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7 Ways Tourists Can Enjoy New York On A Budget

budgeting for new york

New York always dazzles, and has no perfect time to visit. Around Christmas, the Fifth Avenue enthusiasms with window displays, and the tree at Rockefeller Center sparkles.

new york- 7 things to do on a budget

Photo: Street Easy

Ice Skating 

New Yorkers enjoy watching the colorful skaters on the ice rink. Christmas markets are plenty at various locations in the city, notably at Union Square and Bryant Park.

ice skating in new york things to do on a budget

Photo: Time Out

As you plan your visit, keep in mind that New York remains the most expensive city in the U.S. Fortunately, we’ve gathered seven hacks and tricks to help you enjoy spectacular sightseeing, world-class museums, ferry trips and accommodation without breaking the bank.

Budget Accommodation 

Accommodation costs can get as high as New York’s famous skyscrapers. However, among the numerous properties available for holidays, some bargains are possible, especially if you avoid Manhattan.

accomodations in new york on a budget

Bargaining means paying 100 dollars a night for an apartment. But if you can stay in a room in someone’s home, instead of taking the entire apartment, you can save approximately 40 dollars.

If you don’t relish staying in an apartment, rooms at the Chelsea International Hostel start at about 75 dollars a night while the Bowery House Hotel begins at about 110 dollars.

Take to the Roof

New York City is designed to be appreciated from high up.  Some of the best places to have magnificent views are the observation decks of the 1 World Trade Center, the Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Building. Each of them will cost you approximately 32 dollars.

visit the 1 World Trade Center, the Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Building when you're in new york on a budget

You can also go to a rooftop bar, and have a drink as you enjoy the view. Standard Hotel in Meatpacking District is one of the best with a beautiful roof garden overlooking the Hudson River and a copper-colored rooftop bar.

Take to the water 

Since 1997, the Staten Island ferry remains free and provides a dazzling view of the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan southern tip, and Ellis Island.

The Ikea ferry also covers Wall Street to Red Hook, Brooklyn, and is free on weekends, and 5 dollars on weekdays.  The East River ferry is another charming option charging 4 dollars weekday, and 6 on weekends.  If you want to hit your wallet harder, the Circle line ferry, circumventing Manhattan island in less than 3 hours for just 41 dollars is great. The ride offers a comprehensive view of the city.

A Walk in the Park 

Robert Hammond and Joshua David’s efforts to transform the old elevated freight train line into a park thrived. Today, the High Line Park is the only “park in the sky” and one of the most popular destinations in New York.

the High Line Park is the only “park in the sky” and one of the most popular destinations in New York when on a budget

A walk above the traffic, sandwiched between semi-wild meadow plants offers a peaceful respite from the bustles of the city below.

Central Park is another great place to visit. The park offers the feeling of being taken away from the city. The 840-acre park include a boating lake, a zoo, a reservoir, sport fields and more.

Pay What You Can for Art 

Did you know that the 25-dollar fee to enter the famous Metropolitan Museum of Art isn’t fixed? It is a “recommended’ amount, meaning you can pay what you can or wish. Here, you can’t miss the permanent collection of art covering American, Egypt, European, Rome and Greece.

Metropolitan Museum of Art pay what you can for tickets- visiting new york on a budget

The Whitney Museum of American Art, located at the southern end of the Highline also offers a stunning study of the US art from the 20th century to present.

Cross the Brooklyn Bridge 

A New York visit is incomplete without crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the iconic landmarks built in 1883. Its granite and limestone neo-gothic towers make it unique.

crossing the brooklyn bridge

The cycle and pedestrian pathways are elevated, giving fantastic views of downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan skyline. Walking time maybe longer than you anticipate as most tourists stop to capture special moments and attach love locks to the Bridge’s metal latticework fencing.

Remember the Tip 

Restaurants can be high-priced in New York, particularly when you include the mandatory 15 to 20 percent tip.

leave a tip

However, Gruppo in Alphabet City is an alternative for inexpensive, tasty pizza, and Café Argentino in Williamsburg. And if the well runs dry, try delis for a selection of cooked meals, priced by weight.

What hacks and tricks can one employ to enjoy New York on a budget? Share them with us on the comment section below or on our social media platforms.

Angela P

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