New York City
Eco-friendly travel guide to New York City advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in New York City, New York (state), United States of America.
- Air quality: 3 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 5 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 4.5 / 5
- Public transportation: 4 / 5
- Parks: 5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 5 / 5
- Safety: 3.7 / 5
- Accommodation: US$50 - $3,500
- Budget per day: US$150 - $4,000
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
New York City is the most populous city in the United States of America. It's well recognised for its influence in sports, fashion, art, tourism, politics, education, technology, research, entertainment, commerce and its fame rings loud worldwide as it has been described to be the cultural, financial and media capital of the world. Once you set your foot in this beautiful New York City, you'll find glitters tossed in your eyes as you're engulfed by beautiful sights and wonders. New York City enjoys the reputation of being the mecca for entrepreneurs, artists, dreamers, and tourists who just want to have a great time. And, even as an eco-friendly traveler in New York City, you can never go wrong choosing a place like this as your destination to explore. A lot of people visit New York City in pursuit of opportunity and truth be told, no other city compares to New York City. Visiting a city like New York without being cognizant of a few helpful tips that can help you travel responsibly can make your experience more expensive, stressful, and even confusing. And, this is why we're obliged to sharing you some handy tips you could use to travel responsibly in New York City.
- Know when to visit New York. The best time to visit New York is dependent on what you actually want. Don’t come around Christmas and summer if you want to avoid the crowds because, during any of the major holidays, the busyness in the city gets multiplied exponentially. New York is often busy and you shouldn't come around from mid-January to February if you're afraid of the cold and the best time to visit is usually during the Spring and Fall because summer can be very hot and humid.
- Navigating NYC is easy. New York City is composed of five boroughs; Staten Island, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. However, note that when the locals in this state are referring to the city, they're probably talking about Manhattan. NYC is pretty easier to navigate than you think and even though it may be somewhat overwhelming and disorienting trying to find your way around in a city that's surrounded by massive buildings, fret not and use these few tips;
- Use the subway, it's easy: The subway system in New York City is well labeled, it's easy to use, and you shouldn't feel intimidated using it. It's an affordable and efficient way to get around. Howbeit, always stand behind the yellow line on the platform and make sure you buy MetroCards only from approved vendors in the station. Try to get on the conductor’s car if you’re riding the subway late at night and you should make sure your limbs and possessions are away from the doors.
- Never stop walking. New York City has its special kind of flow and it wouldn't be nice of you to disrupt it. Making a sudden stop in the middle of the sidewalk is a guaranteed way to piss someone off because New Yorkers walk fast, and even if you're using the stairs or escalators, do well to leave space so people can get around you. Don't forget to be mindful of blocking the sidewalk. The left lane is the fast lane and you can stay on the right if you want to stand or go slower.
- NYC is not that dangerous. New York City is actually not a bad place to walk around because there are always people out and about. It's generally a very safe city even though a lot of people feel it's dangerous but it's important you use common sense to avoid being a victim of pickpockets and scammers, especially when you're around touristy spots.
One of the most important aspects of travelling responsibly is to try and leave a minimum carbon footprint. There are a few things that you should do to make sure you are not being a responsible traveler, for instance:
- Try and use recyclable material as much as possible
- Do not litter in the city
- Pack lightly so travelling to another city is easy and viable by way of local transport
- Try and use the public transport to travel within the city as it would help keep the pollution in check
Air Quality and Pollution
Compared to 25 other cities in the United States of America, the NYC metropolitan area is ranked 16th for ozone pollution by the American Lung Association. New York City has a significant air pollution problem and the fine particulate matter PM2 is the most common pollutant in New York. Most studies have enlisted New York City to be one of the most polluted cities in the United States of America, although there has been a recent, laudable improvement in the city's air quality. As an eco-friendly traveler in New York City, you can help in the reduction of air pollution in New York by supporting initiatives to reduce pollution and promote energy conservation, choosing a cleaner commute, and reducing energy use at home. If you enjoy sunnier but more humid weather and prefer a dramatic four-season climate, you'll love it here in New York City because it features a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) which gives it year-round plentiful rainfall, hot, humid summers, and cold, snowy winters.
Respect the Culture
The size and ethnic diversity in New York City reflect its culture. New York City has been described as the world's cultural capital but it's quite difficult to define one specific "culture" of the Big Apple because of its status as the country's trendsetter, its ethnic neighborhoods, and of course, its diversity. New York City is home to several businessmen, writers, fashionistas, artists, students, a large gay community, and it as well houses a large contingent of schools, plus it's famous for its fashion scenes in the United States of America. One unique thing New York is known for is its fast pace and this is one of the most common traits of the locals here. And, a good way you can probably respect this city's culture is "keeping up with the pace."
Unfortunately, most people tend to stereotype New Yorkers to be rude and brash but that isn't the case. A large number of the locals here will be glad to help you explore their home but it's worrisome that many are quick to tag the unwavering pride of the locals in their beloved city as "arrogance." If you want to respect the culture here, just don't sweat the small stuff. Stay relaxed and enjoy the company of friendly people that surround you here. Keep walking, keep pushing, and, you can always make use of technology to help you find safe places to stay or plan your visit meticulously.
Top 10 Places to Visit
With famous sites at every turn and never enough time to see them all, New York is always a whirlwind of activity and it's one of the greatest cities in the world. While some people come here to see its numerous world-famous museums, historic neighborhoods, famous Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, and the Statue of Liberty, some are just here to shop and dine or to enjoy the Broadway shows. New York City is a delight for sightseeing for most of its top attractions are just a short ride away or within walking distance of each other, and here's a list of the top 10 places to visit in New York City;
- The Statue of Liberty: Weighing approximately 450,000 pounds and standing just under 152 feet tall from the base to the torch, it's one of the largest statues in the world, and it's as well one of the greatest American icons. It remains a famous world symbol of freedom as it was built in the year 1886 as France's gift to the United States. You can as well stop at Ellis Island and explore the Immigration Museum if you're on a tour to the Statue of Liberty. And, if it interests you to see a record of immigrants who came through here, you can search the on-site computer database.
