10 Things To Know About Visiting NYC In April

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Bethesda Fountain behind cherry blossoms in Central Park NYC in Spring during a visit to New York City in April Where Are Those Morgans

If you visit New York City in April you can expect mixed weather, fewer crowds, lower hotel prices and cherry blossoms blooming. We’ve lived in NYC in April and we think it’s a great time of year for you to visit if you want to avoid overcrowding and save money, as long as you don’t mind risking cold temperatures.

In this guide we walk you through the 10 most important things you should know about visiting New York City in April based on our experiences.

Our NYC Experience

Tourists with cameras standing next to each other taking a photo into a mirror with lots of silver balloons on the ceiling behind
Here we are at Summit One Vanderbilt during our latest April trip to the city

We lived in New York City between December 2020 and April 2021, and we’ve revisited many times since, including in April 2022. During our extensive time spent in the city we’ve seen and done almost everything there is to do. It’s one of our favorite places on the planet and we’ve written lots of NYC travel guides to help you plan various aspects of your visit.

What we love about New York in April is that the city is transitioning out of its cold and snowy winter season, green grass and cherry blossoms are bursting into color and the atmosphere begins to buzz once again. But it’s still the shoulder season, so you can pick up great deals on flights and hotels, and top attractions remain quiet, which is a huge deal! Read more about us.

1. Crowds

Woman walking to One World Observatory ticket desk with no crowds
Kristen was the only person in line to go up One World Observatory

New York City is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations, so naturally it attracts year round crowds. But some months are busier than others, and the good news for your visit in April is that it’s a transition month so you get some of the major benefits without most of the drawbacks, including crowds.

April is typically busier than March, but not as busy as May when the numbers really begin to increase. If you’re deciding between visiting NYC in spring or summer, you can rest assured that the crowds in April will be far fewer compared to the likes of July or August.

Our Experience: We found April to be almost perfect for exploring the city’s attractions and neighborhoods crowd-free and in reasonable weather conditions. There were no lines at observation decks or museums, we could walk straight into most restaurants and hotels had low occupancy rates, so they were priced more reasonably.

Annual Visitors

In 2019 New York City hosted 66.6 million tourists with roughly 1 in 5 visitors being international travelers. It was a record high but it marked the end of 10 years consistent growth because of the covid lockdowns in 2020.

This NYC tourism and conventions pdf shows that visitor numbers have steadily been returning since the end of the lockdowns, and it’s expected that 2024 will be the first year to surpass 2019 and become a new record year of tourism in New York City.

What Does That Mean For You?

Well, it means that NYC is going to be even more overrun by tourists in the years to come. Crowds will be bigger than ever at top attractions and hotels will likely increase prices as demand begins to offset supply. But visiting in the should season month of April means you should be just ahead of the rush.

READ: 4 days in NYC itinerary ideas

2. Weather

Rainy weather wet road and cars in New York City during April when weather is wettest
April is the wettest month in the city

New York City’s weather transitions from cold to cool in April, with a 10 degrees Fahrenheit increase in average high and low temperatures from the start to the end of the month. April is also the wettest month of the year in NYC, which means the risk of rainfall scuppering your plans is a factor to consider. And lastly, you’re very unlikely to see any snowfall in April, so you’d need to visit earlier in the year to see snow.

Our experience: During the month of April we’ve experienced lots of different weather systems in New York, including freezing cold but clear blue sky days, non-stop rainy days and beautifully warm days when shorts and t-shirts were perfect. So, the key is to pack lots of layers!

NYC April Temperatures

Here are the high, low and average New York City temperatures in April:

April 1st:

  • High Temperature – 56°F (13°C)
  • Average Temperature – 48°F (9°C)
  • Low Temperature – 42°F (6°C)

April 30th:

  • High Temperature – 67°F (19°C)
  • Average Temperature – 59°F (15°C)
  • Low Temperature – 51°F (11°C)

Source: Weather Spark

So as you can see, there’s a fairly significant increase in average temperatures throughout the month, which means visiting later in April will give you a better chance of warmer weather. To finish, one of our top tips to consider is that the grid-style streets in Manhattan are like wind tunnels, so when the wind picks up it can make the “real feel” temperature plummet significantly.

