New York is a must-visit city, a legendary place that has something to offer to any type of traveler. You love museums? There are the Metropolitan and MOMA for you! Enjoy relaxed walks? Visit the Central Park! You are a party animal? NYC is the place to go! The only problem is that New York is not a budget destination and you’ll have to collect a certain amount of money to arrange the trip. But as usual, there are some tricks that will help you to get the best out of this fantastic city even with a limited budget. So, follow my New York City travel advice, read the tips below and get more for less money!
1. The ferry to Staten Island
This ferry is called “the cheapest date” – a trip on the ferry, which departs from Battery Park (Metro South Ferry) to Staten Island is not worth a cent, but in an hour’s drive you can enjoy stunning views of the skyscrapers and bridges of Lower Manhattan, the island Ellis and the Statue of Liberty. Here you can find the schedule of ferry departures on weekdays and weekends and plan your free cruise. Just note that it’s a public ferry, so try to avoid rush hours in the morning and evening.
2. Central Park
There is hardly a person who does not know what the New York Central Park is. This park replaces forest, beach, playgrounds and much more to all New Yorkers. It has already become one of the symbols of the city and appears probably in all the movies that mention New York. The best way to feel like a real New Yorker – to jog in Central Park in the morning or buy some take away food and arrange a picnic at one of the many lawns. In this park there is something for everyone – a zoo, a castle and even an outdoor theater.
3. Summer concerts and performances
If you happen to be in New York in the summer, do not miss the free concerts and performances that take place throughout the city during the warmer months. Central Park concerts are held at Central Park Summerstage at Rumsey Playfield. Also Metropolitan Opera performs for free in city parks. Visit the NBC Today Show at Rockafeller Center, where you have the chance not only to get to the free concert of mega-pop stars, but also to get on national TV. Another popular show – Good Morning America – holds free concerts in Central Park.
4. Macy’s Department Store
Macy’s is the only place in town where tourists can avoid paying sales tax. The scheme works easier – tourists get an additional discount of 10%, which is summed up even with the usual discounts during sales. To get this discount, you need to come to a special place on the first floor, where, upon presentation of passport, you will be given a coupon, and on the upper floor of department store you can simply show your passport at the cashier’s office. So I recommend to make major purchases there.
5. Tickets for Broadway shows
To save on tickets to Broadway shows, I recommend you to use the TKTS booth at Times Square, where you can buy discounted tickets to shows that are scheduled for the current day. Unfortunately, everyone knows it, so you’ll probably have to stand in line.
American museums are quiet expensive, but there are also some tricks. The most interesting museujms in New York City are: MOMA (Museum of Modern Art), the Metropolitan and the Frick Collection. So, although the entrance fee to these museums reach $20, on certain days this amount is called the states “suggested price” and represents only the amount of the proposed payment for the ticket. It means that if you can’t or don’t want to pay $20, you can give the cashier any amount, even $ 1, and this will be perfectly enough. So, here is the time when you can enter museums for any price:
- MOMA (Museum of Modern Art): open to the public free of charge every Thursday from 16 to 20:00.
- The Frick Collection: every Saturday from 11 to 13:00.
- The Guggenheim Museum: can pay as much as you wish on Saturdays from 17:15 until 19:45
I hope know you see that visiting New York won’t blow your budget, but will definitely become an unforgettable experience! Probably, you will even fall in love with NYC that much, that will decide to stay their for living. In this case check the article on the cost of living in New York that I’ve published in 2012. It will help you to evaluate whether you can afford it or not.