New York is one of the most amazing and unique cities in the world, by any standard. It is filled with wonderful sights, entertaining sounds and enticing smells (for the most part), and it is the center of modern art, business and culture. This makes it a must-see for any traveler, and visiting the Big Apple should be on everyone’s bucket list.

However, despite its magnetic draw for tourists and the fact that the city thrives on the income of tourist dollars, looking like a tourist while in New York is not the most appealing look in the minds of most visitors. And let’s face it, it always looks (and seems) much cooler to be from New York, as opposed to simply being in New York. Because of this, many who visit the city will go out of their way to appear as though they live and belong there.

If you are planning on taking your first trip to this great city, you will definitely need a few pointers not be immediately spotted as a tourist. Knowing how to act in the subway, how to order in restaurants and even how to walk on the sidewalk is not as straightforward as it seems, and many common actions are done in an uncommon way in New York. However, if you simply pay attention and follow the crowds, you are unlikely to draw the attention of any of the 8 million residents who have 8 million other things to worry about.

Looking Like a Tourist

First things first, you should understand that looking like a tourist is not the absolute worst thing in the world. Through movies, TV and other media, New York has gained a reputation as being adverse to tourists, and New Yorkers are believed to be rude and unfriendly, especially to non-New Yorkers. While this reputation is not entirely undeserved, it is also not entirely accurate.

The pace of life in New York is much faster than it is anywhere else in the world, and those who live in the city are in a constant state of forward motion. If any one characteristic defines travel in New York, it is efficiency, and anyone who gets in the way of this may be subject to rude remarks and dirty looks. This has caused the concept of the pesky tourist to become a stereotypical idea in the minds of most, especially those who are unfamiliar with the subtle workings of New York etiquette.

But the Big Apple is a city that thrives on tourism, and there are countless jobs, businesses and families that depend on it. New Yorkers understand this, and the vast majority of them act accordingly. Even when they are behind a TopView Sightseeing bus or ducking out of a tourist photo on 5th Avenue, they accept that this is simply a part of life in the city.

Blending Into the Crowd

With all that being said, it is still easy to understand why tourists do not want to look like tourists. After all, New York is probably the coolest city in the world, and looking like a clueless tourist is not exactly the coolest thing in the world. Those who visit the city will take special care to act as though they belong and try not to make uncool mistakes which could draw the disdain of the natives.

But blending into the crowd is the easiest thing there is in a city so crowded, and you should not worry too much about sticking out when visiting for the first time. The ability to mind your own business is one of the most cherished attributes in the minds of New Yorkers, and it is unlikely that anyone will actually be paying attention to you. If you are still concerned about not looking like a pesky tourist, simply follow the crowds and do what everyone else is doing.


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