If you are thinking of visiting NYC at Christmas you need to know, it is pretty crazy! NYC can get hectic at the best of times. But during Christmas it is turbo-charged. Having failed at Christmas shopping in New York City on my first visit, I’ve put together this list to help you NOT make the same mistakes as me. So here are 5 ways to win at Christmas shopping in New York City.
So here are a few tips to help you enjoy NYC at Christmas:
1. Make a plan
NYC may not be a big city. But because of the volume of people, it takes time to get from A-B. If you are going short distances walk, for longe distances take the subway but be warned it get’s very busy! I wouldn’t recommend taking a cab unless it is late at night as the traffic is terrible and you will spend forever sat in traffic! Because of this, it is important to plan the places you want to go shopping and cover different areas on different days.
I like to spend the morning doing a tourist thing, then shop in the afternoon. For example, if you want to shop uptown at Tiffany’s or around that area of 5th Avenue it is close to Central Park and the Met. So, you could spend the morning exploring Central Park or grab lunch at The Met and then shop in the afternoon. Don’t try and cover the whole of the city in one day plan the areas you want to shop carefully.
2. Wrap up in layers
I’m talking woolly hat, gloves, winter coat, winter boots…the works. But be aware if you are shopping it will be icy cold outside, but as soon as you walk into a shop you are hit with tropical temperatures! So make sure you have layers so you can easily whip them off when indoors.
You will have the opposite issue in the summer, Americans LOVE their AC and you will freeze indoors in the summer without something warm to put on inside.
3. Have patience and stamina by the bucketload!
New York City at Christmas is the ‘place to be’. People travel here from all over the world to do their Christmas shopping and/ or spend the holidays here (we’ve all seen home alone). This means only one thing, it’s packed, there are people everywhere, tourists and locals all shopping!
Make sure you have time to really soak up the atmosphere, find a bench and do some people watching. Get a hot chocolate or an apple cider, walk the streets, don’t take the subway, it’s so much more interesting. Which leads me on to number 4.
4. Pack some good shoes/ boots to walk in.
You need something comfortable enough to walk long distances in but you also need to be conscious of the weather. think, Ice, snow, and rain – so something waterproof with great grip and you will be fine!
5. Don’t forget your passport.
Some stores like Macy’s will give you tax reduction when shopping. All you need to do is go up to the customer inquiries desk (I forget the floor) and there is a machine. Just scan your passport and they will print you a voucher that you will need to give to the cashier when you pay. It is always worth asking
If you are going to be in New York City over the New Year and you want to watch the Ball Drop. You need to take a read of this great post so you can watch the ball drop without the crowds.
Planning a vacation to NYC? Check out my other city guides:
Have you visited New York at Christmas time? What are your top tips for surviving the Christmas madness?