If it’s your first time in the city that never sleeps I am pretty sure you will be overwhelmed. There’s just so much to do and to see. That’s definitely how I felt. In my post 10 things you must do in New York City  I have put together an ultimate list of things to do in New York City. But while there’s so much to do, there are also some things you shouldn’t do.

To make your stay a little easier for you I have put together some don’ts to consider while exploring the concrete jungle where dreams are made of.


  • The Sidewalk

The answer is easy. New York City is a very busy city and so are the sidewalks. I know, I know. Everything is new and exciting and you want to share your memories with the whole world. So you stop and take a lot of pics. And that’s just fine. But, don’t just abruptly stop walking in the middle of a busy sidewalk. There’s nothing more that New Yorkers hate.

If you want to check your phone, look for directions or just simply want to take a picture, please step to the side so that you are not blocking the sidewalk. It will be greatly appreciated. Trust me.

Remember that one time when you were late for an appointment, so you decided to speed walk through pedestrians while thinking to yourself “Ugh, I knew I was going to regret watching another episode of “The Real Housewives”? But the worst is that you can’t really make your way through the pedestrians because there’s this really large group of people walking in front of you?

Yes, this goes out to the large groups of people taking up the sidewalk. Just don’t. If you are in a large group, please stick to the right. Or just simply try not to take up the whole space. However, what you DO want to do is looking out for fast pedaling bike messengers.

It saves you a lot of pain.

  • The escalator

“What? There is a rule for the escalator?!”
Yes, girl. There sure is!

Always think of New York City as a fast-paced city. How can you contribute it? How, as a tourist, could you make it easier for the locals? The simple rule, when stepping on an escalator is pretty simple. Don’t stand in the middle of the steps but move to the right side. That way, others can pass you by on the left side. It definitely comes in handy for those, who are running late or to those who want to catch a subway.

  • Tipping

Do not NOT tip.

If you aren’t working as a bartender or if you are from a country where a minimum wage is mandatory then you probably don’t have to worry about relying on tips. While in the US it’s common to tip make sure you tip more than the average tipping rate of 15 %.

New York City is very expensive. Where you can pay up to thousands of dollars for a single room or a cocktail could easily cost you $ 17. Now think of this through the eyes of a bartender who’s relying on your tipping. Tipp them about 18 – 20 %. Or more of course, if you were extremely satisfied with the service and the food.

  • Buy a metro card in advance

The easiest and most confusing way to get around is taking the subway.
Before you can actually get on a subway you need to go through a “checkpoint” as I’d like to call it. To be able to enter this, you need a metro card beforehand. Don’t stand in front of the checkpoint with no card. Chances are that there’s going to be a long line of people behind you. If you are going to be there for a few days it’s best to get a day card. Or you can just charge up the metro card. With that in mind, you can easily make it through the checkpoint.

  • Time Square

In case you love large crowds you can just ignore this bullet point. But if you are like me and if you aren’t into large crowds then definitely don’t go during the day or in the evening. It is going to be PACKED. Either go late in the evening – when the lights are the brightest – or go in the morning when the city that never sleeps slowly starts rising. So if you haven’t been there go during these times, take your mandatory Time Square pics, be blown away by the massive signs and shops. And leave. There are other, better things to explore than Time Square.

BTW, New Yorks hate being there unless they really, I mean REALLY have to be there.

  • Pro tip: New Yorkers aren’t cold-hearted

In fact, the ones I met were always very open-minded individuals. But of course, this doesn’t count for everybody. I mean, who are we trying to kid? This planet isn’t full of happy faces. And that’s okay. It would be boring if we were all the same.

But bartenders for example usually chatted with me, making me feel anything but a stranger to them. Or this other time a guy who worked at a museum gave me some tips on what to see in New York. He actually planned on meeting me the next day to show me around.

And last but not least: If you are going to assume that New Yorkers are cold-hearted then you will probably give them that vibe. And what you give, you will get. If you are looking for happy campers, be a happy camper!

Now it’s time for you!
Have you experienced something similar?
What are your thoughts on New York City?

Leave a comment below and feel free to share!