Wednesday, December 7, 2016

New York City: Tourist traps to avoid

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, New York City is a vibrant and exciting place to visit. It is also full of tourist traps where you will be encouraged to spend more than you should in both money and time. Some things may be worth any price to visit but others can easily be replaced with some things equally as exciting.

Empire State Building

This iconic New York City building is one of the most recognizable structures in the city, it is also one where long lines and waits of up to two hours are not uncommon. Stand ticket price is $34. You can avoid the lines with a VIP Pass, it will set you back $80 for visits to both decks.  You can visit the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center for the same $34 but without the two-hour wait. Better yet, head to Brooklyn and get the best view of the NYC skyline for free. 

Horse and carriage rides

It is very tempting to fall for the lure of the horse and carriage rides that are offered in the area near the Plaza Hotel. Yes, they will take you for a ride in Central Park, however, that ride will cost you dearly. On average, $155 for 45 minutes and if you are visiting from Thanksgiving to New Year it will be $255.  New York is a great walking city and you can easily see anything that you would have seen on the carriage ride for free by just using your own feet and at your own pace.

Little Italy

There was a time when Little Italy was the place to go in New York City for great Italian food, that time is long gone. Today, it is a prime tourist trap with long waits and lackluster food. For some of the best Italian food in the city, head to L’Artusi in the West Village neighborhood. This is a quiet neighborhood restaurant that is worth going a little off the beaten track to find. 

Ice Skating at Rockefeller Center

The Rink has been featured in some very popular movies and many visitors want to see it and be seen skating there. It is actually much smaller than it looks on screen and the wait to skate can be long and tedious especially at peak times. I was rather shocked at how small it actually is. Depending on the day, it can cost anywhere from $25 to $32  to skate here. Head for Central Park instead. The Wollman Rink located near the Central Park Zoo offers skating for $12 during the week and $19 on weekends and it won’t be nearly as crowded. 

Times Square

Many people think of Times Square when they think New York City. It is one of those attractions that is a tourist magnet but offers little in return. If you must, just walk through and continue on your way. Almost anywhere else is a better place to visit. It is crowded and in reality, if you are distracted by the lights, you are an easy target for thieves. 

New York City has so much to offer visitors that there is no need to waste time on Tourist Traps. Save time and money by visiting some of the lesser known gems.

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