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The worst tourist traps in New York City.

Mahfouz Ali

Welcome to New York City! There are tons of fun things to do here. However, there’s also tons of tourist traps. Today I’m going to show you the worst tourist traps in New York City.

Let’s start with this one Times Square.

Times Square, NYC
Times Square, NYC

The only good thing about Times Square is the Broadway shows. This is a massive tourist trap. Everything’s overpriced and when you’re in Times Square, under any circumstances please don’t go to Madame Tussauds or Ripley’s Believe It or Not. It’s not even fun there guys.

Ripley's Believe It or Not
Ripley’s Believe It or Not

Come on! That’s the biggest tourist trap you can ever find. If you want something that says New York on it don’t come to any of these cheesy souvenir shops. You’ll see these all over the Midtown area. Instead, a way to get these for way cheaper price, is you go to Chinatown or you can go to any Duane Reade or Walgreens. They sell it for so so cheap, okay?

Chinatown - NYC
Chinatown – NYC

Instead of going to places like the Freedom Tower or the Empire State Building, skip it. Those places are so expensive and they have really long lines. It’s just packed. Instead go to these amazing rooftop bars.

rooftop bars - NYC
rooftop bars – NYC

We have so many in New York and the views are better than what you get there or at the Empire State Building because you’re not surrounded by tourists.

Here are a few of my favourites. Like this place this is St. Cloud at the Knickerbocker Hotel in Times Square. Come here look at this view that there is.

St. Cloud at the Knickerbocker Hotel in Times Square
St. Cloud at the Knickerbocker Hotel in Times Square

That’s the New Year’s Eve Ball right there. There’s other great places too. Some of my favourite rooftop bars are Jimmy at at The James, Monarch Lounge, at the top of the Met Museum there’s an amazing rooftop bar looking at over Central Park, and the top of the Gansevoort Hotel. All those places have amazing views and there’s no one there. It’s just so much better than going to be Empire State Building or the Freedom Tower. So go there instead.

New Year's Eve Ball
New Year’s Eve Ball
 Jimmy at at The James
Jimmy at at The James
Monarch Lounge - NYC
Monarch Lounge – NYC
Top of Gansevoort Hotel NYC
Top of Gansevoort Hotel NYC

Instead of shopping on Fifth Avenue where it’s really expensive and it’s really where all the tourists go. Go to we’re real near New Yorkers shop which is the West Village, Nolita, Union Square, any of those locations have tons of really cute boutique stores that are way better price and all the stuff here on fifth avenue.

Union Square NYC
Union Square NYC

When you’re walking the streets of New York you’re going to get offered a lot of these little pamphlets for these big bus tours, don’t do it. It’s a huge scam and it’s not even a good tour. Essentially they’re just going to corral you into a giant bus full of tourists, and give you generic information about the city as they go past all of the landmarks and cool sites really quickly.

Instead of doing this, what you should do is go on a private tour or a small group tour. One of my favourite companies to do this with its Urban Adventures. They have tons of really fun tours of all over New York City and it’s really personalized. So don’t use these guys. Instead use awesome companies like Urban Adventures.

Instead of going to Starbucks, there are so many cool cafe’s here in New York. Like this one called The Uncommons. Here you can get a delicious coffee and a bagel, New York style. While you play board games and they have over 500 board games. So check this out.

The Uncommons - NYC
The Uncommons – NYC

If you don’t want to deal with the hordes of tourists at museums like the Museum of Natural History, The Met or the MoMA, head over to the more undiscovered museums. This one is the Museum of Moving Image and it’s an Astoria, Queens. It is all about the art of film. It takes you through all these different movies and shows you behind the scenes. It’s very interactive as well so I highly recommend checking this out. Also it’s free on Fridays from 4:00 to 8:00. Way better than those really busy places in Manhattan.

The Museum of Moving Image - NYC
The Museum of Moving Image – NYC

Probably the biggest tourist trap of all in Times Square which is New Year’s Eve. Now you may have seen this on TV it looks super glamorous and amazing with confetti falling down but that’s only for one moment. The rest of the time it’s terrible. You have to get here probably like 15 hours before everything starts. You’ll be fenced in an area and you can’t leave that area until the show starts. You just have to sit there and wait for the show to start. A lot of people end up wearing diapers.

New Year's Eve
New Year’s Eve

The other option is doing one of the “great package deals” that restaurants will offer you here which are really terrible they’re extremely overpriced. Normally they’re around five hundred to a thousand dollars it can be more than that. Times Square for New Year’s Eve not what it seems like just watch it on TV in your cozy house or at a bar it will be so much more fun that way and you won’t end up fenced in a corral, not being able to go to the bathroom for 15 hours. Do not, under any circumstances, take pictures with these costume characters like the one behind me.

take pictures with these costume characters like the one behind me
take pictures with these costume characters like the one behind me

What they do is they’ll try to jump into your photo pretending like they just want to be in your photo and then what they do is they demand you to give them a tip and this tip will be like five to ten dollars. It’s terrible! and a lot of tourists fall for this and they feel like they’re obligated to pay them. You’re not obligated to pay them so don’t pay them.

Another thing that you’ll see all the time. You’ll be walking along the streets, like the guy behind me here it’s doing it, and they try to sell you a CD of their mixed tape. Don’t buy this. It’s a blank CD, they try to charge you like $20 for a mixtape and there’s nothing on it. Okay? Don’t fall for these scams. They’re so dumb save your money.

These pedicabs right here are a scam. Don’t take them. they’re really expensive, and they don’t even get you places fast. Instead just take the subway. Literally no real New Yorkers take those pedicabs, so just don’t do it.

Pedicabs - NYC
Pedicabs – NYC

Instead of going to the overpriced Rockefeller Center ice rink, come here instead. This is Bryant Park they have tons of really fun activities all year long. Here you can skate for just 20 dollars and at Rockefeller Center it’s a lot more, plus you’ll be waiting in line for half the time. Do this one instead.

Bryant Park - NYC
Bryant Park – NYC

So that’s a wrap everyone, those are the worst tourist traps of New York City.

Source : Sarah Funk Youtube Channel.

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