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How To Plan for a Solo Trip to NYC

October 9, 2023 By CityPASS

A solo trip to New York City is an adventure, but it can also feel daunting. With so many options and the city's vibrant energy swirling around you, you might feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of options.

If you're excited to go on a solo trip to NYC but need to find things to do alone in NYC, you've come to the right place.

5 Things To Do By Yourself in NYC

NYC is a perfect destination for solo travelers looking to explore at their own pace because even wandering from destination to destination is an adventure. Whether you're a first-time solo traveler or a seasoned wanderer, here are five must-dos when you hit the Big Apple.

Visit the Iconic Times Square Plaza

As you enter this iconic hub of lights and energy, you'll be captivated by its dazzling billboards, giant screens, and genuinely unforgettable spirit. If this is your first time experiencing it, the electric atmosphere will make you glad you're doing it as a solo traveler.

Start with a stroll to take it all in — the glow of the everchanging electric ads, the people-watching, and seemingly endless possibilities. Then, begin exploring the area's distinct offerings. From street performances and food vendors to Broadway shows and the many shops to choose from, you'll have no trouble feeling like you've found something just for you in Time Square Plaza.

Hop on a Ferry to Ellis Island for Incredible Views

For a dose of history and amazing views, take a ferry to Ellis Island. Located in New York Harbor, Ellis Island served as the primary gateway for millions of immigrants arriving in the United States from 1892 to 1954.

You'll begin by catching the ferry at Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan. Once the ferry has left the dock, turn around for some beautiful photos of the financial district's towering skyline shrinking in the distance as you approach Ellis Island. A Statue City Cruises ferry will also make a stop at Liberty Island. There you’ll see Lady Liberty proudly proclaiming her space as the truest symbol of New York City.

Immerse Yourself in NYC's Diverse Museum Scene

The Guggenheim and the American Museum of Natural History are just two highlights of NYC's museum culture that caters to a wide range of passions and is a great way to save money while traveling around NYC.

The Guggenheim Museum was designed by one of America's most famous architects — Frank Lloyd Wright. Its unique and spiraling design boasts a central atrium that offers an exceptional experience when viewing the early 20th-century and modern art collections. The museum also often hosts special exhibitions and events, which can be great if you're wondering how to meet people in NYC.

The American Museum of Natural History showcases the wonders of the natural world. As you navigate the museum's exhibits, you'll explore anthropology, paleontology, and more. This museum also houses the Hayden Planetarium, a great option if you need a break from the city's hustle to stretch out and feel surrounded by the vast space.

Explore Hudson Yards and Other Popular Neighborhoods

New York is full of famous neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Greenwich Village. With its luxury boutique stores, some of the best places to eat alone in NYC, and the Edge observation deck, Hudson Yards is another of New York's most vibrant neighborhoods.

Other extraordinary neighborhoods in NYC include:

  • The Upper West Side is famous for its beautiful brownstone buildings.
  • Chelsea is popular for its abundance of nightlife options and great solo dining in NYC.
  • The West Village is renowned for its bohemian culture and artistic history.
  • Williamsburg in Brooklyn is known for its artsy vibe and vibrant street art scene.
  • Harlem is famous for its rich African-American heritage, jazz clubs, and the historic Apollo Theater.

Discover Unforgettable Views at the Top of the Rock

There's no better place to soak up the city's undeniable energy and beautiful views on your solo trip to New York than by visiting the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center. Nested 70 floors above the city, Top of the Rock offers a 360-degree vista of NYC. Visit during sunset and watch the city's enchanting glow as lights come to life around you.

If you're still wondering how to meet people in NYC, stopping by the 65th-floor rooftop bar — Bar SixtyFive — will introduce you to some of the city's exciting nightlife.

Tips To Enjoy Solo Travel in New York City

Build an Itinerary That Works for You

As a solo traveler, one of the biggest advantages is the freedom to craft your itinerary. Take time to research and plan activities that align with your interests. Whether it's food tours, NYC photo journeys, hiring travel guides, or amazing views and happy hours, NYC offers something for everyone. The world is your oyster in this extraordinary city, so create an itinerary that works for you.

Have a Transportation Plan Ahead of Time

Navigating the city's transportation system can be intimidating, but with just a little research, you'll breeze through it on your solo trip to NYC. Familiarize yourself with the subway, buses, and other public transportation options. Taxis are plentiful and a unique NYC experience unto themselves, but there's nothing as uniquely New York as buying a MetroCard and navigating the subway system.

Book Your Stay in Advance

There are so many options for accommodation in New York City, and you don't want to worry about it once you get there, so be sure to book your place to stay in advance to ensure you find the best budget hotels available.

Is New York Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

New York City is generally considered safe for solo female travelers. As one of the world's most visited cities, it attracts millions of tourists annually, including many solo female travelers. And whether you are traveling solo or with others, remember that it's always wise to be aware of your surroundings and not get distracted by your phone as you walk NYC's vibrant city streets and cross its bustling intersections.

Enjoy New York City as a Solo Traveler With New York CityPASS® Tickets

If you want to see the most during your solo trip to NYC, you'll need CityPASS® tickets. New York CityPASS® tickets offer up to off regular ticket prices on iconic New York things to do like the Empire State Building, the Guggenheim Museum, and ferry access to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

New York City Lodging

To get the most out of your stay in New York City, we recommend finding lodging near New York City's top attractions. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:

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