- Central Park: New York is a beautiful and livable city - thanks to this half-mile wide and 2.5 miles long huge park in the city center. One of the must-dos on anyone's New York City itinerary is walking, peddling, or carriage riding through Central Park's crisscrossing pathways. And, the fun never stops here even during the winter. Central Park has many attractions within its borders of which it costs little or nothing to access most of them; they include - the Lake, the Central Park Zoo, Strawberry Fields, and the Belvedere Castle.
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art: It's popularly called the Met and the highlights of its collection include photographs, musical instruments, Egyptian art, costumes, American arms and armor, decorative arts, and plenty others. It has three sites and the centerpiece is The Met Fifth Avenue. There are over two million works of art spanning a period of 5,000 years contained in its permanent collection and this museum is one of the country's most famous. It was founded in the year 1870.
- Broadway and the Theater District: Here is where you should consider if you're in the mood to see the latest shows and the long-running classics. It's regarded to be the pinnacle of American theater and one of the top things you'll enjoy doing in this city is to attend a Broadway show. However, take note that tickets should be purchased well in advance for the most popular shows.
- The Empire State Building: It became a landmark and a symbol for NYC when it opened in the year 1931 and got topped with a mooring mast for airships. Until the 1 World Trade Center tower rose higher, 41 years later, it enjoyed the accolade of being the tallest in the world. This 381-meter-tall, the 102-story building is one of the key tourist attractions and one of the most popular landmark buildings in New York.
- High Line: Offering outstanding views of the city and a natural feel with the glass railings lined in most areas, this park is worth a sight. There's as well a variety of native species of plants and trees planted at this urban walking trail above the city streets that used to be a former rail line. This exciting attraction in New York City has elevator access, stair access, and it's accessible at various points along the route.
- Times Square: Times Square has its unique appeal even though it can get busy and perpetually crowded. The atmosphere here is often bustling and intriguing, especially during New Year's Eve Celebrations. It's famous to be a prime spot and "ball drop" at midnight. Come here anytime of the day and you'll love the vibe. Times Square was named in 1904 after the New York Times tower, it was formerly Longacre Square, and it's a place to go in New York in the evening as it's adorned with huge, brilliantly lit billboards and screens.
- The Brooklyn Bridge: Taking an hour and walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is the best way to experience this icon and you can as well see it from many of the ferries. It was the first steel suspension bridge in the world, it was completed in 1883, spanning the East River from Manhattan to Brooklyn. This historic bridge has been a source of inspiration to painters, songwriters, poets, and it's one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city with its suspension cables and Gothic-shaped arches.
- Fifth Avenue: If you enjoy shopping as an activity, you should check out this place. It's the premier shopping area in New York and it's one of the country's most famous shopping streets. Saks Fifth Avenue, Apple Store Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf-Goodman, Tiffany, and Cartier are some of the plentiful top designers that have their flagship stores here. You don't necessarily need to be a shopper before you'll come here because a simple walk along Fifth Avenue will suffice.
- One World Observatory: The video of the city and building's history is shown by the elevators that are fitted with floor-to-ceiling LED screens. Obviously, the elevator to the top is part of the attraction as it captures the transformation of the city. This place is an observation deck offering outstanding views from distinct floors.
One of the fascinating things about New York City is that it's easy to be explored and regardless of wherever you find yourself, there are tons of nice places you can check out. Manhattan, which is known to be very famous among tourists, is pretty safe to explore, and Queens and Brooklyn should be on your list if you aren’t afraid of public transportation and want to get a taste of New York’s most interesting cuisine. However, popular areas that are great spots for tourists and well-patrolled are Midtown and Times Square, although they can be quite crowded.
To experience New York's art scene and big-city nightlife at its very best, Chelsea is your place. You can as well enjoy exploring the tucked-away dining spots and brownstones lined at the charming, winding streets in Greenwich Village, and if you desire to catch a glimpse of the city's hustle and bustle, check out the Financial District. Overall, there is a whole sea of places that you can explore in New York City, and no matter what interests you, you will find the activity of your choice in this city.
One of the greatest pastimes enjoyed by the residents of this city is visiting the parks and there are about 1,700 parks scattered across the five boroughs in New York City. New York City is home to hundreds of square miles of green space and its reputation goes way beyond the "concrete jungle" many people know it for. The local parks in the city are worth an afternoon of your time whether you want to get some fresh air, you need to unplug, or you just need to escape, and NYC’s pockets of greenery give the city life.
- Central Park: It's almost impossible to talk about the city parks in New York City without mentioning Central Park. It truly lives up to the hype it gets and it's one of the world's most famous parks. Conservatory Garden is where you should be if you come for some peace and you seek somewhere quiet to relax. Here, the further north you go, the calmer it gets, and be informed that it can get pretty touristy at the bottom of the park. Central Park is a place where you can people-watch, paddleboat, play tennis, or run the loop. You can as well explore the Ramble if you need something wilder.
- Riverside Park: Peppered with playgrounds for families and lined with historic buildings and stately trees, this park stretches for four miles from 59th street to 158th street. It's one of the eight scenic landmarks designated in New York City as it's renowned to be a place to enjoy sweeping views down the Hudson River. The same people who designed Central Park; Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted, are the ones who, in the 1870s, drew up the first plans for the park.
