New York City is a bustling metropolis with a well-designed public transit system that is quite easy to navigate. Taxi cabs tend to be pricey, and bike lanes only run through limited areas of the city, which means walking tours, bus tours, and subway travel are the best ways to get around. Here are your options.
The New York public transit system includes buses and subway trains covering all five of the city's boroughs. Both services use the same fare-payment system—the MetroCard. You can buy a MetroCard at most subway stations, from clearly marked kiosks that accept credit and debit cards. To pay with cash, you need to see a station agent. Fare payment is simple: One swipe gets you one ride, wherever you're going, day or night.
One of the easiest ways to get around New York City is by hop-on-hop-off-bus tour. Tours typically offer optional multi-day access and may have optional upgrades, such as visits to must-see attractions including the Empire State Building.
Walking and Biking Tours
Because New York is such a large city, walking tours tend to stick to specific neighborhoods, such as Midtown or the Lower East Side, while tours that cover several neighborhoods typically travel between locations via the subway. Thematic walking tours are also popular, including food tours, history tours, and traditional sightseeing tours. And though bike tours are widely available, particularly in Central Park, getting around the city by bike can be challenging because of limited bike lanes.
Many New Yorker's take regional trains to commute in and out of the city. The Metro-North Commuter Railroad runs to points north, the Long Island Railroad runs to points east, and the Port Authority Trans-Hudson—or PATH train—operates to New Jersey. The Metro-North is the best option for traveling to the Bronx.
Travel by ferry is your only option if you want to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and several tours offer package deals, providing a great value. City ferry service is also available, offering a scenic way to get between coastal neighborhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn. To get to Staten Island, the ferry is your best bet, and the service is free for everyone.