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Ten top things to do for your first time in New York 2024

Central Park Zoo
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New York, who doesn’t love the vibrant city of New York? NYC is on everyones bucket list. This article is the perfect guide to give you all the information you need for your first time in New York, from how to get there to what to do while you are there.

First time trip to New York

How to get to New York 


Airport Shuttle – you can book your transfer online before your Journey begins; this makes it a cost-effective and efficient way of getting into Manhattan.

Taxi – This is by far the easiest way to get to Manhattan, JFK taxis have a flat rate, but the other airports are a metered fare.

Trains – JFK and Newark airports by train will take, on average, about 1.5 hours and must change a couple of times. 

Uber/Lyft – Ensure you uploaded the app before arriving and set up your account so that once you visit, it is as easy as adding your pick-up location and destination. 

New York Subway



First-time visitors to New York can find this place intimidating, especially when it comes to tipping (or maybe that was just me!). Have small notes on hand because tipping is expected in this part of the world.

The rule of thumb is some restaurants will already have a fee in the bill, so check first; however, for exceptional service, you should consider around 20-25% (some places help you work it out), although it is not mandatory, you should consider almost everyone in a service environment. Hence, this is why lots of small notes come in handy.

New York Explorer Pass 

Statue of Liberty New York

Ten Top Things to Do for your first time in New York in Summer

1 Visit SUMMIT One Vanderbilt

The 360-degree views offer a breathtaking panorama of iconic landmarks like the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, while the immersive exhibits showcase the city’s rich history and architectural marvels.

Whether you’re a local or a first-time visitor, SUMMIT offers a unique perspective that deepens your appreciation for the vibrant energy and endless possibilities of the Big Apple.

Empire State Building
Photo by Kit Suman on Unsplash

2 Discover the secrets of Grand Central Station

You may not need to catch a train outside New York, but you must visit the iconic Grand Central station. There is more to Grand Central Station than you have seen in tv shows like “gossip girl” or movies like “Carlito’s way”.

Grand Central Station

3 Catch a Yankees Game

Yankee Stadium

4 Visit The World Trade Center

New York World Trade Center

5 Spend the day in Central Park

Central Park New York

6 Get amongst the lights in Time Square

For any first-time visitor in NYC to ensure you capture what this magical city is renowned for, you must visit Time Square. You will be amazed at how this section of the city makes you feel.

The bright lights, the crowds and characters you can get photos with (for a price). It is like stepping straight into a movie set. However, it gets busy, with thousands of tourists each day, and if you want to avoid the crowds, head out early in the morning. 

Time Square at night
Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

7  Take in a Broadway show

Broadway New York City

8 Head over by ferry to Ellis Island 

Ellis Island New York

9 Take a tour of your favourite TV locations

Sit in the lobby of the Empire Hotel or see the bar owned by Steve and Aiden; if you are a fan of either gossip girl or sex in the city, you’ll know these are two iconic locations in these tv programs.

Empire hotel new york

10 Explore the neighbourhoods

New York Neighbourhoods

Accommodation in New York

Budget – Courtyard by Marriott New York Manhattan/Central Park

Splurge – J W Marriott Essex

 j w marriott essex

Pin it for later!

Top ten things to do in new york this summer

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  • Paula Barreca Barnes

    So 17 years ago, my husband and I set off with our little family in tow, embarking on a short-term assignment in Taiwan. Although without any knowledge of expat life or the Taiwanese culture, we took the chance and decided this would be an exciting little adventure; little did we know it changed the direction of our lives forever.

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2 thoughts on “Ten top things to do for your first time in New York 2024”

  1. “Wonderful list! This is just the guidance I needed as a first-time traveler to New York in 2024. I am eager to visit famous locations such as Times Square and Central Park. I appreciate your excellent suggestions.

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