- Battery Park: This park is the ideal spot to take in the city without feeling too close to the action. It has views of the Freedom Tower and the Statue of Liberty. To snap a few for the ‘gram, a fun place to stop by is the Seaglass Carousel, especially if you’ve got visitors with you. And, you can as well rent kayaks or paddleboards from Pier 26 when it’s warm out.
- Brooklyn Bridge Park: There are lots of fun things to do here. You can cookout at one of the grills at Pier 5 or run or bike along Brooklyn’s 14-mile greenway This park keeps adding more space and it offers so much for people to explore. Deciding what to do here can be pretty difficult because there's plenty of gardens along the piers and there are as well soccer and volleyball courts.
- Prospect Park: This park is one like no other. It's hardly ever packed with tourists, you won’t see any high-rises from here, and this park is where you should be if you feel like escaping from the stress, hustle, and bustle of the entire city. Long Meadow, the zoo, and the dog beach are some of the highlights of this park.
- Washington Square Park: Under the iconic, you'll often find a lot of people playing games and performing. Enjoying people-watching has never been made so easy the way this NYU-adjacent park does and no doubt, it's one of the very best you'll find around. So, why don't you just hit up the Van Leeuwen, grab some ice cream, and feed your eyes.
New York City is home to 10 national parks! And, the national parks in the city do have their own vibe which is worth experiencing.
- Castle Clinton National Monument: Be sure to make time to spend some time at this monument in Battery Park. This park has its own exhibits, Junior Ranger program, and it's often filled with visitors waiting to see Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty because it is the ticket office for Statue Cruises. Today, it welcomes over millions of visitors to New York Harbor and this is a place that was purportedly built to prevent a British invasion in 1812. Arrive right when it opens if you want to visit before the crowds because it can get extremely crowded as it's the gateway to the Statue of Liberty.
- Federal Hall National Memorial: Now hosting a museum and memorial to the United States, this is where the first Congress, Supreme Court, and Executive Branch offices were, and it's here on Wall Street that the country's first president; George Washington, took the oath of office. Coming here, you might have to fight through the crowds to head inside because there are often tons of people stopping here and it’s always crowded outside.
- The Gateway National Recreation Area: Offering an array of areas to explore including parks and beaches, there's Fort Wadsworth, Miller Field, Canarsie Pier, Great Kills Park, Floyd Bennett Field, Riis Park, Fort Tilden, and Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge within the NYC units. This national park covers 27,000 acres of land in New York and New Jersey and coming here, you could be confused about where to start so, you can consider learning more about the country's oldest continuously operating lighthouse at the Sandy Hook Visitors Center/Lighthouse Keepers Quarters, check out exhibits about aviation history at the Ryan Visitor Center, or get more interesting info about the Wildlife Refuge, birds, and other animals at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center.
- Lower East Side Tenement Museum National Historic Site: From Tenement Tours to Neighbourhood Walking Tours, there are multiple tours offered here and you can get to know about the immigrants who lived here from 1863 to 1935 and get a look into the history of the Lower East Side.
The beaches in New York City are all free and they're all open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. From surfing in Queens to the historical sands of Brooklyn and the beauties in the Bronx, there are 14 miles of beaches for you to enjoy in New York City!
- Coney Island: It's always fun coming here because there are lots of things to do. Here, you can watch the parade of people moving up and down the boardwalk, go to a concert, visit the city’s main aquarium, eat a hotdog at Nathan’s Famous, cheer the Brooklyn Cyclones, ride a roller coaster, swim, or just lay out. This beach thrills with fun, excitement, and energy, and it's the most famous beach in New York.
- Rockaway Beach: This beach in Queens offers surfing; compared to other beaches where you'll find waves, sand, and sun. You can enjoy everything from pizzas to tacos here because when it comes to food, there's plenty of choices. You'll always find people here taking a simple walk along the sand or enjoying a game of volleyball. But, despite its popularity, it's always clean.
- Orchard Beach: This beach has been restored to its former glory as it boasts new playgrounds and facilities. It went through several improvements in the late 1990s and 2000s. History reveals that 50,000 people arrived the first weekend it was opened in the year 1936 and it was fondly called the “Riviera of New York.”
- Manhattan Beach: Situated in Brooklyn, this beach is often quieter than most other beaches you'll find around. It's a bit amusing, sort of, how Manhattan has never attracted as many people as much as Brighton Beach and Coney Island in the Peninsula do. You can pick a prime spot if you arrive early and you can enjoy planning your weekend picnic and BBQ here, and if you do decide to go for a dip, the water is generally calm. Manhattan is for you if you seek a stretch of sand with just a couple of people around.
- Brighton Beach: Due to the Russian shops in the neighborhood, it's partly nicknamed the ‘’Little Odessa”. You can enjoy being served drinks and food at the quiet cafes and the atmosphere here is relaxed plus there are more open spaces. Brighton Beach is quieter than the bustling Coney Island and you'll have a fun time here as there's seafood and plenty of beer on the menu of a restaurant that looks like a ship here.
It's almost difficult not to have a good time in New York City because most of the best attractions and landmarks in the city are free to visit. Some of the must-visit landmarks in the city are:
- St. Patrick's Cathedral: It seats 2,200 people and it is the country's largest decorated Gothic-style Catholic Cathedral. It first opened its doors in May 1879 after more than 20 years of construction. Daily services are free and open to the public and on some specific days, there are free public tours of the Cathedral offered.
- Central Park: Inspired by public parks in London and Paris, it was the first landscaped public park in the United States of America and it was designed by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted. This park is a fine place to escape from New York City's streets chaos and tall buildings and it boasts 843 acres of gardens, pathways, water, and open spaces. You can admire its many sculptures and gardens for free and you may just walk around the park.
