Free Things To Do in NYC
Backpacking in a big city can be pricey, especially in a prosperous country such as America. But it is possible to find cheap accommodation in New York City, to see the sights and experience life in New York without blowing your meager backpacker’s budget. After all, it costs nothing to soak up the atmosphere of bustling, neon light-filled Times Square, gaze up at the jagged skyscrapers, or watch the sun set over the Hudson River from Battery Park. The best of New York is completely free.
Spend Hours in Museums
Whilst the most famous museums in New York charge an astronomical fee, believe it or not free ones do exist in the city. Try the National Museum of the American Indian, housed in the beautiful 1907 Beaux Arts U.S. Customs House. This National Historic Landmark, worth a visit in its own right, contains an impressive collection covering over 10,000 years of mainly North American and Hawaiian Native heritage. Other museums have free evenings, such as the highly regarded and diverse Brooklyn Museum, which opens its doors admission-free every first Saturday after 5pm.
Ride the Staten Island Ferry
A ride aboard this commuter ferry provides the best way to the see the city, and it costs absolutely nothing. Fantastic views of the lower Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the New York Harbor can all be experienced from the ferry, making it possibly the best attraction in the whole city!
Relax in Central Park
For over 150 years, New Yorkers have taken refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city in the 843 acres of green parkland in central New York. Wander through the winding paths past green meadows, woodland, lakes, bridges, gardens and monuments, and take a breather in the city’s lung.
Just visiting Macy’s, Sak’s Fifth Avenue, and Barney’s is an essential New York experience. In November and December, the windows of all the major stores are spectacularly dressed for Christmas – Sak’s Fifth Avenue is arguably the best.
Walk and Gawk at the City
It costs nothing to use your legs and your eyes so don a pair of comfy shoes and walk around the city. Don’t miss the iconic art deco Empire State Building and Chrysler Building, the imposing and always busy Grand Central Station and, in December, the fabulous Christmas tree and ice skaters at the Rockefeller Centre. You may not be able to afford to stay in them but don’t miss a couple of New York’s grand, beautiful and historic hotels, such as The Plaza and The Waldorf-Astoria, the only 2 hotels in the city to be designated National Historic Landmarks. With the GFC leading to great deals on hotels, you may even be able to stay in a fabulous hotel in New York City yourself!