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Must-Know Tips for Tourists Visiting New York

Photo courtesy of Zitzitoune

1. Hailing a taxi. 
Need a ride? Look for the light! When a taxi is available, the light on its roof is illuminated. The light is switched off when the taxi is occupied.

2. Getting around on a budget. 
The New York City subway system is a convenient and inexpensive alternative to taking taxis. Visit mta.info to learn about rates. While you’re there, check out the Trip Planner feature, which provides detailed directions.

3. Navigating the streets. 
Manhattan is relatively easy to navigate so long as you remember that Fifth Avenue divides Manhattan into east side and west side. Building numbers increase as you go east or west. If you venture outside of Manhattan, bring a map.

4. Free internet access. 
Want to browse the web without paying a fee? Go to a local park. Free wireless internet is available in many of the city’s public spaces. Visit nycgovparks.org to view a complete list of free hotspots.

5. Tipping at restaurants. 
At American restaurants it is customary to tip 15-20% to the wait staff. At bars it is customary to tip $1 per drink. Americans often tip much more for great service.

6. Safety First. 
Always be cautious. Before you explore the city, research safe neighborhoods. As a general rule of thumb, avoid wandering the streets after midnight. Do not accept rides from unmarked cars.