- The Staten Island Ferry: Each leg of the journey takes about 30 minutes and covers 6.2 miles and it runs 24 hours a day. It offers riders a chance to experience stunning views of the New York Harbor, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and Lower Manhattan. If you want to identify some of the less obvious landmarks, you can ask a friendly New Yorker or consult your map because it isn't a "sightseeing cruise."
- Grand Central Terminal: The original glory of this landmark was restored on October 1, 1998, during its re-dedication as conscious efforts were made to restoring and reviving it as the National Historic Landmark it is. Brendan Gill and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis are some of the vocal New Yorkers that saved it from the landmark laws destructions in New York. Grand Central was first built in 1913 and today, it's home to a beautiful cocktail bar; The Campbell Apartment, great shopping, and numerous restaurants as it's more than a transportation hub for travelers using the subway and Metro-North trains.
- New York Public Library: As at the time of its construction in 1911, it was the largest marble building in the United States of America. It was designed by Thomas Hastings and John M. Carrere. Visitors are free to explore the library with the free daily tours offered. It also has a museum that features temporary exhibits on a variety of topics and an impressive book collection beyond its beautiful, admirable architecture.
Narrowing down which museums to include on your itinerary can be pretty difficult because New York City is home to hundreds of cultural institutions and historic sites.
- American Museum of Natural History: Just as its motto preaches, this museum is a place to garner knowledge about the universe, the natural world, and human cultures as it charges itself with the responsibility of disseminating, interpretation, and discovery through education and scientific research. The American Museum of Natural History was helped to be founded by Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. in 1869 and you have a lot to "uncover" here.
- Ellis Island Immigration Museum: It charges itself as a museum that focuses on educating visitors about the immigrant experience. It was renovated and transformed into a museum in the year 1990 and this Ellis Island, which is in New York Harbor, between 1892 and 1954, was where approximately twelve million steerage and third-class steamship passengers were processed.
- The Guggenheim Museum: Famous for its unique museum layout and spiral structure, architect Frank Lloyd Wright is to be thanked for the stunning design of this museum. Film, sculpture, and modern paintings are highlighted on the Upper East Side by the temporary exhibitions and permanent collection.
- The Tenement Museum: Tours here are also given in American Sign Language and Spanish. You'll love it here if it's in your interest to see into the immigrant past of the Lower East Side as this is the opportunity this Museum offers its visitors. However, take note that this museum is only accessible by guided tour.
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Showcasing everything from paintings by Van Gogh to Greek and Roman collection of over 17,000 objects and Egyptian hieroglyphics, this museum has arts and artifacts from all over the world, and it's famous to be the largest museum in the Western Hemisphere. 1870 was when this museum first opened and as time goes on, its halls experienced an expansion to Oceanian, Byzantine, Indian, Islamic, and African art, amidst several other kinds.
When it comes to food in New York City, you've got a whole lot to explore and it's no surprise that the U.S. News & World Report travel ranked New York City as #4 in Best Foodie Cities in the U.S. However, one thing you should know about eating in restaurants in New York City is that you should be prepared to wait. It’s common to have a 45-minute wait during peak hours and you probably can't avoid waiting for dinner if you haven’t made plans or reservations because there are tons of people here in this city, irrespective of the plentiful restaurants.
From cozy eateries to high-end celebrity chef hot spots, New York City is brimming with delicious places to eat and sampling some of its specialties is one thing you shouldn't miss out on. A lot of people tend to associate New York City with pizza and this particular unique style is made up of an assortment of toppings, plenty of mozzarella cheese, a light layer of tomato sauce, and hand-tossed thin crust. The two favorite spots to grab a slice of this New York-style pizza are Grimaldi's Pizzeria and Joe's Pizza - this is what the locals affirm. Bagels are another New York staple, you can enjoy it being topped with thick cream cheese, and it's believed that Tompkins Square Bagels, Bagel Bob's, and Ess-a-Bagel are your surest places for bagels.
Traditional Local Restaurants
Traditional local restaurants are plentiful in New York and here are a few ones you can check out;
- Hakubai: This restaurant offers everything from wine and vegetarian options to spirits, small plates, cocktails, beer, and alcohol. It's an authentic Japanese restaurant that features ancient Kaiseki cuisine tasting menus and Japanese fare. Come to this Kitano hotel's eatery if you are up for trying something new and different from the regular.
- John's of 12th Street: This restaurant takes deliveries and takeout orders. From 4 in the evening till 9:30 PM, you can enjoy eating here are its outdoor seating. Calling ahead to make your reservation would be really nice to secure yourself a seat. John's of 12th Street has been serving great meals since 1908 and it's a traditional and Vegan Italian restaurant.
- Pearl Dinner: People who have eaten here have confirmed its authenticity and validity as a great place to eat. It's well-known and respected for its food quality, nice service, and good atmosphere. This restaurant also has a friendly staff that is always willing to put you through whatever you may need. It's a fantastic hidden gem restaurant in New York City and it has been operating for more than 50 years.
- Vietspot Tribeca: This restaurant is situated in downtown Manhattan's Tribeca and Financial District. It's famous for its lunch and dinner options and it's a great place to try out awesome dishes such as Pho, Banh Mi, and a host of others. You can never go wrong coming to grab a meal at this fast-casual Vietnamese restaurant.
- Churrascaria Plataforma: You'll love it here if you're a fan of grilled meat. Known for its amazing ambiance and friendly staff, it serves everything from beef ribs and turkey to chicken, steak, ribs, pork, and many more. This restaurant offers enjoyable meals as well. It's a Brazilian restaurant with a parade of servers toting skewered meats.
Vegetarian and Vegan
New York City is vegan-friendly and it's home to over 140 vegetarian restaurants. Eating plant-based never gets tiring here because there's everything from plenty of vegan options at regular restaurants and soul food to amazing Indian options, a vegan diner, awesome dim sum in Chinatown, vegan Korean food, the best falafels, and many more here. Here's a list of some of the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in New York City.
