Monday, May 20, 2024

How To Do New York On A Budget

How Much Should I Budget For A Trip To New York


Your daily budget should be around $239 per person for your vacation. Based on the expenses of other visitors, this is the average daily price. .

Average Daily Cost
$1,676 $3,351

As you can see, a vacation to New York for one week will cost an average of $1,676 per person.

How much money to take to New York for 4 days Depending on your interests, youll want to take around $959 per person for your four day trip to NYC.

How much is a trip to New York for 2? A vacation to New York for one week will cost an average of $3,351 for two people.

Check Out All The Awesome Free Historical Sights

If you love history, youre in luck: New York City is bursting with historical landmarks, monuments, and memorials. As public spaces, theyre totally free to check out. Some of our favorite places to visit in New York involve history .

Check these sites out for sure, but for total immersion in New Yorks history ask a local history buff to make you a custom walking map that hits the spots you want to see.

Budget Itinerary For Nyc: Sights Info And Directions

For each sight in our New York tour itinerary, we include information, facts and a link to more info.

To help you better navigate the city, we indicate which is the closest subway station to the first sight of the day. We also include a link to Google Maps so that all you need to do is click the link to get directions from wherever you are.

When visiting New York on a budget, the best way to get around is on your own two feet. In our NYC trip itinerary, we group sights together and list them in order in the form of self-guided walking tours. However, if public transportation is required to get from one sight to the next, we have include a link to Google Maps that will provide the recommended subway route.

Bathrooms and Water Fountains

Our New York Itinerary includes long stretches of being outdoors and eating on-the-go, so weve indicated where there are convenient public bathrooms along the route.

With so much walking in our budget New York trip plan, it is important to stay hydrated. It is safe to drink the water in the city and there are numerous public drinking fountains where visitors can fill up water bottles along the way. Use this for water fountains in the city.

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Top Things To See And Do In New York City On A Budget

One of the sure shot ways to save money and time on sightseeing is by buying the New York Pass. You can choose from over 90 attractions. Travel See Write recommends the following things:

1. Visit a museum

NYC is littered with some of the best museums in the world from the Met to the MoMA to the Guggenheim. Even a four-wall hater like me couldnt resist visiting NYC museums, which houses some of the worlds best art, history, and exhibitions. Warhol, Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, Matisseall the big names are housed in New York City.

Tip: A lot of museums are free to visit at certain hours or have a flexible entry fee. Museum of Arts and Design has free entry on Thursdays from 18:00 to 21:00, Guggenheim on Saturdays from 17.45 to 19.45 and Museum of Modern Art on Fridays from 16.00 to 20.00, The Whitney Museum of American Art on Friday, the Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design on Tuesday evenings

2. Stroll in the Parks

A great way to relax in the city and leave behind the crowds is to spend the day in green spaces of NYC. They are free and are best for a picnic, cycling, exercising, people watching or just walking. My favourites are Central Park, Bryant Park, and Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Tip: Avoid the crowds by heading to the northern sections of the Central Park.

3. Walk the High Line

Tip: Walk down to Chelsea Market to relish food and art.

4. Be a bookworm at New York Public Library

Tip: Dont forget to check out the free exhibitions.

6. Cross the Brooklyn Bridge

Getting Around In New York City

New York City on a Budget: Free or cheap things to do ...

Navigating through NYC is a cakewalk if you understand its grid pattern.

  • Streets run horizontally from east to west.
  • Avenues run vertically from north to south.
  • 5th Avenue splits the east side from the west side

Subway or walking is the best way to get around the NYC. New York and its boroughs are well-connected with the subway. Subway is fast, cheap and easy to navigate. The fare for a subway or local bus ride is $2.75. The fare for an express bus ride is $6. You can also buy a 7-day transit pass for $31. Most cabs around the city will cost around $15. Uber is an alternative and has a base fare of $2.50 and costs about $2 per mile. And on top of that, you are expected to give a tip. I ended up paying $120 from New Jersey to JFK.


  • Group your activities and sites into clusters to help maximize your time! I use Google Maps to plan my daily activities

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Tourist Attraction Discount Passes

Even before you arrive in New York, look into purchasing a tourist pass.

Depending on which pass you buy, you could save as much as 55% on the cost of attractions that are likely on your must-see list.

See our guide, Which is the Best Tourist Pass to Buy, to compare what is available and if a pass is right for you.

