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Julia
Paris

New York City

free or cheap things to do in NYC

Any recommendations for things to do and see in NYC with a low budget? 


23 Answers

answered by
Ellen from Dallas

You can enjoy all the fabulous voices and music on an opera at the Met - without the cost. Ask for a "limited" or "restricted" vision box seat. The sound is excellent, the vision is only restricted because you're on the far left or far right of stage, and the cost is generally below $30. You even have your own separate door to your box!


1 thanks


answered by
Heather Ann from Stamford, Connecticut

walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and explore Brooklyn -  -great views from the bridge


Mentioned in this answer:

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  1. Brooklyn Bridge (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Kelly from Massachusetts

There are free museums, like the National Museum of the American Indian which is a beautiful building and tells the history of NYC. The Juilliard School offers free performances. There are many free walking tours. You could also just explore Grand Central Terminal, New York Public Library and Central Park as well as Washington Square Park where you can picnic & watch street performers. Hope this helps.


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. National Museum of the American Indian (attraction)
  2. The Juilliard School (attraction)
  3. Grand Central Terminal (attraction)
  4. New York Public Library (attraction)
  5. Central Park (attraction)
  6. Washington Square Park (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Courtney from Los Angeles

The New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center holds discounted rehearsals so you can get seats that would ordinarily be $60+ for $20! You just have to be willing to sit through some pieces more than once. Here's the link to the site: http://nyphil.org/concerts-tickets/explore/open-rehearsals


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Lincoln Center (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Eva from New York City

Almost every NYC museum has a free admission night. The Met is the only pay as you wish museum, as far as I know. 

You might want to explore our outer boroughs too - beyond Manhattan. Red Hook Brooklyn (take the free IKEA boat from Pier 11 / Wall St.) is a great place to explore. There's even a winery - tastings are not free. There's also a great place for Bar-b-que, which you should try here since it doesn't really exist in France. I'm forgetting the name unfortunately.Many artist studios and shared exhibit space open to the public. 

Take the 7 Subway to Flushing or Corona and you will feel like you're in China/Korea or Mexico/Latin America. Great ethnic food for a fraction of Manhattan prices. Jackson Heights for Indian; Astoria for Greek. 

Just like Paris, there are a lot of outdoor cafes for people watching. You can't sit forever with 1 coffee though - these places are popular and they will want to turn the table if you're not spending $. 

Then there's the High Line Park, which tourists love. A park sort of like Promenade Plantee, but more industrial looking. Instead of peering into Haussmann type buildings, you have a view into old lofts and new architectural marvels built around this developing area.

Brooklyn Brewery is really popular and the tour is free. This is in Williamsburg which most French tourists seem to know (judging by the crowds). In the spring, summer and fall, there's an excellent food venue here called Smorgasburg. In the winter, it is smaller inside Brooklyn Flea

If you are coming in the summer, there are a lot of free outdoor events - movies, concerts, other performances. 


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Red Hook (attraction)
  2. Pier 11 / Wall St. (attraction)
  3. High Line Park (attraction)
  4. Brooklyn Brewery (restaurant)
  5. Williamsburg (neighborhood)
  6. Smorgasburg (attraction)
  7. Brooklyn Flea (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Carly from Wisconsin

There are plenty of places to visit in New York that are free to just site see such as Chinatown New YorkLittle ItalyUnion StationHigh Line ParkNew York Public LibraryTimes SquareSt. Patrick's CathedralRockefeller CenterBrooklyn Bridge. I would say that Statue of Liberty Ellis Island is worth the tour $. 9/11 Memorial is worth a stop and the museum as well I thought was very moving. Don't forget to get a NY slice of pizza and bagel for breakfast while on the move. 


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Chinatown New York (neighborhood)
  2. Little Italy (attraction)
  3. Union Station (attraction)
  4. High Line Park (attraction)
  5. New York Public Library (attraction)
  6. Times Square (attraction)
  7. St. Patrick's Cathedral (attraction)
  8. Rockefeller Center (attraction)
  9. Brooklyn Bridge (attraction)
  10. Statue of Liberty Ellis Island (attraction)
  11. 9/11 Memorial (attraction)
1 thanks


answered first by
Diane from New York City

Take a free trip on the Staten Island Ferry for great views of the city 

Wander around Central ParkGreenwich VillageTimes Square 

Many museums accept a donation don't worry about the suggested donation give what you want


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Staten Island Ferry (attraction)
  2. Central Park (attraction)
  3. Greenwich Village (neighborhood)
  4. Times Square (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Fritzi from San Francisco

If you are exploring New York City, the first thing you need is a Metropass. You can get unlimited travel for 3 or 7 days and the pass includes buses and subways. It is fascinating to ride down Fifth Ave or Broadway, study the architecture and people. 

