Get around New York
The bad news when it comes to transportation in New York is that there are an awful lot of people there, the city is huge, and the traffic is sometimes dense like herring in a barrel. The good news is that the city is easy to get to know, the street names are intuitive, and public transport is well developed.
- From the airport to the city center– take the AirTrain JFK if you land at John Kennedy Airport, or take the AirTrain Newark if you land at Newark. Both are connected to the metro. Taxis or the hotels’ own minibuses are also good options.
- Taxi– Yellow Cabs and green Boro Taxis have the lights on the roof turned on when they are available, and you stop them by waving your hand. The doorman at the hotel is happy to stop a taxi for you, and then it is expected that you give him or her a tip (a dollar or two). You should tip the taxi driver about 15% to 20% of what is written on the taximeter.
- Limousine– There are many companies in New York that offer limousine services, and it does not have to cost the shirt to travel stately. Limousine is also a common alternative from the airport if you travel several together.
- Metro– The underground is the fastest means of transport in the city center, and the carriages run 24 hours a day. During the day, the metro is a good option, but you should be careful at night, especially if you travel alone. You must obtain a MetroCard, and there you must pay a minimum of 5.5 USD. The card can be topped up at ATMs. Each trip costs $ 2.75. You can also buy single tickets for 3 USD at the vending machines in the metro entrance. If you are going to be in New York for a long time, it will pay to buy free use of the subway for 7 days or 30 days. The card can also be used on buses.
- Bus– Check the stops on their own maps for where the buses go. The bus shows which route it is on the sign above the front window. You pay either with MetroCard or coins in exact amount. The express buses cost $ 6.5.
Shopping when visiting New York
There are hardly many big cities in the world that offer better shopping than New York, both in terms of selection and price level. It is not at all uncommon for shopping-thirsty Norwegians to bring an extra (empty) suitcase on a city break to The Big Apple, whether it is for the Christmas shopping or to freshen up the wardrobe. Every district in Manhattan has its own thing to do in this area, from small design stores to huge department stores. Here is a small guide you can use as a starting point:
Opening hours and VAT
Opening hours are usually between 09:00 and 22:00 on weekdays including Saturday, between 11:00 and 19:00 on Sundays, but you will also find 24-hour shops and malls.
Remember that prices are not stated with local VAT included. Add 8.875% on all price tags and you will know what you have to pay. Please note that you do not have to pay VAT on each item as long as the price is below 110 US Dollars. However, this only applies to clothes and shoes, as well as certain foods, magazines and medicines.
Here you shop in New York
- Fifth Avenue– This avenue is one of the most famous shopping streets in the world, perhaps only topped by the Champs Elysées in Paris. Here are the shops and magazines of all the major fashion houses, such as Prada, Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana. On Fifth Avenue you will also find chain stores such as H&M, Abercombie & Fitch and the AppleStore.
- Lexington Avenue– Go to this avenue if you want to wade through department stores like Zara, H&M, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s. Lexington Avenue is located on the Upper East Side, and houses a handful of upscale shops as well as magazines.
- SoHo– South of Houston and the area around Broadway is also a Mecca for big shoppers. Many of the streets are full of fashion boutiques in all varieties, and it is often quieter here than, for example, on Fifth Avenue. In SoHo you also have more, better and more intimate cafes and restaurants to take a break at.
- Meatpacking District– Here you will also find tons of good shops, the magazines of the big chains, the AppleStore and good dining options. In addition, Chelsea Market is located in The Meatpacking District, a nice market to buy delicacies in, or settle down with a good cup of coffee and a cookie.
- Herald Square– At Herald Square, you need to be prepared for the hustle and bustle, because here are a lot of tourists considering the shopping opportunities. You will find the major magazines on the site, as well as brand stores such as Mango, Levis, Gap, and Victoria’s Secret.