The best time to visit NYC all depends on why you’re planning on visiting the Big Apple. Whether visiting in the summer, winter, spring or autumn, there is always something to do. From its history and architectural and technological innovation to its world-renowned arts and culture, New York City is a city most people have marked on their bucket list as a place to visit at least once during their lifetime.
Do you like museums? Are you a Broadway fan? What’s your budget? Are you interested in visiting New York City to sightsee the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Bridge or Rockefeller Center? Are you visiting for shopping therapy, to travel on the world-famous subway or visit Wall Street? Are you looking for different places to stay at the many great hotels in Manhattan? These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself as you start to plan what time of the year you will visit New York City.
Each season in New York City offers plenty of things to do, unique city events, attractions, and shows. Whether it’s to celebrate the holidays, take in the surroundings and tourist attractions or shop until you drop, the best time to visit New York City will depend entirely on what you plan to do.
Best Time to Visit NYC for Sightseeing
If you are visiting the Big Apple to take in the sights, the best time to visit NYC is between April and June or September to early November. Remember, the summer months in New York City can be excruciatingly hot, while the winter months can have freezing temperatures that make it difficult to walk around.
Not only are the temperatures hard to deal with, but the summer and winter months (late November and all through December, in particular) bring in lots of crowds, as tourists tend to flock to the city during peak season, which is during the summer months and the winter holidays.
Summer (June to August) is New York City’s main tourist season. Not only are there lots of crowds, but the sweltering heat can also make sightseeing extremely hard to deal with as humidity and the temperature rise. In addition, prices for hotels and other attractions will be at their highest because of the peak tourism season. The upside to summer is hundreds of free events like Shakespeare in the Park, Philharmonic in the Park, Central Park Summerstage and so much more!
Autumn, September through November, is one of the best times to visit NYC , as the temperatures are milder and the city is full of beautiful, vibrant colors which can only be witnessed during the fall months. Crowds dissipate during these months in anticipation of the holiday season, meaning you can take in all the beautiful sights without having to worry about sweltering heat and unbearable crowds.
If you don’t mind crowds and cold temperatures, winter is a magical, amazing time to visit New York City. The city might be covered in snow and will definitely be filled with beautiful Holiday Lights and displays which are a sight to see. If you don’t mind spending lots of money, the holidays are a great time to visit New York City to go sightseeing.
If you want to get the most bang for your buck, visit New York City outside of the holiday season. The cheapest time to visit New York City is in January and February when there is a lull in tourism after the holiday crowds disperse and we offer the best bargains, like 2 for 1 Broadway Tickets. This is the slow season in New York City and a good time to visit if you are on a budget and don’t mind the cold temperatures. January is a great time to visit NYC during Hotel Week, Restaurant Week and Broadway Week, all of which will save you tons of money!
Spring is also one of the best times to visit NYC, as the temperatures are mild and the flowers and trees in bloom bring the city to life. Keep in mind that Central Park tends to be brown, gloomy and dull between winter and early spring (late November to April). Therefore, if you want to visit Central Park during your trip to New York City in the springtime, you should avoid going during those months.
If you want to visit New York City just to sightsee, you will avoid major crowds if you visit between April and June or September to early November. You can take in your surroundings and visit Liberty Island, Central Park, Times Square, and the Empire State building without dealing with hot or frigid temperatures and the crowds that come along during peak season.
For better access to cheaper hotel rates, restaurants, restaurant tables, and shows, you should avoid going during the holiday season and the summer months, when the city is at its busiest.
The best time to visit New York City for optimal weather is May & June and Sept-November, when temperatures are mostly mild and comfortable.
Back to Top of Best Time to Visit NYC
Performing Arts and Shows
If you love performing arts, you might want to go during peak theater and performing arts seasons, which happens during autumn, winter and early spring. The easiest time to find tickets for shows is in January and February when it is a bit quieter in New York City after the holiday rush and cheer as faded away.
It’s also easy to find tickets in early autumn when all the summer tourists have left, which is when Broadway season begins. This makes it a great time to get tickets for shows that haven’t grown in popularity yet.
Museums and Other Attractions
Museums and other attractions are most crowded during the holidays. You won’t experience the usual peak season crowding or lineups if you visit these types of attractions during New York City’s slow season. Special exhibitions usually begin in the early fall, which also makes October a great time to visit the city for galleries and museums.
The best time to visit New York City is during the fall or spring when the temperatures are mild, the light is beautiful, and the crowds aren’t too overwhelming. If you want to take in New York City for everything it has to offer during the holiday season, you should expect to pay the price and prepare for large and often uncomfortable crowds. If you’re on a budget and want to save as much money as possible when visiting New York City, you should visit New York City during the winter months, immediately after New Year. Although the weather is likely to be very cold, hotel prices will be considerably cheaper.
New York City is one of the most vibrant and exciting cities in the world. This is why you should plan your trip perfectly to coincide with what you want to do to allow for the best experience possible. Decide what you want to do, what your budget is, and how you want to spend your time in New York City so that you can experience all that the world-famous city has to offer.
Back to Top of Best Time to Visit NYC
NYC Printable Map Guide Book
Have a wonderful vacation – and please tell NYC Insider Guide about your trip or if you’ve enjoyed our guide!
Download the entire NYC Insider Printable Guide, an organized, easy to follow, color coded guide to NYC. The Printable NYC Guide includes detailed maps of every neighborhood, weekly chart of Free Museum Days and Times and free weekly neighborhood tours, Best of NYC Categories and lists by ALL native New Yorkers and much more. Print as many copies as you like, share them with friends and family and ONLY take the pages you need while you’re travelling.
Back to Top of Best Time to Visit NYC
New York City Vacation Planner
Plan your trip in the RIGHT order and get the most out of NYC...
- New York City Vacation Planner
- Best Time to Visit NYC
- Airport Guides & Luggage Storage
- New York City Hotel Deals
- Get the HOTTEST Tickets
- Half Price Broadway Tickets
- New York City Tours
- NYC Sightseeing Passes
- Things to do in NYC
- Manhattan NYC Maps
- NYC Coupons
- NYC Limos, Taxis, Shuttles and Car Services
- NYC Travel Health & Trip Insurance
- NYC Insider Printable Guide
- Personalized New York Travel Planning