New York City Tourist Traps
Whether you’re biking on a guided tour over the Brooklyn Bridge, flying from One World Trade Center to the Chrysler Building across the night sky, or cruising on a boating excursion around the Statue of Liberty and countless other attractions, New York City offers an endless amount of options for adventurous tourists. However, some of these attractions can keep travelers trapped for longer than they may want to be.
Most Viewed Tourist Traps in New York City
Perhaps the king of all tourist traps, Times Square repeatedly tops the tourists’ lists of most overrated destinations the city has to offer. Though this fact comes as no surprise, travelers still flock to the Square daily simply for the spectacle of the scene rather than for its inherent quality. A close second to this trap is the Empire State Building, a place that visitors quickly learn is not worth the wait…but not until it’s too late to turn back. Due to its constant influx of visitors, an elevator trip to the top observatory floor can start to feel like being herded cattle rather than an awe-inspiring view, making it hardly worth the overpriced admission ticket and two-hour wait in line.
Other commonly referenced tourist traps to avoid during times of high activity include The Rockefeller Center, Central Park, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Chinatown & Little Italy neighborhoods, tour buses, themed restaurants, and souvenir shops. Tourists should not necessarily be discouraged from visiting these locations so much as they should be prepared for both the time and money costs of visiting.
Top Hotels in New York City
Hotels throughout the major New York City area greatly vary in factors such as price, convenience, and interior design themes, but overall, New York City’s hotels are high enough quality across the board for any single hotel to be labeled a tourist trap. The Casablanca Hotel receives particularly high praise from tourists as a unique, high-quality hotel experience in the city, featuring a European-style design, accommodating staff, and fine wine & cheese throughout the day.
Some similarly lauded hotel options are Hotel Giraffe on Park Avenue, Library Hotel on Madison Avenue, Hotel Elysee near Fifth Avenue, and The Bryant Hotel Park in the Midtown area.
Top Things to Do in New York City
Many tourists warn future travelers about the traps they encountered at major attractions, but those same tourists will list some of those same places as must-see attractions. For example, Central Park certainly has areas that are constantly crowded, but the Park’s vast territory allows tourists desiring seclusion to find beautiful, tucked away areas. In the same way, Rockefeller Center can be a swarm of other tourists, but when visited at the right time, its rich history and American architecture can be properly appreciated, especially in the autumn & winter seasons.
Some other favorite locations not previously mentioned are The United Nations building, Staten Island, Ellis Island, Ground Zero, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about areas to visit and avoid in New York City.