Basic Information You Need To Know About New York City

Visiting New York City for the first time is exciting and a memory for a lifetime.  

NYC is loud, crowded and busy all the time and figuring out your way on your way in a new city could be intimidating. 

Hence it is good to know about the city before you visit.


Image: Architecturaldigest.com

The first settlers in the land that came to be known as New York were the Dutch in 1614. 

12 years later, they bought the land from native Americans to build their New Amsterdam colony. 

The colony flourished due to the prosperous fur trade with native tribes in surrounding areas.

In 1674, the colony was passed on to the British, who renamed it, New York in dedication to the Duke of York. 

Under the administration of the British,  New York grew from a small colony into an important and prolific port. 

It has become the world’s cultural capital, a melting pot of civilizations and a significant financial hub. 


Image: Nytimes.com

NYC is the capital where cultures from around the world meet to create a warm, friendly and diverse city. 

With booming economic expansion and opportunities, New York welcomes millions of foreign migrants annually, resulting in a prominent cultural diversity. 

People from all walks of life worldwide feel at home in NYC due to its openness and hospitable culture. 


New York City is nestled between the Hudson River and the Atlantic Ocean. 

NYC lies on the southern tip of New York State and comprises 5 boroughs. 

Among the five boroughs, Manhattan and Staten Island are islands, Queens and Brooklyn are a part of Long Island, while the Bronx is connected to the mainland. 

A vast network of bridges, tunnels and ferries connects all five boroughs together. 

New York City is also home to mountain ranges like Catskill Mountain, stunning waterfalls with Niagara Falls being the largest, rivers and unique long islands.

Time Zone

Time Zone
Image: News.sky.com

The time zone followed in New York is Eastern Standard Time or EST. 

New York time zone is GMT – 5 hours during Standard Time and GMT -4 hours during Daylight Saving Time. 

Daylight Saving Time begins in March and ends in November. 

Currency Of New York

Currency of New York
Image: Theithacan.org

The official currency of New York is the American or US dollar ($). 

It is wise to exchange currencies in your home country before your visit. 

Suppose you are looking for currency exchange in New York City. In that case, you can find the best exchange centers near

  • Empire State Building
  • Madison Square
  • Grand Central Terminal
  • Times Square
  • Broadway theater
  • Central Park
  • Lower Manhattan

Note: When exchanging currencies in a foreign country, make sure you are familiar with the exchange rate to not get ripped off. Also, check if your home bank has a partnership with local NYC banks.


Image: Churchofjesuschrist.org

There are around 800 languages spoken in New York City. 

English is the most commonly spoken language, used by 65% of the population.

The city has a long and rich history of immigration, so much so that it has become a melting pot of cultures and languages.  

Chinese and Spanish are some of the most popular languages apart from English. 

You can easily find Russian, German, French, Italian, Persian, Hindi and Korean-speaking populations in New York City. 

Tourism in New York 

Tourism in New York
Image: Nytimes.com

New York is a major global tourist destination, drawing visitors worldwide. 

New York welcomes an average of 60 million tourists annually, among which 80 percent are leisure travelers. 

With an array of museums, observatory decks, cruises, helicopter tours and Broadway shows, there are a lot of attractions for visitors. 

NYC is a dynamic city with great dining, shopping and entertainment options in its vibrant and lively streets. 

NYC’s most visited tourist attractions are the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, One World Observatory, Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art and Times Square. 

Best time to visit 

Best time to visit
Image: NYtimes.com

Fall and spring are considered to be the best times to visit New York City, as tourists experience pleasant temperatures.

During this period, you can enjoy clear views from observatories, long nightlife, warm weather activities and more. 

Many international tourists also make their way to New York during winter to be a part of NYC Thanksgiving, Christmas and New York celebrations. 

However, during January and February, tourism recedes due to snow storms and extreme weather conditions. 


Image: Intelligenttransport.com

New York City has a well-developed network of public transportation. 

You can move around the city using an inexpensive and easily accessible MTA New York City Transit bus and rail system. 

Subways are the easiest and quickest way to move around NYC like a local.  

You can find subways 24 hours a day all around the week.

New York has one of the best public use services, which are convenient and easy to use. 

Ride the Roosevelt Island Tram and enjoy an aerial view of Midtown East as you move around Manhattan and Queens. 

New York is incomplete without its fleet of yellow taxis, which can easily be hired around every street corner. 

NYC also has a well-maintained system of bike sharing.

CitiBike, NYC’s bike-sharing system, offers rental services around the city and it is a must-try around hotspots like Central Park, Hudson and East Rivers. 

Helpful numbers

Helpful numbers
Image: Vox.com

When in a foreign land, it is advisable to know important helplines before the visit. 

If you are in an emergency during your New York City trip, contact the following: 

  • Emergency NYPD – 911
  • Non-emergency NYPD – 311
  • NYPD general inquiries – 646-610-5000
  • Sex crime report line – 212-267-7273
  • Crime Stoppers: 800-577-TIPS
  • Missing person case status: 212-694-7781
  • fire emergency  718-999-2000
  • Credit card loss: 518-393-1326

Featured Image : Redd F on Unsplash

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