Table of Contents
- About New York City
- Top free activities to do in New York City
- New York attractions you can visit on a shoestring budget
- Key takeaways
About New York City
New York City, often referred to as the ‘Big Apple,’ is famous for its iconic landmarks, vibrant culture, and bustling atmosphere. While the city may seem expensive, there’s a treasure trove of activities that won’t cost you a dime. With its towering skyscrapers, iconic landmarks, and unmatched energy, New York City stands as a symbol of urban dynamism and cultural diversity. Also referred to as the ‘City That Never Sleeps,’ NYC is a place where dreams come true, cultures collide, and possibilities are endless. For students on a shoestring budget, here’s a guide to experiencing the best of the city without breaking the bank.
Top free activities to do in New York City
A flight to New York does not have to be expensive if you travel off-season. You can afford all the visits to museums, bars, cafés, and city tours for about $100. Here are a few free activities or tours you can enjoy on a shoestring budget in New York. Here are the top free activities you can do in New York-
Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
A stroll across the East River across the Brooklyn Bridge, which is slightly over a mile long, takes an average of 25 minutes for a New Yorker. Along the journey, pedestrians may expect to see spectacular views of the city from both the Manhattan and Brooklyn ends of the river. They can also see the bustling harbor, which is home to a variety of watercraft. Walking from Brooklyn to Manhattan on a clear afternoon delivers a nice sunset vista, but foot tourists can pretty much expect a satisfactory view day and night. Spend some time in Brooklyn Bridge Park when traveling between the two boroughs. Take in the breathtaking views from the bridge and the park. Remember to bring your camera to capture the spectacular city skyline!
Ride the Staten Island ferry
The Staten Island ferry, located at Manhattan’s southernmost tip, is a freebie that visitors should not miss. The boat runs 24 hours a day, with rush hour and off-peak timetables, and travels five miles from Manhattan to Staten Island. Passengers can enjoy a 25-minute cruise past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, as well as views of Lower Manhattan’s skyline, including One World Trade Center.
Go skating in Bryant Park
Bryant Park (formerly known as Manhattan’s Town Square) hosts the city’s sole free-entry ice skating rink at its Winter Village during the city’s crisp, cool fall days. Weather and activities permitting, the rink is open daily, including holidays, throughout the season. Skaters can skate for up to 90 minutes and then warm up at The Lodge, which has food and drink options such as Pierogi Boys and The Stackery.
Stroll through Central Park
This popular public park contains various free activities. These freebies will please you for sure, whether it’s wandering the trails, finding a spot for a picnic, watching the sailboats, or seeing a production such as Shakespeare in the Park. Several free concerts and independent entertainers also perform in the park.
Don’t worry if you feel hungry while you’re there and haven’t brought a picnic. Around every corner, there are vendors offering low-cost goods such as hot pretzels, hot dogs, and ice cream, as well as various places within the park to sit and dine in style at a small cost.
New York attractions you can visit on a shoestring budget
Here are a few activities that you can indulge in on a shoestring budget-
Tour the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Visitors to the aircraft carrier turned museum anchored at West 46th Street’s Pier 86 may expect a serious performance accompanying an informative tour about air and space from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. You can visit the USS Intrepid, which fought in WWII and survived a couple of kamikaze strikes and a torpedo strike. They can witness it all through a guided tour, instructional demonstration, or a trip on its simulator. On weekends, the museum also hosts children’s events. There is also the possibility for to have a tour of the Enterprise, a spacecraft. Adult tickets should cost around $33, and children’s tickets should cost around $24.
Climb aboard the W.O. Decker
If you’ve ever wanted to know what it’s like to live on a tugboat, the W.O. Decker, located in the South Street Seaport, is a must-see. The old-fashioned, well-preserved tugboat offers 60-minute cruises out into the harbor, where passengers can see three separate boroughs. Visitors can also take a tour of the ship and learn more about its history while on board.
While not free, the tickets ($30 for adults, $15 for children) are hard to beat. As W.O. Decker needs scaling angled gangways and a walk up and over the side from a floating deck, participants must be at least 10 years old. It encourages reservations, and guests must check in at the red tent on Pier 16 (Fulton and South Street) 15 minutes before the planned tour.
Visit One World Trade Center
One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower, provides visitors with the opportunity to experience what it is like to be on top of the world. This wonder soars over the surrounding skyscrapers at 104 floors — or 1776 feet, in commemoration of America’s founding. The lively building and its amenities, which opened in 2014, offer lots of dining, amusement, and shopping choices, while visitors can gaze out over the city from the 100th to 102nd levels. Dining and displays are also available at the Observatory. Ticket prices begin at $32 and rise from there. It’s worth doing the 60-minute tour if you’re willing to splurge a little at this location.
- New York City, often known as the ‘Big Apple,’ boasts iconic landmarks, a rich culture, and boundless energy. While it might seem expensive, the city offers numerous budget-friendly activities that allow you to savor its essence without overspending.
- While free activities abound, there are also attractions to explore on a shoestring budget. Visit the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum to understand air and space history, or climb aboard the W.O. Decker tugboat for a unique harbor cruise.
- Exploring New York City on a shoestring budget doesn’t mean missing out on its iconic experiences. You can admire cityscapes from historic bridges or enjoy cultural gems. The city’s offerings can please all the students, and they can make the most of their time.
We hope you found this blog informative and inspiring! Feel free to share your experiences and feedback in the comments section below. For more information, personalized recommendations, or any inquiries you might have about studying abroad, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our dedicated team is here to assist you every step of the way.
Liked this blog? Read next: Top 50 FAQs about Cornell University
Q1. Is $100 a day enough to survive in NYC?
Ans- Yes, you will find some delicious cuisine in that price range, and you will not go hungry. Allowing $100 per person every day will afford you a nice dinner every night as well as an occasional sit-down lunch.
Q2. Is the food in New York expensive?
Ans- According to a poll, groceries in New York City average $486.71 per person per month. As a result, eating in New York City is relatively expensive.
Q3. Why is NYC the ‘city that never sleeps’?
Ans- NYC is also called ‘the city that never sleeps’ due to its energy, liberated people, numerous growth opportunities, and 24/7 availability of public transport.