New York City is a top travel destination for many reasons.
There’s a wide variety of amazing culinary attractions, and iconic landmarks in a relatively small area.
It’s also easy to experience New York City on a budget thanks to a reliable and cheap transport system and budget options for accommodation like Airbnb and hostels.
Budget travel is also easy when you don’t have to burn money on activities, and luckily there are dozens of free things to do in New York City.
Some of them are free because they suck, and some are just genuinely amazing deals.
THE TOP TEN FREE THINGS TO DO IN NEW YORK CITY.
TAKE THE STATEN ISLAND FERRY
Hop on board at Whitehall in South Manhattan and get a short ride that includes views of the Brooklyn skyline, the Manhattan skyline, and the Statue of Liberty. It’s free every day and runs throughout the day.
Check out the schedule here.
VISIT MOMA ON A FRIDAY
The Museum of Modern Art is often identified as the most influential museums of modern art in the world. MoMA’s holdings include more than 150,000 individual pieces in addition to approximately 22,000 films and 4 million film stills. Pieces in the museum include ….
As long as you don’t mind a line and a crowd, then head to Moma for Uniqlo Free Friday Nights.
CHELSEA GALLERIES ART CRAWL
The Chelsea Neighborhood is a popular district for art and nightlife. The concentration of art galleries that have no entry fees as well as many bars and restaurants makes it the perfect place for an art crawl.
STROLL THE HIGHLINE
The Chelsea Neighborhood is also home to The Highline, a revitalized piece of New York City’s past.
The Highline is an elevated parkway that’s built on a disused New York Central Railroad spur.
Talking a stroll along this park is relaxing and scenic, but they also feature guided tours and other events like stargazing, tai chi, and Latin dance parties.
CROSS THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE
Brooklyn and Manhattan are the two top boroughs in New York City and crossing the Brooklyn Bridge is the most scenic way to get from one to the other.
Cross during the day to see the skyscrapers of Manhattan gleaming in the bright sunlight, or at night to see the skyscrapers lit up and twinkling in the velvet sky.
VISIT THE BROOKLYN BREWERY
It’s possible to find beers like Brooklyn Lager and Brooklyn East IPA all around the world now, but as long as you’re in New York City you might as well head down to where they’re made.
The Williamsburg based microbrewery offers free tours on Saturdays and Sundays and they have a taproom with most of their beer on rotation.
Find out about their free visit as well as their in-depth tours and tasting events here.
TOUR CENTRAL PARK
Central Park is more than just the most visited urban park in the United States. This National Historic Landmark is home to rustic bridges, scenic ponds, and almost 30 sculptures, including Cleopatra’s Needle; an Egyptian obelisk, and a statue of Hans Christian Anderson.
VISIT THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
This iconic public library has been featured on TV shows like Sex and the City, and Sienfeld.
Although you can’t get a library card as a souvenir, you can explore most of the 19th century building and read a book in one of the many reading rooms.
The library also hosts events like exhibitions and tours.
CHECK OUT THE MUSEUM AT FIT
The Museum at the the Fashion Institute of Technology is open for five days of the week and free for all five days.
Collections include garments and accessories from the 18th Century to modern times, and designers like Gabrielle Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, and Vivienne Westwood are all respresented.
New York City is already the fashion capital of North America, so a free fashion museum there would definitely be worth checking out.
Get details on visiting here.
GO TO A FREE CONCERT
There are free converts held every week throughout New York City. You will definitely find something in your favorite genre or something nearby. You would also be supporting emerging artists and indie rock bands in New York City, and if they ever get famous you could say you saw them for free!
Check out NYC Free Concerts for a schedule.
Free concerts are great, but here are Five Reasons to go to the Governor’s Ball music Fest NYC’s biggest music festival.
Here’s another great list of The Top 25 Things to do in New Yoek City to give you some ideas for fun stuff to do.
NYC Public Library image via David Iliff.
Gapstow Bridge in Central Park via Bryan Schorn
Fashion image via Haute Couture News