5 ways to sightsee via public transport New York

STATEN ISLAND FERRY

Whitehall Terminal
Financial District
www.siferry.com

Instead of paying for a tour to float by the Statue of Liberty, hop on the Staten Island Ferry, whose 5-mile journey takes you through the New York harbor between the tip of Manhattan to Staten Island. The ferry operates 24/7 and is free. Staten Island side is currently being developed to house a mall and towering ferris wheel.

IKEA EXPRESS FERRY

Wall Street Pier 11
Financial District
+1 212 742 1969
www.nywatertaxi.com/ikea

Off a slip near the South Street Seaport, catch a ferry that takes you to the Ikea dock in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The 20-minute trip offers nice views of downtown. To explore Red Hook itself, take Beard St and walk 3 blocks to Van Brunt Street’s many cool restaurants, including Fort Defiance. Free on the weekends.

CROSS BRIDGES VIA THE SUBWAY

Instead of going through a tunnel, opt to connect from Manhattan to Brooklyn via a bridge. To cross over the Manhattan Bridge take the B, D, N, or Q trains, where you’ll end up in Fort Greene and beyond. For the Williamsburg Bridge get on the J, M, or Z trains to stops in Williamsburg and beyond.

M5 BUS DOWN FIFTH AVENUE

Upper East Side +
Midtown
www.bustime.mta.info

Fifth Avenue is still NYC’s main upscale thoroughfare and you can get a glimpse of its shine as you ride from 59th to 42nd street. Lined with the crème de la crème: designer stores, posh hotels, Rockefeller Center. Due to traffic, you’ll be moving slowly, so you can take it all in. Even more dramatic at night especially during the holidays.

ROOSEVELT ISLAND TRAMWAY

East 59th St
(at 2nd Ave)
Upper East Side
+1 212 832 4555
www.rioc.ny.gov

Use your MTA subway card and take the aerial tramway that spans the East River and connects Manhattan with Roosevelt Island – at dramatic heights. You’ll experience soaring views, and perhaps a bit of acrophobia, in the 5 minutes that it takes to careen you across. When you get there, take a stroll along the river.

Roosevelt Island Tramway - ©Greg Goodman (adventuresofagoodman.com)
Roosevelt Island Tramway - ©Greg Goodman (adventuresofagoodman.com)

part of 75 places to discover new york

The 500 Hidden Secrets of New York