Planning a trip to New York City? In this post, discover free activities you can do to make your trip more affordable and that will make you live the city like real New yorkers!
Bryant Park annually hosts over 1,000 free activities, classes and events including boot camps, juggling, games, chess, Tai Chi, movie nights, blues brunch, dance, piano and much more! To know everything about this incredible park, visit http://bryantpark.org
New York Public Library – Stephen A. Schwarzman building
Just beside Bryant Park is the The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. The building is part of The New York Public Library, which consists of four major research libraries and 88 branch libraries located in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Often referred to as the “main branch,” the Beaux-Arts landmark building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street houses outstanding research collections in the humanities and social sciences as well as a circulating children’s collection.
The Library’s docent-led tours are free and an excellent way to see highlights of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. They are also the only way to get group access to many of the Library’s must-see spaces—including the Rose Main Reading Room and the Library’s exhibitions.
For more information about the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, visit www.nypl.org/locations/schwarzman
The New York Public Library offers free major exhibitions and special displays at three of its research library locations. For the complete list of free exhibitions, visit www.nypl.org/events/exhibitions/current
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. Completed in 1883, it connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River. It has a main span of 1,595.5 feet (486.3 m), and was the first steel-wire suspension bridge constructed. The bridge appeared in many American blockbusters such as Sex and the city, Spiderman, I Am Legend, Godzilla, The Siege and Fantastic Four. The walk is well worth it considering the incredible view you will get!
The High Line is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues. For more information about the High Line, visit the official website.
Grand Central Terminal
Opened to the public in February 1913, Grand Central Terminal is a story of great engineering, survival, and rebirth. In 1978, architect Philip Johnson and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis campaigned to secure landmark status for the Terminal, ensuring the building would serve New Yorkers for generations to come.
Grand Central Terminal is one of the country’s great architectural achievements and New York City’s unofficial meeting place with thousands of people choosing to meet friends and loved ones each day at the opal-faced Main Concourse Information Booth Clock.
Grand Central is the perfect place for shopping with 65 shops. It’s also a great place for breakfast or lunch at a small price. For more information visit www.grandcentralterminal.com
Another free activity is spending the day in Central Park as New Yorkers do! Central Park is huge and you can easily spend the day or an afternoon without getting bored. Browse the many trails, sit by the water or just lay on the grass for sunbathing. You will this peaceful park in the heart of the city. For more information about Central Park, visit www.centralparknyc.org
9/11 Memorial and the new World Trade Center
The new World Trade Center is a sprawling 16 acre mixed-used environment composed of 5 iconic office towers… an 8-acre Memorial Plaza… and over half a million square feet of shopping and dining. The Transportation Hub makes it one of the most convenient places to access in the city. The site is bounded by Vesey Street to the north, the West Side Highway to the west, Liberty Street to the south, and Church street to the east. For more information, visit www.wtc.com
Staten Island Ferry – Liberty Statue
Did you know that you can take a ferry that takes you near the Liberty Statue for free? The Staten Island Ferry is run by the City of New York to transport Staten Islanders to and from Manhattan. Yet, the 5-mile, 25-minute ride also provides a majestic view of New York Harbor and a no-hassle, even romantic, boat ride, for free! From the deck of the ferry you will have a perfect view of The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. You’ll see the skyscrapers and bridges of Lower Manhattan receding as you pull away and coming into focus again as you return. Since the ferry is used by Staten Islanders to get to work you should avoid rush hours. For more information visit www.siferry.com
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Flowers and garden lovers will be happy to know that depending on the season the Brooklyn Botanic Garden entrance is free on certain days/hours! To know more about the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the free admission hours, visit www.bbg.org/visit
Roosevelt Island Tramway
The Roosevelt Island Tramway is not free but really cheap. The cost of the ride is included in the metro card. If you don’t have a metro card, the cost is $2.50 US. The starting point of the cable car is at the intersection of 2nd Avenue and 60th Street. The Roosevelt Island Tramway provides the most modern aerial tramway in the world, running every 7-15 minutes from 59th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan to Tramway Plaza on Roosevelt Island. For more information, visit http://rioc.ny.gov/302/Tram
How to see New York’s top attractions and save?
If you still want to see attractions like The Empire State Building, you should know that you can save by buying CityPASS ticket. And because CityPASS tickets are valid for 9 consecutive days, there’s no need to feel rushed – see the city that never sleeps at your own pace, and truly enjoy the experience.
CityPASS Admission Includes
- 1 The Empire State Building
- 2 American Museum of Natural History
- 3 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- 4 Top of the Rock Observation Deck or Guggenheim Museum
- 5 Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island or Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
- 6 9/11 Memorial & Museum or Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Prices: Adults – $172.23, Kids $142.16
If you have less time, try C3 by CityPASS. Visit any 3 of 10 iconic attractions and save up to 25%. For more information or to by a CityPASS, visit www.citypass.com/new-york
For more information about free attractions in New York City, you can visit www.theguardian.com/travel/2015/jul/28/10-best-ways-to-enjoy-new-york-on-a-budget
Have a nice trip!