New York City is one of the most captivating cities in the world—and one of the most expensive. Fortunately there is an abundance of things to see and do for free or a reasonable fee. For me, exploring one of the distinct neighborhoods is a great way to spend an afternoon. Here are 10 more great things to see and do in New York without breaking your budget.
1 Bike, walk or row through Central Park
For the best escape from the city, rent a bike, take a walk, or rent a rowboat from the boathouse in Central Park.
2 Get up close and personal with the Statue of Liberty
A visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are a must on any trip to New York. The $18 ticket including both is already good value. But for only $3 more for a crown access ticket, you will receive priority entry, saving you wait time, and given access to climb the 393 stairs up inside the statue for an unforgettable view from the crown. These tickets go fast and must be booked in advance.
3 See a Broadway play for half price
For same day tickets at up to 50% off, head to the official TKTS booth, located “under the red steps” on
Broadway and 47th Street. It helps to be flexible, but there is usually a good selection of plays available.
4 Walk the High Line
The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long new urban park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. Day or night, the park is a place for running, walking, eating, or just relaxing.There are food kiosks on the High Line between West 15th and West 18th Streets. See the High Line website for access points and more info. The High Line is fully wheelchair accessible. Note that dogs and bicycles are not allowed on the High Line.
5 Visit a world-class museum for free
NYC has some of the best museums in the world, and several offer free entry certain days of the week. Here are just a few examples: Fridays: Museum of Modern Art (4 to 8pm) and The Whitney Museum of American Art (pay what you will, 6 to 9pm) Saturdays: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (pay what you will, 5:45 to 7:45pm) Sundays: Frick Collection (pay what you will, 11am to 1pm)
6 Head to Chinatown for deals and dumplings
Check out the deals then try some authentic dumplings, in the home of the largest population of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere.
7 Watch a taping of your favorite show
Jimmy Fallon, Live with Kelly and Ryan, The View, Saturday Night Live, and more all have live audiences that you can be part of for free. You have a better chance of getting in with advance tickets, but you can try arriving early and joining the standby lineup.
8 Visit the Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo is the largest urban wildlife preserve in the United States, and offers pay-what-you-wish admission every Wednesday.
9 Walk across the Brooklyn bridge
Walking the Brooklyn Bridge (from Manhattan to Brooklyn) is one of my favorite New York activities. There’s a dedicated pedestrian walkway above the car traffic and you will have the best views of the city . While you’re in Brooklyn, get a pizza at Grimaldi’s or hot chocolate from Jacques Torres Chocolate.
10 Hit some golf balls at at Chelsea Piers
Located on a scenic Hudson River pier, this four-tiered driving range features a 200-yard fairway, and an automatic ball tee-up system. Starting at $25/148 balls, off-peak hours.