The Different Ways You Can Customize Your New York City Experience

If you’re checking out New York City this year, you might have an experience in mind. Maybe you’ve been there many times, or perhaps you’ve never visited the Big Apple. Either way, you can customize your experience quite a bit depending on several factors.

We’ll talk about that right now. Two people might have completely different New York experiences. The choices they make will determine what they’ll do and where they’ll go.

Will You Wander on Your Own or Use a Sightseeing Group?

If you check out New York City on your own, maybe you prefer that. You might like walking around the streets and not doing anything in particular. You can find random shops, restaurants, and other attractions. If you enjoy visiting places without planning much, this method might appeal.

You can also find a tour group and have a guide show you around the city. You can find many small-group New York sightseeing tours for a more intimate experience if that sounds good.

If you find a tourist group or a tour guide and have them show you around, you can learn things you never knew before. If you have no tour guide, you can walk past a building, and you won’t learn its interesting history. You might walk past a corner where a famous gangland shooting happened, and you’d know it.

The tour guide experience and the no-guide experience feel quite different. One isn’t superior. It’s totally your preference which one suits your needs and style better.

Should You Take Trains, Buses, Taxis, or Something Else?

New York has more transportation methods than perhaps any other city. You can always pay $2.75 and hop on a train. When you do, getting somewhere takes longer. The train might stop and wait on the tracks for several minutes. You might also encounter drunk or deranged homeless people.

You can take a bus. That’s like the subway but above ground. You might catch a cab. Cabs cost more, but you will usually reach your destination faster. You might sometimes encounter a cab driver who doesn’t smell so good, though.

You may get one who thinks he’s about to win the Daytona 500. Dodging through traffic without ever using a turn signal might almost give you a heart attack, but for this cab driver, it’s just another day.

If you have enough money, you can rent a limo. You can feel like a big shot this way. You can rent one for the whole day if you’d like.

You can shop while your limo waits outside, or you can call the driver on your smartphone so they come to pick you up outside. You will feel fancy, and everyone will stare enviously.

You Can Eat at Fancy Restaurants or Cheap Ones

You might also shake up your New York experience when you decide how you will eat while you’re there. Maybe you will find some cheap places if you do not have very much money.

You can find a Ray’s Pizza on nearly any street corner. There’s Famous Ray’s, Original Ray’s, Famous Original Ray’s, or just about any other Ray’s you can imagine. They all claim they invented the name and they’re the first one.

At these pizza places, you can usually get a large slice and a drink for $5. You can even find some places where you’ll get two slices and a drink for that price if you’re lucky.

The quality isn’t exactly great, but you won’t spend much. You can also find McDonald’s, Arby’s, Subway, and other fast-food places you’d see anywhere around the US.

If you’re in New York, though, and you have the money, you might feel like getting fancy with your dining experience. You can eat at the Strip House, one of the city’s best old-fashioned steak places. You might also check out The Musket Room, Per Se, or Aquavit.

You can easily drop several hundred dollars on a meal there. You can dress to impress in your best outfit and pretend you’re a celebrity. That’s fun, but only provided you can afford it.  

You Can Attend a Ballgame or Do the VIP Experience

You might switch up the New York experience when you catch a sporting event. You can always get into Yankee Stadium or City Field and sit up in the nosebleed seats for about $10-$15. If the Yanks play a not-so-great team, like the Rangers or the Royals, you might even get in for cheaper.

If you want the VIP experience, though, you can also rent out a luxury box and sit there. You can get catering and champagne. You can invite some friends and watch the game in style. It’s an entirely different experience, and you should try it at least once.

You might do the same thing if you see the Knicks play at iconic Madison Square Garden or if you catch the Nets at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. At the Barclay’s Center, you can rent a luxury box for anywhere from $2,500 to $6,000, depending on whether you’re watching a Nets or Islanders game and who they’re playing.

Rivalry games cost more, as you might expect. When you’re reclining in your luxurious leather chair with the game unfolding live in front of you, though, you can feel like a king or a queen.

Your Customized New York Experience

You can do New York City your way. Usually, how much money you have and what you’ll willingly spend dictates all the details. You might have the fanciest experience from the moment you arrive, or you can spend very little money and still have a great time, just a very different one.

You can also split the difference. Maybe you can’t afford a limo, but a taxi still feels luxurious if you rarely take them. A decent restaurant will set you back a little, but nothing you can’t afford. Probably finding some middle ground will work best for you.


Sudarsan Chakraborty is a professional writer. He contributes to many high-quality blogs. He loves to write on various topics.