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New York Winter Packing List: Winter in New York is a delightful time to visit, but if you’re planning a trip, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared. The weather can get pretty cold, so you’ll want to pack appropriately.
No one likes a frozen tourist.
This blog will help you pack for your trip to New York and cover some of the hidden gems that can ease your winter blues.
What you’ll find:
- Short seasonal descriptions and links to other packing lists for New York
- What to wear in Winter in New York City + what else to pack
- A few safety and health tips for traveling in NYC
- Sightseeing + hotel recommendations
When to Visit New York City: Weather and Seasons
Visiting in a different season? Find the best packing list to fit your trip below.
What to pack in Spring in New York City (March, April, May): Spring in New York sees the snow replaced by vibrant foliage and greenery, with most of Central Park blooming. This is a particularly beautiful time to be in the city as temperatures are between 8-15 C / 46-59 F. Your time will be best spent outdoors wandering the parks, streets and neighbourhoods. If you intend to visit the NYC in spring, be sure to pack some light layers and closed shoes. You will also want to include a cardigan or light jacket for the night-time in your luggage and don’t forget your camera. Find a full NYC Spring Packing List here.
What to pack in Summer in New York City (June, July, August): In New York, the summer months are surprisingly hot and humid with temperatures ranging between 18-25 C / 64-77 F. If you don’t mind sweating a little, summer can be a less costly time to visit the Big Apple. This is a good time as there are fewer crowds and accommodation options are more budget-friendly. If you will be traveling to New York during this season, be sure to pack light casual clothing and sandals. Also include a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen in your luggage. Find the summer New York City packing list here.
What to pack in Fall for New York City (September, October, November): New York is a beautiful city during the fall months when temperatures range between 11 to 17 C / 51-62 F. Autumn is regarded as the best time to tour New York due to comfy temperatures, beaming lights and vibrant leaves. During fall, NYC is abuzz with events such as Broadway shows, as well as Halloween and Thanksgiving festivities. If you will be visiting New York during autumn, you should pack some light layers, a cardigan and closed shoes. Don’t forget to include some sunscreen, sunglasses and a Halloween costume in your luggage. See the Fall packing list here.
What to pack in Winter in New York City (December, January, February): By the time December arrives In New York, the city is usually covered in snow and illuminated with Christmas lights. As the season progresses, the temperatures drop to well below 0 C / 32 F. If you can bear the cold, winter can be a fun time to visit the Big Apple. During this season you can enjoy a white Christmas, shopping sales and a festive New Year’s Eve in Times Square. If you plan on traveling to New York in winter, be sure to pack warm layers of clothing and boots. You’ll also want to include some gloves, a scarf and a big coat in your luggage. Read on for the full New York winter packing list.
What to Wear in New York City in Winter
How to dress for Winter in New York City:
- 1 long coat – something classic and stylish that can go with a number of tops. If it doesn’t have a hood make sure you pack a woolen hat / beanie as well.
- 1-2 sweaters – perfect for chillier days where you can wear it under your coat, otherwise wear it on its own on warmer days.
- 1 x waterproof boots – perfect for snowy or rainy days.
- 1-2 pairs of jeans – it depends on how long you’re visiting for but if going for less than a week and you need to pack light, bring two. My preference is one dark blue and one black.
- 1x sneakers
- 1 x Flipflops (for the shower)
- 1-3 x socks (more if visiting more than a few days)
- 2-6 pairs of underwear (depends on length of visit)
- 2-3 bras
- 1-2 x woollen hats / beanies
- 1 x Cardigan
- 2-4 x Tops: again it depends on the length of your trip. Depends on your style but tees will work fine if you’re aiming for NYC casual style.
- 2-3 x Dresses: for nights out
- Leggings or stockings x 1-2: pick something warm for nights out under your dresses or you can even wear them under your jeans on colder days.
- 1 x cute (but warm) jacket if you plan on dressing up a lot.
What to Pack for New York City in Winter: Other Items
- Phone + charger
- Your camera + lenses.
- A charger for your camera and batteries
- international adapter
- Portable charger
- 2-3 x 8GB memory cards:
- Any prescriptions you have + your script
- Basic medicine such as Toms, Panadol etc
Makeup & Toiletries
- Travel sized toothbrush and paste
- Makeup + moisturiser
- Travel sized shampoo and conditioner, although check if your hotel already provides these
- 2+ bank cards (especially if coming from overseas). I always bring atleast 2 while traveling incase something happens to the first one.
- Photocopies of your passport and a photo of it on your phone or saved in your email. This will come in handy if it (and your phone) gets stolen.
