New York City can be a daunting place to visit; there’s so much to see and do (and eat :p), and it’s not exactly the easiest place to navigate the first time you visit (or seventh for that matter!). Thankfully, there are apps to help you with whatever it is you need help with, and I’ve listed the ones Carly and I find the handiest below.
Getting Around Apps
Downloading the Google Maps app is a no brainer regardless where you’re travelling; I literally use it for everything. I even built a custom map with all mine and Carly’s favourite food spots in NYC. Check it out below.
New York Subway Map
The New York City Subway system is said to be one of the most complicated systems there is, but with this app, it doesn’t have to be. With the official New York City Subway app you can easily get to where you’re going with its handy route planner, which works both on and offline. You can even plan a route to a point of interest e.g. Empire State Building, and the app will give you the best route, plus you get real-time information about delays.
I generally use Google Maps to get around, but to be honest, it does take a general understanding of how the Subway works to use that. With this app, you don’t need to know anything, which makes it perfect for visitors.
New York Ferry
Ferries are such a good way to travel when in NYC and the New York Ferry app makes arranging your ferry trip so straightforward. You can use this app to buy tickets, view ticketing information, ferry schedules, and plan your route. This app doesn’t work offline, so I’d recommend taking advantage of the Wi-Fi at your accommodation to download the app and do your research.
Carly and I highly recommend taking a ferry, at least once, when you’re in NYC . You get to see great views of Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs, and for less than $3 per person, it’s a bargain. Our favourite route is Wall Street to Dumbo; you get amazing views of Brooklyn, The Brooklyn Bridge, The Manhattan Bridge and the Financial District.
Another way we love to get around is by bike, and for that we use the Citi Bike app. Not too dissimilar to the bikes you see around Dublin, this app allows you to easily access hundreds (if not thousands) of bike terminals all across the 5 boroughs. You can choose whether you want a day ($12), 3 day ($20+) or single ride pass ($3).
We love cycling in Manhattan, especially when it’s along the waterfront, and we use this app a lot. The one drawback we found is that if you were to select a day pass, you still have to dock the bike every 30 mins. It’s not too much of a hassle as you can dock at any terminal you find and just pick up another bike, but something to be aware of. oh and make sure the light turns green when you dock because you’ll be charged late fees if not!
Despite the many public transport options available to you in NYC, you no doubt find yourself needing to get from A to B quicker than any of these services, and for that I’d recommend a ridesharing app (it’s cheaper than taking a yellow taxi).
Although Uber is a good option, I’ve found Lyft to be cheaper and have more drivers. The advantage of using a rideshare app like Lyft is that the driver comes to you as opposed to you having to walk to a main road and hail a taxi (which can be a nightmare at times).
Eating In Apps
There are loads of food delivery apps for you to choose from when you’re in NYC, but the app that I found has the best choice of restaurants and best deals is the Seamless app.
I don’t think a day has gone by where I haven’t received some type of promotion, plus you get $10 off orders of $15+ on your first order. Most of the restaurants on our foodie blog post here are on Seamless.
Dining Out Apps
We haven’t had a chance to use this app yet, but it’s definitely one of the first ones we’ll try as soon as things return back to normal. With the OpenTable app, you can search restaurants, view their menus, make reservations and check out user reviews.
Things To Do Apps
When visiting NYC, one of the most popular things on people’s to-do list is seeing a Broadway show. Be warned, tickets aren’t cheap so to help you save a few bob, I suggest buying your tickets from one of the three TKTS booths located around Manhattan (there’s one Downtown, one in Times Square and one on the Upper West Side). TKTS booths are ran by the Theatre Development Fund and offer heavily discount tickets. The catch is they don’t have every show, you can’t choose where you want to sit and the tickets are for the day/ night of purchase.
Rather than just showing up to a booth when they open in the morning, you can use the TKTS app to see which shows are available and how much the tickets cost. You’ll still have to go to a booth to buy your tickets, but at least you’ll know what’s on offer before you get there.
We highly recommend getting to a Broadway show when you’re here. Over the years we’ve seen Jersey Boys, The Book of Mormon (not for kids), Wicked, Chicago, Frozen, Avenue Q (not for kids) and Rocky (which is no longer available). The Lion King and Hamilton is next on our list, but tickets are like gold dust.
Another activity we recommend you do when in NYC is go to a sporting event (when things go back to “normal”). Depending on the time of year, there could be a game of some kind on pretty much every night of the week. Whether you fancy basketball, baseball, American Football or Ice Hockey , the atmosphere is worth experiencing. Regardless of whether or not you know what’s going on, it’s great craic!
The Gametime app is so handy because it gives you the lowest ticket price per event, and even shows you what the game/ view will look like from each seat.
Central Park Website
OK it’s not an app but I have to tell you about this! As well as giving you a full map of the Park and a GPS (you’ll need both to at least find the toilets!), there’s a full event calendar and list of things to do. The best part though? Over 40 of the parks most popular landmarks have audio guides on the website… narrated by celebrities! So when you get to the Alice in Wonderland statue, go on to the Central Park website, and let Whoopi Goldberg tell you all about it. Only in New York haha!
So there you have it, a list of apps that I know you’ll find helpful the next time you visit The Big Apple. If you found this blog post useful, be sure to check out Top New York City Restaurant Recommendations and 16 Free Things to do in New York City.
Thanks for reading!