- Superiority Burger: Managed and operated by the well-loved Chef Brooks Headley, this spot has grown to be a sanctuary for vegetarian and vegan food in East Village. It's hidden down a flight of stairs and it's massively patronized by carnivores and vegetarians who troop in to treat themselves to its sumptuous burger and many more.
- Beyond Sushi: Beyond Sushi takes vegan rolls one step further and it's famous for its innovative vegan rolls. It's purely delightful treating yourself to something seaweed and dipped in soy sauce and wrapped in sushi rice and, you'll forget all about raw fish when you hit up this creative sushi restaurant. The flavor profiles options here are abundant from giant roasted cauliflower heads to dumplings, ravioli, ramen, and the appetizers and mains go beyond rolls. Come here to ravish your palate with creamy tahini and lemon-saffron sauces, black rice, and pickled burdock root.
- Vegetarian Dim Sum House: Before you come here, take note that this restaurant only accepts cash so, come with enough. While you dig into lotus-wrapped sticky rice, sweet-and-salty dumplings, and crispy wontons, this spot offers complimentary tea for you to wash down your meal. It's housed along a narrow Chinatown alley and dishes teeming with sautéed vegetables have fake pork, beef, and a few other mock meats.
- Dirt Candy: Some of the dishes that have been served here include brussels sprouts tacos accompanied by lettuce wraps and pumpkin pad thai. The menu here changes with the season and chef Amanda Cohen is really doing a good job here. There's a choice between two tasting menus and there isn’t an à la carte menu here.
- Bunna Cafe: Come here to share everything the Habesha way and enjoy scooping up sautéed beets with injera (a spongy flatbread), mashed yellow split peas, and piles of spicy red lentils. This Ethiopian restaurant in Bushwick is a haven for vegans and utensils aren’t necessary here. There are as well Ethiopian coffee ceremonies hosted here.
The street food scene in New York City is thrilling and amazing. If you love food but hate tables and chairs, here is a list of some of the best places to enjoy street food in New York City;
- The Halal Guys: From early morning into the late-night hours, you'll find it at its midtown location every day without fail on the corner of 53rd Street and 6th Avenue. Its original food cart cannot be compared with its storefront locations further downtown and in other cities. It has expanded its business across the country compared to back then in 1990 when it began as a hot-dog cart. Falafel, beef gyros, chicken, and sandwiches are some of its menu items but the chicken and gyro over rice platter is one of its most popular dishes.
- Delicioso Coco Helado: You’ll find it in street carts in the summertime and Delicioso Coco Helado is an ice-cream brand. From lemon and cherry to mango and rainbow, it has plenty of flavors for its patrons to choose from, and “delicious coconut ice cream” is the literal translation of its name. For the standard pricing of $1 to $2, check out areas like the Grand Concourse and Fordham Road in the Bronx but you'll find its roaming carts all over the five boroughs.
- Nuts 4 Nuts: Alejandro Rad who came from Argentina is the owner of these Nuts 4 Nuts carts that have been around since 1993. It's a New York staple and you can get varied honey-roasted nuts such as coconut, pecans, almonds, cashews, and peanuts. Herald Square, Columbus Circle, and a few other highly populated areas in Manhattan are your best bet to find them but if you follow their intoxicating smell, you'll find these pushcarts just about everywhere.
- Wafels & Dinges: The Wafels & Dinges trucks are ever-moving and you can get a variety of dinges; toppings, such as syrup, fudge, whipped cream, and strawberries with your waffle. Wafels & Dinges came into being on April 2007 and the waffle made its debut in the United States in 1964. Though it can get a bit messy, an ideal spot where you can nab an outdoor seat to eat is the kiosk in Herald Square. This food truck has several sit-down locations as well as kiosks, and with a handy online tracker, you can find its trucks.
Asking for the advice of a native dweller with a trustworthy taste may be the best way to find a decent bar in New York City because the bar scene in this city tends to change faster. The last call is 4 AM but one thing you should keep in your mind is that tipping is a custom in this city. When you're served a drink at a bar, whether it's even just a can of beer, the bartender is expectant of $1 for each drink served. However, if you seek to try out a variety of local beers, you can visit any of Brooklyn Brewery, Heartland Brewery, Flagship Brewery, or Chelsea Brewing Company.
The locals in this city love to brag about having the best bagels, the best pizza, the best restaurants, the best skyline, and of course, everyone knows New Yorkers to be a famously arrogant lot. Another thing New Yorkers take pride in is their tap water, which they believe it's the very best and even got a nick of the “Champagne of drinking water.” Save money! NYC water is a great deal. You have nothing to fear from New York tap water because it exceeds the safety levels of a number of bottled waters and it's regarded to be among the safest. On an annual basis, there are 330,000 tests, 27,000 monthly tests, and 900 daily tests performed by the Department of Environmental Protection who samples locations all over the city. New York City's drinking water is world-renowned for its quality and the city has some of the best tap water in the world.
The finest organic restaurants In New York City are capable of handling whatever you're in the mood for; be it an elk burger, an arugula salad, a vegetable omelet, or perhaps, you just prefer your beef to be organic, hormone-free, grass-fed, or rather a carrot.
- Ella Cafe: Ella Cafe whips up a mean organic tofu lasagna for dinner and, tomatoes and chipotle mayo on focaccia bread, avocado, and organic grilled chicken with lettuce are some of its flavorful sandwiches. This spot is known for its lunch menu, it's an organic cafe with pleasant outdoor seating, and it's situated in trendy Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Lunch and dinner entrees range in price from $10.95 to $13.95 as of 2010 and there are biodegradable materials used for take-out containers and utensils here.
