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Can I "do" New York without using subways!

Glasgow
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Can I "do" New York without using subways!

I'm claustrophobic. So far I've managed to do all the cities I've visited without using any subways or ndergrounds - Paris and London amongst them seeing all the sights. I am happy to walk for miles or use tour buses or high level trains or boats. Could I manage to see the main sights/areas in New York without using any subways if I stayed in Manhattan? Thanks in advance.

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New York NY
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1. Re: Can I "do" New York without using subways!

The subway is part of the experience but if you're really freaked out about it...

Yes - We have the most incredible network of city buses in the world. All you need to do is buy a MetroCard and there isn't anywhere you can't go without the city bus. Forget the Hop On Hop Off buses - they're an overpriced waste and they'll leave you waiting for long periods of time and they don't have the coverage city buses have.

The Fifth Avenue buses are fantastic (the city buses - M. 2, M.3, and especially the M.5). You can take the M.5 from Central Park South (near the Plaza Hotel) down to South Ferry and you'll pass all the big stores, you'll pass Rockefeller Center, St. Patricks, you'll be one block from Macy's, it stops opposite the Empire State Bldg, passes the Flatiron Bldg, travels down fabulous lower Fifth Avenue, you'll see the arch in Washington Square Park, it stops outside Mario Batali's Otto Enoteca, it then proceeds down Broadway and crosses Houston St., through SoHo, Chinatown, past City Hall, a block from the former World Trade Center site, it crosses Wall Street and ends up by the ferries to the Statue of Liberty and the free ferries to Staten Island.

I recommend the M.5 bus for visitors who are happy to ride the subway.

Because the avenues are one-way, going uptown you'll get to see completely different sites.

Buses are fast, frequent, safe, and very reliable. You simply need a MetroCard. Get on and off as many buses as you want as often as you want using an unlimited ride MetroCard ($29. + $1. fee for the card itself) for 7 days of unlimited rides (per person)

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Can I "do" New York without using subways!

Yes, absolutely. Will take longer since subway is so fast, but it's doable. I'd avoid coming at a particularly busy time though to avoid the worst traffic. When are you thinking of coming?

Glasgow
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3. Re: Can I "do" New York without using subways!

Fantastic reply. Thanks. What about walking - is it a walkable city? Are there areas with lots to see in the one walkable area?

Glasgow
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4. Re: Can I "do" New York without using subways!

27th June - 7th July 2014 (give or take a day or so). We are very limited to when we travel due to work commitments. I would rather visit September-ish but not possible.

Fleet UK
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5. Re: Can I "do" New York without using subways!

I would also recommend the buses. They are slower than the subway, but you get to see the city as you are traveling. If you based yourself in midtown you could catch a bus to a location and then walk back, then catch another bus in a different direction and walk back.

The buses are great, and the timetables are at each stop ( and the buses were usually on time ! ), the buses are warm in winter and air conditioned in the summer. We loved them !

New York NY
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6. Re: Can I "do" New York without using subways!

Is it a walkable city? Come on - you must be somewhat familiar with the city from your research.

There is no more walking friendly city in the world. New Yorkers are some of the most fit people in the world because they're constantly walking and running between meetings and what not. The streets are always packed with people and there aren't any unsafe areas anywhere in Manhattan between South Ferry and far upper Manhattan.

You can safely walk from river to river and from the bottom tip of Manhattan to the top of Central Park (more than 8 miles) and you don't have to worry about safety.

You also can not get lost - it is an island. You can't end up in New Jersey or some area where you can't easily get yourself back from. There also isn't anywhere you can go where you'll be more than a couple blocks from a bus stop.

New Yorkers walk everywhere. Taxi's sit in standstill traffic. New Yorkers walk.

You can take the East River Ferry. You can take the Staten Island ferry for free. There are nice ferries to New Jersey. NY Waterway operates some sightseeing cruises and so does NY Water Taxi.

You'll walk over the Brooklyn Bridge (but would need to take the subway back if you don't want to walk back). That's about the only thing you can't take a bus back from. You could walk across the Williamsburg Bridge and take the B.39 bus back - I like the Williamsburg Bridge (but most tourists prefer the Brooklyn Bridge)

Glasgow
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7. Re: Can I "do" New York without using subways!

Wow, brilliant. I only just starting to research New York, never been out of Europe so time to spread my wings. Getting around was the only thing that has put me off as I didn't realise it would be so easy. Now to start really researching!

New York NY
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8. Re: Can I "do" New York without using subways!

There are crosstown buses up and down through Manhattan. Crosstown buses run from river to river on streets like 86th Street, 79th Street, etc. Plenty in Midtown like 57th Street, 49th / 50th Streets, 42nd, 34th, 23rd, 14th, 8th / 9th, etc.

Buses run up and down the avenues from 1st to 10th Avenue. Avenues are one-way so 1st Ave. buses rup uptown and 2nd Ave. buses run downtown. Fifth Avenue goes downtown and Madison & Sixth Avenues go uptown.

If you look at the map, you'll see that the distance from river to river is not all that great.

You don't have to worry about going through "bad neighborhoods" either.

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9. Re: Can I "do" New York without using subways!

Don't feel alone, I am claustrophobic as well and going to NYC in Nov! I've been once before a few years ago and the subway did not bother me before but since then I've gotten anxious in elevators, preparing myself now but thank u for posting this, good info on the busses!

Glasgow
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10. Re: Can I "do" New York without using subways!

Ive got worse as I've got older. Always managed to avoid using the undergrounds but it is a bit debilitating.