NYC: Here’s What You Can Do For Free!

Free is good, right? Even a pay-what-you-wish policy is great for saving money. And in expensive cities, it’s wonderful when premier attractions, museums, and performances offer free or pay-what-you-wish experiences. On a trip to Madrid, I was able to enjoy the world class museums for free by going on certain nights.

And in one of my favorite though expensive places like New York, it’s especially helpful to know which attractions have free or pay-as-you-wish visiting times. Here’s the information I use when I’m planning my days in NYC. I hope you’ll find it as useful as I do!

10 thoughts on “NYC: Here’s What You Can Do For Free!

  1. Pat

    The Highline
    The parks (Central Park, Washington Square, Fort Tryon, etc)
    Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge
    Ferry rides are almost free ($2.75)
    St. Patrick’s Cathedral
    9/11 Memorial (and tag-in the Wall Street Bull and Rockefeller Park while you’re nearby)
    Coney Island is technically free, although it’s obviously better if you spend some money

    Reply
      1. Patrick John Mcklindon

        I recommend walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and catching a ride from the “Dumbo” (on the Brooklyn Side of the East River) to 34th St (on the Manhattan side of the East River, by the UN building):
        https://www.ferry.nyc/routes-and-schedules/route/east-river/

        There are a variety of routes on the above website. Also, lots of people recommend the Staten Island Ferry for a view of the Statue of Liberty, but I’ve never done it. Regardless, boats are cool.

        Reply
  2. Evan

    Staten Island ferry is free (and nice views of lower manhattan/Lady Liberty). Can do it as a ~1hr roundtrip by getting off in Staten Island and immediately hopping back on.

    Also recommend the highline (perhaps combined with Chelsea market below)…. Not free but for $12 you can rent a citibike for the day, highly recommend the bikepath along the perimeter of manhattan, especially the westside. Can ride overlooking the water from near the world trade center, past the USS Intrepid up to midtown and beyond. I live nearby and do it frequently.

    Reply
    1. Shelli Post author

      Good additions, Evan. Walk for miles along the perimeter on the west side every day when I’m in NYC. I love it. You’re lucky you get there frequently. Highline and Chelsea Market (especially the lobster rolls) are a great combo!

      Reply
  3. PSL

    The info you are using is outdated regarding the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As of March 1, 2018, only New York State residents or students from NY, NJ, or CT (IDs will be checked) can pay what they like rather than the regular $25 admission for adults, $17 for seniors 65 and over, and $12 for students. Tickets fpr all children 12 and under remain free.

    Reply

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