Cheap Flights To New York
Besides the ‘Big Apple’ New York’s known as New York City (NYC) or the City of New York, differentiating it from the State of New York. Located on one of the largest natural harbours in the world it comprises five boroughs; Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx, all of which are counties of New York State that were in 1898, merged into one city. As one of the busiest cities in the world people are always trying to find cheap flights to New York to save where possible.
October through to December is the beginning of the holiday period with visitors and locals flocking to the NYC and its wonderfully festive atmosphere. This is one of the busiest periods for the airlines offering flights to New York. Around a million people just want that once-or-more-in-a-lifetime experience in Times Square of the New Year count-down and fireworks while others attend the theatre opera, ballet or have fun ice skating at one of many outdoor rinks. It’s also a great period for families to touch base.
Late December to end of March, early April is the best time to grab a cheap flight and a reasonably priced hotel for New York City, other than on Valentine’s Day. Even though it’s cold and windy, you’ll enjoy exploring the city sights as long as you’re well layered and wrapped with a nice long coat and shoes that don’t leak.
From April to September the blissful weather has loads of tourists flocking to the city with good deals on flights and hotels. Visitors and locals alike are outdoors enjoying an array of attractions, open-air theatres, free concerts and good food.
Why Visit New York
The most densely inhabited city in the United States makes NYC one of the world’s most urban agglomerations, a global power city that significantly influences finance, commerce, fashion, art, technology, education and entertainment in a major way. Often referred to as the financial and cultural capital of the world, as many as 800 languages are spoken in NYC.
Diverse in architectural design, NYC’S skyscrapers light up against the night sky leaving splashes of colour across the bay. ‘Times Square’, ‘432 Park Avenue’, the ‘Empire State Building’, ‘The Brooklyn Bridge’, ‘One World Trade Centre’, ‘40 Wall Street’, the ‘Chrysler’ and ‘New York Times’ buildings, ‘Brooklyn Bridge’ and the ‘Statue of Liberty’ are sights on every tourist’s itinerary.
Art devotees are never at a loss with over 2,000 art and cultural associations and more than 500 art galleries to appreciate. One of the largest galleries in the world, the ‘Metropolitan Museum of Art’ has a collection of over 2 million works from classical antiquity, ancient Egypt and Byzantium including virtually all European masters. The ‘Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’ on 5th Avenue is a must see for anyone appreciating the arts with its 7,000 piece collection including works by van Gogh, Picasso and Monet.
Home to ballet, jazz, opera and much more is the ‘Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts’ with the ‘Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute’ in Union Square. Taking in a ‘Broadway’ show from one of 40 theatres goes without saying and night-time revellers cannot run out of venues and bars comprising comedy, jazz, live music, satire shows, adults only entertainment, Irish pubs and loads more.
NYC is the shopaholics dream with unlimited options from a great choice of department stores and tourists refusing to return home without that purchase from ‘Macy’s’, ‘Bloomingdale’s’ or from one of many Madison or Fifth Avenue boutique stores.
It would be sacrilegious to leave NYC without having indulged in a New York Bagel, a Black & White cookie, a piece of New York pizza, a Deli Sandwich or New York Style Cheesecake! Bagels are eaten as snacks, for breakfast or lunch and are great for anyone on a tight budget.
Getting Around NYC
Once you have found your cheap flight to New York, you will have the opportunity to hail down one of 12,000 infamous yellow cabs just like they do in the movies. ‘Yellow’ cabs are one of the easiest and most convenient modes of travel for getting around the city.
The world’s largest rapid transit system is the NYC subway that operates 24-hours a day with 468 stations and is not difficult to figure out. The majority of NYC residents utilise this reliable and affordable system, albeit NYC is the only city in the US with the majority of households not owning a car.
The ‘Port Authority Bus Terminal’ is the main intercity bus terminal for the NYC with 7,000 buses serving 200,000 commuters every day it’s the busiest bus terminal in the world.
Visitors can take the ‘Staten Island Ferry’ that operates 24 hour a day between Lower Manhattan and Staten Island or one of many other ferry shuttles operating between Manhattan and the metropolitan areas.
For a change of pace take an aerial tramway that operates between Manhattan and Roosevelt Islands.
Just 20km southeast of Manhattan, JFK International Airport (JFK) is easy to get to and from with both the NYC Subway and the Long Island Railroad. Services are open all night but visitors should be cautious when travelling late at night or to any suburbs they’re not familiar with.
Travelling with the ‘AirTrain’ is convenient and safe as you to get on directly from the airport terminal and get off at one of three stops in Manhattan with ticket purchases being made in advance or on the spot.
