Useful Information for Visitors

New York City is located in the Eastern Standard Time zone. From the first Sunday in April to the fourth Sunday in October, the city observes Eastern Daylight Savings Time. (Spring ahead – one hour). From October to April, the city observes Eastern Standard Time. (Fall back – one hour).

Business Hours
Generally 9:00am to 5:00pm with no lunchtime closing for most offices and stores. Most banks close at 3:00pm on weekdays. Museums are closed on Mondays however there are exceptions. Some museums extend their hours on one or two evenings.

Sightseeing Tips
It’s best to concentrate your sightseeing in certain areas. Lower Manhattan one day, midtown another day. Check Nearby Places of Interest so you don’t waste too much time shuttling between attractions.

Try to avoid rush hour. Weekday mornings, 8:00am to 10:00am; lunchtime, noon to 1:30pm; and 4:30pm to 6:30pm.

If you’re searching for restrooms, it’s best to find a large hotel, department store, or bookstore. Many restaurants restrict the use of their restrooms to customers only.

No Smoking Policy
Following the enactment of the New York City Clean Air Act, adopted in response to findings of the Surgeon General of the United States that passive exposure to cigarette smoke (second-hand or passive smoke) is linked to a variety of negative consequences. For overall health and safety concerns, it is illegal to smoke in almost all public places including subways, restaurants, office buildings, stores, museums, and theaters. The fines are stiff, $100 and up.

15% to 20% is the normal gratuity. In restaurants, many New Yorkers simply double the tax as a quick and easy way to calculate the appropriate amount.

Always dial 11 digits. Start by dialing 1, then the area code and the 7 digit phone number. Public Pay Phones are coin operated and take nickels (5¢), dimes (10¢), and quarters (25¢).

  • Ambulance, Fire, Police           911
  • Bus/Subway Information         1-718-330-1234
  • Dental                                      1-800-400-1800
  • Directory Assistance               411
  • Locksmith                              1-212-369-4107
  • Time                                      1-212-976-1616
  • Towed Vehicle Info                1-212-869-2929
  • Traveler’s Aid Society             1-718-656-4870
  • U.S. Postal Information           1-212-967-8585 or 1-800-725-2161
  • Weather                                  1-212-976-1212
  • NYC information and services 311

Out-of-Town Newspapers
You’ll find out-of-town and foreign newspapers at most branches of Barnes & Noble bookstores, Universal News Stand (234 West 42nd St) and Hotalings News Agency 1-212-974-9419.

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