New York Essentials:

How big is New York?
New York City is 309 square miles.
How many people inhabit it?
After the 2011 census it was revealed that New York City has 8.24 million residents.
What are the language and currency?
Pretty much every language is spoken in New York, but the most widely spoken language is English. The currency is the US dollar.
  • Central Park
Central Park Central Park Lake A bridge in Central Park Exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History Elephants at the AMNH Another exhibit at the AMNH Central Park New York View from the bridge in Central Park View of Central Park Inside Central Park Manhattan skyline from Central Park Bridge inside Central Park Bow Bridge Central Park Central Park Stairway Fr. Duffy Cross Times Square Signs for Times Square Rainbow Room View from the Top of the Rock New York Skyline Observation deck at the Top of the Rock Rockefeller Plaza New York City cab Pier 17 Looking out from Brooklyn Bridge Sculpture in the Museum of Modern Art Museum of Modern Art New York Side view from Brooklyn Bridge Grand Central Station Bryant Park New York New York Stock Exchange Wall Street Looking up on Brooklyn Bridge Looking over to Manhattan

Things to see in New York

Central Park
Where can you find New York’s finest architecture?
All of its most instantly recognisable buildings, namely its skyscrapers, are in Midtown Manhattan. Sadly, two of its best known buildings are no more, but not far from where they used to stand tall is the Brooklyn Bridge. Walk over it for a bird’s eye view of Manhattan’s illustrious skyline.
On average, how much does it cost to get into New York’s top museums?
If you want to go googlie-eyed in the Guggenheim or be mesmerised by the Met, you’ll need to have more than $20 in your back pocket as that’s what it costs to get in to most museums in New York.
What really shouldn’t be missed?
All the free things. Not only because they’re free but because they’re actually all unmissable. This includes a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge, a trip on the Staten Island ferry, an afternoon in Central Park and the chance of putting your face on the big screen in Times Square.
Anything else I need to know?
Manhattan isn’t all skyscrapers. Down in the Village you’ll see that many buildings are surprisingly low-rise.

Going out in New York

Times Square at night
Is it expensive to go out in New York?
Yes and no. On any given night of the week you can pay anything between $3 and $8 for a beer (pint or bottle). Then you have to add another dollar or two to that for tip. Ask any New Yorker where the cheapest part of town is and they’ll point you towards the East Village.
Where are most of the bars found?
The Village is where it’s at, both east and west. This is the part of the city in between 14th Street and Houston Street. The west part of the village is Greenwich Village and the East Village is just the East Village. Over in the east, Ludlow Street and Staunton Street are dotted with bars, while the west has Bleecker Street - those streets which branch off it are the busiest.
Do I need to carry my ID with me when going out?
Absolutely. Some doormen will ID you regardless of how old you look. Always carry some form of ID with you, preferably your driving license.
Is there anything to do that doesn’t involve alcohol?
There’s no better place on the planet to go to the theatre than New York. At any time, you can find all the world’s best known musicals showing on Broadway. Tickets can be pricey, though. If you get your tickets on the same day of performance from the TKTS booth in Times Square you can get them at discount rates. Otherwise there are cinemas all over Manhattan. Then there is always basketball and baseball to see.
Anything else I need to know?
Remember to tip with every beer. This means $1 per beer which should increase with the size of the round. So if you're getting three or four beers tip $2 or $3.

Eating Out in New York

One of NYC's omnipresent hot-dog stands
Is it expensive to eat out in New York?
Just like going out, eating out in the Big Apple can be either very cheap or very expensive. You’ll have no problems stuffing yourself for less than $10. Mains cost anything between $8 and $20. ‘Subs’ from New York’s celebrated delis cost around $6. When funds are running very low you can always count on a hot dog from one of the numerous stands for no more than $2.
Where is the best selection of restaurants in the city?
Unsurprisingly, Chinatown and Little Italy have many restaurants, while there are some really cool places to eat in Greenwich Village. You should be able to feed yourself on $10. When you are really broke you can always rely on the hot dog stands. Seventh Avenue is lined with delis.
Are international cuisines well-represented?
New York is home to so many nationalities that every possible style of cuisine is represented.
What times do restaurants close?
Restaurants will generally take their last orders around 10pm or 11pm, but there are pizza joints open through the night.
Anything else I need to know?
You can’t smoke in New York’s restaurants so make sure not to light up after your meal.

Transport in New York

Times Square subway station
How many different modes of public transport are there in New York?
Four – bus, subway, ferry and taxi. The subway is great for going up and down Manhattan but not across it. That’s when buses come in handy. New York’s omnipresent yellow taxis start at $2.50 for the initial fare and increase steadily from that. They never cost too much. To save a few dollars get yourself on to the avenue where you are going and then hail down a cab there.
Is there one ticket which covers both buses and subways?
Yes, Metro cards are valid on both buses and subways. If you plan on staying in New York for anything longer than three or four days, buy a Seven-Day Unlimited card for $29.

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  • New York Travel Video
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Make your trip go further with Hostels.com. We offer the most comprehensive selection of hostels on the internet with over 35,000 hostels in 180 countries. Bringing you great value and providing a service that is fuss free, reliable and frankly brilliant! Hostels.com the ultimate resource for great value accommodation all over the world.

  • New York Podcast
  • New York - Get to know Grand Central Terminal
  • New York - Get to know Grand Central Terminal

  • City: New York
  • Acclaimed New York tour guide Justin Ferate talks to Tracy Lynch about one of the city's most iconic buildings. Justin talks us through the history of Grand Central Terminal and neighbourhood.

Make your trip go further with Hostels.com. We offer the most comprehensive selection of hostels on the internet with over 35,000 hostels in 180 countries. Bringing you great value and providing a service that is fuss free, reliable and frankly brilliant! Hostels.com the ultimate resource for great value accommodation all over the world.

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