A bus can be taken from the east side of the arrivals hall but ensure you have the correct amount of cash for your trip. Alternatively the ‘NYC Airporter Bus’ is a shuttle geared specifically for the airport that conveniently departs from early morning until late evening every 30 minutes, has loads of room for luggage and free Wi-Fi. Passengers can disembark at Grand Central, Penn Station or Port Authority.
Hail down a ‘Yellow’ cab if you haven’t booked one in advance. Depending on traffic, the trip can take between 30 and 90 minutes.
Newark International Airport (EWR) was the first commercial airport in the NYC area although actually in New Jersey, it is just 24km over state lines to midtown Manhattan. Somewhat quieter than JFK it’s equally accessible and well managed. With hundreds of flights to New York landing daily this airport sees many travellers. From EWR travellers can take a train to various stop throughout NYC or a bus that takes approximately 1 to 2 hours but operates all year round from early morning to late at night. ‘Yellow’ cabs are available but it could be a somewhat tedious journey, especially during peak rush hour.
The smallest of New York’s primary airports is ‘La Guardia’ (LGA), located just 13km east of the city with each terminal conveniently having travel information in its arrival area. Outside the arrival hall taxis are ready and waiting including the ‘NYC Airporter Bus’ as well as public and private buses that provide transfers to all boroughs. The station is located outside the arrival terminal with comprehensive information on prices, duration and departure times. Additionally one can take a ‘shared-ride’ service that operates ‘door-to-door’ drives on demand and take approximately 30 minutes.
NYC has insurmountable choices for accommodation, shopping, restaurants, bars, clubs and all types of attractions.
In Greenwich Village, get everything in one go with a pub, club and bar crawl, plus a headache no doubt!
Once you’ve decided which ‘Broadway’ shows you want to see get discounted tickets from a ‘TKTS Booth’ saving you between 25 to 50%, or opt for a ‘Standing Room Only and Rush’ ticket for around $35 compared to average price of $100. You can also go online and purchase your tickets through websites or Broadway discount ticket newsletters with savings up to 50%.
Purchase an ‘all in one’ ‘New York Pass’ providing free entry to over 50 prime NYC attractions with savings on sightseeing tours, restaurants, theatres and stores. The more sights you see, the more you save on your pocket.
The Ride NYC coach affords you a fun and exciting ride with sights of the city, performances on each corner and comedians and entertainers on board.
A must for families is a visit to the ‘American Museum of Natural History’, the ‘Bronx or Central Park Zoo’, a ‘Circle Line Semi-Circle Sightseeing Cruise’ or an exciting game of baseball.
Get a bird’s eye view of NYC from the ‘Top of the Rock’ located on the 70th floor in Rockefeller Centre. Take advantage of their ‘twice-in-one-day’ ticket spotting renowned skyscrapers during the day and witnessing in awe, the city aglow at night.
Summer is great to do the ‘Greenwich Village Food & Cultural Walking Tour’ or the ‘Museum Mile Festival’, be in Central Park with free musical or drama stage performances or just meander around open air markets like the ‘Green Flea Market’ seeking out bargains with an ice-cream or a hot dog.
Have a shopping experience of note at Macy’s, the largest store in the world from 1924 until 2009 with no less than 11 floors! Purchase anything and everything from mattresses to cosmetics at ‘Bloomingdale’s’.
For items with good value, pop into ‘Lord & Taylor’s’ Department store, in operation since 1826.
You’ll find the trendiest merchandise in town at ‘Barney’s New York’ if you can afford the prices!
Get that Black & White cookie, at ‘William Greenberg Jr. Desserts’ or ‘Zabar’s’ and for the best pizza in NYC, it’s worth a trip to Soho from ‘Lombardi’s Pizzeria’. For mouth-watering New York Style Cheesecake try ‘Eileen’s Special Cheesecake’ or ‘Two Little Red Hens’.
You’ll be more than satisfied with a trip to Harlem for a worthwhile meal. At ‘Charles’ Pan-Fried Chicken’ get your taste-buds going with Charles Gabriel’s legendary fried chicken or at ‘Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too’ savour delicious and affordable soul food like catfish, ribs, fried chicken and corn bread. Harlem’s most well known restaurant ‘Sylvia’s’ has been dishing up soul food since 1962 which says a lot! Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, highly recommended are ribs, fried chicken, macaroni & cheese, collard greens and candied yams, expect it to be crowded.
Eliminate any indecisiveness from innumerable choices by taking a New York food tour and experience varying flavours of Eastern cuisine through ‘Chinatown’ and when in ‘Little Italy’, get a taste of homemade mozzarella and prosciutto while learning how Italian immigrants lived and ate!