From the amazing skyline to the spectacular monuments, the Big Apple, New York City, is a treat for anyone visiting. Whether it is your first time or your hundredth time, you are sure to be captured by the seamless beauty of the city with so much to do. From shopping the racks at Fifth Avenue to appreciating the beautiful works of art at the Met, there is so much to do.
When you’re visiting the Big Apple, it is cash that should be on your mind and plenty of it. The city can become very expensive based on what you are looking to do. That being the case, you can quite easily visit New York City on a budget and not spend much money exploring the city. However, if you are after more luxury and shopping opportunities in the Big Apple, most certainly budget the trip with more cash.
Nightlife has much to offer the visitors of New York City. You can catch an award-winning Broadway show or hit up one of the many snazzy rooftop and jazz bars and clubs which illuminate the streets.
With everything that the city has to offer, you may be wondering, ‘when is the best time to visit this great city?’ Let’s dive a little deeper and find out exactly which months of the year are the most suited for a visit to the Big Apple.
What is the Best Month to go to New York?
Best Times of the Year to Visit New York
The best times of the year to visit New York City is from April to June and September to early November. The weather during these times of the year is warm and pleasant while the tourists are low in numbers which makes the city more accessible.
If you are more on a budget, you should plan your visit for mid-January to mid-February. This time of the year is considered the cheapest time to visit the city with various discounts and promotions for visitors. That being the case, you should be prepared to brave the cold during this time of the year.
December too is a good month to visit the city, especially if you don’t mind the cold weather. Then again, the city tends to look beautiful and has a whole different vibe in the winter months of the year.
With the times of the year considered, you may be wondering how long of a trip you would need to plan. Let’s dive a little deeper, so keep reading as we explore further into how long you should plan your visit to the Big Apple.
How Many Days do you Need in New York?
If you’re visiting the Big Apple, you need to plan for at least three days to give yourself enough time to actually see the city. If you’re looking to experience more of what the city offers, you would need to spend at least a week in the city.
A three-day tour of the big city would be rather short and you would have to take a quick tour of the city and not really have time to explore the various live events which are popular in the city.
Ideally, you should plan for a week’s visit when you are visiting New York, for it allows you the room that you need to explore the city and experience everything the city has to offer. A week is considered the ideal time for a visit, it isn’t too long and it isn’t short. Not only will you have enough time to tour the city, but you would find enough time to experience some amazing food and live events which would make your visit so much more worthwhile.
What Time of the Year are Hotels Cheapest in New York?
Winter is the cheapest time of the year with regards to booking hotels and accommodation. You would find the cheapest rates from January to March. Surprisingly, the summer too is rather cheap with rates on the low between July and August.
Christmas is the busiest time of the year, so you should work to avoid that if you are travelling on a budget. However, November can be quite affordable so long as you stay away from the parade-route hotels on Thanksgiving weekend.
Another money-saving idea for your visit to the Big Apple is to plan your trips for the weekend. Many business hotels tend to become empty during the weekends which is great for you, for this means lower rates. In fact, you could find rooms at half the rate on the weekends with rooms originally going at $300 on weekdays, going as low as $150 a night on weekends.
If you are travelling on a budget, then you have to make sure that you keep the season in mind. Fall is the busiest time of the year for the city, hence the prices of hotels can be rather high during this time of the year. Special events like Christmas and New Year’s will also cost some pretty bucks considering how popular these times of the year are.
With everything said and done, you probably would like some direction on the budget that you would have to plan for. How much will it actually cost you? Hence, let’s take a better look into the possible costs involved and work out an approximate budget which should give you an idea of how much money you should carry with you.
How Much Should I Budget for a Trip to New York?
The average budget for a week’s visit to New York City can cost you between $3,350 to $5085. This includes your flights, accommodation, meals, tours and some shopping in the city.
