New York City Travel Guide

Sleep

Hotels

New York has some of the most expensive accommodations in the world. Expect to pay $100–$200 for a budget room with shared bath, $250–$350 for a mid-range hotel with a decent room and a restaurant and/or room service; and much higher in a high end hotel. Most accommodations below $200 in Manhattan are a small room with space only for a bed, a TV, perhaps a sink, and little else. Cheaper accommodations may have communal bathrooms (although many will have a sink in the room). Be warned that the quality of hotels varies significantly and, in many cheap hotels away from the center such as along the West Side Highway or in the outer reaches of Queens, you may share the premises with hourly customers! As New York is a popular destination throughout the year, it is necessary to make reservations well in advance. If you plan to be in the city during the height of the tourist season, booking months in advance would be wise.

Hostels

Expect to pay up to $50 for a hostel. There are several hostels in Manhattan including two Jazz Hostels (located at 36 West 106th Street and 184 Eleventh Avenue) and one official Hostelling International hostel (located at 891 Amsterdam Avenue--between 102nd and 103rd Streets--in Manhattan), there are many places that call themselves "hostel" and offer accommodations below $100 a night. Some cater exclusively to students. You are advised to make reservations months in advance.

Taxes

Room rates are typically quoted excluding taxes, so expect your actual bill to be higher than the quoted rate. Taxes include New York State and New York City sales tax (8.875%), a New York City Hotel Occupancy Tax (varies but, for rooms above $40, $2 + 5.875%), and a surcharge of $1.50. For a $100 per night room, expect to pay $117.75, after taxes are taken into account.

Alternatives to Manhattan accommodations

It's worth keeping in mind that you don't have to stay in Manhattan.

Long Island City, Queens

In Long Island City, Queens, there are 10-15 clean and safe hotels in the region just across the Queensborough/59th Street Bridge from Manhattan. Accommodation here can cost as little as $50 per night. This area is being developed by the city as its new "hotel zone." Take advantage of it! Since the subway runs all night, you can go out in Manhattan and come back at any time.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn has a sprawling amount of hotels. In the neighborhood of Park Slope alone there are over 5 hotels. With great access to public transportation and quick trips into Manhattan Brooklyn is definitely a borough you should look into.

New Jersey

Just over the Hudson River and outside the city limits, in New Jersey, there are cheaper hotels, and Manhattan is easily accessible by a short 15-minute ferry ride, by train, by bus, or by a more expensive cab ride. However, public transit to and from New Jersey does not run as often as transportation within New York City, especially after midnight. Taking a cab to New Jersey can be difficult - at times, crossing the bridges and tunnels to New Jersey is painfully slow due to traffic.

Hotels close to Newark Airport can cost as little as $50 per night if booked online. However, to travel to Manhattan with public transportation can be complicated . Multiple transfers are required (airport shuttle to airport; #62 to Newark Penn Station; PATH train to the city), and services are of low frequency. Expect 1.5 to 2 hours each way from your Newark airport hotel to Manhattan.

Jersey City can be easier - it's only a short hop from there to Midtown on the PATH.

Staten Island

Another option for customers coming from Newark Airport is to stay in Staten Island. Some Staten Island hotels, such as The Hilton Garden Inn at 900 South Avenue, offer free shuttle buses or are on bus lines to the free St. George Ferry to Manhattan. Do be aware though that Staten Island is a lot farther than it seems from the main attractions.

Staying with locals

It is highly advised to stay with someone you know who lives in New York, New Jersey or south and western Connecticut. If you don't know anyone, you can look into a hospitality exchange. New Yorkers love showing off their city and understand that hotels are expensive. Taking an old friend out to dinner one night in return for accommodation is far more economical than staying in a hotel - and you will get a real take on New York as opposed to just the tourist attractions.


source: Wikivoyage

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