What NOT to do as a tourist of New York City

Okay, so I’ve been thinking for a while of many reasons why not to write this post. I usually try not to complain about things, it’s just a waste of everyone’s time. But I think this post is very beneficial to anyone planning to visit NYC. So I’ve compiled this list for you so you don’t become that annoying tourist.

1.) Don’t stop in the middle of the sidewalk/road to stare at the sky.
2.) Don’t stop in the middle of the sidewalk/road to take pictures of buildings and bright lights.
Don’t stop in the middle of the sidewalk to discuss what to see next.
4.) Pick up the walking pace, this isn’t your vacation walk on the beach. (I suggest your comfortable running shoes)
5.) Don’t stop and stand directly in front of entryways to restaurants.
6.) Don’t be afraid to venture out of “touristy areas” – For example, Times Square is a place I rarely go to. It’s the most expensive as well.
7.) Don’t take up the whole sidewalk when walking with your family or group of friends, walk in pairs of 2 so other people can get around you.
8.) Don’t be afraid to ask “natives” for help or suggestions
9.) Don’t wear the I Love NY shirts until you get home.
10.) Plan your trip before you go out into the city, visit locations that are near each other before going to a different part of the city, time management is key.
11.) Don’t wear Red Sox apparel.
12.) Don’t beat your kids publicly.
13.) Don’t put your kid on a leash.

In the subway…
1.) don’t take up more than one seat on the train
2.) when it’s crowded, don’t open up your massively large MTA subway map to figure out where you’re going. (If you have an iPhone, download Kick Lite App – free)
3.) don’t stare at the different types of people you’ve never seen before.
4.) after getting off the train, walk to the exit, don’t turn around 20 times before deciding on which way.
5.) stand up and give that older lady your seat so she doesn’t fall and hurt herself.
6.) shut your kids up.
7.) ask one of the natives for directions if you’re lost, most new yorkers will help you out. (sidenote: once you get out of the train, ask someone else to see if he/she was right)
8.) you will see people begging for money, a lot of the money they collect doesn’t go to where you think it does. Use your best judgment.
9.) don’t try to sit between two people if you know you can’t fit. (probably the most annoying thing ever)
10.) don’t hit people with your overly large shopping bags or purses. (It still amazes me how some women, “native” or not, have no idea how big their purses are and disregard anything/anyone that comes in the way of them.)
11.) if you’re wearing a backpack and it’s extremely crowded, take it off and hold it in front of you. (This goes along with purses)
12.) wait until the train stops before trying to make your way to the door, there is no point in making people move while the train is in motion.
13.) ignore the crazy people talking to themselves and their invisible friends.
14.) don’t let your kids wonder around aimlessly.
15.) don’t stand anywhere near the stairs.
16.) don’t stop walking when going up or down the stairs.
17.) don’t stand in front of the turnstiles.

In the bus…
1.) the bus only takes change or a metro card, it does not accept dollar bills.
2.) you can take a lot of cross town buses instead of the subway system to save a lot of time.
3.) sit next to the window and take pictures of the awesome things that go by outside.
4.) stand up and give that elderly person your seat if they are forced to stand.
5.) wait until the bus stops before trying to make your way to the door, there is no point in making people move while the bus is in motion.
6.) shut your kids up.

The above list is just my observations after 2 years of living in this awesome city. And some of them are from suggestions from my twitter followers, thank you. (Most of you mentioned for tourists to not stop and stand in the way on the sidewalks.)

Below are links to other posts that have many more do’s and don’ts.
How To Not Be A Tourist in NYC
How to Avoid Looking Like a Tourist in New York City.
How To Not Be a Douchebag Tourist in NYC
Ten Things Not to Do in New York City.
How to not to look like a tourist in New York City


Suggestion: If you’re going to be in the city for 2-3 days just buy the 7-Day Unlimited MTA card, it will save you a lot of money and it’s unlimited on the buses as well. It will also allow you to be stress free, you can go wherever, whenever, as many times as you’d like. When you are leaving, just give it to someone who is coming into the city at the airport. Also, once you’ve gone through the turnstile at a subway station with the unlimited MTA card, and if you change your mind and need to go above ground to make a phone call or something, you will have to wait 18 minutes before using it again at the same station.

If you have any you’d like to add, please do so in the comments. This post isn’t meant to make tourists look or feel stupid, it’s to help them prepare for a different pace of life.



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