Manhattan Travel Guide
Manhattan is one of New York Citys five boroughs, and many people consider it to be the heart of the city. Its where youll find New Yorks most iconic skyline and sights, and its the place where the majority of the citys 66 million annual tourists stay and spend most of their time.
It goes without saying that Manhattan, a hub for art, theater, food, culture, shopping, and sightseeing within the city, is a must-visit destination for tourists in New York.
Keep reading to dive into resources that will help you with planning a trip to Manhattan inNew York City.
Note: This Manhattan visitors guide contains affiliate links to trusted partners!
Click here for access to my free suite of travel quizzes, maps, planning printables, and more!
Q: What are some important Manhattan travel tips to keep in mind?
Q: What should I do in Manhattan on my first trip to New York City?
Q: What are some non-touristy things to do in Manhattan?
Q: How much spending money do you need for a week in New York City?
Q: What are some fun day trips from Manhattan?
Q: What is the local currency in New York State?
What would you add to this Manhattan travel guide?
Use thisManhattan tourism mapto begin planning your trip to this incredible destination!
Click herefor an interactive Google Map version of the above graphic.
Discover the best places to visit in New York Citys Manhattan through the following travel guides:
How To Enjoy An Epic Day In NYCs West Village
35 Best Things To Do On The Upper East Side NYC (From A Local)
21 Fun Things To Do On The Upper West Side NYC
13 Best Manhattan Skyline Tours For Amazing Views
15 Best New York Architectural Tours By Walking, Boat & Helicopter
21 Best Views In NYC At Night To Take in The Manhattan Skyline
73 Romantic Things To Do In NYC (Beyond The Empire State Building)
My Favorite Streets Of New York (Not Broadway)
31 Uniquely NYC Experiences That Shouldnt Be Missed
A Fun Guide To Walking The Manhattan Bridge (Itinerary Included!)
Best Bottomless Brunch In NYC: 31 Must-Try Boozy Restaurants
41+ Best New York Souvenirs & Authentic NYC Gifts
Why Is New York So Popular? 15 Reasons To Love NYC!
Explore local culture with aManhattan tour guidethrough these unique excursions:
Click here for a full list of New York City tours.
Realize that Manhattan is very walkable with something to see on every corner, so distances that may seem far in suburban places arent in this borough. For instance, locals often walk 1-2 miles (or more) when it isnt too cold out. Bonus: Walking also allows you to feel the beat of the city!
Love cycling? Citi Bike stations are all over NYC, and offer a budget-friendly way to get around in an eco-friendly way that also allows you to see the sights.
In terms of public transportation, the best way to get around Manhattan is via subway, which gets you anywhere you may need to go for just $2.75 no need to wait in traffic.
Additionally, Manhattan (and the rest of NYC) is connected via other public transportation options like buses and even ferries. While buses are operated by the MTA, just like the subway, youll want to download the NYC Ferry app to see schedules and buy tickets for the ferry.
Prefer a private car service? Uber and Lyft are plentiful in Manhattan, though do note that yellow cabs tend to be much cheaper. You can hail a cab on the street or use an app like Arro or Curb to order one.
Driving? While driving your own car can be a pain, some travelers choose this option. You can use the SpotHero website and app to snag super discounted parking spots.
Click here to browse the best Manhattan hotels!
You can also use the map below to search for local stays. Its set to the West Village, but you can easily change the location to your specific destination:
When visiting Manhattan or anywhere else in the world make sure to get travel insurance to protect your health and safety.
In my opinion, thebest travel medical insurance for travelersis SafetyWing as theyve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage including coverage if youre traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country).
Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.
With coverage, youll have peace of mind as you embark on your Manhattan travel itinerary.
Click my referral link here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks.
Below, find answers to frequently asked questions abouttraveling in Manhattan.
Manhattan is very safe for tourists. Of course, as with any destination, its important to be vigilant and take basic safety precautions.
For example, avoid isolated areas such as Central Park at night. When taking the subway, its always best to choose a subway car with more passengers in it rather than an empty one.
Finally, while pickpocketing is not that common in New York, youll want to make sure that you keep a close eye on your belongings toavoid pickpockets, especially in crowded areas around major tourist attractions.
New York is a huge city, and no matter how long you stay, youll never run out of things to do! In order to see the highlights of the city, you really need a minimum of three days.
However, four or five days is better to see the main sights without rushing too much. And if you have a week or more to spend in New York, youll be able to thoroughly explore the city and get to know boroughs outside of Manhattan.
One Manhattan travel tip is to walk or take the subway as much as possible!
Manhattan is very walkable, and when the distance is too far, you can take advantage of the robust and affordable subway system. Theres no reason to spend a lot of money on taxis to get around.
You should also consider staying outside of Times Square and Midtown. Many first-time visitors want to stay in this area, but with the great subway system in New York, there are plenty of other neighborhoods in Manhattan where you can base yourself that have a more local vibe while still being able to get around easily. Its a great way to explorenon-touristy NYC!
