Compact New York City is home to more than 8 million people. Add more than 60 million visitors a year, and the Big Apple can start to feel a bit crowded. With careful planning and creative ideas, however, you can spend more time exploring and less time waiting in line. Here’s how.
Thinking ahead is essential to making the most of your time in New York City. Top attractions and shows often sell out weeks (or months) in advance, so prebook your tickets to the One World Observatory, Empire State Building, and hit Broadway shows, especially if you want the best seats or times. Visit popular sights as early in the day as possible to minimize wait times.
Explore Beyond Manhattan
Many visitors never leave central and lower Manhattan on a trip to NYC, but each of New York’s outlying neighborhoods and boroughs have their own distinct culture, without the concentrated crowds of Times Square, Midtown, and Wall Street. Hop on the subway or join a guided tour with transport to explore the musical heritage of Harlem or Brooklyn’s global food scene.
Rise Above the Crowds
To truly escape the throngs, soar above the famous New York City skyline on a helicopter tour. Most tours are private, so you have spectacular aerial views of Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, and Brooklyn Bridge all to yourself.
Tour by Water
Another great way to appreciate New York in peace is on a sightseeing cruise. As you glide down the Hudson River and through New York Harbor, there’s no standing in line, no packed train to catch, and no jostling on crowded sidewalks. Opt for a dinner cruise to see the skyline and Brooklyn Bridge lit up at night—plus, you forego the competition for a dinner reservation.