How to Travel to New York on a Budget

The Empire State Building famous skyscrapers in New York City

Heading to NYC? We share how to travel to New York on a budget, so you can visit the city without spending too much!

You don’t need to have a lot of money to visit New York. You just need to know how and on what you can save.

Here are some tips for planning a budget trip to New York. By listening to these tips, you will undoubtedly be able to spend less money, and the saved money can be spent on shopping with pleasure!

How to visit New York City on a budget

getaways from nyc

The city attractions

A vibrant city with dynamic life and many interesting sights attracts tourists. New York definitely cannot be classified as a cheap tourist city, but there are some secrets and little tricks here that will help the traveler save money. There are tons of free things to do in New York, it’s important to know where to find them.

Admission to many places in New York is free on certain days of the week or at certain hours, while others operate the Pay What You Wish (PWYW) system. The tickets themselves will not notify you of the existence of this rule and will not return the money if you pay the full price of the ticket. But if you see the magic letters PWYW, you should know that a dollar is enough.

best places to stay in New York City

Free tours

New York, like many other cities in the world, makes it possible to visit excursions absolutely free of charge or for an amount that seems acceptable to the traveler, using the same Pay What You Wish system. In New York, several organizations run free walking tours, such as the so-called Free walking tours. They conduct tours once a week – on Sundays at 10 am. The tour includes a route through such iconic places as St. Paul’s Chapel, Stone Street, Trinity Church, Broadway, Wall Street, the memorial at the World Trade Center, and other interesting sights of the city. Meeting point with the guide – Rockefeller Center. 

Another well-known company that organizes free walks is Freetoursbyfoot, which offers more than a dozen excursions a day in various parts of the city: Brooklyn, Manhattan, Central Park, Harlem, and many others.

things to do in New York City.

Ferry to Staten Island 

It is a great option for those who want to admire the bridges and skyscrapers of Manhattan. The ferry offers breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The hour-long trip will be completely free, which is ideal for those who want to have a cheap vacation in New York. 

Check the departure times in advance to get a good seat. It’s best not to travel during rush hour. Since the ferry is a means of public transport, a huge number of local residents use it daily.

things to do in New York City.

New York Central Park 

This one can be safely called one of the most famous parks. For residents of the city, it plays the role of a sports zone, a forest, a beach, and a place for rest and relaxation. The park is a kind of symbol of New York, being present in many films about this city. 

Remember the shots where slender girls do a morning jog along the paths of the park? Or come with friends at lunchtime to give yourself a nice snack? Feel like a star when you visit Central Park for a relaxing break. Live concerts and performances are often held here during the summer season. For this, Central Park Summerstage is used. Sometimes in the park, you can stumble upon performances of the Metropolitan Opera, free for all visitors performances by American celebrities from the show Good Morning America.

In some other places of interest in New York, there are also “free days” when admission to a particular attraction is considered free. So, for example, you can visit one of the New York Botanical Gardens or the famous Bronx Zoo, which is considered one of the largest zoos in the United States.

For more tips and travel guides you can check out several articles and websites that will help you to plan your perfect trip to New York.

Flight tickets

All you need to do is to subscribe to the mailing list of various sites offering discount tickets and seasonal promotions. The three leaders are rightfully considered expedia.com, kayak.com, and orbitz.com. Remember that the earlier you book your trip, the cheaper the tickets will be.

As long as the date and time of travel are flexible, you should have no problem getting a flight to New York at a reasonable price. Plan ahead – that’s the trick.

best places to stay in New York City

Budget hotel

Take a look at hotels that are outside of Midtown (New York City Center). Good options are Marrakech on the Upper West Side, Chelsea Savoy, and Colonial House (each of them has rooms from $99 per night – depending on the season and the level of the room itself).

If you’re looking for some creativity, chill out in a ship-like room at Jane’s Inn.

If you don’t mind a shared kitchen and the company of other travelers staying in the same room as you, opt for hostels. Just remember: to get the best hostel rate, you will have to make a reservation in advance. But it will be the most budgetary of all possible accommodation options.

Where to eat in Times Square things to do in Times Square

Food

You can buy tasty and inexpensive food on the street. The stalls sell not only ice cream, hot dogs and pretzels but also knish, falafel, pizza, kebabs, and much more. And all this pleasure will cost no more than $5, or even 2 times cheaper.

At the grocery store, you can buy sandwiches and muffins at a reasonable price. We recommend that you determine your preferences in advance, as you can get confused by the variety of products on the shelves.

If you want to go gray somewhere, then go to a local coffee shop for a sandwich or salad. You will shell out less money if you visit a place where you need to order food at the counter.

When you really need quality service and a table, look for a restaurant further from the center. A certificate bought for $10 will allow you to eat for $25, for $20 for $50, and finally for $40 for $100. Not bad, isn’t it?

As you can see, it’s not that hard to have a great time in New York without a lot of money. Good luck and happy savings!


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