Are you wondering what is the best time of the year to visit New York? Are you thinking about whether you should spend December in New York? Then you’ve come to the right place! In this guide, we’re going to list down the top reasons why Winter is the best time of the year to visit New York City.
New York is absolutely one of our favorite places in the world. It has an energy and vibe to it that doesn’t compare to any other destination. You walk through its streets and you feel like you’ve become another person. It sounds cliche but New York is a city that you have to see to believe. If you’re figuring out whether December in New York is worth it, we will tell you all the reasons why you should visit New York in the Winter!
The Best Time of the Year to Visit New York is in the Winter
Is New York in the Winter too cold?
New York in the winter is indeed cold, but nothing too crazy or brutal, in our opinion. Coming from a tropical country who moved to the French Alps, December in New York isn’t as bad as it seems. The temperatures can go to as high as 10 degrees and drop to below zero. With the right thermal layers, it shouldn’t be a problem and the experience of going to New York in the winter offsets whatever general weather conditions you could experience.
We’ve experienced colder temperatures here in the Alps or in Iceland, so if you’re someone who has already experienced the winter, you’ll soon see that December in New York is pretty mild compared to other destinations around the globe.
Ultimately, what makes December in New York the best experience is that the city comes alive with so many activities. From Christmas and New Years festivities, snowfall, cheaper deals, and more adventure given the shorter daytime, you’ll be convinced that the best time of the year to visit New York is in the Winter.
December in New York has the most festivities
New York in the Winter means it's especially alive with lights and music
December in New York is probably the most magical time of the year to visit the city. The city knows how to do Christmas season unlike any other place in the world. During the winter months, you get to experience the city’s biggest attractions from the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, Iceskating at Central Park and seeing the Times Square Ball all lit up for the upcoming New Year.
Another festive aspect that makes December the best time of the year to visit New York is seeing the grand displays, lights shows and music concerts. Fifth Avenue is brimming with energy. Saks Fifth Avenue has the most stunning Christmas lights show every night, and every department store in the avenue has their own impressive display of holiday decorations, adding to the overall festive mood of the city. It’s a vibe you’ll truly enjoy being immersed with.
December in New York is the most magical sight with snow
New York in the Winter means the most picture perfect walks
New York in the winter is the most unreal thing you’ll ever see, almost like you’re being transported to another century. It feels as if the world slows down even if everything is buzzling all around you. Wherever you look, it’s the most picture perfect scene.
By exploring the city, witnessing snow in New York is already a unique experience on it’s own. We have experienced December in New York, and it’s a real life winter wonderland and a sight to behold.
Winter in New York can be cheaper
Except the Peak Holidays, New York in the Winter is overall cheaper
New York in the winter is actually the cheapest time of the year to visit. Except for the peak holidays, if you go before or after Christmas and New Year’s, you’ll notice the prices are a huge difference.
Occupancy in hotels and flight rates are its lowest during the season. This means there are also less crowds outside of the holidays, which is why it’s a golden opportunity to visit the city.
Where to stay in New York during the Winter
Budget Hotels to stay in New York in the Winter
Now you may be wondering, what are some more budget hotels to stay at in New York? Here’s a short list we’ve compiled of the lowest nightly rates we found during the months of winter in New York, depending on your preferred area:
Times Square with Unbeatable Views of NYC:
Millennium Times Square New York – Room rates start at €88/night
Chelsea Village within a few minutes walk from the Empire State:
Holiday Inn Manhattan 6th Avenue – Room rates start at €62/night
Fifth Avenue within walking distance to Times Square and Central Park:
Citadines Connect Fifth Avenue New York – Room rates start at €75/night with breakfast included
Financial District within walking distance to Wall Street and the Seaport:
Manhattan Inn Downtown – Room rates start at €64/night with breakfast included
Brooklyn within walking distance to Brooklyn Bridge and Pier 6:
Holiday Inn Brooklyn Downtown – Room rates start at €55/night
December in New York promises more off-the-beaten adventures
You appreciate the little things and value your time more in the Winter
Going to New York in the Winter means cold nights and shorter days, and that’s part of why we love it! It makes you appreciate your time there more and make the most out of the hours you have in the day.
You get to experience things like snow and festive sights for free, because they’re part of the overall experience of going to New York in the winter. You also end up being more adventurous stumbling upon random bars or cafes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the High Line or Chelsea, seeking for the extra warmth.
It’s the best time of the year to visit New York for a more unique experience that doesn’t match any other season, because as we’ve learned travelling, the best things in life are free.
And that’s especially true on a winter day, with snow falling, the lights shining and the energy buzzing in the ever magical city that never sleeps, New York.
Our Final Thoughts
So there you have it! We hope this helps you decide that the best time of the year to visit New York is in the winter. Within this season, we think that amongst all the months of winter, December in New York is the most unique time of them all. Going before the holiday peak, you get to experience New York in all its festivities but at cheaper rates.
If you’ve ever been to New York, when do you think the best time of the year is to visit? Have you experienced New York in the winter? We’d love to hear your travel stories in the comments below!