READ: What it’s like to visit NYC in winter

3. Hotels

1 Hotel in Central Park from outside with moss and vines growing up the exterior and cars parked on a road out front
We spent an amazing night at 1 Hotel near Central Park

The magic combination of lower occupancy rates and lower average nightly costs for hotel rooms in Manhattan and Brooklyn is up there with the very best reasons to plan a vacation to New York City in April. There’s hundreds of hotels that will fill between June and September, but they’ll be much emptier during your trip in April, so you can take advantage of great deals.

Our experience: We’ve stayed at a lot of hotels in New York over the years, and we’ve found that it’s definitely a place that heavily inflates prices based on seasonality. In winter and through April, we were able to stay at quality hotels with excellent guest ratings for prices that we felt offered good value for money. And we’ve written about the best NYC hotels our site Best Hotels Anywhere if you need help figuring out where to stay.

 

Hotel Recommendations

If it’s going to be your first visit to New York, we recommend booking a hotel around Midtown Manhattan near Times Square, Bryant Park or the Empire State Building. This way you’ll have a central location, lots of transport links and countless places to eat out.

Here’s four excellent Midtown hotels to consider:

  • The Archer – One of our personal top picks near Bryant Park with views over Empire State Building.
  • CitizenM – Centrally located in Times Square, close to Broadway and Rockefeller Center.
  • MOXY NYC – Rooftop bar and good value between Penn Station and Times Square.
  • Cambria Hotel – Highly rated cheap hotel with rooftop terrace between Midtown and Chelsea.

READ: Best places to stay in New York City

4. The Foodie Scene

Best Bagels and Coffee breakfast bagel joint in New York City in April on a cold morning lights on inside chairs and tables on sidewalk outside
One of our favorite bagel places on 35th Street

April is a fantastic time to be out and about eating food in New York City. The weather is beginning to warm, which means outdoor dining becomes more comfortable and you’ll see the streets fill with tables outside restaurants and cafes. But it’s still quiet enough to get into most restaurants without reserving months in advance!

Three classic NYC foods you can’t miss include pizza, breakfast bagels and hotdogs from a street vendor. If you like food markets, don’t miss Smorgasburg, which is the largest weekly open air food market in America. Every weekend beginning in April, dozens of vendors set up food stalls in Williamsburg, Prospect Park and the World Trade Center.

Our experience: For us, it’s all about the classics. We love pizza and bagels, so we always try new places when we’re in town. And in April, we’ve always walked straight into any restaurant we liked the look of. It’s another huge bonus to visiting New York City in spring.

Restaurant Recommendations

Okay, New York City is home to some of the finest restaurants on the planet, and there’s thousands of cheap, expensive, unique, fun, hidden or exclusive places you can eat at. So we think you’d have to live in NYC for a good few years before being able to profess that you’re an expert on food in the city.

But we can offer you the following suggestions to consider based on our experiences so far:

READ: Where to find best pizza in NYC

5. Expenses

View from The Edge NYC at night overlooking Downtown Manhattan with blue sky twilight during a visit to New York City in April
Our view over Lower Manhattan from Edge observation deck at night

We’ve been traveling the world non-stop since 2018, so we’ve visited hundreds of cities, towns, national parks and excursions. And we think the whole “New York City is so expensive” thing is a little bit of a myth. Sure, it can be outrageously expensive if you make it that way, but it can also be done on the cheap.

And in April, you certainly can visit NYC without breaking the bank. It’s a great time of year to book cheap flights with low-cost airlines domestically or internationally. We already discussed cheaper hotels earlier but that’s another huge factor. And flash deals tend to run on attractions and broadway shows in the quieter months, so you can pick up discounted prices.

Our experience: During our most recent April trip to New York we booked cheap flights, stayed at a great hotel for reasonable rates and visited lots of attractions with our NY Sightseeing Pass which also had promotional rates because it was still the shoulder season. Overall, we don’t think NYC is any more expensive than other major cities like San Francisco, Tokyo or London.

How Much Spending Money Do You Need?

Well, we think everyone visiting New York City arrives with a different budget, goals and itinerary ideas. There’s no one size fits all budget calculator because you might want to eat and drink your way through the city, or you might want to just visit attractions and museums, or you might want to keep costs down.

But generally speaking, let’s say the average couple spends the following (excluding flights):

  • $300/night on a hotel
  • $150/day on food
  • $150/day on attractions
  • $50/day on miscellaneous things

So we think the average couple planning a 3-night and 4-day trip to NYC would need around $2,300 USD. But remember, you absolutely can do it much cheaper than that.

