What is the Best Time to Visit NYC | Complete Guide by Month

Best time to Visit New York City

By Steffen, 14. January 2017
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The weather in New York is quite different to the weather in the UK with far more extreme temperature fluctuations. The weather is because of this one of the main deciding factors of when people decide to take a trip to NYC. In this article we summarize the best times to visit NYC to make sure you experience not only the best of the city but also don’t pay extortionate flight prices during the holiday seasons.

Best time to visit New York City

Summer in New York, is very warm and humid – the countless air conditioning units that release hot air back onto the streets surely don’t help. Humidity is highest mid-summer (July) and often the air seems to stand still in the canyons between the skyscrapers. The beginning and end of the summer season, however, are very pleasant.

Winter in New York is often extreme: lots of snow and freezing cold wind are generally the norm. These conditions also turn New York into a traffic nightmare. The only consolation is that the cold is a little dryer and therefore does not feel quite as cold – a rainy winter day in London can often feel much more miserable.

In our opinion, the best time to visit New York City is April to June and then again from August to October. Temperatures are very pleasant then and you can enjoy activities outdoors without having to carry around a jacket. This is especially a good time for families, because the temperatures are moderate in comparison to the height of each season. New York is not at risk for tornadoes or hurricanes either. Most of these affect the southern eastern side of the US, where hurricane season runs from the beginning of June to the end of November. However, hurricane “Sandy” showed that there are always exceptions to the rule.


Current Weather in New York

Check out the current weather conditions in New York below. The link also provides you with the option of a 10 day forecast. If you want to take a look at the skyline and check the weather for yourself, click here for live views of the NYC skyline from the East River.

Current Weather in NY


Table of Average Temperatures in New York

Average Temperature – DayAverage Temperature – NightHours of SunRain
in mm
Rain
# of days
January2 °C-6 °C516011
February3 °C-5 °C515510
March6 °C-1 °C618013
April12 °C5 °C717012
May18 °C11 °C816011
June24 °C18 °C1015010
July30 °C20 °C1015010
August28 °C20 °C111309
September25 °C17 °C91008
October18 °C10 °C7807
November10 °C3 °C61008
December4 °C-3 °C61309

climate chart of new york

Travel Forecast New York

Below you will find our recommendations on what clothing to bring and what activities are best for the time you are visiting. Even if you are flying to NYC during one of the off seasons, you will find there is always plenty to explore and many attractions to see. New York City is called the city that never sleeps for a reason, there is always something to do, no matter the time of day or year.

New York City in January

Snow in NYCJanuary is the coldest month. Temperatures hover around or below freezing for pretty much the entire month. The only plus is that the cold usually means it is dry – which in our opinion is far more tolerable than a rainy day in London. Given that most days have 5 hours of sun, even January can be pleasant. Snow during this time of year is very common, and even if it doesn’t snow during the time you are there, you will most likely see piles of snow everywhere from the last snow clearing operation. Make sure to take some solid shoes however, much of this snow turns to slush and when it mixes with the dirt on the city streets, becomes black sludge which ruins everything it touches.

  • Even when it’s freezing cold, there is a lot to do and to experience: starting with ice skating on the many ice rinks scattered throughout New York City parks and ending with the last Rockettes shows at Radio Music Hall. One thing is certain – you won’t be bored.

New York City weather in February

Snow in NYCFebruary is almost as cold as January with highs of around 3°C and lows at night of around -5°C. You have a good chance of seeing New York City clad in white this month as well, but should be able to enjoy at least a few hours of sunshine every day.Don’t forget to bring some warm clothes however, especially if you plan on exploring the city on foot for a few hours each day. We definitely recommend warming up with a nice cup of coffee at the many corner cafés you will find as well.

  • The Super Bowl is a peak highlight during this month. Make sure to visit one of the countless sports bars of NYC to experience the fans cheering on their teams. Dinner tours across the Hudson, Broadway shows and shopping are also some great things to do during the month of February.

High Line Park NYC Winter

New York City weather in March

Weather Rain in NYCMarch is the first month that gives you a little hint of spring in New York City. Temperatures are rarely below freezing and the highs average around 7°C. The higher temperatures also mean that instead of snow you will get a little more rain. March is actually the month with the greatest amount of rainfall so be sure to bring a rain jacket.

  • The first outdoor activities take place despite the changing weather. The New York half marathon and the amazing St. Patrick’s Day Parade are both hugely popular events in March.

New York City weather in April

Umbrella Weather NYCIn April, temperatures are definitely on the rise, highs during the day are now in the double digits (12°C), and temperatures rarely dip below the freezing point. From mid April to the end of the month trees and flowers begin to come back to life and turn New York City’s parks back into green patches. This is a particularly good time to visit New York City if you want to avoid the masses.

  •  The Cherry Blossom Festival in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a great way to enjoy the outdoors. Since there are only 12 days of rain in April (meaning once every three days) an umbrella is usually enough. Celebrating Easter in NYC is also a great idea, from the Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival to egg hunts you can definitely find things to do throughout NYC during the holiday.

New York City weather in May

Mixed Weather NYCThe month of May is an especially nice time to visit New York City. Everything is blooming and blossoming and plenty of sunshine means that everyone is in a good mood. There is a reason why May is so popular with tourists: temperatures during the day are around 20°C and the sun shines for about 8 hours a day. Nighttime temps are in the double digits for the first time (11°C).