Likewise, many companies offer bundles that combine their boat and bus tours with popular NYC attractions.

Our post on choosing the best times to visit NYC, which includes a section on the cheapest times, may be useful to you.

TIP: You may find our suggested budget itineraries for 1, 2, and 3 days in NYC helpful when planning your trip.

Also, check on Groupon and Living Social for discounts on tours, tickets to shows, meals, top attractions, and more.

Wondering How To Save Money In Nyc

Now that you have an idea about how much it costs to live in NYC and the cost of living in New York and Brooklyn, youre probably beginning to doubt if its even possible to save money in NYC. Or have you resigned yourself to just living in NYC until you go broke, then moving back with your parents in Ohio?

While theres no getting around thefact that New York is expensive, living on abudget in NYC isnt impossible! With some smart strategies and awillingness to adjust expectations to match your financial priorities, you can save moneyin New York while still having fun.

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Heres Whats Included In The New York Pass:

Pick from over 100 NYC attractions Valid for up to 10 days Save up to 70% compared to purchasing tickets at each attraction Visit unlimited amount of NYC attractions each day

The New York Pass is a prepaid sightseeing card that can be used to get FREE fast-track entry to the citys top tourist attractions, including Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour, Empire State Building, and the Top of the Rock Observatory.

FREE with the New York Pass

Plus, you can use the New York Pass to get free entry to 100+ other attractions, museums, and tours in the city. Once youve bought the New York Pass, you can visit as many attractions as you want. The more sights you visit, the more money you save! Think of it like an all-inclusive holiday.

Transportation In New York City

NYC BUDGET TIPS- How to Visit New York when youre BROKE !

Starting with the obvious: driving in NYC is an awful idea. Traffic is horrendous and parking is a true nightmare. Dont ever do this.

Also hailing one of the iconic yellow cabs is probably a scenario youve seen in movies and wish to replicate, but reality check: its not the most affordable way to get around either.

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Opt For More Authentic Versions Of Common Tourist Places

See New York City like a local, rather than falling into the typical tourist traps. In other words, rather than going to the Comedy Cellar, attend a local open-mic night, or go to Arthur Avenue rather than Little Italy. Another idea is to visit Mollys Cupcakes instead of paying more for Magnolia Bakery, which was made famous by Sex in the City.

Skip The New York Souvenirs

Manhattan is a shoppers paradise. From high street to luxury finds, theres no end to the spending you can do in the city. While many visitors come to New York specifically to shop, I recommend setting a budget for yourself and sticking to it.

Skip the cheesy souvenirs and budget for something important to you. If the locals arent wearing I heart NYC fashion, you probably shouldnt either.

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The Best New York Itinerary: Visiting Nyc On A Budget

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Planning a New York Itinerary is no easy feat choosing from the copious number of NYC sights, incredible things to do and endless options of delicious food can be overwhelming. And, as New York City is ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the United States, visiting NYC on a budget can add even more anxiety to the planning process. No need to fret! Our New York City Itinerary is packed with everything your need for your budget trip to NYC!

Take A Free Walking Tour

New York on a budget

The first thing I do in a new destination is take a walking tour. Theyre the best way to orient yourself, see the main sights, and interact with an expert local guide who can answer all your questions.

If youre on a tight budget, I recommend Free Tours by Foot. Just make sure to tip your guide at the end!

For paid tours, go with Take Walks, which has specific ones that focus on art, food, and history they are pretty affordable too .

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Get Insider Recommendations From A New York Local

When it comes to things to do in New York, you could rely on Google articles from three years agoor you could ask a trip planner who actually *lives* in New York for recommendations. They know all the best stuff to do, see, and experience at any budgetbecause New York is their city! Plus, since your local creates a custom itinerary just for you, youll get to see all the stuff you want without a bunch of boring filler activities. No fiddling with annoying logistics! And who knowsyou might even become best friends.

Youre totally prepared to enjoy the best of New York Citywithout emptying your savings for the trip! For even more budget tips, be sure to talk with a local NYC travel expert. Theyll help design a custom itinerary that hits everything you want to see, plus all the insider secrets you could ever need. Even better, theyll be around with 24/7 phone support to help if you run into any issues. Any questions? Feel free to send us a message! And dont forget to check out:

How To Save On Hotels In Nyc

Check out all our tips and dozens of promo codes to help save on NYC Hotels. We show you some lesser known ways to really save BIG on New York City Hotels, which often end up being the biggest expense on a NYC vacation.

