Sure, New York is pretty expensive – but it doesn’t have to break the bank! Make your next trip to the Big Apple budget friendly without having to skimp on all the fun with this handy guide!
Explore New York for Free
Even if New York is one of the most expensive cities in the world, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t come across some great bargains. But what do we mean by ‘bargains’ here? It’s not just possible to save some hefty amounts of cash in New York, but can even experience some things for free! I didn’t even realise how many attractions there are, so be surprised and read on to discover how you can save your pennies when you next head out to New York!
A visit to the Statue of Liberty is a must-do for every city break to New York! Well, isn’t it handy that you can visit it for free? If you take the Staten Island ferry and you have a Metrocard (which you should definitely try and get hold of), then you’ll travel for free from Manhattan to the world-famous Statue of Liberty. Besides the fact that you’ll be able to see the landmark from up close, you’ll also have a great boat trip to look forward to too, complete with fantastic views of Manhattan’s skyscrapers. Back to the Metrocard: you should get one at the beginning of your trip as you’ll save tons of money with it. Prices for a Metrocard start at $30 and you’ll enjoy unlimited travel right across New York for a whole 7 days.
Cross the Brooklyn Bridge
Being on the move in New York without having crossed the Brooklyn Bridge is just impossible! You just have to cross this bridge by foot – but trust me, the experience is a lot cooler than it sounds. Just grab something to drink, off you go and enjoy views of this breathtaking metropolis. First-timers in particular will be speechless. ;)
Free tours of New York City
At Big Apple Greeter, more than 400 New Yorkers offer voluntary private tours to tourists. The tour guides will take you through popular neighbourhoods and will give you the best tips for your stay here. Since people often don’t know where to begin and feel a little overwhelmed by it all, a tour is a great way to get a solid first impression of the city. A small tip from me: since tours from the Big Apple Greeter are quite popular at the moment, you’re best to sign up for them weeks in advance on their website, in order to be able to take part in their tours.
Free Events in the Big Apple
Free events, sporty activities, concerts and clubs – you’ll find all that and much more on Clubfreetime.com. On this website you’ll be able to find all events that are currently on offer for free in New York. One event that you definitely shouldn’t miss is HBO’s Bryant Park Film Festival in Bryant Park. Open-air cinema season kicks off in June, so you’ll be able to see the coolest films and chill with other New Yorkers in the parks. And of course this is all for free! By the way, Bryant Park is also the park where there’s an ice rink for skaters during the winter – you’ll recognise it from all the Christmas films that are set in New York!
Free Entry into New York’s Museums
The museums are also a definite must. The Museum of Modern Art for example is especially popular, which you can visit for free every Friday from 16:00 until 20:00. Some museums, such as the Guggenheim Soho or the National Museum of the American Indian, offer free entry on a daily basis. Other museums offer free entry on certain days. When getting free entry there are often signs at the entrance that say ‘suggested price’ – but you don’t have to pay them!
Visit the Parks
On a converted railway line you’ll find one of New York’s most popular spots: the so-called High Line Park. It’s an idyllic park that almost seems to float above the city! Climb the steps and you’ll come across a green space filled with wonderful plants and a unique perspective of the city. Of course it’s not just this park that’s a feast for the eyes – Central Park is too! Yes, dear New York fans, even a free visit to a park should be on your to-do list! You’re best taking two to three hours if you really want to see a large part of the park, because it really is enormous. Alternatively you could also just sit on the grass and take a little break from the hectic big city life. If you’re visiting New York in summer, then check out the Summer Festival in Central Park – it’s also free and it’s a great experience!
Free Canoe Trips on the East River
Wait a sec, canoeing in New York? Yes, you read that correctly, because on the East River – complete with a great view of the skyline – you’ll have have the opportunity to go on a free canoe trip. At Pier 17 underneath the Brooklyn Bridge, you can rent canoes for free from June to September between 10:30 and 16:30. Doesn’t it sound like a great idea? It doesn’t always have to be a cruise!
Visit a Rooftop Bar with a Breathtaking View
Enjoying the evening high above the rooftops of New York with an awesome view and a cocktail in hand – simply marvellous! I recommend the 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar which is free to enter. Yes, the drinks aren’t free, but from this roof terrace you’ll have THE view of the Empire State Building and downtown Manhattan! Ah New York, you’re so cool, so brilliant, so exciting and… well, it’s my dream city!
Manhattanhenge – A Sunset With Added Class
Manhattanhenge is an unbelievably beautiful experience that you can only see twice a year. On these two days, the sunset is perfectly lined up with the avenues that run from east to west, creating a phenomenon that is nothing short of breathtaking! If you’re walking down one of these alleyways while its happening, you’re realise that there’s no shade cast by the buildings either. The further east you go, the better the view. If you’re lucky enough to be in New York while it happens then you just can’t afford to miss this spectacle!
Discounts in the “City That Never Sleeps”
There are websites such as NYHappyHours where you can see where Happy Hours are taking place. You can even save up to 50% with them! It’s definitely worth it, in a city like New York. You can also get similar discounts for Broadway musicals when buying tickets from TKTS at Times Square. And for those who really don’t want to miss a thing, then I recommend one of the three New York passes – the New York CityPASS, the New York Pass or New York Explorer Pass. Depending on which pass you get you’ll get great discounts of up to 56% on the most popular attractions and activities.
With these tips you’ll be able to save all sorts of money during your next trip to New York City! Have you been there already and got some more nifty ways to save some pennies? I’m looking to seeing what you have to share!