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Best Time of the Year to Travel to New York City

If you're sure that your next trip will be to New York, but you're not sure when is the best time of the year to visit this spectacular city, read on!

María Cano

María Cano

14 min read

Best Time of the Year to Travel to New York City

Sunset in Manhattan | ©Luca Bravo

We'll all agree that there's no bad time to visit New York: day, night, any time of the year..... The capital of the world has a lot to offer you, whenever you go.

However, New York is a city that is characterized by being very cold in the winter months and very warm in the summer. Therefore, a good time to enjoy it to the fullest are spring and autumn.

Even so, you also have to take into account other factors for your trip such as price or tourist saturation. Below, I reveal everything you need to know to make the best possible planning depending on what you want to do your trip to New York.

When is the best time to visit New York?

Empire State Building from the streets of New York| ©Hellotickets
Empire State Building from the streets of New York| ©Hellotickets

Considering the weather and the hours of sunshine, the best time to travel to New York is in the months of April, May, early June, September and October, when temperatures are moderate and the days are long enough to make the most of your visit.

Even so, there are other very special dates to travel to New York. For example, if you go in December, despite the cold, you can enjoy the magic of Christmas and, if you go to New York in January, February and March you will find some offers that you will not see at other times of the year.

On the other hand, in the summer months prices are higher and the city is very uncomfortable because it is overcrowded from the tourist point of view. There are many queues and you will not be able to move dynamically.

High and low season in New York

  • The low season in New York includes the months of January, February and early March. In these months temperatures are very low (between -5 and 4 °C), days are short, and there is virtually no tourism. In New York in February you will find that there are virtually no tourists.

  • The high season in New York runs from late June to mid-September. In these months there is a lot of tourism and prices, both flights and hotels, skyrocket.

Book a tour of New York

When is the best time to visit based on price?

Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a must-see place to visit in the fall.| ©NYC Go
Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a must-see place to visit in the fall.| ©NYC Go

The most economical months to travel to New York are the months of January, February and March because, although traveling to New York is always expensive, it is more feasible to find deals on your trip at this time of year due to the extreme temperatures.

Regarding the months when it is cheaper to go shopping, are the months of May and October, as these are the months of the year when there are fewer tourists and prices drop. If you go to New York at the end of October, keep in mind that Halloween may raise prices for that weekend.

Book a shopping tour in New York

When is the best time to visit New York with children?

Central Park Ice Skating Rink at Christmastime| ©Georgio
Central Park Ice Skating Rink at Christmastime| ©Georgio

If you go to New York with children, I recommend you to go, without a doubt, at Christmas. It is a unique date to go to visit this city, since Christmas in New York is lived to the fullest. In addition, you can enjoy the skating rinks, the Christmas markets and see the lights and the best Christmas trees. It will be an unforgettable experience for the little ones of the house!

Another possibility to enjoy with the little ones is coinciding with Halloween, when houses and gardens are decorated with pumpkins, skeletons and numerous decorations for the occasion.

When is the best time to visit New York if you want to take a cruise?

View of New York from the cruise ship| ©Hellotickets
View of New York from the cruise ship| ©Hellotickets

If you are sure you want to enjoy a cruise on your trip to New York, do not hesitate to go in the months of April, May, September and October when temperatures are moderate.

When is the best time to visit New York if you want to take pictures?

Must-see photo at the Statue of Liberty| ©Hellotickets
Must-see photo at the Statue of Liberty| ©Hellotickets

If you are a lover of photography and are looking to have a dream photo album, do not hesitate to go to New York in the months of April, May, September or October.

These are months when the city is not overcrowded with tourists and you will have the possibility to shoot your camera comfortably. Moreover, at this time of the year there are still enough hours of sunshine for you to be able to take more photos throughout the day.

When is the best time to visit New York if you want to see it with few people?

Springtime at the Arch in Washington Square Park| ©Bex Walton
Springtime at the Arch in Washington Square Park| ©Bex Walton

Everyone agrees that the best time to travel to New York are the spring and autumn months, especially from mid-September in New York and also in October, because temperatures are more moderate, there are not many tourists and the days are longer to plan a program as complete as possible.

When is the best time to visit New York if you want to save money?

Visit Time Square| ©Hellotickets
Visit Time Square| ©Hellotickets

If you want to travel to New York, but you have a limited budget, I recommend you to go between January and March, since you will have the possibility of finding cheaper flights, and hotels have lower prices in these months of the year due to the low temperatures.

When is the best time to visit New York to make the most of your trip?

New York Museum of Natural History| ©Wikimedia
New York Museum of Natural History| ©Wikimedia

If you want to travel and make the most of every day, I definitely recommend that you go to New York in the month of June. The schedules of attractions and museums have already been extended and the days are longer so you can make the most of your trip. In addition, there will not be as much tourism as in the central months of the year and that will allow you to move more quickly and without suffering interruptions by the overcrowding of tourists.

In this post you have read all the details about what is the best and what is the worst of each time of the year to travel to New York, but everything will depend on the budget you have, what you want to see and your resistance to extreme temperatures. Even so, from my point of view, New York is a trip you should not miss and the time of the year should not condition you, it is an unforgettable trip!

