and diversity. The galleries, restaurants, shops, cool bars and cafes next to old relics of living history give you a great idea of what New York City is all about.
If Public Transit is Not For You, Hail a Taxi
If you have shopping bags or luggage, you can always hail a yellow taxi for a ride. You have the option of dictating what route to take, so it’s a good idea to carry your map. However, be on the lookout for taxi drivers who will jack up fares for visitors who do not know the shortest route between points X and Y.
While many people traveling to New York City check themselves into Time Square and stick there, it is time you go further and into the neighborhoods for a full view the city. When you devote a few minutes to understanding New York’s geography and follow the tips above, you will immensely enrich your visit to this multifaceted city.