The truth is that there is no city in the world with better fashion, better entertainment, better food, and better everything than New York City. People call it the “land of opportunities,” where dreams come true, and we totally agree with them.

But what they don’t tell you is that living in the city can be quite overwhelming—especially for a newcomer. The Big Apple can both frustrate and enchant you in a split second. In this article, we’ve compiled six important things you need to know before moving to NYC for work.

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Short-term Leases are Best

If this is your first time in the Big Apple, then you may not be familiar with the city’s neighborhoods. NYC has diverse neighborhoods, all with distinct features.

Moving to NYC

Manhattan in New York City. Photo by Lunamarina via iStock by Getty Images

One wonderful thing about living here is that your accommodations can be tailored to meet your needs. Consider a short-term lease, like renting an apartment on a monthly basis, before locking down a long-term rental agreement.

These apartments are more convenient and affordable than staying at a hotel—not to mention they are fully furnished, more spacious, and have similar hotel-stay benefits—such as included utilities, housekeeping, and comfortable quarters.

Short-term leases are a wonderful way to make friends and will provide you with ample time to explore and familiarize yourself with the city. Choose a neighborhood that speaks to your lifestyle and one that you enjoy spending time in.

moving to NYC

The High Line in New York City is one of many options for varied neighborhoods. Photo by Sangaku via iStock by Getty Images

The Subway is the Most Efficient Way to Get Around

New York is one of those cities where you don’t need a car even when you live there. Public transportation and walking are common in the city. According to, NYC has a score of 88, which makes it the Most Walkable City in America.

If you’re moving to the city for work, then you’ll have to depend on the subway for transportation. It is a lot cheaper and more convenient to use public transportation than to drive your own car. Parking fees and gas prices can dig a hole in your pocket.

The city has an extensive subway system, with most subway stations within walking distance of residential apartments. The transit system can be quite confusing if you are new, so it’s advisable to download the subway map on your cell phone.

moving to NYC

There are subway stations close to almost any location in NYC. Photo by ablokhin via iStock by Getty Images

Even so, walking remains an excellent way to experience the city’s unique vibe. The city’s iconic sights, diverse neighborhoods, and architecture are better than any Broadway show.

On the downside, the subway can be quite packed—especially during rush hour—and since it is an enclosed space without much ventilation, it can be stuffy and hot.

NYC is Expensive

“Expensive” is an understatement when it comes to NYC. The cost of living in the Big Apple is extremely high, from renting to buying groceries and dining out.

So, exactly how expensive is NYC? The moment when you realize that you spent over $100 on just five items, expect to break a sweat. For instance, the city’s utility and grocery prices are over 20% higher than the U.S. average.

It Rains Frequently

NYC is not as hot as Houston or as cold as Chicago, but a crucial aspect of the weather that may catch you off-guard if you are relocating to the city for work is the rain.

moving to NYC

It frequently rains in NYC. Photo by andykazie via iStock by Getty Images

The Big Apple experiences plenty of rain—even during the summer. The average number of rainy days annually is approximately 121. Usually, much of the rain comes as a heavy downpour, so it is important that you always carry an umbrella to avoid getting drenched.

Occasionally, the city also experiences giant snowstorms that may lead to the city being shut down for a few days.

moving to NYC

Snowy streets and sidewalks along Washington Square Park are empty during a winter blizzard in New York City. Photo by deberarr via iStock by Getty Images

There are Five Boroughs

The boroughs of New York are Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. Each of these boroughs is distinct, with separate neighborhoods.

wander Brooklyn

Brooklyn is one of the five boroughs of NYC. Photo by Sean Pavone via iStock by Getty Images

The most expensive is Manhattan; the most populated is Brooklyn. The largest borough by area is Queens. Staten Island is the most isolated, and the Bronx is where the Yankees play.

Avoid Tourist Attractions if You Can

Every year, millions of tourists visit NYC’s famous movie locations and landmarks. The idea of visiting these places may seem exciting—especially for a newcomer—but once you start getting to know the city, you’ll soon realize that you don’t need to visit these sites.

moving to NYC

Times Square in New York on a rainy night. Times Square is usually packed with tourists. Photo by schalkm via iStock by Getty Images

For starters, these places are always crowded with tourists and they do not fully represent the city’s lifestyles, culture, and cuisine. The good news is that the Big Apple has a lot to offer. The city’s neighborhoods have plenty of gems waiting to be discovered that are much more intriguing and fun.

Excited to Relocate to NYC?

NYC’s overall theme is a beautiful concrete jungle filled with endless possibilities. Yes, it can be overwhelming and expensive, but once you establish a healthy routine, there is nothing quite as exciting as living in the Big Apple.

We hope this article gives you an idea of what to expect if you are moving to NYC for work. Be sure to check out more on Wander about things to do during your leisure time in New York

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