Tips, Taxes, Weather, Metrics

New York City International Tourist Tips provides answers to frequently asked questions about differences between NYC and other cities or countries. We try and answer all the questions we have when traveling to other countries, like sales tax, tourist tax and refunds, weather and currency, tipping and customs and more.

New York City Weather

Average Historical NYC Temperatures by Month

Month High / Low
High / Low
January 36 / 23 4 / -3
40 / 27 5 / -3
48 / 34 8 / 1
61 / 44 16 / 6
68 / 53 21 / 11
81 / 63 27 / 17
83 / 68 29 / 18
81 / 66 28 / 19
77 / 60 25 / 16
67 / 51 19 / 10
54 / 41 12 / 5
41 / 30 5 / -1

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Currency Converters and Exchange Rates

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Taxes and Charges

New York City imposes 8.875 percent sales tax on the sale or use of the following items in the City. The City sales tax rate is 4.5 percent (in addition to the New York State sales and use tax of 4 percent, plus a 0.375 percent Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District surcharge).

  1. Most tangible personal property (i.e. alcohol, furniture, electronics, etc.);
  2. Occupancy of hotel and motel rooms;
  3. Food and beverages sold by restaurants and caterers;
  4. Admission charges to places of amusement;
  5. Purchase of clothing and footwear costing $110 or more per item or pair. Items costing less than $110 are exempt from sales tax.
  6. Receipts from beauty, barbering, hair restoring, manicures, pedicures, electrolysis, massage, and other, similar services;
  7. Receipts from the sale of services by or use of facilities of weight control salons, health salons, gymnasiums, and similar establishments
  8. Sales of credit rating and credit reporting services;
  9. Gas, electricity, refrigeration, steam, telephone, and telegraph services;
  10. Detective, cleaning, and maintenance services

See the NYC Dept of Finance site for more details.

New York Tourist Tax Refund

While I have certainly taken full advantage of the tax refund and VAT refund privileges offered in many other countries, unfortunately, there is no such refund in New York State. The only tax savings you can receive is on clothing items less than $110.

New York City Tipping Customs

Service Tips are not included in restaurant checks. Please tip your servers at least 15-20% (just double the first number of your check total, or first two if it’s over $100).

I know this can be a controversial topic in many other cultures. However, tipping is customary and expected in most NYC restaurants, unless otherwise stated on the menu. Many other countries pay their restaurant servers and others in the service industry far more than we do and these people rely on your tips for their income, food and rent. Minimum wage in NYC is $15.00 per hour. For full time employees, this would be an annual salary of $31,200. However, with tips, many servers and bartenders make upwards of $75,000 per year, which is the NYC industry norm.

Additional Service Tips:

  • Taxis: 15% of fare
  • Bellhops: $1 per bag
  • Coat Check: $1 per coat

NYC Insider Guide - The Basics

NYC Insider Guide Info