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Six budget friendly things to do in New York City

NYC On A Budget? This Is How It's Possible

There’s never any shortage of things to do in New York City but you might be forgiven for thinking that a trip to the Big Apple requires big bucks if you’re going to have a good time.

Sure, you can spend a truck load of dollars in New York if you want to but you don’t have to. Don’t believe us? Here are six things you can do without blowing a hole in your budget.

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Central Park

Ok, so one of city’s number one attractions is a public park – you couldn’t get much more ‘budget friendly’ than that!

Central Park is huge and it’s perfect if you want to take a time out from the pace of the City That Never Sleeps. Walkers, cyclists and joggers alike flock here for their fix of free thrills and spills.

central park New York

Brooklyn Bridge

If you go home from a New York vacation without a picture of ‘that skyline’ you’ll feel short changed. Yet one great view of the city can be found by crossing the Brooklyn Bridge.

An iconic landmark in its own right, the bridge is free to cross and should definitely be part of your budget friendly New York bucket list.

brooklyn bridge New York

Staten Island Ferry

While fighting through the crowds on Liberty Island to get to the Statue of Liberty might seem like a good idea, you can save yourself a few dollars – and get a good view of the statue – by taking the free ferry to Staten Island instead.

You’ll also get more great views by boarding the ferry – all without spending a single cent.

Staten Island Ferry

Theatre discounts

Fancy a Broadway show while you’re in town? You can do this while still sticking to your budget by searching out discounted tickets to the theater.

Today Tix offers you the chance to enter a lottery to get free or discounted tickets and this could land you with a serious saving over the price you’d pay in other outlets.

New York


New York can cater for pretty much every culinary taste going, with cuisine from across the globe dotted around the city’s many restaurants.

Yet the real taste of New York isn’t to be found in expensive eateries – it’s in the delis, diners, pizza parlours, burger joints and street food outlets.

These places offer fun and filling fodder at every twist and turn and, luckily for your bank balance, are actually pretty affordable.

This guide from Time Out shows how you can dine out for a few dimes, while BuzzFeed has also produced a list of recommendations from locals which are all under $10.

New York Food Truck

Free museums

New York is full of top class cultural attractions and its museums and galleries are, understandably, popular tourist hotspots and on many people’s wish lists.

Yet many of them actually offer free or ‘pay-what-you-wish’ entry – sometimes on set days or evenings. Check out this list from NYC-Arts to get the details of the offers run at attractions across the Big Apple.

New York metropolitan museum of art

Hopefully those six tips will save you a few dollars so that you can enjoy New York without feeling the impact on your wallet.


  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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