No matter how long you stay in New York City, it never seems to feel like enough. There’s always at least one museum you didn’t get to visit, one bridge you didn’t walk across, one neighbourhood you didn’t get to explore. To make the most of your time in the city that never sleeps, download these time- and money-saving apps.
Exit Strategy NYC
In New York, getting off at the right subway stop doesn’t mean you’ve arrived at your destination. The stations are often rabbit warrens with many different exits, including ones that spit you out blocks from where you need to be. Exit Strategy NYC (Free; iOS) calculates which train carriage you should ride in to get out at the exit you need, saving a lot of time and confusion.
You’ve probably heard about TKTS booths that sell those elusive discounted tickets to same-day Broadway productions. The shows on offer change daily so download the TKTS app (Free; iOS and Android) for a sneak peek at what’s playing before you try your luck.
Cycling is a fast, cheap and fun way to get around New York – so long as it’s not snowing, of course. The Citi Bike app (Free; iOS and Android) allows you to purchase a day pass, find available bikes and find a nearby station to drop the bike to when you’re done. It will also send you a warning notification when it’s almost time to dock to avoid overtime fees.
Yellow taxis are fun to look at but they’re less fun to ride in – especially when you’re stuck in traffic in an unfamiliar neighbourhood. Skip the angst. Plug your destination address into Uber (Free; iOS and Android). You don’t need to know the cross street of where you’re going(something New York taxi drivers tend to get cranky about non-locals not knowing).
The Metropolitan Museum of Art app
The Met, home to one of the world’s most astounding and diverse art collections, has an app (Free; iOS and Android) to help visitors streamline a visit to both buildings that make us the museum – Fifth Avenue and The Cloisters in upper Manhattan. There are maps, a list of current exhibitions, curated self-tours, tips, an audio guide and more.
When travelling with a partner, friends or family, keeping track of who owes how much to whom quickly becomes tiresome. Transfer cash to one another instantly and easily with Venmo (Free; iOS and Android) to avoid awkward money moments. It’s especially helpful if you’re hanging out with Americans or anyone who lives there – electronic banking is still in the dark ages in the US.
Since it opened in 2015, Hamilton has become one of the most popular musicals in New York City history, which naturally means scoring tickets is just about the hardest things you’ll do in New York. The Hamilton app (Free; iOS and Android) has a daily lottery for the chance to win up to two tickets for just US$10 each, a dramatic discount from the normal price, which ranges from US$180-$800 per ticket. There’s also trivia and you can record yourself singing Hamilton karaoke then share it on social media – because you’ll be singing the songs for days after.
New Yorkers are obsessed with rating and reviewing restaurants. Check the Yelp app (Free; iOS and Android) to see which places are ranked as the best fine-dining, cheap or vegetarian options. That way, you’re almost guaranteed not have a bad meal in New York City.
Central Park Entire
Manhattan’s biggest green space is, well, big: 341 hectares, to be exact. Central Park Entire ($2.99; iOS) shows you your exact location in the park – even if you’re offline – identifies more than 300 important sites within its boundaries and will point you in the right direction of the nearest restroom, food stand, entry or exit point.
New York Subway MTA
Catching the subway is one of the cheapest, easiest and quickest ways to get around Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and beyond. Trains are a dime a dozen so there’s no real need for a timetable but it is good to know about track work and night services. This app (iOS only) provides those those details and can also help you figure out the basic direction you’re heading (downtown, uptown or the last stop on your route) so you can navigate your way to the right platform.
Make managing transit easier with the the Qantas app (Free; iOS and Android). Get alerts when it’s time to check in for your flight (and do it right in the app), select your seat, see which films are playing on your flight, keep track of your Qantas Points and more.