Earlier in the week, we posted the first in our Lonely Planet-lite guides to NYC, for Arsenal. This one's for serious, and it's for those of you who are heading to the tri-state area this weekend for the game. Tomorrow, I'll put up a recommendations post, where we can all share our favorite eat/drink/see sort of things in the city, but today's post is designed to help you get around NYC, which if you've never done it can be a bit daunting but once you get the hang of it isn't that bad.
GETTING THERE (WHEREVER "THERE" IS):
If you're flying in to NY and staying in Manhattan, you basically have three options to get into the city:
1. Cab. From JFK, cabs are $52 (plus tolls and tip) to anywhere in Manhattan. This is the easiest, and most expensive, option available. From LaGuardia, there's flat cab fare too, but while it's cheaper ($22/person), it's more restrictive (minimum two people) and doesn't apply at all hours (morning and evening rush hours only).
2. SuperShuttle. Again with the flat rate - a rate that drops the more people you have ($45 for one, $35 for two) - but has the advantage of being reservable ahead of time.
3. Subway. The least expensive and most time-consuming method, but it's readily available pretty much 24/7.
GETTING AROUND ONCE YOU'RE THERE
If you're planning on doing any other touristing around the city while you're in town, there's a few options. NY is a pretty walkable city - you may not have the time to walk all the way from Central Park to the World Trade Center, but it's super easy to do if you want. Otherwise, there's a couple options:
1. Subway: The NYC subway system is fairly extensive, and it runs 24/7, which is awesome. It can be a little confusing at first, but it's a great way to get places. You have a couple payment options - pay as you go, which requires a stop at a machine and $2.50 each time you enter the system, or what I would recommend if you're planning on taking the subway a lot, a 7-day unlimited MetroCard, which requires one stop at a machine and then you don't have to worry about it. Even if you're not staying 7 days, it may be worth it to get the 7 day card if you're planning on taking the subway a lot.
Another essential thing if you're planning on taking the subway a lot is an app to help find your way. I love Citymapper - not only is it a subway map, with up to date info on delays, accurate change information, etc., but it also gives you walking directions from where you are to where you want to go on either side of the subway trip. Hopstop was also recommended in the comments of a previous article.
2. Cab: Cabs are plentiful, easy to get, and they all take debit/credit cards. As long as you're not going through Times Square or deep into downtown, or in rush hour traffic, they're pretty reasonably priced and quick - once you hit traffic, though, the cost racks up fast. PROTIP: only ever take official city cabs (yellow or green cars with the NYC TAXI logo on the side). At transit hubs like Grand Central Terminal and the Port Authority, there are all kinds of private cabs that will try to get you to go with them, but they'll charge two or three times what a cab will.
3. CitiBike. I can't rave about this program enough. It works just like car2go, but with bikes. It's normally $100/year to join, but If you're a visitor, there's a $10 for 24 hour deal - each ride you take must be less than 30 min, but you can take unlimited rides in that 24 hour period. Biking in NYC isn't for everyone, but if you don't mind navigating city streets on a bike CitiBike's pretty cool.
4. Uber. I've never used it so I can't compare it cost-wise to cabs, but it's a similar service. Get the app, book a car, it'll come get you and take you where you need to go, all without money changing hands in the car. (NYC'ers - is Lyft also in NYC?)
THAT'S GREAT, BUT HOW DO I GET TO THE GAME?
This is the fun part - you're going to the game! How do you get there? It's awkward! Well, usually it's not, but there's construction happening on the PATH train line which necessitates some travel weirdness. The first thing to note is that PATH does not accept MetroCard - it's a separate system and a separate fare. Buy a round trip before you leave, because it'll be crowded when you come back after the game.
Now, for the construction weirdness. Normally, from Manhattan you can get to the WTC subway stop, switch to PATH, and go straight from there to Harrison. Now, though, thanks to construction that has closed the WTC PATH stop on weekends for the rest of 2014, you gotta get to 33rd St, change to PATH, go to Journal Square via Hoboken, then change at JS to get to Harrison. With a million other people who can't take the easy way, and who mostly are going the same place you are. I did this in May, and it's a pain. Be patient.
Once you get off the train at Harrison, it's a 10 minute walk through absolutely nothing to get to the stadium. Seriously, there's nothing; if you want to pregame, get off the train at Hoboken and go to Mulligan's, 159 1st St, about a 10 min walk from the train station. Or any of the few other bars on that street.
So there you have it. Once you're there, there's lots to do, but hopefully this will help you get there easily and get around with a minimum of fuss.