For first time visitors the idea of traveling around New York City by oneself can be overwhelming. From the foreign places to the huge crowds, NYC can be an intimidating place. But take a deep breath and remain calm, as travel in the city doesn’t have to be difficult or confusing.
The first thing to realize is the city is very walkable. The sidewalks are big and in most of Manhattan the streets follow a well-defined number system that makes it almost impossible to get lost. For lower Manhattan and the other boroughs just download some maps onto your smartphone and take it nice and slow.
When it’s too far to walk catching a ride on the famed NYC subway system is the obvious choice. A single ride on the subway costs $2.25 no matter how far your destination is, meaning that the subway becomes more cost efficient the farther you travel. Fares are loaded onto MetroCards that work by sliding the card into the reader on the turnstile.
In Manhattan subways run either Uptown or Downtown, which makes it incredibly easy to find your way. In addition to the directions, there are also express trains and local trains. Express trains only stop at large stations and are great for rapidly making one’s way across Manhattan. Local trains, on the other hand, hail at every stop. Locals would generally board an express train until the stop before their neighborhood and then transfer to a local train for the remainder of their journey.
Buses are the primary form of east-west transportation in Manhattan and they also accept MetroCard fares.
Finally, no mention of NYC transportation would be complete without a cursory mention of taxis. While not the cheapest way to get around the city, taxis are probably not as expensive as one might think. For instance, the fare from the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (Upper West Side) to The MAve Boutique Hotel (Midtown, Flatiron District) is only $13.