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Advice on trip to NYC

(17 Posts)
Juicylucy Sat 28-Sep-19 10:55:35

My friend and husband, both late 50’s are stopping off in New York for 3 days next month and are staying in Times Square. They want to visit the usual tourist attractions I.e Empire State, Ground zero, Central Park Rocker feller building and do the tour bus. She’s looked online but is over whelmed with where to start booking so I said I ask you kind ladies if you have any tips please. Here’s few things she’s trying to find out....
Is it best to book these places in UK or when you get there?
Are any of these places close together or far apart ( can you do a couple in one day)?
Can anyone recommend a good tour bus company they have experienced?
Best place to shop for bargains rather than your Bloomingdales etc?
It’s a whistle stop stopover before they get on a cruise so wanting to get as much in as possible.
Any other tips of advice or warnings would be greatly appreciated as she’s spent hours online and no further forward. Thank you on her behalf.

Nico97 Sat 28-Sep-19 11:02:31

Juicylucy have a look at the travel thread where there is a recent thread on New York - I'm sure you will find it helpful smile

Jane10 Sat 28-Sep-19 11:04:14

As mentioned before, contact 'Big Apple Greeters' a voluntary organisation that meets up with tourists and will give personalised tours or whatever direct info people need. Just Google them. Our contact with them and individual tour by a local resident was easily the highlight of our trip.

KatyK Sat 28-Sep-19 11:05:28

There is a thread in the Travel forum about NYC. It's mostly about places to go though. When we went, 13 years ago, our DD booked online for our tickets to the Empire State
building. It saves queuing. Sorry I can't remember who she did it with. I would highly recommend the hop on hop off open top bus. We just got our tickets in Times Square and got on the bus there. It was easy. The bus is the best way to travel in my opinion. It goes all over NYC so you see everything and can get off, look around and get on another one. As I recall, it's last stop is where you get the boat over to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Then when you have seen those you can pop back on the bus and it will take you back to where you got on. You just need to check when the last one leaves. I think you'll love New York

moggie Sat 28-Sep-19 11:09:53

My DD & I are going to NYC in December for 4 nights. I look online for best things to do but feel overwhelmed there’s so much. We are staying in Manhattan. Friends/family who have been make suggestions & one of DD friends says she will do us an itinerary. I will definitely book a show & Empire State Building before we go (to avoid queues). I think we will walk & use subway to get around. I will follow this thread & hopefully pick up some tips too.

LondonGranny Sat 28-Sep-19 11:18:56

Best advice I can give is share one meal if you are horrified by waste. Portion sizes are absolutely gargantuan. One portion at breakfast will feed most Brits for an entire day. Also tip everyone (but not the volunteer greeters, if you appreciate them, give them a present, especially if it's something from the UK that's typically British). Tips are very much part of the culture and tips make up a very large part of the very low income of the workers.

KatyK Sat 28-Sep-19 11:35:42

Apologies. I didn't read the post properly. It's your friends that are going.

KatyK Sat 28-Sep-19 11:37:16

The little church and its story at Ground Zero is both wonderful and heartbreaking

maytime2 Sat 28-Sep-19 11:38:53

Of course it all depends when you are going to visit New York but the trips to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty should be avoided if at all possible on a week-end. This is because the trips then are undertaken by school children on school outings from other parts of America, which means that you can be in a very long queue. Also you have to go through airport style security which also adds to the long delay.
For a store which has discount shopping, I recommend Century 21 which is across the way from the World Trade Center Memorial.
A good place to look for tips is the Trip Advisor Forum on New York City.

LondonGranny Sat 28-Sep-19 11:59:19

...take reviews (good or bad) on Trip Advisor with a bushel of salt though. There was a recent case in the news where someone with a derelict old pub that had not been in use for many years found out by chance there were recent fake reviews.

LondonGranny Sat 28-Sep-19 12:00:43

Found the news item...

Maggiemaybe Sat 28-Sep-19 12:04:32

My best tip would be to walk wherever and whenever possible as they'll then get the best out of all the sights and sounds of a city that will seem so familiar to them because they will have seen most of it on films or TV. A friend went recently with a group and was disappointed that they missed a lot, as the group leader had them travelling everywhere by underground. One trip's worth it for the experience, otherwise stay up top!

We didn't book anything in advance, just relied on a good map, Tripadvisor recommendations and comfy shoes, and had a wonderful time.

SueDonim Sat 28-Sep-19 12:23:22

My advice is to go to attractions a bit later in the day. The worst of the crowds, esp school trips, have gone by then and it's quieter.

We went up the Empire State Building quite late one afternoon (by accident, not design!) and were rewarded firstly with the views of NY and then with a wonderful sunset which transformed the whole scene into something different. October would be perfect for that.

Sussexborn Sat 28-Sep-19 12:38:59

Our son gave us several recommendations for good places to eat. Assuming the food would be reasonable we didn’t print it off and were not impressed by the standard. Neither of us are fussy eaters. We did eventually find some great places to eat so one lesson learned.

My DD1/GS1 found out the hard way that Trip Advisor advertisers can remove bad reviews so be cautious.

Open top buses were great as they give an overall view and help you decide what to see more fully on your next trip! I am hoping to go again in the not too distant future.

LondonGranny Sat 28-Sep-19 12:47:18

Yes, a group of friends went on a walking holiday and stayed somewhere that was dire. It was filthy (including blood-stained sheets) and the proprietor was really rude. They put truthful reviews on Trip Advisor and they were removed.

Juicylucy Sat 28-Sep-19 13:14:26

Ladies/ gents thank you for the info I’ve checked out travel forum ( I didn’t know there was one). I’ve sent all info to her. Please keep it coming as it all helps and is greatly appreciated.

Foxglove77 Thu 17-Oct-19 14:39:47

Go to the Empire State Building first thing on a Monday morning. It's quiet then with little or no queue. The Staten Island ferry is free and goes past the Statue of Liberty close enough to get some great photos. Ask the concierge about theatre tickets for your favourite shows. Check out New York Central Park zoo if you like animals. Enjoy!