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New York City is one of the world’s most popular destinations, but not necessarily one of the cheapest. If you’re planning on visiting NYC and want to keep your plans low cost, then here are suggestions for 10 cheap things to do in New York.


1. Central Park 

Photo by Mark Heard via FlickrMost parks have free admission and aside from green grass and playgrounds, there isn’t much to really enjoy. Except when you’re in New York and you’re in the iconic Central Park.

From the Belvedere Castle, which looks like a scene from The Princess Bride, to the touching John Lennon memorial, the park is full of amazing areas, beautiful landscapes and a great setting for people watching.
Tip: if you’re there in the summer, do not miss the park’s summer concert series or Shakespeare in the Park- fantastic, world renowned artists participate and it’s all free!

Brooklyn flea market2. Brooklyn Flea Market
If you like to stroll through flea markets on the weekend then you need to head to Brooklyn on a Sunday. Browse through the thousands of treasures and find something unique for yourself or just go to “window shop” and then grab a bite to eat.
Tip: Try the flea market in Williamsburg at the East River State Park

3. Bryant Park Outdoor Moviesphoto by japp1967 via flickr

Depending on the season, Bryant Park attracts visitors with a variety of events and activities. In winter you can go ice skating and in the summer you can watch movies in the open air at the Bryant Park Summer Film Festival. Every Monday starting in mid-June to the end of August there is a new movie playing.
Tip: The lawn area opens at 5pm so get there early and have a picnic before the movie starts at sunset (around 8-9pm).

broadway shows4. Broadway Show
When in New York you cannot miss one of the legendary Broadway shows, but because they can get quite expensive, try your luck the day of the show at a TKTS booth where tickets are sold with up to a 50% discount.
Tip: Try the TKTS booth underneath the red bleacher stairs at Father Duffy Square.

Staten Island Ferry5. Staten Island Ferry
Enjoy the view of Ellis Island, the Manhattan skyline, and the Statue of Liberty for free! The trip takes about 20-30 minutes and will give you plenty of photo-ops.

Tip: The ferry leaves every 15 minutes and after 11pm, every hour.

Times Square New York6. Times Square
Be one of the 39 million visitors per year that step foot in the pivot point of the Big Apple, Times Square.
Tip: Grab a coffee to-go and sit on one of the red bleacher seats at Father Duffy Square and just take in all the visual stimulation that is Times Square.

The High Line New York7. The High Line
A public park on an old freight rail line elevated over the streets of Manhattan’s West Side. It’s an especially nice stop when all the flowers are in bloom and you can just walk along the tracks, taking in a bit of nature in the concrete jungle.
Tip: Visit at dusk and see an incredible sunset.

Soho New York8. SoHo
SoHo is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the borough of Manhattan, and by far the most colorful.
Tip: Stroll through the small streets, check out the local artwork or go shopping. In SoHo you can find the trends of tomorrow.

sky room rooftop bar9. Sky Room
New York City is all about decadence and a breeding ground for all things luxurious. At the Sky Room rooftop bar even those that want to stay on a budget can enjoy the city of big spenders. Take the elevator to the 34th floor and sip on a cocktail on the roof top terrace while enjoying a bird’s eye view of Times Square with the Empire State Building in the distance.

New York Cheesecake10. New York Cheesecake
There’s no place like New York when it comes to eating any and every type of cheesecake known to man.

Tip: Head to the bakery “Two Little Red Hens” in the Upper East Side. The slices are affordable and so huge that you can even share with a friend and still have your filling.

7 responses to “10 Cheap Things to Do in New York

  1. New York City may be known as the most expensive city in USA, but there’s also no shortage of free things to do. Free concerts, comedy shows, tours, etc. are NYC’s best kept secret. I was also able to save a lot on accommodation when I went to NYC last year since I stayed in a hostel. I already visited some museums, Time Square and Statue of Liberty. I also went to a lot of diners and clubs and I watched free concerts at Central Park after checking out the NYC Parks website. By the way, I found a website listing free events in New York which is great because I didn’t have much of a budget. I think FreeEventFinder.com might be useful to people also visiting New York who are looking for free things to do.

  2. Great suggestions! Sometimes trying to figure out where to go and what to see in a city with so much life can be overwhelming! That’s when you bring in the experts! Family In New York is just that! They offer custom private New York tours! They can create a custom tour just for you that is sure to be the highlight of your trip!

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