How Can I Save Money In New York
New York is one of the most expensive cities in the U.S., making it hard to travel there on a shoestring. Still, there are plenty of ways to cut costs while youre visiting. If you dont mind sharing a room with strangers, New York is one of the few cities in the country with hostels, which is probably the cheapest option if youre traveling alone. Otherwise, consider using a home-sharing service, which can be significantly cheaper than hotels.
For saving money on food, skip the five-star restaurants and any place that caters to tourists, and eat instead where the locals eat. New Yorks abundance of hole-in-the-wall spots have some of the best food and at reasonable prices. Dont forget you can always pick up groceries at a supermarket for some of your meals, which will save you a bundle.
When it comes to seeing the sights, check to see if any of the attractions you want to visit have reduced-admission hours, or if it makes sense to get a city pass. Dont forget about things like Groupon and LivingSocial, which have literally thousands of deals in the area. There are also lots of free walking tours and free events you can attend in New York, especially during summer. And simply strolling through the city, which might be the best way to experience it, costs nothing.
Take The Perfect Photo
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Why just tour the catacombs of New York, when you could be having burgers while listening to Bach in them?
This is one example of the many events Angels Share at Greenwood Cemetery hosts.
Its located in one of the oldest structures in the cemetery from the 1850s. Seriously, this might be one of the coolest things to do in the city.
Locals Tip: Book tickets early, Ive yet to score tickets for this because it sells out quickly.
Other Options For Your Itinerary
Theres a lot of things to see and do in NYC. You will literally never run out of things to do here. Its impossible. Some other options to add in if youre not into museums or walking around as much:
1. See a TV Show NYC is home to tons of TV shows that film here regularly. TV shows like Saturday Night Live, The View, Late Night with Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show, Last Week Tonight, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon all offer free tickets to their tapings. Tickets need to be reserved long in advance so youll need to plan ahead.
2. Explore the Bronx Zoo Opened in 1899, the zoo spans almost 300 acres and sees over 2 million visitors each year. Home to over 650 different species, its a great place to visit with kids. Gorillas, birds of prey, bison there is a huge assortment of animals here and youll definitely learn a lot during your visit!
3. See a Yankees/Mets/Rangers/Knicks Game Like sports? NYC has some world-class sports teams. Im not a big sports fan , but games are fun when you have friends to share the experience with. If you have a chance and the desire, dont miss a sporting event, because New Yorkers are serious about their local teams!
4. Take a Food Tour NYC is a foodie city and there are tons of amazing tours that can introduce you to the best food the city has to offer. Here are a few tours worth checking out if you want to eat your way around the Big Apple:
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Experience The Escape Game
This New York City activity is too cool for words and, without a doubt, one of the best ways to spend an hour in the city.
The Escape Game is centrally located on the corner of Madison Avenue and 41street in Manhattan. The activity is fun, challenging and unlike anything youve ever experienced even if youve done escape rooms before in other cities.
So heres the dealYou are placed in a room with other players. They can be strangers which actually makes it even more interesting. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to escape the room by solving puzzles and investigating clues.
The clues and puzzles are challenging but not so much that you cant solve them. You are guaranteed to experience many aha! moments when you realize how unraveling one puzzle leads to solving others. The excitement builds as the clock ticksticksticks and you race to escape before your 60 allotted minutes expire. Only when the adventure is over do you truly appreciate how ingenious the entire process is, and how critical teamwork is to the groups success.
Pick from five different themes: Playground, Gold Rush, Special Ops, The Heist and Prison Break, and have a blast in midtown Manhattan.
The adventures are suitable for all but people under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
Here is a list of hotels in midtown Manhattan centrally located close to all area attractions including Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Saint Patricks Cathedral, Fifth Avenue and more.
The Holiday Season In New York Is Magical But Expensive
New Years Eve in New York City.is definitely something to experience once. Personally, it wasnt for me between the waiting, crowds, and lack of bathrooms, but some people love it. I went one year with friends and I found it claustrophobic and cold. I wrote a bit more about my experience here: !
More generally, the holidays are a magical time in New York City due to the Christmas windows at the stores, but youll pay a premium to be in New York around this time. Book your hotels well in advance and plan your meals carefully on days when many restaurants will be closed.
There is something about cozying up with a hot chocolate watching the Thanksgiving parade floats being blown up. As a child, my parents brought me quite a few times to see the Thanksgiving floats blown up the night before. It is really worth it!
For getting off the beaten path, Dyker Heights in Brooklyn is famous for their crazy Christmas light displays! I have a weakness for the Christmas windows along 5th Avenue myself. I wrote an entire post focused on Christmas in New York that includes what to do on Christmas itself.
