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Getting around NYC for the first visit

Sun City, California
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Getting around NYC for the first visit

Hi, we are planning to spend 7 days in NYC for our 50. Wedding Anniversary Celebration.

Got a good deal online for a round trip flight from Calif. to JFK and Hotel on Times Square.

We also bought a 7 day NY Pass, which promises many,many sights to visit.

I'm wondering if we should pay more to get HOHO tickets also....

From what I have seen on this forum, an 7 day unlimited Metro Pass would be the better choice. We hope to do a lot of walking especially since our hotel has such a good location.

Unfortunately, we don't have an unlimited budget and so I'm wondering if it would be best to take a cab from JFK to the hotel or if the "Airlink Shuttle"would be o.k.

Does anybody have any experience with this Shuttle and the 7 day Metro Pass?

We are looking so forward to our 1. NY Trip and appreciate any advice.

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Getting around NYC for the first visit

The 7 day Metrocard is definitely the way to go. It will get you unlimited travel on subway and buses. The HOHO buses are not a good way to get around as regular transport. They are ok for a first day 'highlights' or overview tour, but not for getting from A to B. Keep in mind that few of the subway stations have elevators/escalators though, so buses are better if you have trouble with stairs.

None of the airport shuttles are any good. They can take hours to get you from the airport to the hotel. Either take a cab ($65-$70 including tolls, tax and tip) or get the Airtrain and then the subway/LIRR into Manhattan. We can tell you the best way to do it if you tell us the name and address of your hotel.

And congratulations on your 50th anniversary!

NYC / Fire Island...
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2. Re: Getting around NYC for the first visit


We walk a lot and take the subways and public busses to get around, but we still like the commercial “Hop-on Hop-off” double decker busses and (even though we have lived here in The Village for 40+ years) once or twice a year buy a pass and “do” the City as paying tourists. We started doing this years ago due to one of our friends becoming a tour guide/narrator for one of the “Hop-on Hop-off” operators following his retirement as a teacher (a linguist). He died some years back, and fondly remember him “singing” (great voice) to the tourists and us atop the open-air busses.

Even since then, we still enjoy the rides by the different operators; the biggest difference is not which operator you choose, rather it is the guide/narrator that you happen to get, and whether he/she is engaging or knowledgeable. There are times when we hop-off one bus and hop-on another (but same operator) so that we have a different guide/narrator.

We think that the rides are fun and a great venue in which to meet visitors from around the planet. We took a ride about a couple of weeks ago and even though it was drizzling we had a great time!! By the way there are several different "loops", as we said above, the night tour VERY worthwhile.....and a 2-day pass usually plenty.

Hope this helps. Your questions are always welcome.



Casa Hoffa (South), Bahia Chahue, Huatulco, MX

Casa Hoffa (North), Fire Island, NY USA

Edited: 08 July 2013, 00:44
Sun City, California
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3. Re: Getting around NYC for the first visit

Thank you for writing!

It's nice to be able to "talk" with someone from N.Y.

HOHO sound nice but we have spent already $400.- for the City Pass. City Pass also offers the NYC Night tour among other nice attractions.

Have not been able to see how much the HOHO Pass is without the City Pass.

Our hotel is "Staybridge" on 340 W. 40th Street, NY. I guess we better take the cab...Taking the public transit with suitcases is too cumbersome.

Again, thank you for writing. We're grateful for any advice we can get. Ann

Sun City, California
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4. Re: Getting around NYC for the first visit

Thank you for the Congrats!! Also, thank you for your suggestions. BTW, our hotel is the

"Staybridge" on 340 W. 40th Street. It looks great online... I think that this is a good location and hope that we can walk to a few attractions. We are looking forward to use the NYC Pass & think that it has a lot to offer but getting the Metro Pass will give us more of the NYC Experience.

Yes, we had better use the cab.....Thank you for that advice. We will make our trip in Mid-September & weather should be pretty good then?

Thank you for writing!!!

