Visiting New York City is an experience that most people would never forget. The bustling city has so much to offer, but it’s also notorious for its overpriced attractions and glittering lights.
Having a limited amount of money in one of the most expensive cities in the world sounds like a problem. What do you do? Skip the museums, breweries, and attractions because they cost too much? Or give it up and spend it all on a fine-dine restaurant? Don’t worry. We’ll tell you how to get around town, what to see, how to eat for cheap (or free), and more!
Visiting New York: How to Stay On a Budget
The NYC has amazing eateries, museums, and other attractions that give visitors the perfect mix of culture and relaxation. And it’s not as expensive as you might think: there are tons of ways to save money on everything from food to accommodation.
Stay outside Manhattan
Depending on your itinerary, the NYC exploration may take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. Staying in Manhattan could eat up a major portion of your travel budget. Look elsewhere. You can get a hotel in Williamsburg or Park Slope will be much cheaper without cutting much on amenities.
If you are a budget backpacker and traveling solo, a dorm bed could be a suitable option. Plus, Airbnb and CouchSurfing can save you money on hostel beds. A general rule of thumb is: the longer the stay, the cheaper the room. If you are staying for a week or more, try checking out weekly rentals.
Forget about Taxi and Uber
The NYC subway is one of the most efficient and inexpensive ways to get around New York City. It’s a metropolitan rail transit system that spans through all five boroughs. It’s ridiculously easy to navigate and has stops close to all major attractions.
If you plan to stay a couple of days, purchasing the 7-day unlimited pass will be the best decision. Go wherever you want by paying a one-time, small fee. This will save you tons of money compared to an Uber or taxi, giving you more cash for food and souvenirs.
Free attractions are the best attractions
Yes, you can see some top attractions in NYC for free! All you have to do is walk around town and explore. There are many free exhibits and museums. You can also spend time in parks, such as Central Park that has an arboretum, playground, and various activities.
Another way to save good money is to purchase a sightseeing pass. You can enjoy the top attractions and activities with seamless entry to the listed sights and many other benefits. Such a pass can save you up to 50% on the cost of these attractions.
Eat where the locals eat!
When in NYC, it’s tempting to go to well-known areas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But if you want real bargains, look outside these touristy areas and find out where local people eat!
The cheapest food is usually found in markets or delis that are neighborhood spots rather than famous. Or try street meat, cheap bagels in a coffee cart, or a hot dog vendor. Look for carts that have lines at least 4 people long – these carts are the real deal!
Find out about the free nightlife
New York City is the best place for someone looking to spend an evening having fun and not spend a dime. Numerous comedy clubs offer free or almost-free shows.
Summer brings an abundance of outdoor movies, concerts, and open-air events. Many museums also offer free hours in the evening. In fact, you can wander through the city, finding free entertainment along the way.
New York City can be an expensive place to travel. But if you follow these tips, you’ll find that there are plenty of ways to save money and still have a great time. It’s all about knowing where and how to look. The best way to get by is to ask locals for their advice — they’ll know better than anyone where to go and what deals can be found.