Before you Travel

Bookings needed & things you can prepare in advance to make the most of your time once in New York

Tickets & activities you NEED to book in advance

The huge majority of travelers visit the following attractions. They need to be booked to avoid huge queues or to guarantee availability.

The tickets that you should definitely book first are the ones for the Broadway shows you want to attend. They usually sell out and you could arrange your itineraries according to the date and time of the ones you choose. 

Broadway shows

Then, you should book the tickets for the Empire State Building Observation Deck. There are several options, I would suggest getting the General Admission and go up in time to see the sunset, or get the Day and Night Entry. Seeing the city from above during both is worth it.

Empire State Observation Deck Tickets

Another option is to go up the One World Observatory in a different time of the day than the Empire State. This one has 2 advantages: it's the tallest building in New York and you'll get to see the city WITH the mytical Empire State included in the view.

One World Observatory tickets

Finally, you could book tickets to get to the Statue of Liberty by boat. It's an amazing experience to see it from the water and then step into its island. I recommend going as early as possible or at least before 1pm so you can enjoy the Statue and Ellis Island with no rush.

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tickets


There are different Passes you can buy to enter attractions and each has its own options, so you should check them out before choosing. If you read the descriptions and still can't decide which pass to get, send me a message and I'll help you with it!

As for the Sightseeing Pass, there are two different options: with the Flex Pass you can choose 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, or 12 attractions out of 100 and it's valid for 30 days from the first activation. It also includes the Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours by Gray Line CitySightseeing for 72 hours. On the other hand, the Multi-Day Pass makes you choose between 1 and 10 days, depending on the length of your trip, but it's only valid valid for up to 10 days from the first activation. It also includes the Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Tours, being valid through the duration of the pass. In my opinion, this would be the best option because you have unlimited access to the attractions during those days.

Sightseeing Passes

The NYC Explorer Pass also lets you choose a number of attractions and tours, in this case 3, 5, or 7 of over 80 options. You can check if the list of attractions to see is more suitable to you than the Sightseeing Pass.

NYC Explorer Pass

Finally, the New York City Pass includes 6 tickets: 3 fixed and 3 to choose from a determined list. With this pass, once on site you will have priority when entering the place of interest and in many cases you will avoid long queues. This is the best if you have just a few days and have to choose between some of the attractions.

New York City Pass

Pick your Transfers & Transport Cards

The airports of New York are extremely busy, booking your transfer earlier will avoid you stress and huge queues. The 2 options I recommend are Shuttles for the three airports. Shared shuttles are the most comfortable, they are cheaper than a taxi but a little bit more expensive than public transport. Depends on which airport you arrive to, the options and prices you'll have:

SuperShuttle company works for the three airports, JFK, La Guardia and Newark, provides door to door service and the price range for shared vans is $15 - $19, depending on the destination. They also offer private service with no stops during the way, for which you should calculate $85 as minimum.


Go Airlink NYC company also offers the shared van service for the three airports. The cost depends on where you're going, but calculate $20 per person, and the time depends on whether the van is full of passengers or not, and if you're the first one to be dropped off or the last one.

Go Airlink NYC

Once in the city, there are 2 good ways to move around: 

The best way with Public transport: Subway

The Subway is definitely the best way to move around in Public Transport to avoid traffic. There are 2 types of MTA MetroCard that can be bought in station machines: Pay-Per-Ride, you buy an MTA Card, charge it with certain amount of money and you will be discounted every time you use the metro (or bus). If the money runs out you can always top it up. Unlimited Card, it has unlimited trips but it goes for days, for example 7 days.

The most comfy & Panoramic way: Hop On- Hop Off buses

Perfect option for those who don’t like crowded metros or buses. I recommend the Big Bus company, they offer tickets for 1 or 2 consecutive days and have different routes you can choose from.

Big Bus Company

There's also the City Sightseeing company for Hop-On, Hop-Off buses, and there are two options to get tickets for them:

Riding those buses are included in the Flex Pass and Multi-Day Pass, so you could buy them and have the transport included, or you could buy the ticket for the bus separately, which includes a ferry ride and entrance to the One World Observatory.

City Sightseeing Company

Other recommended arrangements

Book your tours, guides & activities: Any Manhattan / Food tour, Private Guide or Broadway show sells out fast. Try to do your research and book before you go. Have a look at our Love Your Trip selection, we have the best services and experiences in town.

If you need advice to choose your activity or you’re looking for something specific, send me a message.

Curated Experiences & Tours NY

Have you just started to plan your trip? Too many things to decide? Too long do it all by yourself? Special needs or wishes? Then, you should plan your trip with a local to get tailored travel plans & advices.

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