New York City – Travel Tips by John Ma

New York City
New York City
What type(s) of travellers would you recommend to visit New York City?

New York City is ideal for foodies, culture lovers and those who love shopping.

How long would you recommend for one to spend in New York City?

5 days 4 nights.

What are the top things to do in New York City that you would recommend?
1. Katz Deli
Katz Deli
Katz Deli

– Amazing melt-in-your-mouth beef pastrami sandwiches

– An institution and must try

– Expect to pay between USD25-30 per pax

– Come with an empty stomach

2. United Nations Tour
United Nations Tour
United Nations Tour

– A 45-minute tour to learn how the world’s largest supranational organisation works (or sometimes attempts to work)

– Prior booking is required

– Do arrive early for security checks

– Prices are about USD15 per pax

3. Woodbury Shopping Outlet
Woodbury Shopping Outlet
Woodbury Shopping Outlet

– Most people can spend a whole day here

– The largest shopping outlet in the USA

– Remember to sign up for the VIP coupons when you first arrive

– Transport options include a shuttle bus service or you can drive up in an hour from Manhattan

What are the top food places/must-eats that you would recommend?
1. For the luxury diner – Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Blue Hill at Stone Barns

– Reservations should be made two months before visiting (make an online reservation here)

– Check out Chef’s Table on Netflix to understand the spirit of this place

– This place has a no-tips policy but charges 20% for service

2. Babbo

– Mario Batali’s first restaurant before becoming a celebrity chef

– Try out the pasta tasting menu

– The star of the meal will really be the Olive Oil Cake at dessert (see full menu here)

– About USD130 per pax inclusive of tips

3. Grimaldi’s

– Some say it’s overhyped but this is a classic New York pizza joint

– Minimum of two to go if you don’t wanna be stuffed

– About USD25 for a ‘small’ pizza

When is a good time of the year to visit New York City?
Autumn – around October should be cooler and more pleasant.
How should one get around New York City?

Walk and subway!

Are there any local norms/cultures that a tourist should be aware of?
Tips for dining at an average of 15%.
What are the acceptable payment currencies and modes?

Cash, credit card. Cash in US dollars of course.

How should one stay connected to the internet?

Buy a SIM card at any cellular shop in the city. DO NOT BUY at JFK International as they charge you twice the price for the same plan.

Cost of Trip

Airfare – SGD1,600 – Qatar Airways from Singapore to New York City

Food – USD10-20 for cafes and restaurants but dollar pizza shops are all around the city

Transport – Subway and walking primarily. Subway tickets can be topped up in USD5 increments.