Brooklyn, NY
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5. Re: Getting around NYC for the first visit

7 Day NY pass is WAY too much IMO. You need to consider that to really enjoy NYC, you will want to just explore the city and not fee; that you need to rush to all of the places on the 7 day pass.

An 7 day Metrocard is a much better value that will allow you to go at your own pace....

Sun City, California
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6. Re: Getting around NYC for the first visit

Thank you for your input.

Having never been to the city, we already purchased the NY Pass....We'll just have to do our best to see the attractions that are most important to us. Hopefully the Metro Pass will get us there fairly quickly. I'm afraid that without the NYC Pass we would spend a lot of time searching for the various places. I'm so glad to have found (after buying the NY Pass) this informative & helpful forum.

Jakarta, Indonesia
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7. Re: Getting around NYC for the first visit

Hi, I just like to share some thought about New York, if there is someone from New York that can make me understand more about NYC people and habits.

Like Anneliese, I also getting NYC for the first time, but the different is I come from Asia. We actually are very excited to visit NYC. This is also our visit to US for the first time.

Me and my wife are working in US company on the country we came from. All we know about US is from movies and television and magazine, and hey...this is NYC, the biggest and great city in the world, but you know what our impression?? this place is bad and we are completely dissapoint with NYC, instead its worst than the country that we stay now.

I've been to China, the country that people keep remind me that lot of scammer in there, but still better than NYC.

Is it because we are Asian, and you guys are racist to Asian? Is like you guys is like to scam if you see an Asian.

80 % person in NYC is have a bad attitude!! 20 % consist of elderly, usually is nice.

I've got scammed by middle eastern person, hispanic and african people.

Finally when I step in nice restaurant and I thought there is local new yorker who was very nice in the beginning, but then he scammed us also!! He cheat us with not give us back our change after we paid for a meal

I've got scammed by this modus twice!! People keep cheat us by not give us back our change. These are very nice restaurant, one is PJ clarke near lincoln centre and then times square cake boss.

It is terrrible!! the road are dirty, and the subway are terrible. NYC should learn subway from singapore!! The subway is clean, nice and safe!!

I try to take subway in NYC today and damn, there are 2 homeless people that board on the subway and working around and its like he is threaten people... I feel very not safe, and me and my wife are just get off this subway right away......

the taxi drive is also terrible, and they driving like crazy people with very high speed.

is this the face of new yorkers? Is this how you greet tourist? yes, you people are very big, even from the size of physical....

As I thought, the local new york should be nice to us, but still...he is also scam us...

Terrible!! the most dissapointed is people always cheat us, even in high class restaurant

Sorry guys, this is real experience and it happen just now, and that's why I post this because we are dissapointed. It is not an insult, but this is an act of dissaspointment.

I like to hear from real New yorkers, probably it will ease our thought as an Asian tourist

New York NY
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8. Re: Getting around NYC for the first visit

New York City is not as clean as Singapore but it is probably as safe as Singapore. Very safe.

Sadly there are some homeless in every American city. I don't know how Singapore doesn't have any homeless but NYC does. They're generally very harmless but they exist.

New York City is a real working city and you will encounter things such as garbage and other things they keep out of view of tourists in places like Disney World. NYC isn't Disney World. It feels more and more like Disney World every day but we still have garbage in public view.

Subways are clean and very safe - very efficient.

The fastest and most economical way (not to mention safest) is always the JFK AirTrain to either the Long Island Rail Road or the subway. For the Staybridge Suites, it would be easy to do either. JFK AirTrain / LIRR is fastest and is about $12.00 per person. JFK AirTrain to the subway (assuming you start your unlimited ride MetroCard before boarding the first subway into Manhattan) is $5.00 (the JFK AirTrain is always $5.00 - the unlimited ride MetroCard for the subway doesn't cover the AirTrain segment).

Yes - taxi can be scary. Tourists from Utah were killed in a taxi crash coming in from JFK - this is why I prefer the JFK AirTrain. abclocal.go.com/kgo/story…


I just feel much safer with the JFK AirTrain and the rails in general.

9. Re: Getting around NYC for the first visit

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