- Brown Cafe: This spot is famous for its substantial vegetarian options and once you're here, make sure you try out its roasted portabello sandwich; guss pickles and herb butter on a baguette, taleggio, a sandwich of Vermont cheddar, leeks and tomato-thyme compote on green olive bread, sweet peppers, and 18-month-old Manchego cheese. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served at this venue that is located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The atmosphere here is earthy, rustic lighting, and warm. This venue offers a three-course prix fixe menu for $30 and dinner entrees here range in price from $20 to $23 as of 2010.
- BareBurger: Making delicious veggie and portabello burger for vegetarians and veggie lovers, there are as well burgers made from ostrich, lamb, chicken, turkey, bison, elk, and Piedmontese beef for patrons to choose from. This spot is an organic meat lover's dream and it's situated slightly off the beaten path in Long Island City, Queens. Burgers here are within the price range of $8.95 to $11.95 as of 2010.
- Angelica Kitchen: It filters water through a high-quality backwash carbon system and it uses renewable sources of energy. Fairly traded and ecologically grown first quality organic ingredients are what they use and things that are not used include animal products, eggs, preservatives, and refined sugars.
- The Butcher’s Daughter: They buy their produce from organic local farms and they can always prepare substitutions for most dietary restrictions for most of the items on the menu are vegan and gluten-free. This restaurant is 100% vegetarian and non-dairy.
New York City has been brewing up beer since 1632! Producing some of the most refreshing and full-flavoured brewskies found in the United States of America, the Big Apple is no doubt a mecca for craft breweries.
- Other Half Brewing Company: There are usually about 20 rotating beers on tap, the vibe here is lively and draws quite the crowd on weekends, and the atmosphere is pretty great. The tasting room has a rustic industrial feel and you can also order cans and bottles to go. From porter to ale and cider to sours, every pallet and preference gets something here because there's a diverse and large selection of beer available at this popular New York City's brewery.
- Brooklyn Brewery: There's nothing not to love about this hip NYC brewery! Shall we speak of its free tours, great beer, or amazing food? Though you cannot bring in outside drinks, you're permitted to bring in any other outside food if you want to. some of the best food trucks in this city get set up shop right outside its doors from Friday to Sunday and it offers free tours every Saturday and Sunday as it provides an inside look into the creation of its brews. Enjoy a few glasses straight from the tap and a flight of beers at its lively tasting room. This brewery has it all from sour to sweet, mild, and strong beer and it has a full range of delicious beer.
- Big aLICe Brewery Co.: It gives its patrons the liberty to bring in any outside snacks or meals they wish because it doesn't sell food. It shows all the popular sports games on its big-screen TVs and the atmosphere of its tasting room is worth experiencing. There are always new tasty tap options here because it always mixes things up. Some of its delicious past creations are Strawberry Guava Sour and Jalapeno Rye. Come try out its creative and experimental beer options and its classic beer too. With lots of variety on its tap list, it specializes in bold and complex flavor combinations, and it's a hip small-batch brewery in Queens.
- Threes Brewing: Food is offered at the brewery from local pop-ups eateries and heat lamps are set up that help keep the area warm during the colder months. Spacious and perfect for larger groups, the outdoor backyard area is a pretty contrast to the small and intimate inside taproom. This brewery is obliged to making mixed culture beers, hop-forward ales, and great-tasting lagers. It's Brooklyn-based.
- The Bronx Brewery: Chips, popcorn, and warm pretzels are some of the small snacks available here and New York’s own, Table 87, is the supplier of its in-house pizza. The backyard is where it holds an array of fun events, rotating food trucks, and live music, especially on summer weekends. You can mingle with your fellow beer drinkers at this spot and this brewery opens up its backyard area from fall to spring. It offers great weekly specials, its flavors are always changing, and its craft beer is smooth and easy to drink. It has great vibes all around, a very homely feel, and this local brewery is a great hidden gem in the Bronx. Do well to check it out if you're around.
New York City offers a myriad of opportunities for affordable outdoor activities and it's quite interesting to know that this megacity is not only famous for its Michelin-starred restaurants, world-class shopping, and Broadway shows. In this beautiful big city, you can enjoy the best biking adventures, and being a playground for runners, you can use its great running trails to your advantage. More so, winter never gets boring here because the best-known skating spot in the city; Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, offers an enjoyable ice skating experience when the weather gets chilly. To include, kayaking is a favorite activity during summertime, owing to the fact that New York City is surrounded by water, and if you would love to explore more options of things to do outside, here are more fantastic outdoor activities upon can indulge in;
- Cycle Up the Hudson River Greenway
- Cycle to Coney Island
- Spend the day at Governors Island
- Take the Tram TO Roosevelt Island
- Take in the East River Views From Randalls Island
- Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge
- Walk or Cycle across the Williamsburg Bridge
- Stroll the Cobbled Streets of Dumbo
- Wander Around Brooklyn Heights Promenade and the Nearby Brownstones
- Stroll Down Bedford Ave in Williamsburg
- Sun Yourself at Gantry Plaza State Park
- Picnic or BBQ in Prospect Park
- Walk the High Line
- GO Bouldering in Central Park
- Scour the Street Art in Williamsburg, Bushwick, or the Lower East Side
- Escape the Crowds at Fort Tilden Beach
- GO for a Run on the East Side of Manhattan
- TAKE in the Views and Myriad Activities at Brooklyn Bridge Park
- Enjoy Outdoor Movies in the Park During Summer
- Ride the Staten Island Ferry
- Enjoy Free Kayaking During Summer at the Hudson River and East River
Yoga and Retreats
Breaking the cycle of stress and refreshing your mind and body is pretty important and a yoga retreat in the heart of New York City does help you achieve that. Stress can be quite costly on one's health and a yoga retreat is just right for you if it is in your interest to take some time off from all the hustle and bustle.
