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The Big Apple can be such an overwhelming city that it feels like each New York city guidebook is telling you about the hundreds (if not thousands!) of things you should be doing. I can’t disagree with the fact that that there is plenty to keep you busy while you’re in New York, but as a native New Yorker, I feel obligated to remind you that there are a few things you should avoid doing. Whether these are assumptions you should break, neighborhoods you should or shouldn’t avoid, or transportation methods you shouldn’t be afraid of, here are 5 things NOT to do in New York City!

RELATED: 8 great outdoor lounges and beer gardens in New York

1. Assume all New Yorkers are cold and heartless

As a lifelong New Yorker this one stings to admit, but I suppose that it’s possible that New Yorkers perhaps have a reputation for being some combination of cold, brusque, or flat-out rude.

While this might occasionally be true, let me assure you that not ALL New Yorkers are this way. Please don’t assume this, as many New Yorkers are not only very proud of their city and eager to help newcomers, but also genuinely cheerful people always ready to make new friends.

So, whether you’re looking for directions or just to start up a conversation in a bar, remember that many New Yorkers can be friendly, and happy to help you find exactly what you’re looking for!

2. Exclusively use credit or debit cards

Plastic has become king throughout the world, and New York is no exception. However, while debit and credit cards will give you absolutely no trouble throughout most of New York, there are certain enclaves—particularly downtown and in the outer boroughs—whose businesses, bars, and restaurants remain cash only.

Regular people hanging out in a coffee shop, having drinks, doing work, meeting friends, etc.

Specifically, Brooklyn’s Bushwick and Manhattan’s East Village—the latter being a particularly popular nightlife spot for locals and tourists alike—are known for their cash-only businesses.

And, if you have leftover cash toward the end of your trip, you can always tip with cash even when you pay with credit card. Trust me, your bartender/waiter/driver will greatly appreciate it!

3. Be afraid to venture outside of Midtown…

Times Square. Broadway. Empire State Building. Rockefeller Center. Radio City Music Hall. Bryant Park.

Yeah, I get it.  It would be pretty hard for me to leave Midtown Manhattan, too!

However, even though your hotel and top Manhattan bucket list items may be (fairly) focused around Midtown, don’t be afraid to venture outside of it, either.

If you head north of Midtown, you have the quaint beauty of the Upper East and Upper West Sides (not to mention Central Park!), and, if you head South, you have the galleries and restaurants of Chelsea, the shopping of SoHo, the history of the Financial District, and plenty more!

4. …or Manhattan!

I can totally understand if your New York trip is so short that you feel it would be a disservice to leave Manhattan, but trust me when I say the outer boroughs of New York – Staten Island, The Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens – have plenty to offer.

If you’re a big-time sports fan, then venturing outside Manhattan may be a requirement, as both baseball’s Yankees (Yankee Stadium, the Bronx) and Mets (Citi Field, Queens) call the outer boroughs home.

Brooklyn Bridge taken from Brooklyn Bridge Park.

If you’re simply looking for adventure outside Manhattan, Brooklyn is probably your best bet as some of the city’s hottest food festivals (Smorgasburg, East River State Park), nightlife & shopping (anywhere in Williamsburg!), and pizza (Roberta’s, Bushwick) lie in the heart of Brooklyn!

5. Be afraid to use public transportation

I get it. With the proliferation of yellow cabs (not to mention ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft…), why would you ever consider New York City’s much-maligned public transportation?

Young woman going down steps to subway entrance in the city

Well, there are two main reasons. From a financial perspective alone, (each subway ride is $2.75, while the average cab ride in New York is at least $15-18), taking the subway can free up a lot of extra spending money, and it’s not like New York is cheap!

More importantly, though, a dirty little secret about New York transportation is that, in many cases, taking the subway is actually quicker than taking a car.

Yup, that’s right! A good rule of thumb is that if your subway commute doesn’t require transferring trains, it’s almost always quickest to just forget the cars and head underground!

Tagged: Cheap City, USA, Cheap Tips, Destinations, New York City

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Sher Jordan

Sher Jordan

Sher Jordan

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