Here’s a few ways you can save money:

  • Book a hotel offering free breakfast to cut out one meal a day
  • Eat cheap pizza slices, hotdogs or truck stand food for lunch (not the healthiest but cheap)
  • Don’t splurge on dinner, keep it simple instead
  • Book a cheaper than average hotel (there are highly rated hotels at lower prices)
  • Stay away from alcohol, the drink price + tax + tip adds up very quickly!
  • Stick to the free attractions like Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park
  • Walk instead of using the subway every time

Finally, we recommend you buy an attractions pass like New York Sightseeing Pass or New York CityPASS to save as much as 30-40% if you plan to visit lots of observation decks, museums and attractions.

Want To Save Money In NYC?

Click the button below to get our exclusive 5-10% discount on NY Sightseeing Passes.

READ: Our comparison of the 4 NYC attractions passes

6. Things To Do

Woman walking over Brooklyn Bridge at night with maroon coat on in the center of the pedestrian walkway no crowds
Kristen walking across Brooklyn Bridge on a cold night in April

Another great reason to visit New York in April is being able to do all of the same things you could do in summer, but without the crowds. So in terms of attractions, you wouldn’t be missing out on anything except nicer weather. And it’s also a wonderful time to explore New York’s neighborhoods because they’re not overrun by tourists, the air is crisp and the famously pungent smells of summer haven’t yet begun.

Our experience: We’ve been up the observation decks when they’re busy and it’s hard to enjoy the experience. Not being able to get a ferry time slot for the Statue of Liberty is frustrating, lining up just to get into a museum grows tiresome and standing in even longer lines just to get a bagel is worse yet! But in April we walked straight into everything with no line at all, which made a huge difference.

Top NYC Attractions

There are so many fun things to do when you visit New York, but here are some of the most iconic:

Oh, and April has one more wonderfully unique activity that you can’t do any other time of year, and we’ll cover it next.

READ: Best free and cheap things to do in NYC

7. Cherry Blossoms

Cherry blossom trees in New York Botanical Garden in The Bronx NYC stunning pink colors bursting into life
Photo we took of cherry blossoms in the New York Botanical Garden

Seeing vibrant cherry blossoms bursting into life might be the reason you’re visiting New York in April, and we can’t argue with your reasoning! You can explore various parks and green spaces across the city to see beautiful cherry trees erupting into a pink light show.

Our experience: We made a point of finding as many cherry blossom spots as we could the last time we were in New York in April. Naturally, we thought Central Park would be the best place (and it was great!), but actually the New York Botanical Gardens in The Bronx had the most amazing display. And it was full of other lovely flowers so we highly recommend you visit in spring.

Where To See Cherry Blossoms In NYC

  • New York Botanical Gardens
  • Central Park
  • Sakura Park
  • Flushing Meadows Corona Park
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden
  • Roosevelt Island

Need help planning your visit to NYC?

Our popular New York City travel guidebook will help you with planning every aspect of your trip, including airport links, the subway, top attractions, itinerary ideas, restaurants, hotels and map!

View NYC Guidebook
Where Are Those Morgans NYC travel guidebook

8. Central Park

Central Park Bow Bridge lake and buildings in background with green leaves on trees
Bow Bridge in Central Park in April

Central Park is one of the most famous green spaces on the planet and we think it’s a must-visit for your trip in April. You already know there’ll be cherry blossoms in Central Park but here’s where you can find them according to Central Park:

“The cherry blossom trees in Central Park can be found mainly between 72nd Street and 96th Street, with the highest concentrations around the Reservoir, Cherry Hill, Pilgrim Hill, Great Lawn, Cedar Hill, and the area just south of Cedar Hill between 74th and 77th Streets.”

Our experience: Central Park is one of our favorite spots in the city and we always have a walk around no matter the season. We had a magical snow day in the depths of winter which felt like we were in a movie, but in April we actually found a lovely cherry blossom spot near Bethesda Fountain so don’t miss that area.

Where To Go

Central Park is gigantic and diverse, and there’s a lot more to do outside of photographing cherry blossoms. Remember that The Met, Guggenheim and American Museum of Natural History are on either side of Central Park. And if you only have to do one we recommend The Met.

