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General Information on New York City

When planning your trip to New York, you might be wondering about the city's public holidays or the opening hours of its stores and supermarkets. You might also be worried about getting around the Big Apple or thinking about getting health insurance...

This is why we have gathered together frequently asked questions on New York City:

Frequent questions

  • History of New York Who discovered the area? Where does the name New York come from? What was New Amsterdam? Learn about New York’s history.
  • Documentación necesaria If you’re not a U.S. citizen, you might be wondering what the entry requirements to travel to New York are: Do I need a visa? What travel authorization do I need?
  • Seguro Médico Is health care free in New York? Do I need travel health insurance? And if I'm not from the States, does my country’s health insurance apply in the United States?
  • Moneda Another important question if you’re not from the U.S. is: What is the official currency used in the States? Is it better to pay with debit/credit card or with cash? Is it wiser to exchange money in my country before arriving or wait until I’m in New York?
  • Precios How do I get a MetroCard for the Subway and how much does it cost? How much does a ticket to a musical cost? And a hotel in Manhattan? Does one have to tip in restaurants?
  • El tiempo Does it rain a lot in New York? When is the best time to visit the Big Apple? Is it very cold at night? 
  • Cómo orientarse por Manhattan New York is very large. Will I get lost? Is it easy to find my bearings in New York City? Will I need a map?
  • Días festivos en Nueva York What public holidays does New York have? How do the citizens celebrate these holidays?
  • Personas de movilidad reducidaTraveling with a disability
    Is it possible to visit New York for physically-challenged people? Are the hotels well prepared? Are the tourist attractions accessible? Is the public transport accessible?
  • Series y películas rodadas en Nueva York What films and series have been set in New York City? Which of these films are good?
  • More information

  • Electricity, plugs and sockets

  • Information on New York
    A view of New York City from the Atlantic sea

  • The power plug used in the States is Type A; an ungrounded plug with two flat parallel prongs. If the sockets are different in your country, you can buy an adapter in any hardware store before your visit or once in New York City.

  • The electric voltage in the U.S. is 120V. Currently, most appliances are compatible with up to 220V. However, we recommend checking the voltage of the appliance before plugging it in.

    Current local time

    The time zone in New York is EST (Eastern Standard Time) UTC/GMT -5 hours (in Summer GMT -4). In other words, New York is 3 hours ahead of San Francisco, 1 hour ahead of Chicago, 5 hours behind the United Kingdom, and 16 hours behind Sydney.   

  • Opening hours

  • Clothing stores are most commonly open from 10 am to 8 pm from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays, shops are normally open from 11 am to 5 pm.

    Certain shops and supermarkets are open longer hours. You will also find delis open 24/7.

    Helpful telephone numbers

    • Emergency number: 911.
    • Non-emergency municipal services: 311.
    • United States Country code: 1.
    • Manhattan Area code: 212.
    • Brooklyn, Queens and Bronx Area code: 718.