Visit New York in the summer if you like the heat and outdoor activities

Coney Island in Summer| ©Dennis Yang
Coney Island in Summer| ©Dennis Yang

Visiting New York in summer is not a good option, as it is very hot and the humidity is very annoying. In addition, the city has a lot of tourism and you can not see it with the same tranquility as in other months of the year.

Even so, it has a number of advantages: the days are longer and the opening hours of the attractions are extended. In addition, there is a wide range of outdoor activities.

Here is the post 10 things to do in summer in New York.

Advantages of visiting New York in summer

  • Temperatures: Summer temperatures can be both an advantage and a disadvantage, as in the south of Spain, where temperatures are usually very high, there may be days that wake up with moderate temperatures and are ideal for walking and outdoor activities.

  • Outdoor activities: At this time of the year there is a wide range of outdoor activities: street markets, concerts, shows and summer cinemas...

  • The days are longer: During these days it gets dark around 8:30 p.m. and, in addition, the attractions extend their opening hours, so you can make the most of your days. Unlike in winter, when everything closes much earlier, and you can not schedule so many activities in a single day.

  • New York Beaches: I guess it is something you had not considered, the possibility of bathing in a New York beach. These days, citizens take the opportunity to go to Coney Island, City Island or Staten Island and take a dip to escape the heat.

Disadvantages of visiting New York in summer

  • The heat: If you can't stand the heat, I recommend that you don't go in July and August, as the temperatures are high and, in addition, the high humidity makes you feel more suffocated.

  • High prices: The prices of flights and hotels are the most expensive at this time of the year, together with Christmas.

  • The city is crowded: While New Yorkers leave during these months of the year, on the contrary, tourists invade the city. It is more uncomfortable to see the attractions, as they are overcrowded, and it is common to have to wait in long lines to get in.

The best

The days are longer and there is a wide range of outdoor activities.

The worst

July and August in New York are very hot and humid. In addition, flights and hotels are more expensive than in other months of the year.

Visit New York in winter to enjoy the Christmas season

Snow in Battery Park| ©Will Hedington
Snow in Battery Park| ©Will Hedington

If you visit New York in winter you will have to take into account that it is very cold. And when I say very cold, I mean very cold. Therefore, you will have to be very well prepared, with warm clothes and shoes with fat soles and non-slip, because sometimes it freezes.

Even so, the advantage of going to New York in December isthat you will be able to enjoy the magic of Christmas. Also, if you go from early January to mid-March you can find deals that are not available in other months of the year.

Here is the post 10 things to do in winter in New York.

Advantages of visiting New York in winter

  • Enjoy Christmas: Traveling to New York in December has its advantages, as you can enjoy Christmas in the month of December. Delight yourself with the Christmas decorations in the shop windows of Fifth Avenue, Manhattan or the peculiar neighborhood of Dyker Heights; visit Christmas markets such as Winter Village in Bryant Park or Grand Central Holiday Fair in Grand Central Terminal; ice skating at the Rockefeller or Bryant Park rink; or see the Christmas trees at Rockefeller Center, Madison Square Park are magical plans that you can only experience at this time of the year.

  • Lower prices: Another advantage of traveling from the first week of January until mid-March, is that from the end of the Christmas vacations until Easter, the prices of travel to New York drop considerably, as well as hotel stays.

Affordable shows: In winter, not only will travel be cheaper, but also tickets to shows and restaurant menus have lower prices.

  • The beauty of snowy New York: Likewise, starting in January you have the chance to see the snowy city: its parks, skyscrapers... and I assure you that it has a special charm.

  • Comfort: One of the most important factors to take into account when going to New York in winter is that you will have the opportunity to see the city comfortably. New York is a city that has a lot of tourism and only at this time of the year you will have the city to yourself and you will be able to enjoy all the attractions without inconveniences.

Disadvantages of visiting New York in winter

  • Low temperatures: The biggest drawback of visiting New York in January and February are its freezing temperatures, which reach three to four degrees below zero, as well as the humidity, which gives a greater sense of cold if possible.

  • Shorter days: Around 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. it starts to get dark in winter, and you do not have the possibility of taking advantage of the days as much as in a trip at another time of the year, since there are attractions that close an hour or even two hours earlier than usual.

  • More expensive prices: If you go in December coinciding with the Christmas holidays, prices soar and the crowds of tourists will not allow you to see the city comfortably. Even so, it is worth visiting at this time of year, as the city looks like something out of a fairy tale.

Recommendations if you visit New York in winter

  • Bundle up: If you go to New York at this time of the year, I recommend that you take very warm and insulating clothing, thick-soled, non-slip shoes and polar coats, along with hats, ear muffs, gloves and any other winter accessories that come to mind.

  • Schedule your visit well: Another tip you can take into account if you travel during these months is to alternate outdoor activities with visits to museums where you can warm up. The MoMa, the Natural History Museum, the Wax Museum, the options are numerous.

The best

Enjoy the magic of Christmas and the cheap prices you can find between January and early March.

The worst

The cold temperatures.