While theres no way to pack every must-see attraction into one trip to New York City, there are a few things you should definitely prioritize on your first trip.
At some point, youll want to take in views of the iconic New York City skyline. There are several ways to do this, like booking a fewNYC skyline tours and cruises. Or, if you want to learn more about the citys iconic buildings, you can book aNew York City architectural tour.
Short on cash? Here is a list oftop spots to take in NYC skyline views for free.
Youll also want to take a stroll throughCentral Park, the urban oasis featuring 843 acres of green space in the heart of Manhattan. Stop by the iconic Bethesda Terrace, rent a row boat to explore Central Park Lake or head out on ahike through the Ravine.
Central Park also features tons of live entertainment, from buskers on the Mall to big name concerts at SummerStage to free performances of the Bards best work at Shakespeare in the Park.
Why is NYC so famous? One reason is the many museums, which are also must-visits for any first-time visitor to New York.
Art fans will want to visit the iconicMetropolitan Museum of Art, home to works spanning 5,000 years of history, and theMuseum of Modern Art, a hub for all things contemporary.
TheAmerican Museum of Natural Historyis always a favorite, featuring exhibits on everything from sea creatures (hello, blue whale!) to dinosaurs to ancient civilizations.
Other museums worth checking out on a first visit are theSolomon R. Guggenheim Museum, theWhitney Museum of American Art, theBrooklyn Museum, and theTenement Museum.
By the way, all of the above is also perfect if youre wantingthings to do in New York by yourself.
Want photos of your time in NYC? Our sister company, NYC Photo Journeys, offers the following private experiences:
Despite being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, there are plenty of non-touristy things to do in NYC if you go off the beaten path. Even in the more touristy neighborhoods, there are hidden gems to discover.
In Manhattan, here are some of thebest non-touristy NYC activitiesto try:
Have aboozy brunchat one of Manhattans many brunch spots
Go gallery-hopping in Chelsea or the Lower East Side
Catch a comedy or improv show at Comedy Cellar or Peoples Improv Theater (which are also some of thebest rainy day activities in NYC)
Visit the Met Cloisters and have a picnic in peaceful Fort Tryon Park (one of the best places to gohiking in Manhattan!)
Rent a Citi Bike and explore Manhattan on two wheels
Take the NYC Ferry instead of the subway (its the same price!)
Trying to find thebest souvenirs from NYC? Skip the novelty shops and instead head to markets that showcase local makers like Artists & Fleas and the Brooklyn Flea, both of which have a location in Chelsea.
Skip the Midtown lounges and exploreNYC after midnightat lesser-known spaces like Dont Tell Mama, a restaurant with piano bar that also hosts cabaret shows
Most tourists in Manhattan stick to the downtown and midtown neighborhoods of Manhattan, but there is a lot more to explore uptown including theUpper East SideUpper West Side, Harlem, and neighborhoods even further north.
The average traveler spends about $240 per day in New York City on accommodations, transportation, food, activities, and other travel expenses.
That being said, there are certainly ways to save money in the city like staying in hostels, considering Couchsurfing, cooking your own meals, sticking to public transportation, and enjoying somebudget-friendly NYC activities.
If you are spending a week in New York or more, you may want to take some day trips from Manhattan to see more of the city and exploreNew York State.
These are some awesome ideas for day trips from Manhattan:
Take the subway out to Coney Island inBrooklyn, and spend the day enjoying the beach and the Luna Park amusement park. Dont forget a hot dog from the original Nathans Famous!
Do theAnthonys Nose Hikefor scenic views over the Hudson Valley just a little over an hour from NYC. Or head further afield for some of the besthikes in upstate New York.
Check out the art scene in Queens. With museums like MoMA PS1, Queens Museum, the Noguchi Museum, and the outdoor Socrates Sculpture Park, theres plenty to see and do.
Head out to Long Island for the day and tour some of the bestLong Island wineriesandLong Island hiking trails.
Take the free Staten Island Ferry and spend an afternoon exploring the manythings to do on Staten Islandlike visiting the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden.
If you want to leave New York entirely, Philadelphia is less than two hours away by train, making it a great choice for a longer day trip.
Most visitors from abroad who are allowed to enter the United States the country New York State is located in can stay for up to six months. Entry requirements and allowances vary depending on where you are from, so definitelycheck the US government website.
Visa requirements vary depending on where you are from. You can visitthe US government websiteto see if you need a visa and what type.
Manhattan is one of the five boroughs ofNew York City, which is located in the southeastern part of New York, a state located inthe United States. It is the most densely-populated of the five boroughs and sits west of Brooklyn andQueens, south ofThe Bronx, and east of the state of New Jersey.
Credit cards particularly Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in Manhattan, though it is always wise to carry some cash for street stalls and in case of emergency.
Yes, the tap water is safe to drink in Manhattan.
The local currency in New York is the US Dollar (USD).
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