New York City's Tourist Center

by JudithG

By Judith Glynn What to do in New York City is made easier at official NYCGO Tourist Centers. Free brochures and maps.Tickets for attractions and the Metro Card. Free advice.

New York City's size and non-stop energy can intimidate its visitors. Without the right itinerary before arriving or for those who plan while in the city, reliable information is key. Otherwise, any trip can sour quickly.

When the city's marketing and tourism officials, along with former Mayor Bloomberg, set out to dispel visitors' fears and to soften their welcome, NYCGO.Org became the official tourism Web site and in-person tourist information center. Today, there are four Visitor Centers located throughout the city. The main one is inside Macy's Herald Square, New York's iconic department store, located at 151 Seventh Avenue. The center features touch-screen information kiosks to help plan your trip with Google maps and the ability to print directions; a multitude of guides and maps; and tickets for various attractions (many discounted). Visitors can also enjoy a Macy's 10%-off Visitors Shopping Pass,

How to Create a Personalized Itinerary at NYCGO Visitor Center

Upon entering the NYCGO tourism center in Midtown, visitors have three options to gain information. First and easiest is to pick and choose through hundreds of free brochures that line both walls, grouped by category. Some brochures highlight a single neighborhood, such as Greenwich Village, showing what to do, see, eat, etc. in that area.

Free Computers and WiFi

Second option is the large, inter-active Apple computers on counters that encourage the visitor to click through the  site. Attractions Listed on computersOffers and special deals change monthly. 

Third option is the large touchscreen wall panels that list attractions by category. Touch one and individual venues appear with general information. Added bonus is information given in 10 different languages.  

Inter-Active Wall Stations

NYC & Company's members appear as first selections. Later suggestions are a feed from Time Out New York, the international magazine for entertainment and for travelers.

Users should bring along paper and pen to write down what they'd like to see, although the free brochures most likely cover everything. The session is limited to 20 minutes intervals.

Also, the NYCGO site can be accessed on smart phones. 

Not Just English

Multi-Language GuidesAll personnel at the City's tourist information centers must speak two languages, and not the same languages either. No appointments needed. Simply walk in, wait your turn, if necessary, and ask all the questions needed.

A center guide knows just where to go and how to get there. Want the private addresses of stars living in New York City? That's not possible.  


NYC by App

Visitors accustomed to an app world in the palm of their hand, will fine a plethora of NYC apps clicking here. Everything from where is a clean public bathroom to navigating the city to when the next bus will be at a stop to attractions. A favorite is NYC Sample Sales. And with 24,000 eating establishments in the city, the dining apps are a must-have.  Not all apps support all platforms. 

The New York City On The Go mobile site has thousands of venues, events and offers, all integrated with Google Maps.

Wall of Information


Time Out New York

The complete guide to what's happening in New York City every week, including music, dance, sports, film, art, dining, clubs, comedy, books, theater, special events and more. Ti...

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Not For Tourists Guide to New York City 2013 (Basic Edition)

This Basic ebook edition of NFT's famous neighborhood-by-neighborhood dream guide offers adjustable font sizes for reading on even the smallest screens, and includes all the up-...

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New York City Skyline Sky Lights - Snap On Hard Protective Case for Apple iPhone 5 - White

Make a statement with this custom designed iPhone case! This hard protective plastic case fits the iPhone 5. All the iPhone buttons and the charging jack are fully accessible wh...

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Melville Candy Lollipops, New York City Assorted, 1.3-Ounce Lollipops (Pack of 24)

Melville Candy's Seacoast collection comes with a vast array of shapes from lighthouses, fish, boats and many additional great shapes. With seven different colors and flavors yo...

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I Love New York Mints, New York Souvenirs, New York City Souvenirs, NYC Souvenir

I Love New York Souvenir Mints. Peppermints in a nice tin with the ever famous I Love New York image. Slide top snap lid. About 2 3/4" X 1 1/2".

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Tour Tickets, Broadway Shows and the Metro Card

Tickets for many attractions can be purchased at the Center, which cuts down wait time at the attractions such as Grey Line Sightseeing Bus, Statue of Liberty; Empire State Building,Top of the Rock and more. 

An ATM-like machine dispenses the Metro Card. The Visitor's Center is the only above-ground place in New York to purchase the Card. 

Broadway theatre tickets are sold through the NYCGO site and at the Visitor Centers. Most are the best seats, such as orchestra. No discounts but a worthwhile resource for some. 

See More for Less with Passes

Latest statistics show 50.9 million visitors arrived in NYC in one year. They want to see it all but, obviously, can't in the city that never sleeps. Several "passes" that group attractions are offered at NYCGO. Passes GaloreSavings are terrific and most passes boast skipping long lines.

New York City Pass

This Pass allows admission to 80+ attractions and special offers. Considering the city can be long lines of wait time, the Pass has a Fast Track Entry feature at 15 top attractions, such as American Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art, MOMA, Guggenheim Museum, Top of the Rock, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island or Circle Line cruises and more. 

The 80-attractions Pass has a computer chip inside. No cash needed. Just a swipe to get into any New York Pass attraction (once only). Good for 1, 2, 3 or 7 consecutive days. The more attractions a visitor can cram into one day, the larger the savings. The New York Pass app is available at ITunes and Google Play. 


If You Go

Find official New York City tourist offices (some are a kiosk). Click for directions and hours.

Official NYC Information Center at Macy's Herald Square
151 W. 34th St. (bet. Seventh Ave. and Broadway) - 212-484-1222

Official NYC Information Center–City Hall

Southern tip of City Hall Park on the Broadway sidewalk at Park Row - 212-484-1222.

Official NYC Information Center–Chinatown - 212-484-1222
At the triangle where Canal, Walker and Baxter Streets meet

Official NYC Information Center–South Street Seaport  - 212-484-1222
Hornblower Cruises on the East River Waterfront Esplanade at Pier 15

New York City Explorer Pass

New York City NeiHop-On/Hop-Off city tour bus is included in the Explorer Pass, plus its valid for 30 days. Over 56 choices are offered for one price and a pick of 3, 5, 7 or 10 attractions. Bonus is a free guidebook in five languages and discounts at participating restaurants including Macy's. Many more packages are available at

Updated: 01/23/2015, JudithG
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Sheri_Oz on 02/04/2014

I agree with others that this is a wonderful resource for visitors to NYC.

Mira on 02/04/2014

This is such a great resource! I love that touchstreen. It's now so easy to do, and yet we don't have it here in Bucharest. Also that New York City Pass is heaven: saves time and those attractions are all absolutely fabulous.

JudithG on 07/09/2013

Hi Mike, I've lived in NYC for years and still use this place for information. Hope to write more about NYC.

MikeRobbers on 07/09/2013

Great tips and advice. That would be much helpful for anyone visiting NY. Thanks for sharing.

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