Visit New York in the spring to enjoy its parks

The Loeb Boathouse, a restaurant in Central Park from iconic films| ©Posta.com.mx
The Loeb Boathouse, a restaurant in Central Park from iconic films| ©Posta.com.mx

If you choose spring to visit New York you won't regret it. It is a wonderful time as temperatures are ideal for walking and enjoying the city outdoors. In addition, the city has a special light.

And most importantly, it is not crowded with tourists and you can see it comfortably and, finally, in these months of the year, the season of outdoor activities begins. You'll love discovering New York's best parks with their fauna and flora at its best.

Advantages of visiting New York in spring

  • Weather: The biggest advantage of visiting New York at this time of the year is undoubtedly its weather. In June temperatures can reach up to 20 degrees and in April in New York (and also in part of May) will be between 5 and 15 degrees, so you will need a warm coat, but you can comfortably enjoy the numerous outdoor activities and attractions.

  • Long days: Days are longer, due to the time change in the first week of March. Specifically, in this month it starts to get dark at 7:00 p.m. and, since May in New York, it gets dark around 8:00 p.m. By extension, the opening hours of museums and tours begin to extend, so you can make better use of the days.

  • The essence of spring: From early March in New York and early April, with the arrival of spring, flowers begin to bloom and the city parks have a special color and aroma. I recommend that if you go during these months of the year, walk a lot through Central Park, Bryant Park ... and enter all the parks and gardens that you find on your way.

  • Season of outdoor activities: In the spring outdoor activities such as concerts, cinemas and markets that are suspended in the winter months start.

  • Enjoy the city by bike: You can enjoy the city by bike, something you can't miss if you go during this time of the year.

Disadvantages of visiting New York in springtime

  • Rainfall: The months of April and May are those that collect the highest amount of rainfall. So I recommend that you bring an umbrella, raincoat and good shoes if your trip coincides with these dates.

  • Low temperatures: If you go between March and May you should dress warmly because temperatures are still very low. Even so, nothing to do with the winter months, you will be able to walk comfortably outdoors.

The best...

Temperatures are not as cold, days are longer and outdoor activities such as markets and concerts begin.

The worst...

Rain may surprise you on your outdoor visits.

Visit New York in autumn and celebrate Halloween while enjoying the ocher colors in its parks

Halloween Village Parade in New York| ©Steven Pisano
Halloween Village Parade in New York| ©Steven Pisano

The autumn months are also an ideal time to travel to New York, especially the months of September and October, when temperatures are moderate and when the tourist overcrowding characteristic of the summer months has passed.

In addition, in autumn there are key dates such as Halloween or Thanksgiving when you can enjoy a unique experience and, from late October-November, it already smells like Christmas. The ice skating rinks open and the season of markets, so typical of this time of the year, begins.

Here is the post 10 things to do in autumn in New York.

Advantages of visiting New York in autumn

  • Moderate temperatures: September is ideal for traveling to New York in terms of temperature, as temperatures are still warm and we can comfortably enjoy the city outdoors. In October they will start to drop, but both this month and November in New York will be warm enough and we will still be able to take advantage of outdoor activities.

  • The arrival of autumn: As in spring, the parks in autumn have a special color from mid-October. If you have the opportunity to go at this time of year, walk as much as you can in these enclaves.

  • Halloween: Yes, haven't you thought about it? If you go at the end of October you can enjoy Halloween, the decoration of pumpkins and skeletons that we have seen so many times on television and that we are gradually adopting in Europe. Believe me! It has nothing to do with it. It is worth enjoying this holiday in New York.

  • Thanksgiving Day: Just at the end of November you can enjoy this date marked on the calendar of Americans and that means the starting signal for Christmas.

  • Skating rinks: The skating rinks open from mid-October so if you are in this date you can enjoy a few races on ice.

Disadvantages of visiting New York in autumn

  • Temperatures: If you choose the month of September to visit New York you can enjoy an ideal temperature for your trip, but, on the contrary, in November, the thermometer already registers temperatures below zero and you should be well prepared for the cold.

  • Shorter days: In November the time changes, it gets dark from 4:30 p.m. and the attractions reduce their opening hours.

The best...

The preamble to Christmas with the opening of the ice rinks or key dates such as Halloween or Thanksgiving.

The worst...

Days are shorter and temperatures are very low from the end of October.

In short, we compare different times to visit New York

Vehicles passing through one of New York's iconic streets.| ©Darian Garcia
Vehicles passing through one of New York's iconic streets.| ©Darian Garcia
  • New York in Winter
  • Very short days
  • Christmas crowds
  • Very cold temperatures
  • High Christmas prices
  • Good for Christmas shopping and Christmas lighting
  • New York in Spring
  • Long days
  • Little tourism
  • Mild temperatures
  • Affordable prices
  • Good for outdoor activities
  • New York in Summer
  • Very long days
  • Lots of crowds
  • Very high temperatures
  • High prices
  • Good for outdoor activities
  • New York in Fall
  • Short days
  • Little tourism
  • Mild temperatures
  • Affordable prices
  • Good for outdoor activities