Follow this exact path through Central Park:

  1. Wollman Ice Rink
  2. The Mall
  3. Bethesda Terrace
  4. Bow Bridge
  5. Wagner’s Cove
  6. Strawberry Fields
  7. The Ramble
  8. Belvedere Castle

You’ll end up a few minutes walk from The Met. And that’s how you plan! Most tourists will only visit the southern part of Central Park. But we encourage you to explore further up, as long as you have enough time on your itinerary.

READ: What to see in Central Park in the snow

9. Photography

Vessel in New York City from below looking up with skyscrapers taller than the copper colored Vessel
Vessel with its unique architecture in Hudson Yards

New York City has one of the most iconic urban landscapes on Earth, and we’re confident you’ll be endlessly impressed by towering skyscrapers and unique architecture. But walking around New York with a camera is both a blessing and a curse because there’s a photo to be taken at every turn, every building and every iconic landmark!

Our experience: We’re travel photographers and NYC is exceptionally photogenic, so we’ve taken thousands of photos in the city and we’re sure there’ll be a few thousand more to come! We think any month is a good month for photography in New York City, so don’t forget your camera.

What Can You Expect In April?

  • Fewer crowds in April make photography easier and more relaxing
  • Much quieter at observation decks and top attractions
  • Cherry blossoms scattered across the city
  • Diverse range of weather including clouds, sun, rain etc
  • Steam billowing out of vents and drains on cold mornings
  • Brooklyn Bridge is quieter than summer at sunrise and sunset

READ: The best photo spots in New York City

10. Packing

Woman wearing jeans and a light coat in Central Park on a Spring visit to New York City in April
Kristen wearing a fleece and down jacket with jeans in Central Park

Packing for a trip to New York City in April can be tricky because the weather and temperatures can be extremely changeable. You’re likely going to experience cold, mild, warm and cold again throughout the day. And let’s face it, this is NYC, so you’re going to want options!

Some important questions to ask yourself include how much you plan to go out drinking and partying, how many classy restaurants you plan to visit and if you’ll be using the hotel gym at all. Then throw in your casual daytime clothes for walking (considering the changeable weather) and you’ll have a pretty full suitcase.

Our experience: We always try to pack multi-purpose clothes that can be dressed up or dressed down when we visit NYC. And we always walk as much as we can, so we wear running shoes with lots of spring and bounce during the day.

Basic NYC April Packing List

  • Underwear and socks
  • Shorts, pants, leggings, dresses and jeans
  • Moisture wicking t-shirts
  • Light and medium layers
  • Sweaters and hoodies
  • Smart casual gear for dinner and drinks
  • Even smarter clothes for upscale restaurants
  • Sunglasses and hats
  • Heavy coat, gloves and scarf for sunrises and sunsets
  • At least 2 pairs of shoes for walking and evenings
  • Camera, lenses, tripod and plenty of data storage

After that it comes down to your personal travel style. Some people like to dress up smart for walking around the city, whereas others go all out for comfort. There’s no right or wrong in New York, everyone just does whatever they feel comfortable doing!

The Morgan Conclusion

Tourist at Top of the Rock in a red coat next to binoculars overlooking New York City on a clear and sunny day
Kristen enjoying the peace and quiet at Top of the Rock in April

April is a fantastic time to visit New York City because you’ll benefit from a wonderful blend of affordable hotel prices and crowd-free attractions. Plus, you can see cherry blossoms and save money when compared to the summer months.

As far as we’re concerned, the only downside is changeable weather conditions and having to pack more clothes as a result. So if you’re happy to take on the risk, we can tell you from experience that NYC is refreshingly quiet in April, and you’ll have a better time for it.

More Seasonal Guides

Want more New York content? Head over to our New York Travel Guides to explore the Finger Lakes, the Adirondacks and all of our popular NYC travel planning guides.


We hope this guide to visiting New York City in April helps with planning your trip to the Big Apple!

Please let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.

Happy Travels,

Mark and Kristen

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6 thoughts on “10 Things To Know About Visiting NYC In April”

  1. Wow, nice blog 🙂
    We have just booked our 11 day stay in April 2024 (11th – 22nd) and can’t wait to experience this incredible city!!!! This blog gives me the confirmation that I have chosen the right time to visit!

    Greetings from Germany

    Reply

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