- PineappleYogi | Yoga & Wellness Classes, Programs, & Retreats is a yoga retreat center that offers everything from yoga retreats to wellness Retreats and yoga classes to online classes. It also offers small group coaching, in-person retreats, and personalized virtual coaching.
- Sanctuary NYC Retreats is apt in fixing problems effectively and quickly and it's loved by many for its friendly, helpful staff and lovely breakfast. Its yoga studio is pretty nice, it has free Wi-Fi, serene suites with full kitchens, and it's a Zen-inspired retreat.
- Yoga Spa NYC Midtown - Yoga Classes and Spa Treatments is another quality option you may want to consider for your yoga and retreats in New York City. Under the same roof, it offers top luxury beauty treatments and the finest yoga classes, and it's in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Come here to take advantage of its various yoga practices at all levels, meditation, acupuncture therapies, rejuvenating facials, and healing massages. Guests can also enjoy its provided free filtered water, fresh coffee, and free organic tea - all the things an eco-friendly traveler in New York City would really appreciate.
- Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center is dedicated to its aim of "sharing" and it's run by a volunteer staff. It has been offering its service to the yoga community in the city since the year 1964 and it has never disappointed.
Hotels can as well be perfect for your yoga and retreats in New York City and a good one you can trust is:
- The Dominick Hotel: This luxurious accommodation offers you an opportunity to reconnect with yourself in a yoga session, meditate, and relax. You can enjoy a full body massage or light therapy after an intense Vinyasa class. Dominick Hotel's full-service spa and wellness center are one-of-a-kind and they're some of what makes it famous to be an excellent location for a yoga retreat. It offers a retreat away from the busy streets, it's a great place to relax, and it's a 46-story hotel in Manhattan.
The prices of accommodation in New York City tend to vary. However, keep it registered in your mind that rent in Manhattan is skyrocketing and if you're on a budget, it's advisable to look beyond Manhattan. Though Manhattan is one of the alluring and charming places in New York City with its flavors and plentiful attractions, you should avoid this area if you don't have enough cash to spend on accommodation. As a matter of fact, New Yorkers head across the river to the more affordable land of rent and this is why you see Brooklyn and Queens popping up with more stellar restaurants and charming shops.
And, should you decide to stay in Manhattan, know that you could be paying close to a whopping $3,415 which is the average price of renting in the city, as noted in a recent article from Curbed New York. However, New York City is home to more than 100,000 hotel rooms and of course, you have the liberty to choose whichever one that is convenient for you. Take note that hotels are the way to go if you're visiting New York on a shorter stay because Airbnb’s in this city seem to "prefer" people who plan to stay for at least 30 days. More so, be informed that only a few hostels here operate legally and you should be mindful of the one you patronize if you're keen on staying in a hostel.
A lot of people tend to overlook New York City when they seek a green destination but little did they know that the encouraged use of public transit and more foot traffic resulting from the population density work is totally favorable for traveling green! New York City is one of the greenest cities in the world and it's arguably the greenest community in the United States of America by the most significant measures. Green hotels? You've got loads of options to explore!
If you're in Brooklyn, you can check out:
- Hotel Brooklyn Bridge: Offering 194 guest rooms including 29 suites, Hotel Brooklyn Bridge has a five-star comfort and it keeps drawing guests with the amazing and stunning views it offers. Fitness center, a yoga studio, a spa, and a signature restaurant are some of its hotel amenities. The importance of sustainability is made significant with the five-minute hour-glass timer it uses to educate its guests and this hotel is very eco-friendly. It puts a lot of care and meticulousness into sustainable practices and it's an eco-luxe hotel.
If you're in Queens, you can check out:
- The Paper Factory Hotel: This hotel is popular for offering Manhattan’s charm without Manhattan’s prices, what a pleasantness! It's a budget-friendly boutique hotel, it's just two short subway stops away from Manhattan, and it's situated in an industrial area of Astoria, Queens. Featuring luxury amenities by William Roam and hosting 122 rooms and suites, this hotel was recycled out of a 100-year-old paper factory; a testament of eco-friendly practices itself.
If you're in Manhattan, you can check out:
- The Benjamin Hotel: This is an eco friendly hotel and minimises its carbon footprint and it aims to be socially responsible. It's one of the premier environmentally-friendly hotels in New York City and it's situated in the heart of Midtown East. With its unique Rest & Renew program, it promotes a sustainable lifestyle, and it as well has an array of eco-friendly programs such as:
- Eco-friendly bath amenity dispensers
- Recycling program
- Remote control thermostats
- Energy-efficient lighting
Another green hotel in Manhattan we'll recommend you try out is:
- Hudson New York: Cruelty-free bath products, eco-friendly bath amenities, waste avoidance and resource efficiency, and energy/water-saving measures are some of its property’s green actions. The Hudson is part of the NYC Carbon Challenge and it shares close proximity to the theater district, Time Warner Center, Lincoln Center, and Central Park. This hotel is pretty casual and very friendly.
Hostels and Guest Houses
As earlier hinted, hostels do not really operate here and the Wall Street Journal published that only a handful of hostels still operate legally around the city, which means that if you're a green traveler in New York City who delights to stay in a hostel, never lose hope, there are still some nice, cool options around for you!
- Q4 Hostel: It’s a stone’s throw from the Queens Plaza station, it's a great place to stay if you want to explore some of the best food neighborhoods in town, and it's situated in Queens. It has a common room where you'll find a small kitchen for cooking, table tennis, and a pool table. There’s plenty of light, the beds are comfy, and it's a recently renovated hostel/hotel.