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Chinatown In Flushing Queens
Flushing, Queens has some of the best Chinese food in all of NYC.
There are about a billion different Chinatowns across the globe. So what sets Flushings Chinatown apart from the rest?
Well, one word, food, glorious food! Picture me twirling and frolicking at the very thought.
And that makes sense when you learn that the Chinese-immigrant population of Flushing, Queens, surpassed that of Manhattans Chinatown many years ago.
Sprinkle in a local population that is nearly two-thirds Asian and foreign-born and you get a neighborhood that is a perfect storm of Asian foodie awesomeness.
So whether youre in the market for authentic Asian cuisine, an ancient herbal remedy, or an ultra-rare, Japanese comic book, Flushing has it all.
But Im forever and always about the food.
So if youre anything like me, then head over to the New World Mall food court, where you can create your own buffet of awesomeness, at a great price.
My top picks for restaurant greatness are Hunan House, Spicy and Tasty , Jade Asian , and New Imperial Palace .
Joes Shanghai is another great little spot for Chinese food in the area. A place that is prominently featured in the citys Michelin Guide and that is known for their delicious, soup dumplings.
Address: 136-20 Roosevelt Ave, Flushing, NY
Hours: Open every day from 8 am to 11 pm.
How to Get There: Take the 7 line to the Flushing Street Station.
What Are The Best Museums In New York
New York has over 100 museums, so youll have to be choosy when deciding which ones to visit. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, better known as The Met, is one of the largest and most-visited art museums in the world, housing nearly two million works. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is as well known for its iconic architecture and unique layout as it is for the artwork, mostly Impressionist and modern, on display there. The Museum of Modern Art is one of the worlds leading modern art museums, even if many visitors question whether some of its works really constitute art.
If art isnt really your thing, the American Museum of Natural History has exhibits covering virtually all periods of known human and animal history, as well as a planetarium and an IMAX theater. The Museum of the City of New York aims to celebrate the city and preserve its heritage, housing objects representing the citys culture and illustrating its history. The New-York Historical Society also contains artifacts from throughout New Yorks history, and its home to the Center for Womens History, the countrys first initiative of its kind. Finally, the Tenement Museum is located in a former apartment building in the Lower East Side and tells the stories of the immigrants who once lived there.
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Take A Scenic Stroll Through Woodlawn Cemetery
Truth be told:
I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with Investigation Discovery and all things macabre.
Even if youre not totally obsessed with the un-living, you can still enjoy the vast beauty of this 400-acre expanse of green area, that is lined with a stunning array of intricately carved memorials and gravestones.
Because believe it or not:
Woodlawn Cemetery was founded way back in 1863 and is widely known as one of the most elegant cemeteries in New York City.
It is also the immortal home of more than 300,000 souls, some of which are entombed in one of the 1,300 mausoleums here, like the Art Nouveau style tomb of Isidor and Ida Straus and the Egyptian style tomb of the Woolworths.
Take a stroll through this DEADLY quiet place , and see if you can find the gravestones of some of the cemeterys most famous residents.
Super fascinating souls like Joseph Pulitzer, Elizabeth Cady Stanton , Miles Davis, Ruth Brown Snyder , Oliver Belmont , Herman Melville , and the Annie Bliss Titanic Memorial .
***Sporadic tours of the cemetery are also offered so please check their website for more up to date information.***
Address: Webster Avenue & East 233rd, Bronx, New York, 10470
Hours: Open daily to visitors from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
How to Get There: Take the 4 Train to Woodlawn station and walk about half a block to the Jerome Avenue entrance. Otherwise, you could take the 2 or 5 train to 233rd Street station and walk three blocks to the cemetery from here.
Visit An Underground Catacomb In Old Saint Patricks Basilica
Old Saint Patricks on Mulberry Street in Nolita, north of Manhattans Little Italy, is a little-know New York City secret. It is a great New York experience if you are looking for unusual things to do in New York.
Saint Patricks Basilica, also known as Old Saint Patricks, is not to be confused with the Saint Patricks on Fifth Avenue.
In the mid 1800s, NYCs population was growing towards the north. St. Patricks Cathedral went along with that growth and work was completed on the cathedral in 1879. But the first St. Patricks Basilica, built in 1809, was never demolished and continues to flourish today in its original location.
What most people dont know is that there are catacombs beneath the front steps of the basilica. There is also a still-operational cemetery attached to the basilica.
You would never imagine that there are underground corridors and tombs beneath NYC and Im not talking about the subways! More interesting still are the New York celebrities entombed there. Delmonico, the inventor of the modern restaurant concept is just one of the fascinating characters you will meet underground.