- Lock for your bag or locker.
- Suitcase or backpack – your preference
Don’t Forget to Pack Travel Insurance | Winter Packing List for NYC
Travel insurance is such an important thing to buy for your trip. If you’re an American though, check to see if your current insurance covers you for visiting other states. For everyone else, I recommend World Nomads because they’re the brand I personally use. I’ve been using them since 2009 and haven’t run into any troubles when I’ve made a claim.
Please be aware that healthcare costs can be astronomical in the USA, so travel insurance with health cover is more important here than ever.
You can visit the website here to get more details on exactly what they cover and how much it costs.
Popular Day Tours in Winter in New York City
Actually, there’s a ton of cool stuff to do in NYC. Check out my suggestions below and pick your favourites.
- Ascend via SkyPod in less than 47 seconds to the top of the highest building in the Western Hemisphere. Once at the New York One World Observatory, you can soak up the iconic panoramas of the city skyline. See prices here
- Soak up 360 degree views of New York and beyond from the Empire State Building’s 86th Floor Observation Deck in this skip the line ticket. View the spectacular art deco ceiling murals in the lobby and explore the Dare to Dream Exhibit. Find out more on this website.
- View 360 degree panoramic views of New York City from the Top of the Rock 260m in the air. Visitors can enjoy views of the sun rising from great heights or watch the Big Apple sparkle by night. Find prices on this website.
Museums & Lady Liberty:
- Guys, there’s a museum of ICE CREAM. I don’t really need to explain this one, take a look at tickets on this website.
- Hop on ferry to Ellis Island and Liberty Island to view Lady Liberty and visit the island’s museums. There’s also a 30 minute tour of Battery Park with a guide, and an audio head set tour for Ellis and Liberty Island. There’re options to upgrade to have the tour guide for the whole tour too. Find more information here. Don’t want to walk around? Check out this 60 minute boat tour instead.
- Enjoy a day trip at the American Museum of Natural History which houses more than 32 million specimens. Access all 45 Museum Halls of the permanent collection, along with the Rose Center for Earth and Space. See prices here.
- Comprising 3 permanent exhibition spaces, the 9/11 Museum displays more than 10,000 items linked to the events of 9/11. Visitors can also explore the 9/11 Memorial which features twin reflecting pools with the largest manmade waterfalls in North America. Find skip-the-line tickets here.
Food & Sightseeing Tours:
- Like cupcakes? Go on a 2-hour cupcake tasting tour of some of New York City’s best cupcake shops. And yes, you get to sample an array of delicious cupcakes and even build your very own customized cupcake. Take a look here.
- A hop on / hop off bus ticket is the perfect way to see NYC if you don’t want to have to figure out public transport. With this ticket you have 24 hours to bus it through New York City and see all the top sites. Check out the deal on this website.
- A bit pricier than the other ideas here but if I can afford it I love doing helicopter tours of new cities. It’s such a different perspective then what you get on foot. Check out this short, but epic NYC helicopter tour.
Find more ideas on the Get Your Guide website.
Packing List for NYC: Safety and Health
Because it is a big city, you won’t have difficulties finding medicine at a chemist. However beware that America has a slightly different healthcare system to other countries in that it doesn’t have a free healthcare system. You may want to ask reception at your hotel for advice if you need to visit a doctor, and they should be able to point you in the right direction.
New York is generally safe to visit as long as you avoid certain areas and stick to the safer neighbourhoods. As with any big city, always be on the lookout for pick pockets and never leave your valuables unattended. When interacting with strangers, trust your instincts and use common sense at all times and you should be fine. The people who are most likely to help you are those who aren’t in a rush, so target your questions appropriately.
Where to Stay in New York City in Winter
Budget: The Red Roof Inn Batavia offers budget rooms with free Wi-Fi, free breakfast and free cable with flat screen TVs. The pet-friendly hotel also has a fitness center as well as a guest laundry that is open daily. See prices here.
Midrange: Pod 51 is a midrange hotel in NYC that offers free walking tours on weekdays as well as Wi-Fi. Visitors can relax in the lobby, eat at the café or soak up city views from the rooftop garden. See more details here.
Luxury: The St. Regis New York offers guests exclusive dining experiences. The rooms offer space for work, with seating areas with sofas and desks. They have refrigerators, safes, WiFi and flat-screen cable TVs. They have bathrobes and bath amenities. The beds are comfortable and the decor classic. The hotel has two onsite dining options, a gym and a business center. They also offer childcare and valet parking. Learn more information here.