- Broadway Hotel & Hostel: It’s a nice place to just hang out and you can’t go wrong with its showers with great water pressure, although its dorm rooms are small and a bit cramped. This hostel is very close to Central Park and it's one of the better hostels in town with a more relaxed, comfortable environment with its offered lounge with a Nintendo Wii system, a library, and daily screened movies.
- The Local NYC: It has a common room where it showcases artwork, screen movies, and hosts events. The staff here is very friendly and this is one of the reasons why people love it here. Its rooms are clean and comfortable too, its bartenders are generous pourers, it has a bar with great cocktails, and there's as well a roof terrace overlooking New York City's skyline. This hostel is an awesome place to meet people.
- NY Moore Hostel: It’s a cozy hostel to stay at but the beds are average. It's very beautifully covered in artwork and graffiti and it offers free street parking and a host of nice amenities. This hostel has a central location and it's situated in the trendy, hipster neighborhood of East Williamsburg.
- Chelsea International Hostel: There’s a free pizza party on Wednesdays and there's free breakfast too. There are no top bunks here and all the dorms are single. It has two kitchens, a dining area, and an outdoor courtyard. It's one of the most centrally located hostels in town and it's one of the largest too.
Accommodation in NYC is not cheap!d Living in New York City is expensive and the cost of living in this city is pretty high. In accordance with a report from Apartment List in 2019, you may be spending about $1,900 to $2,000 a month for a studio or a bedroom apartment and $2,500 for a two-bedroom apartment, which is the median rent. The high cost of living in New York City starts with its crazy housing market but the thing is, you'll actually find some cheap apartments around, it's just that the difficulty one may encounter over this may be too stressful.
Couchsurfing is one way you can experience New York City like a local but one can't be oblivious of the risk it poses, especially in a big city like this. Couchsurfing in New York City will definitely make you spend less during your visit and you can explore different online platforms to find a host. However, staying in a hotel is still much a safer option compared to other alternative options like couchsurfing and homestays.
There are loads of beautiful places to go camping in New York City and some of them are:
- Camp Gateway - Staten Island
- Central Park
- Brooklyn Bridge Park
- Sunset Park
- Liberty Island
- Fort Tilden (Gateway National Recreation Area)
- Flushing Meadows Corona Park
- Bayswater Point State Park
- Larchmont Manor Beach
- Columbus Park
How to Get There
There are lots of options to explore to get into New York City depending on your proximity.
Those in nearby Newark, New Jersey can use :
- Newark Liberty International Airport
To reach New York City from international destinations, the airport that can be used is:
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
Cities along the east coast of the United States, New York suburbs west of the Hudson River, and New Jersey are served by distinct buses.
Amtrak, the commuter rails, and the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) offer means to get in the city.
Hitchhiking is illegal in New York City.
Getting in New York City by boat is quite feasible and the Cunard Line offers an opportunity for such with its regular operations.
Although the best way to get around New York City is on foot, New York City has convenient and affordable options to get around from using ride-hailing service like Lyft or Uber and taking a taxi to Amtrak, bus services like BoltBus or Megabus, and using the subway system.
New York is a great city for walking but it's important to pay attention to cars and cyclists, follow the traffic signals, and stick to main streets and pathways. And, you can always seek out a police officer or a shop owner to help you find your way in case you get lost.
New York City is well-furnished with bike lanes and the usage of bicycles to get around has been a usual thing for years.
Renting an electronic vehicle in New York City is pretty much feasible and there are pick-up locations at nearby airports and in the five boroughs in the city.
You can use the MTA buses to get around.
Tram, Train and Subway
You'll have to purchase a new MetroCard of $1 to enjoy using the subway which is quite inexpensive. However, make sure you purchase MetroCards only from approved vendors in the station.
New York City is easily one of the most sustainable big cities in the world and places where you can shop sustainably from a number of places, including:
- Green in BKLYN
- Zero Waste Daniel
- Package Free Shop
New York City is home to several food markets and some of them are:
- Union Square Green Market
- Gansevoort Market
- Chelsea Market
- Turnstyle Underground Market
Looking for an awesome flea market in New York City? Check out any of the following:
- Brooklyn Flea
- Grand Bazaar NYC
- Queens Night Market
Second Hand Stores
Thrift stores or second-hand stores, as some may call them, are not difficult to find in New York and here are some of the best ones:
- L Train Vintage
- Beacon’s Closet
- Vintage Thrift Shop
- Ritz Thrift Shop
- Cure Thrift Shop
Eco-friendly brands and labels are rife in New York and there are loads of nice shops where you can purchase eco-friendly outfits, such as:
- Kaight, Coclico
In accordance with the city's Department of Sanitation, New York City recycles only about a fifth of its garbage and some of what is recycled in the city are cartons, plastic, glass, metal, and paper.
The maintenance of waste collection is run by the New York City Department of Sanitation under its refuse removal system; New York City's waste management system. However, New York still faces excess littering in almost all its boroughs, especially in Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn.
Work and Study Abroad
New York City has always been a popular location for working and studying abroad. There are some of world's best universities in this city and you are guaranteed to get quality education here if you enrolled in an institution. There are also quite considerable employment opportunities in the city.
New York City is home to high-ranking universities like Cornell University, Columbia University, New York University, University of Rochester, and many others of which most of them offer student exchange programs.
Au Pairs are somewhat common in New York and their service is significantly less expensive compared to employing a full-time nanny.
If it interests you to contribute to the greater good, you'll find plenty of opportunities to volunteer throughout the five boroughs that you can take advantage of. You can;
- Help New York City’s Greenmarkets run smoothly
- Keep the New York Public Library running
- Support LGBTQ+ homeless youth
- Be part of PPNYC’s Activist Council and help out at planned parenthood