  • Memorial Day is the most noteworthy holiday in the month of May and is definitely an event worth visiting. The Memorial Day parade is a huge event and always attracts tourists from around the globe as well as within the US. May is also bike month in New York City meaning that there are many pedal-powered events which you can visit or take part in. The full schedule for this year is still to be announced.

Flatiron Building NYC 5th Ave

New York City weather in June

Sun in NYCJune is a very attractive time to visit New York City. Temperatures are warm but not hot and you get to enjoy 10 hours of sun a day. The parks are filled with green trees and colorful blossoming flowers and beckon you to come and relax on their lawns. The nights are warm enough so that you can dine and drink outside. Temperatures average between 24°C during the day and 18°C at night. This is a really popular time to visit NYC due to the mild but comfortable temperatures outside.

  • Due to the weather in June it is the first time many outside activities become possible. We recommend taking a helicopter flight to explore the city, visiting one of NYC’s many rooftop bars or taking a stroll through one of its many parks. There is no shortage of people around who have the same idea however, June is one of the busier months of the year.

New York weather in July

Hot Weather NYCJuly is one of the warmest months in the Big Apple. You have about 10 hours of sun a day, and the humidity is climbing along the temperatures. The heat and humidity often get trapped in the streets meaning it is not always comfortable between the skyscrapers. It does not bother many tourists however as July is also one of the busiest months. Average temperatures during the day are around 30°C and 20°C at night.

  • The many beaches in and around New York provide excellent opportunities to cool off! Also do not miss Independence Day on July 4th, this is one of the biggest annual holidays in the US and is always accompanied by parades, parties, and other Independence Day themed events that will truly show you the American way to celebrate.

New York weather in August

Hot Weather NYCJuly and August are the hottest months in New York City. Both the sun and the humidity will have you sweating. During the day, temperatures average around 30°C – At night things cool off a little, down to a pleasant 20°C. You can enjoy 11 hours of sun a day during this time of the year meaning that you can sit outside late into the evening.

  • August is one of the best months to visit many of NYC’s rooftop bars. You can also catch a movie at the HBO Summer Film Festival in Bryant Park which is open to the public and is annually rated one of NYC’s best attractions. If you enjoy tennis we also highly recommend checking out the US Open!

NYC Times Square

New York weather in September

Mixed Weather NYCSeptember is one of the most popular months for tourists in New York City as the weather is simply ideal for sightseeing. It’s still warm (average temps during the day are 25°C), but not as hot as the rest of summer. Temperatures at night average around 17°C and are also quite pleasant. Since you get about 9 hours of sun each day, this is the perfect time of year to take a boat cruise, rent a bike, or have dinner at a rooftop bar.

  • 9/11 is a national holiday of remembrance and reflection and you will find many touching services taking place on Memorial Day. Oktoberfest (yes – celebrated at the end of September) is also great in NYC, the holiday begins with the Steuben parade which is not to be missed.

New York City in October

Mixed Weather NYCOctober is a great month to travel to New York City. Although the temperatures are slowly sinking, New York City offers lots of activities, great concerts, and exciting events. Expect temperatures to be around 18°C during the day and 10°C at night. The fall in NYC is bathed in golden colors making the parks even more worth a visit. The sun in September only shines for about 7 hours a day and if you are visiting at the end of the month you might want to pack some warmer items for the afternoons and evenings.

  • Two big October events include Columbus Day with a huge parade and Halloween. New York City celebrates both in style! And the ice rinks open again — great fun!

New York City in November

weather-in-nyc-best-time-to-visit-161114141549004The pre-Christmas season is right around the corner, and it can get pretty cold in New York City – snow is not unusual. November is still a great month to visit New York City – you can count on 6 hours of sun a day with average temperatures around 10°C during the day. Things get decidedly colder at night. Just 3°C above freezing.

  • The biggest event in the City is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade – and the biggest day for shoppers is the day thereafter: Black Friday (think discounts with a capital D!)

New York weather in December

Weather NYC Cloudy & OvercastThe Christmas season and thus December is a wonderful and romantic time in New York City. Snow covers the city and brings a soothing calm.The thermometer hovers around 10°C during the day and right around freezing at night. But don’t worry – you still have several hours of sun a day! The Christmas markets are also a must see during this time, many of them are truly spectacular and give you a great feeling of Christmas in the weeks leading up to the holidays.

This is what’s going on during the month you are traveling

The best events, shows, and special tours are detailed on our Events pages!

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Roxanne Lucero

New York City is an exciting place any time of year, but for me the ideal time to visit is summer. Concerts, beaches, films and Fourth of July festivities, are just some of the joys that a summer in the city has to offer. We went to NYC last summer, it was very hot and humid but we still enjoyed our trip. We saved a lot on accommodation since we stayed in a hostel. We also had city pass so we can see a lot of attractions. New York City may be known as the most expensive city in USA, but there’s also no shortage of free things to do. I already visited some museums, Time Square and Statue of Liberty. I also went to a lot of diners and clubs and I watched free concerts at Central Park after checking out the NYC Parks website. By the way, I found a website listing free events in New York which is great because I didn’t have much of a budget. I think FreeEventFinder.com might be useful to people also visiting New York who are looking for free things to do.

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