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It can be a blast to head to a new city and really play the “tourist” — seeing all the best attractions, taking a million photos, sampling all the best food, etc. In a city like New York, it’s especially easy to be an enthusiastic (possibly bordering on obnoxious) tourist. There’s so much to see and do here, that it’s hard not to become enthralled in the “Lonely Planet” brand of tourism. This is great and exciting of course, but it’s also only one way to travel. In a place like New York City, sometimes it’s better to blend in to really live the city. You want to make the best of your visit, right? We have a few tips for you about doing just that.

See The “Top Attractions” Like A Local

Of course you will want to check out the infamous NYC attractions (at least of few of them). They are top attractions for a reason. Instead of doing the tourist thing and taking a guided tour, however, why not try and experience them in an everyday way? Go after work hours and hang out with friends. Have a local tell you about the best way to see the Statue of Liberty and take them up on it!

Check Out The Unlisted Attractions

There are so many other things to see and do in NYC that don’t necessarily make the tourist lists. Make sure to see the everyday experience of NYC as well as the polished, textbook version. This means making friends in this big, wild city. You’ll be glad you did!

Take Public Transit To 5th Avenue

The true NYC experience means getting on the subway. If you plan to see 5th Avenue and all its wonders, why not take public transit there first? The NYC subways is famous for its graffiti, subway performers, and colorful characters. It should be on your list of must-sees. What better way to see it than on your way to another “must-see”?

Crash On A Friend’s Couch

If possible, skip the hotel for a night and crash on a friend’s couch to truly experience NYC nightlife. Most of the affordable NYC hotels are outside of the actual city and mean a removed experience. Night is when NYC gets going and you need to see it to believe it.

Don’t Stop Traffic With Your Camera

You want to capture the moments and the memories on any trip, but in a busy city like New York, it’s easy to get in the way when you’re pausing to savor the moment. If you want to get perfect tourist shots of city life, do so quickly and discreetly, without causing a traffic jam. For a really remarkable moment-catching experience, rent an action camera you can mount somewhere on your person and record your stroll through the city.

If you can blend in and seem like a proper New Yorker, you’ll likely have a much more authentic experience. Don’t miss out on the top attractions, but incorporate them into your travel activities in a way that lets you see the rest of the city as well. Good luck and have fun!