Before You Go to New York
Before You Get on the Plane
Make sure you have all required documentation, including visas, work permits, marriage certificates etc. If you are an EU citizen visiting New York for tourism or business and you are staying 90 days or less, you don't need to apply for a visa because you're entitled to use the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Of course you are not allowed to work or study in this case. Take a look at the official VWP page for more details.
On the other hand, if you are entitled to apply for a visa, be aware that the process can take a long time, so start your application as soon as you are sure about your plans. You can find official information at http://travel.state.gov
Since you will likely be asked to state where you will be staying in NYC, you can either look for a room/apartment before leaving or decide to find accommodation directly in the city.
In order to avoid last minute problems, make sure you select a health insurance; change a reasonable amount of your currency for US dollars; buy some medicines according to your needs and ask your doctor if they will be available in the United States.
New York has three primary airports.
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is the main airport. It's located in Queens, about 15 miles from Manhattan. Taxi flat fares to reach Manhattan are $45.00, plus tolls and tip, but you have plenty of other ways to get to your destination.
Just look for the Ground Transportation Desk at your arrival. A popular (and cheap) way to reach your destination is to book a shared van: some companies offer this service, and one of the most famous is the SuperShuttle.
Remember to book your seat before leaving and you will find the blue van waiting for you outside the Ground Transportation Desk, ready to take you (and some other passengers) to your desired destination, just like a cab. For more options, take a look here.
Newark Liberty International Airport is located in New Jersey, about 16 miles from Manhattan.
Taxis from Newark to Manhattan have no flat fares: a ride could cost you around US$60, depending on your destination. Check all transportation services here.
La Guardia Airport is mostly used for business and domestic flights and it's only eight miles away from Manhattan.
Check your options to get into New York City proper here.
Travelling in New York
For tips on travelling within NYC once you arrive - along with fun things to go see - please check out our Tips from Locals guide!
Manhattan is definitely a place where you can feel safe, thanks to many police officers, cars and cams. Nevertheless, wherever you are in staying in New York City, these numbers and tips can be helpful to avoid trouble.
- Emergency number throughout the USA is 911. Call this number in case of a fire, or any need for police action.
- If you need to get back home late at night, don't walk for a long distance if you don't know the neighborhood.
- Hail a taxi or look for the nearest subway stop.
- If you take the subway late at night and you don't feel safe, wait for your train in front of the "Off-Hour Waiting Area".
- Avoid empty subway cars, or choose the front car so you can alert the driver quicker in an emergency.
- Be aware at cash machines – shield your PIN and make sure no one is standing directly behind you. Don't show your money, jewels or hi-tech gadgets in public.