Let’s take a deeper look into the costs involved. We’ll break down the costs into various categories, so you have a better idea with regards to what you should be looking to spend your money on.
|Flights||$1,200 to $1,500|
|Accommodation||$960 to $1,450|
|Transportation||$160 to $175|
|Food||$470 to $660|
|Tours||$330 to $650|
|Shopping||$300 to $450|
|Miscellaneous||$130 to $200|
If you find yourself on a budget, you can most certainly visit the Big Apple on a smaller budget. In fact, you can do a week’s visit for about $2,000 to $3,000 so long as you save on shopping and use public transport and obviously stay in a cheaper hotel. Travelling on a smaller budget is most certainly possible.
Similarly, if you are looking to splurge, the sky is the limit in the big city. With so many attractions, shopping and some fabulous places to stay, you can quite easily work up to $10,000 for your week’s visit.
Weather in New York
January is the coldest month of the year in New York, with the temperatures plummeting to an average range of -16.1°C to -1.7°C. July is the warmest month of the year with temperatures ranging from an average of 28.3°C to 20.8°C.
The warmth after the winter starts coming in with spring which takes place between April and May. However, this time of the year is slightly rainier than normal and you should expect some showers in early to mid-spring. Spring in New York is beautiful with budding flowers and light winds and rain. You are most likely to experience some really pleasant temperatures which is why it is considered one of the best times to visit the city. You can enjoy a beautiful sunset with a cool breeze near the water in New York and really capture everything spring in New York has to offer.
The winter months can become really cold, with plenty of snow and chilly winds. With average temperatures ranging from 6°C to -3°C and you can expect icy spells which will plummet the temperatures to -15°C.
Fall is also a beautiful time of the year, with pleasant temperatures that are not too cold and not too warm. Months from September to November are considered fall and is one of the best times to visit this great city.
With an array of temperatures year-round, there is something to experience regardless of what time of the year you visit. Whether you prefer catching the snow touched city winters or basking in the warmth of summer, the decision is yours.
Best Places to Stay in New York
When you consider the best places to stay in New York, you don’t want to budge on the quality of the accommodation. If you prefer a bit of luxury and comfort and are willing to spend the money, there are some amazing places that you can stay in New York.
Considering the exorbitant prices of real estate in the city, the idea of a budget hotel almost doesn’t exist. However, there are some hotels that do offer a good level of comfort for a smaller price. In fact, if you don’t mind the commute, you can find cheaper accommodation in New Jersey which is a short train ride away from New York City. However, if you just don’t see the point of visiting New York and not staying within the city, there are some great Airbnbs that offers cheap rates for those looking for cheap accommodation within the city confines.
On the other spectrum of the budget is the luxury lovers who would splurge on finding the best hotels to stay at, that not only offers a level of luxury like none other but also a level of comfort that is beyond the norm. If you are after luxury, you have to consider the rich and beautiful neighbourhood of Upper East Side. This is a great place to be if you like the quieter end of life, especially if you are planning on exploring the museums of New York City.
Upper East Side is full of beautiful buildings and luxury boutiques with convenient access to Central Park. You would also find the city’s most famous museums along 5th Avenue which runs east of Central Park. Do expect the hotels to be a bit more expensive in this district with prices of bar and restaurants as high.
If you are travelling on a short trip and would like to see most of what the city offers, you should consider staying in Midtown, where you have access to more sights. You can easily sidestep the long commutes to sights and is perfect for the majority of visitors looking to travel to New York. At walking distance from Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building and Central Park, the area is highly accessible and convenient. There is a huge selection of hotels you can stay at various price ranges. Hence, if you are looking for a comfortable place to stay at a reasonable price, your best bet would be Midtown. That being the case, do expect crowds of tourists with quite a bit of noise, as the hotels are located within central New York.
If you prefer taking a closer look into the lives of the locals and live where the locals live, you should consider finding accommodation in Soho and Lower East Side. These hip districts are great places to go art hunting and shopping. The street scene is beautiful and the restaurants are super-trendy. There is something in all price ranges and you will be swept away by life on the streets. Little Italy and Chinatown are steps away and can be easily accessed if living in Soho and the East Village.
