Inarguably, New York City is one of the most prominent places to visit in the United States of America. Featuring as a must do destination on every USA traveler bucket list, New York City is the perfect mishmash of multi ethnic lifestyle, cosmopolitan vibes, and historic architecture. Brimming with a fantastic assortment of tourist attractions, entertainment and recreational areas, New York gives you an overabundance of impressive experiences. However, if you are budget conscious, you might feel the pinch of spending too much on New York attractions. Nevertheless, New York City offers its visitors plenty of options to experience the city in penny wise or free of charge ways. If you have got one day to spend in New York City, you can check out these places to visit in New York which are absolutely wallet friendly.
Visit museums with free of cost admission
New York City is filled with museums and botanical gardens and many among them are free or have free admissions on certain days of the week. Here are few interesting options which you can include in your New York tour itinerary:
1. The Bronx Museum of Arts – showcasing outstanding modern art from different cultural backgrounds.
2. New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building – An iconic Beaux-Arts styled library on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan that encompasses architectural feats as well as a wide collection of books on humanities and children’s literature.
3. Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden – A charming New York tourist attraction teeming with 23 historical buildings, 9 beautiful botanical gardens, and acres of wetlands.
4. Queens County Farm Museum – a working farm set on the remaining tract land of New York, this farm museum offers its visitors a quaint ambiance teeming with farmhouses built centuries back, greenhouses, orchards, plantation fields and many farm animals.
5. 9/11 Memorial – A significant place to see in New York, 9/11 Memorial is a commemoration for 9/11 event and those who lost their lives in the tragedy. 9/11 Memorial is free to visit, entry into the museums cost an admission fee except on Tuesdays.
6. Brooklyn Botanical Gardens – Great place to immerse in nature surroundings amid rich foliages including tropical tree, cherry blossoms, and bonsais. Brooklyn Botanical Gardens is one of the places to visit in New York to escape the city rushes for few moments. You can visit the Gardens free of cost every weekday from December to February.
7. Brooklyn Children’s Museum – This museum is dedicated to budding learners and children of all ages who are intrigued by world culture, history, nature, and science. This is the best place to visit with kids. One of the fun things to do in New York for kids, Brooklyn Children’s Museum is one of its kind children’s museum in New York and offers free admission on Thursdays between 2 pm to 6 pm.
Picnicking in Central Park
At some point on your New York City tour, you will feel the need to take time away from the urban ambiance and head to somewhere peaceful. Well, New York City has this issue sorted out for the city dwellers as well as visitors by balancing its concrete jungle and natural green spaces within the city itself. Central Park is New York City’s lungs where everyone heads for a slice of nature and a breath of fresh air. While visitors to New York would definitely plan on visiting Central Park, this beautiful 843-acre rectangular green landscape is also a great spot for budget travelers to spend time on an outdoor picnic. There is no admission fee for entry and you don’t need to spend much on the activities and events held at the park. You can enjoy a simple meal in serene surrounds of Cherry Hill, go rowing on the Lake on rented boats, stroll down nature trails, have a bird watching expedition, enjoy a puppet show at The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre for a nominal ticket cost and marvel nature’s beauty mingle seamlessly with art and sculptures scattered all around the Park. The moments spent in Central Park are never like the ones you have ever experienced in a city park.
Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
One of the most picturesque sights you will come across in New York is the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge which connects Manhattan to Brooklyn. One of New York’s most recognized landmarks; the Brooklyn Bridge is also an ideal tourist spot to view the beauty of New York City skyline. A stroll on the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian pathway is one of the many free things to do in New York City. A walking tour on the Brooklyn Bridge takes less than an hour to cover the entire length but it is recommended to pause for some moments to take photographs of the stunning river and city views. Also, plan your trip on weekdays or early mornings when there are fewer crowds. Also, early morning strolls on the bridge can feel wonderfully refreshing and give you a calming, picturesque start to your day in New York. You can also wander around and visit DUMBO and Brooklyn Bridge Park – two fascinating New York City point of interests set nearby to Brooklyn Bridge.
Take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry
If you wish to view the beauty of New York’s famous city skyline and not in the mood to splurge on a cruise trip, hop on board Staten Island Ferry and it will offer you breathtaking panoramas of the city. Though it is among the busiest ferry transportation services in the United States of America, Staten Island Ferry is a cheap and effective way to view New York City’s iconic attractions. The ferry trip starts from St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island and ends at Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan. This 25-minute ferry trip lets you witness amazing vistas of Manhattan skyline, New York Harbour, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island for no cost at all. This free ferry ride operates daily with frequent services on weekdays due to rush hour. It is best not to take the ferry for a leisure trip during rush hours as over 70,000 people use the service daily to commute to workplace in Manhattan and Staten Island. However, if you are taking the ferry in the afternoons, you can enjoy the on board cafeteria meals at inexpensive costs.
Essential Tips for New York City visitors
1. Avoid planning your visits to museums or botanical gardens on Mondays and public holidays as most of them remain closed on such day.
2. New York is a safe city but it is better to be vigilant and take precautions. Makes sure you have a valid US Tourist visa and medical and travel insurance covering your New York trip duration.
3. For a quick snack and a drink, New York offers many bars where you can get free food if you order a drink. The snack isn’t just a few chips or popcorn, you even get pizzas, chicken wings, Mac and cheese, bagels and baguettes to name a few. Check out Alligator Lounge at 600 Metropolitan Avenue, Brazen Head at 228 Atlantic Avenue, The Huckleberry Bar at 588 Grand Street in Brooklyn and Blind Tiger at 281 Bleecker Street and Rudy’s on 627 Ninth Avenue in Manhattan for an amazing time with friends, chilled drinks, and free food.
4. If one day in New York isn’t enough for you and you want to experience more of New York City’s vigour and splendors, but have no clue as to what to do in New York, then extend your stay and opt for a New York City Pass which lets you visit the best tourist attractions of New York at discounted rates and also with the benefit of skipping the long queues for entry. With this pass, you can visit all the must-visit places in New York as well as save money on entry costs.
5. Using the NYC Subway is another great way of cutting costs on taxis and private vehicles.
6. Keep a check on the weather before you plan outdoor trips. New York City is susceptible to strong winds and a walking tour on a windy day may be quite unpleasant and uncomfortable trip to remember.