New York on a budget: free activities in New York

Visiting New York, it’s safe to say that this is very high on almost everyone’s bucket list. Despite being vibrant, beautiful and an amazing experience, the city also has the reputation of being incredibly expensive. However if you keep in mind a few tips and tricks, there are quite a few ways to enjoy some of New Yorks finest pearls for free. Let’s have a look!

St. Patricks Cathedral

Free entry to one of the oldest cathedrals of the city.

Gugenheim Museum

On Saturdays between 5h45PM and 7h15 PM you can pay what you wish to enter the building.

High line

Take a 1,6 km long walk in this amazing urban park that was made on an elevated railroad en the heart of the meatpacking district.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

This wonderful park is free on weekdays between December and February and also on Tuesdays and Saturday mornings the rest of the year.

Brooklyn Brewery Tours

They offer free tours on Saturday to visit the iconic brewery and taste some of their authentic ales and lagers.

Bronx Zoo

This zoo with more than 5000 species is free on Wednesdays.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

This park offers the best views of Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Central Park

This huge park in the middle of New York is completely free.

Public library

The public library is the second largest library in the US with more than 53 million books. Definitely worth a visit.

Staten Island Ferry

Free of charge and a great idea to take this from Whitehall Terminal in Battery Park. Offers a great viewing point as well.

Rockefeller Center

Don’t forget to pick up a free map in the main lobby and treat yourself to a free self-guided tour through this art deco skyscraper.

Grand Central Terminal

Certainly worth a visit this largest train station in the world. While you’re there, have a look at its hidden gem as well, the whispering gallery.

Coney island

Equally free of charge and easily reachable by subway.

Best free skyline viewing points

If you don’t feel like paying to go up a building to have the perfect selfie with the skyline behind you, you can visit some of these free skyline viewing points that will give you equally amazing pictures.

  • Brooklyn Bridge

You can walk or cycle across the bridge. To get the best view, you will ideally go around sunset and start on the Brooklyn side and walk towards Manhattan.

  • Brooklyn Bridge Park and Brooklyn Heights Promenade

Very nearby, just across the Brooklyn Bridge, so no excuses to not visit these 2 amazing viewing points where you can admire Brooklyn and Manhattan.

  • Staten Island Ferry

I already mentioned this a little earlier in the article but the Staten Island Ferry provides not only free transportation but also an amazing viewing point on the city, the Statue of Libert and Ellis Island.

  • Roosevelt Island

A rather small island, reachable by tram (it will cost you 2,5 dollars to get there), that offers a look at some of the most beautiful buildings, including the Octagon.

  • Gantry Plaza State Park

A 12-acre green oasis that offers an amazing walk for the plant lovers and a wonderful view of midtown Manhattan’s skyline, the Empire State Building and the United Nations.

  • Hoboken Park

Pier A Park in Hoboken New Jersey offers outdoor movies and an overlook of the Manhattan skyline.

Now that you’ve saved quite few dollars, maybe you can add this to your budget for a next trip to New York! 😉

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