The Nicest Parts of New York City
The nicest parts of the city to live in are the best neighbourhoods that you can call home, even if it is for the short time that you spend in the city. New York is referred to as a series of small towns, each with its own unique personality. When considering the best neighbourhoods in New York City, there are actually five which take the crown.
Upper West Side is considered the most picturesque part of New York City. Though the prices of accommodation is a bit more expensive, there is an element of charm within this area of New York.
Upper East Side is another beautiful area of the city, which is more on the expensive end of the spectrum. In fact, you would find the most expensive properties in New York on the Upper East Side. Luxury is the word to define the accommodation here and you are sure to experience something spectacular if you choose this neighbourhood to stay with.
Washington Heights is a soulful and lovely neighbourhood in Upper Manhattan. You would find yourself minutes away from Midtown, where you are more likely to find reasonably priced accommodation. In fact, this neighbourhood has something to offer regardless of the price range you are working with. With plenty of bars and restaurants in the area, you are sure to find things to do and stay entertained during your stay.
Battery Park City is a 92-acre planned community, which rests on beautiful vistas of the Hudson River. Considered the better choice for families, there is a huge shopping mall with a gourmet food court and shopping is plentiful in some of the upscale boutiques of the area. You can find yourself a place to stay for a reasonable price, and the accommodation isn’t as expensive as other parts of the city.
Gramercy Park is the only private park in Manhattan, and the neighbourhood bears the same name. Considered a posh area with some of the island’s prettiest pockets. You would find some of the best restaurants in the city with plenty of places to wine and dine. The accommodation can become a bit more pricey, however, the experience is worth it.
New York City Attractions
New York City has some of the best attractions in the world and some amazing places which are great for families. The iconic Statue of Liberty is found in New York City, a tour of which should be a must if you are visiting the city.
Central Park adds to the charm of the city, providing a great place to walk, peddle or carriage ride through the crisscrossing pathways. The park is simply huge and is half a mile wide and 2.5 miles long.
The vast entertainment and shopping complex of Rockefeller Center in the middle of Manhattan is popular amongst tourists visiting the Big Apple. There are some beautiful views of the city landscape offered from the Top of Rock Observation. There is an outdoor skating rink during winter and a huge Christmas tree in celebration.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Met is one of the most famous museums in the United States. There is a permanent collection of two million works of art which span for a period of 5,000 years. If you are a history bug, then surely, a visit to the Met is a must.
The Empire State Building is one of the most famous New York City landmarks and is a key tourist attraction. This 102-storey tower offers some beautiful views of the city from the observation deck which is situated on the 86th floor. This is a must-visit for anyone visiting the city.
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is also a tragic reminder of the events which transpired on September 11th and is considered a worthwhile visit to pay respect to all the lives that were lost in the incident.
The Brooklyn Bridge is another recognisable landmark of New York City. You can catch a sight of the bridge on a ferry ride or walk the wood plank walkway which is open to pedestrians and cyclists. If you aren’t up to walking the whole distance, you can still do part of the walk and experience the beautiful view from the world’s first steel suspension bridge.
Lined with huge, brilliantly lit billboards and screens, Times Square is the place the be in the evening however can still be exciting during the day. Though very crowded and busy, the bleachers set up at one end is a great place to take a break and appreciate the scene.
There are also various sporting events and broadway shows that you can catch on your visit. Really, the things to do in New York are endless.
What Salary Do I Need to Live in New York City?
If after reading everything, you have come to the realisation that you may even want to move to New York City, we thought to provide you with an added bonus of the estimated costs of living in New York City. This way, you would know exactly how much to ask for in your interview to actually move to the Big Apple.
In general, to live a comfortable lifestyle in New York, even if you are splitting the costs of accommodation with a roommate, you would require an average yearly income of about $50,000. This means a single person would need about $30,000 after taxes to live a comfortable life in the city.
The city can be expensive, however, when you live in the city, you tend to spend less than when you are visiting. Studio apartments can go between $1,889 to $2,098 a month. With an estimated cost for a family of four at $4,946 a month without rent. A single person’s monthly costs without rent culminate to $1,348.