In 2014 56.4 million visitors came to NYC and this year those numbers have increased. If you’re one of those people who would like to see NYC’s leding tourist attractions but you don’t like big crowds then you need a strategy for avoiding the times when those attractions are at their busiest. So it’s a good idea to strategize in the following ways.
-As a general rule go early or go late. Most people avoid those times but going against the tide will mean you are not battling huge masses to people to see things. For instance NYC’s Christmas
windows, from about 10.30 am to about 9pm the crowds are huge, but rock up early or late and you can enjoy them in a leisurely and much less crowded way.
- To cut at least part of the queuing process for visiting very popular attractions, book online and also book an early or late time to visit. Queuing to see the Empire State Buidling can chew
up several hours if you opt to visit at the busiest times like noon. going very late at night like 11pm is delightful and the queuing is minimal.
-Avoid times when school groups are visiting Museums and other attractions. They will doing so when schools are in session and well before when the children need to be back at school so they can
go home. Basically avoid times from 10.30am – 3.30pm. Children are delightful but when they move en masse through an enclosed space they chew up a lot of room.
-If you can manage it, visit NYC at it’s least popular time which is basically Jan through to mid April. Sure it’s cold then but rug up and enjoy the comparative peace and quiet and the cheaper
- Do good research before you arrive and suss out opening and closing times for attractions you want to visit. Plan you itinerary to take advantage of arriving right at opening time and staying close to closing time when the crowds have thinned out. Many museums, such as MOMA have times when you can go in for free which sounds very attractive, but basically you should avoid those times because they are VERY crowded for obvious reasons.
- Waiting in line at restaurants, at theaters on Broadway or for special theater events is not much fun. Book tickets or seats before you even leave your home state or country. That is often
the only way you will get into busy venues of various kinds too. And if you do that for venues such as the 9/11 Memorial Museum where your ticket specifies the time you need to arrrive,
make sure you arrive right on time to avoid a long crowded wait when you are bumped to a later time because you weren’ there to move in with your group.
- Find good alternatives to crowded venues. For instance the Rockefeller center skating rink is very popular, very small, very expensive and very crowded. Go to the skating rink in Central
Park which is much larger, less expensive and more enjoyable for those reasons. You can book a boat tour to the Statue of Liberty and it is a long and crowded process. But if you hop on the
the free Staten Island Ferry you go past the Statue of Liberty which gives you an excellent view and you avoid all that tedious, crowded waiting.