From JFK to Manhattan a cab is by far the easiest and costs $50 with a tip. At $5 the subway is by far the cheapest. But after an eight-hour flight, an hour in immigration and a five-hour time difference the shuttle to the station and then a 40-minute trip into town, plus maybe a change or two, can be gruelling. Best bet is probably an express bus, which goes every 15-30 minutes and costs $15. If you're going to Brooklyn or Queens it might make more sense to get a cab.
From Newark get the train to Penn station, which runs every 15 minutes and costs $14. A cab will set you back $60 with toll and tip and not get you back any quicker.
Above all, never expect to hail a cab in Manhattan from 3pm to 5pm - they are changing shifts. Their lights are off and nobody's going home.
Sod it. If you're going to break the bank, you might as well have a laugh doing it. At around $700 a night you'll need a sense of humour. Right on top of Central Park, it is in a great location. There are nicer hotels, I'm told, but none that give you quite so many bragging rights.
One Central Park West New York; Tel: 212 299 1000; www.trumpintl.com/
Despite the recent reopening of Moma in all its splendour, the Met still wins out. Like any huge museum of this kind - it is has seven major, permanent collections - you won't see it all. If you have the stamina put aside a day, go early, take a break and go back for more. If not then it makes sense to focus on what piece of candy in this particularly huge store you want and then try not to binge.
1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street; Tel: 212-535-7710; www.metmuseum.org/
From Pier 83 at West 42nd street and 12th avenue. You can forget that Manhattan is an island, this trip takes you round it on water giving you a sense of how it all fits together. The two-hour semi-circle tour for around $12 is plenty.
But to make it worth your while you should go first thing on a weekday - it opens at 9.30am. Otherwise you'll spend half a day in the queue and be so cheesed off you won't care what you see by the time you get to the top.
350 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan; www.esbnyc.com/
New York is made up five boroughs. But when visitors arrive they mistake Manhattan between Battery Park and 96th street for the entire city. Don't get me wrong. Manhattan from the neck down is great. But try the amateur night at the Apollo in Harlem, Williamsburg or Fort Greene in Brooklyn or the Bronx zoo. Take a bridge or a tunnel. Get out and see the city.
Don't be put off by the queue outside this Chinatown favourite on most weekend evenings. Parties of four or less usually get seated within half and hour and it's worth the wait. Unless you're unlucky you share a large round table with others - a brilliant way to meet strangers who aren't strange. Its soup dumplings are a must. The soup is in the dumplings; getting it out without getting it all over you demands finesse. Cash only.
9 Pell St, Chinatown, subways 6,W, Q to Canal St
A terrific Ukrainian diner in the east village, which is open all night on Fridays and Saturdays. Fantastic broccoli and cheese pirogis and mushroom and barely soups; blintzes sure to ensure that you die happy from heart failure. And the best burgers in the city.
9th street and second avenue: Subway F, V to second avenue, R, W to 8th st, 6 to Astor Place; www.veselka.com/.
New York doesn't really do budget when it comes to hotels. Your best bet is to go online and see if you can bid for something cheap. Otherwise at $99 the Chelsea Star is about the cheapest you'll find before you get into hostels and shared toilets.
300 W 30th Street 8th Ave; (212) 244-STAR ; www.starhotelny.com/
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