One of my favorite free attractions is the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Wall Street. Admission is free but you must book on line in advance. It is a beautiful building from the 1920s and you will see our gold reserve, a huge room full of gold bars. 

The West Village is especially fun for walking. 

When you are in Manhattan you can always take a bus; to get around the other boroughs you will probably need to fugure out subways. 

Grocery stores with salad bars and good pizza is everywhere, so avoid restaurants. 

If you get tired, stop into a nice hotel lobby, like the The Waldorf AstoriaNew York Marriott Marquis, and thousands more. Or visit a beautiful church like St. Bartholomew's Church on Park Ave or Saint James on Fifth ave. 

Always lots to see and do in NYC.


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Federal Reserve Bank of New York (attraction)
  2. West Village (neighborhood)
  3. The Waldorf Astoria (hotel)
  4. New York Marriott Marquis (hotel)
  5. St. Bartholomew's Church (attraction)
  6. Saint James (attraction)


answered by
Perla from Alexandria (Virginia)

Best kept secret.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art can only cost you as low as $1.00. Pay as you wish.


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (attraction)


answered by
Perla from Alexandria (Virginia)

Best kept secret.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art can only cost you as low as $1.00. Pay as you wish.


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (attraction)


answered by
Perla from Alexandria (Virginia)

Best kept secret.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art can only cost you as low as $1.00. Pay as you wish.


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (attraction)


answered by
Perla from Alexandria (Virginia)

Best kept secret.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art can only cost you as low as $1.00. Pay as you wish.


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (attraction)


answered by
Perla from Alexandria (Virginia)

Best kept secret. The Metropolitan Museum of Arts can only cost you as low as $1.00. Pay as you wish.




answered by
Perla from Alexandria (Virginia)

Best kept secret. The Metropolitan Museum of Arts can only cost you as low as $1.00. Pay as you wish.




answered by
Perla from Alexandria (Virginia)

Best kept secret. The Metropolitan Museum of Arts can only cost you as low as $1.00. Pay as you wish.




answered by
Ellen from Dallas

You can enjoy all the fabulous voices and music on an opera at the Met - without the cost. Ask for a "limited" or "restricted" vision box seat. The sound is excellent, the vision is only restricted because you're on the far left or far right of stage, and the cost is generally below $30. You even have your own separate door to your box seat!




answered by
Ellen from Dallas

You can enjoy all the fabulous voices and music on an opera at the Met - without the cost. Ask for a "limited" or "restricted" vision box seat. The sound is excellent, the vision is only restricted because you're on the far left or far right of stage, and the cost is generally below $30. You even have your own separate door to your box seat!




answered by
Heather Ann from Stamford, Connecticut

walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and explore brooklyn -  -great views from the bridge


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Brooklyn Bridge (attraction)


answered by
Heather Ann from Stamford, Connecticut

walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and explore brooklyn -  -great views from the bridge


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Brooklyn Bridge (attraction)


answered by
Courtney from Los Angeles

The New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center holds discounted rehearsals so you can get seats that would ordinarily be $60+ for $20! You just have to be willing to sit through some pieces more than once. Here's the link to the site: 

http://nyphil.org/concerts-tickets/explore/open-rehearsals


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Lincoln Center (attraction)


answered by
Courtney from Los Angeles

The New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center holds discounted rehearsals so you can get seats that would ordinarily be $60+ for $20! You just have to be willing to sit through some pieces more than once. Here's the link to the site: http://nyphil.org/concerts-tickets/explore/open-rehearsals


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Lincoln Center (attraction)


answered by
Courtney from Los Angeles

The New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center holds discounted rehearsals so you can get seats that would ordinarily be $60+ for $20! You just have to be willing to sit through some pieces more than once. Here's the link to the site: http://nyphil.org/concerts-tickets/explore/open-rehearsals


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Lincoln Center (attraction)


answered by
Courtney from Los Angeles

The New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center holds discounted rehearsals so you can get seats that would ordinarily be $60+ for $20! You just have to be willing to sit through some pieces more than once. Here's the link to the site: http://nyphil.org/concerts-tickets/explore/open-rehearsals


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Lincoln Center (attraction)




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