The only way to see the NYC catacombs is by a tour given by Tommysnewyork.com. These regular tours are historically fascinating and a lot of fun.
At the end of the tour youll visit the basilica and adjacent cemetery. As a going away present you get coupons to the famous Lombardis, the oldest pizza restaurant in New York City.
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Marvel At Some Vintage Photography At The Alice Austen House
From the outside:
This charming, white cottage looks like just your run of the mill,17th-Century, Dutch Colonial home.
Not that theres anything wrong with that!
Since well, this house really is totally charming AF.
Venture past the front door and youll uncover a treasure trove of more than 8,000 photographs.
Pictures that were all taken by the masterful, prolific, Staten Island-born, female photographer, Elizabeth Alice Austen.
Born to an elite family that lived inside this home in 1866:
Austen quickly developed a love of photography that stayed with her throughout her life. A passion that allowed her to capture the everyday lives of New York City locals in her photos.
Thats why today:
You can step inside the former Austen family home and marvel at collections of her work and fascinating exhibitions about her life.
The museum has even made an effort to recognize her romantic, fifty-three-year relationship with partner Gertrude Tate.
Which is why:
The house was officially designated a site of national LBGTQ history in 2017, making this one of the truly unusual things to do in NYC.
Address: 2 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, New York
Hours: Open Tuesday through Friday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.
How to Get There: From the Ferry Terminal, hop on the S51 bus, ride it for about 17 stops, get off at the Bay Street/Hylan Boulevard stop, and walk to the house from there.
Price: Admission is $5 per person.
Check Out The Chelsea Market
The Chelsey Market is exactly what it sounds likea cool market in Chelsey district of NYC. There are tons of cool restaurants, shops, and places to spend your money at which makes it attractive and scary at the time.
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Visit The Beekman Hotel
The stunning, fully refurbished interior of the Beekman Hotel (image sourced from Flickr.
If youre a lover of exquisite architecture:
The run, dont walk, to the newly refurbished Beekman Hotel.
Because a visit to this snazzy AF hotel really is one of the more unusual things to do in New York City.
This antique building sits amidst NYCs busy financial district and offers visitors a glimpse into New York Citys grand past, complete with an atrium and bar area that lboth ook like something straight out of an Agatha Christie novel.
If youre picturing plump sofas, fringed table lamps, and green leather-topped bar stools, then yes, thats exactly what the decor here looks like.
All this vintage-style swag has been a relatively new development since this beautifully restored, formerly abandoned building was only recently reopened in 2016.
Before that though:
This elegant, nine-story high, Victorian-style, late 19th-century building was an office.
A beautiful structure that was first built in 1881, making it one of New York Citys very first skyscrapers, with its full height atrium, stunning skylight, intricate, wrought iron balustrades, and an enchanting glass ceiling.
And although the building sat abandoned for nearly fifteen years:
If you have cash to burn and want to spend the night in one of their uber-plush, 287 rooms, feel free because this facility does not disappoint.
Address: 5 Beekman Street, New York, New York, 10038
Catch A Hidden Concert
Ever think youd drink in the same bar as George Washington?
Raise a glass to freedom at Fraunces Tavern. Its one of the oldest bars in the city where a lot of the Founding Fathers partied back in the day.
McSorelys is the oldest Irish Saloon. Okay, so they dont have bragging rights about our forefathers.
They can gloat that Houdini used to drink there. Keep an eye out for a pair of Houdinis old handcuffs that are still connected to the bar rail.
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Incredible Things To Do In New York City
There are so many things to do in New York that youre never quite done exploring.
You may not know it, but I used to live in New York City. I visited for the first time in December 2000, when I had a long layover on my way back to Sardinia, and decided one day Id call it home, so this is a city I know inside out.
For all New York first timers and also for those who will be traveling there for their second, third or millionth time I thought Id pick the very best things to do in New York, and share a few tips that will help you make the most of the city.
The Best Boutiques In Soho
In addition to mainstream stores, boutiques in SoHo are cleverly curated shops that cater specifically to their customers. Boutique shopping in NYC is a great way to find unique pieces that you wont necessarily find in bigger department stores. SoHo invites you to discover little creative shops, ran by young New Yorkers who sell their handcrafted products.
SoHo, New York is a lot more than just the big names of fashion magazines. Narrow alleyways, side streets, and sales carts on the sidewalks have a variety of special gifts and memories that you can purchase for a great deal.
Your SoHo shopping experience will be a memory that youll never forget, thats for sure. Our personal tip check out the MoMa Design Store on Spring Street. New York City has a lot of MoMa stores, but we think the one in SoHo is the best one. Another tip visit SoHo during the week because the weekend can be really busy.
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