Destination guide: New York City

Destination guide: New York City

New York City – The city that doesn’t sleep. New York City is world famous and is on the bucket list of many travelers. Here you will be able to experience the vibrant city life, explore zoos, parks and museums. Take a walk through Central Park, honor the victims of 9/11 at the 9/11 memorial, see the lights of Times Square and enjoy the skyline from Empire State Building. Yes, NYC has something to offer to every traveler.

  • Currency: American dollar
  • Capital city: Washington D.C.
  • Main language: English
  • Best travel time: NYC can be travelled year around, but beware that it can get really cold during winter and really hot during summer 

NYC (17)-

Visa:

  • For the newest information check this webpage(for Danes)
  • ESTA/Visa Waiver Program: travellers from 38 countries does not require a visa, but have to apply for a ESTA (follow this link) in order to enter USA – this can be done here and cost US$14. This have to be done at least 72 hours before travel and will last for two years – Your trip is limited to last maximum 90 days
  • Canadians, Mexicans living on the border (holding a Border Crossing Card), Bermudians, Caymanian, and Turks and Caicos Islanders (with British Overseas Territories passports) does not require a visa either
  • Tourist visa: is for those who are not in the Visa Waiver Program or who wants to stay more than 90 days – the application cost US$160 and the visa cost an additionally US$30
  • Note: You need a visa or a ESTA even if you only have a landing in the US – even though you aren’t leave the airport

Accommodation:  Accommodation is probably going to be the most expensive part of your travel budget. New York has high accommodation prices. The quality of hostels aren’t the best compared to the price, expect to pay US$42-50 for the cheapest dorms. If you are two travelling together then Airbnb might be the cheapest way to go (get US$25 by using the Airbnb link here). I will recommend staying in Williamsburg or Dumbo in Brooklyn, where it is cheaper and less noisy compared to Manhattan. Note: all accommodation (except from Airbnb) adds on taxes of 14.75% to the price you see online.

NYC (403)

Food: You will be able to find all sorts of food in New York City because of the high diversity in the population, so eat what you heart desires, but when you are in the US you should eat some American food! Try a doughnut, frozen yoghurt, burgers etc. If you are on a budget it might be worth considering buying two pizza slices and a soft drink for US$2.75, some fresh fruit or trying the small food stalls you will find all over Manhattan (prices from US$3-7)

Transportation: The transport system is really good in New York and it is fairly easy getting around. You will be able to find buses, metro and bicycles in most parts of New York. A ride with the bus or metro is US$2.5, but you can buy a 7 day unlimited pass for US$30 (+ US$1 for the card itself), the same price as 12 rides. Bonus information: If you are landing in JFK, then a ride with the metro to any parts of NYC is US$7.5 while a taxi cost from US$28 (Queens), US$42 (Brooklyn) or US$52 (flat rate to Manhattan + tolls and tips).

Budget for New York:

_MG_4496

New York City is not cheap, but it can still be done on a budget. Using public transportation, eating at cheap places, drinking water/soft drinks (during summer there are free tap water all over the city), sleeping in a dorm or something equivalent, then you should be able to live for US$70. It is hard to do it much cheaper and note that tours and attractions are not included. Expect around US$90-100 for living and an occasional paid activity e.g. watching a musical, going to a museum and so on.

Money saving tip: Some museums e.g. The American Museum of National history have a suggested general admission, this mean that you can pay a lower price than the admission they are showing on the signs. So you might just pay US$10 instead of the US$22 that they suggest, but they wouldn’t allow you to pay any price (you can’t do it online though). A lot of places do also offer student discounts, so bring you student card, if you have one!

Read more: 9/11 memorial, NYC video, NYC photos

Destination guide: Cuba

Destination guide: Cuba

Cuba is truly like travelling back in time. Most buildings are a bit worn out, but you will immediately get the feeling of time walking down the streets of Havana and when you will be cruising around the island in an old car from Americas 50s. The locals are friendly and have all the time in the world to talk, play music and watch the street life.

  • Currency: Cuban Pesos (CUP) and Cuban convertible peso (CUC) (US$1 = 1.07 CUC)
  • Capital city: Havana
  • Main language: Spanish
  • Best travel time: November to April, during the dry season

Visa:

  • For the newest information check this webpage (for Danes)
  • Tourist visa: Most countries need a visa to visit Cuba. It cost approx. 25 CUC (US$25). It is valid for 30 days (90 days for Canadians), but can be extended for another 30 days which also cost 25 CUC. You passport need to be valid for at least 60 days (EU countries, incl. UK) or 6 months after departure from Cuba. You need proof of having travel insurance and a booking of the first two nights in a hotel
  • Note: You will need to pay 25 CUC when leaving the country.

100_3082

Accommodation:  There are no hostels in Cuba. Instead you will find lots of hotels (especially near Varadero and other beaches) and casa particulares. Casa particulares are a popular option for accommodation in Cuba. You stay at the local Cubans in their home by renting one of their rooms. It is possible to share a room between two people and sometimes four people. Casa particulares cost approx. 20-25 CUC (30-40 CUC in Havana) per room.

Food: The restaurants in Cuba are owned by the government and are not very good. The best option is to eat in your casa particulares or in paladares (locally owned restaurants in private homes, can be hard to find). Eating locally cost about 6-10 CUC per person including soup, potatoes, meat (often chicken or fish), rice and tomatoes and/cucumber (sometimes you will also get dessert). Note: you can save money, if you buy food in the supermarkets/shops and cook it yourself, but there aren’t many groceries in the different shops.

101_2940

Transportation: The most common way of transportation between cities is the bus. There are a tourist bus company, Víazul and a local bus Astro (the local bus is allowed to travel with two tourists per bus) and the prices. Go to the bus station early to make sure you get a ticket to your destination. You might also be offered to travel by taxi for the same or a smaller price than the bus. Taxis are really safe. It is also possible to get a lift from a local on smaller trips, but expect to pay for the trip. They are easy to find, just stand near the road. Remember to haggle for a fair price, ask your casa which price is fair.

Budget for Cuba:

_MG_4496

If you will be staying in cheap accommodation, eat three meals a day (most of them self-made or bought in supermarkets), using a bit of money on transportation, then you should be able to live for approx. 35 CUC, this is based on two people sharing room. Note: Rum is really cheap in Cuba and beer isn’t that common.