Whether you are visiting NYC on a budget, or just looking to save a little on luxury, we share all our insight on How to Save on Hotels in New York City.

For even more NYC hotel savings, see:

  • Cheap Budget Hotels in NYC Clean, centrally located and under $100 per night? Yes, its possible! Not always, and you may have to make some compromises, like a shared bathroom, but these are my top picks for those on a budget.
  • Discount NYC Hotels are located in central Manhattan and start at $25 per night. These accommodations are open to public, but are not always listed on generic hotel travel websites or they may be listed as specialty lodging and sneak right past you.
  • Hotel Week New York City held in January, is a GREAT time to save big on hotel rooms which usually go for $500 or more per night.
  • Back to Top of Visiting New York on a Budget

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    You Have To Have A Plan

    With a bit of planning , youre sure to have a great time in the Big Apple even without spending a fortune. Youll be amazed at the number of famous sights that are absolutely free of charge. Take for example the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park or Staten Island Ferry, which offers close-up views of the Statue of Liberty youll be spoiled with choices. In this travel guide, well be focusing on low-budget travel, telling you all about the best sight- seeing attractions, museums, tours and events that cost very little to nothing at all.

    Sign Up To Be An Audience Member At A Live Show

    How to Travel New York City on a budget – Cost of Living

    Are you a fan of late-night TV? Then save money by signing up to attend a taping of your favorite live show for free! This takes some advanced planning but shows such as The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver all offer free tickets.

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    See The Statue Of Liberty

    Visiting the Statue of Liberty up close will cost over $20 USD and involve waiting in a long line. If that doesnt sound appealing, simply hop on the free Staten Island Ferry. It crosses the harbor and provides a decent view of both the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. The ride takes about 25 minutes.

    Get Free Or Reduced Admission To Museums

    Museums are pricey in New York, but most of them actually offer the opportunity to visit the museum for free on specific days and hours. For instance, for the 9/11 Memorial Museum the admission is free for all visitors every Tuesday from 5pm to close . We got there just after 5pm, picked up our free ticket and only queued 15 minutes to get in. The same applies for the MoMa on Fridays after 4pm. We missed out on that because it was beautiful sunny day, but that would be another opportunity to save $25.

    Other museums have suggested admission fees, that means you dont have to pay more than $1. Thats how we got into the Guggenheim Museum for only $5 on a Saturday afternoon. Alternatively, check out the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Museum of Natural History. Find a full list here.

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    Where To Stay In New York City On A Budget

    If its not flights stretching your purse strings, then itll most certainly be hotels! Hotels in New York are not cheap! Thats just a fact that anyone wishing to travel there will have to deal with.

    However, here are a few ideas of affordable hotels to make that trip a little less pricey.

    Holiday Inn Manhattan 6th Ave When we visited New York we stayed in Chelsea and it was literally the perfect location.

    Just outside all the manic business of Times Square but close enough to walk to loads of great attractions like the High Line and the Empire State Building.

    This Holiday Inn will give you everything you need including a great city view for just over £100 per night.

    Hilton Garden Inn New York These 3* and 4* Hotels are scattered about New York and are definitely one of the best places to stay if youre looking to visit New York on a budget.

    The clean, modern hotels are in great locations throughout the city often steps away from public transport and New Yorks attractions.

    I recommend staying at the one on 6th Avenue, Tribeca for walking distance to Chinatown and Little Italy. Or stay at the one on West 35th Street as youll be a 10-minute walk from the Empire State Building.

    Pod 51 This bestselling hotel in Manhattan is just half a mile from the Rockefeller centre and is perfect for budget travellers.

    You can either stay in a shared or private room depending on your travel style, which makes it great for backpackers too!

    Take The Train To And From The Airport

    How to Enjoy New York on a Budget

    Whether you fly into JFK or La Guardia, you will be pretty far from the city when you land. Instead of hailing a taxi or Uber, which will cost you at least $40 $50 , take the shuttle to the metro. It is super easy to do and will save you a lot of money.

    Heres how to do it:

    For us, it was easiest to buy the 7-day metro pass , which allowed us to use the bus and metro unlimited times for our entire time in NYC. You can purchase the pass from the Metro Card vending machines which have very simple instructions to follow.

    Once you have your card, simply use Google Maps and direct yourself to your hotel via public transportation.

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