Experience New York for free – the 10 best tips, holiday guru

These NYC attractions are free of charge

Yeah, a city trip to New York City is expensive. Nevertheless, there are also some hotspots and sightseeings in this popular metropolis that do not require an entrance fee. You can find out how to discover New York for free here.

Even though New York is one of the most expensive metropolises in the world, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get great bargains here too. But what does bargain actually mean here, in New York you can not only save a lot of money here and there, but also experience some things completely free of charge. At some sights even I wouldn’t have expected it, but let yourself be surprised and learn in my article how you can save a lot of money at your next visit in New York.

These 10 highlights are free in New York

City trip to New York

1. visit the Statue of Liberty free of charge

A visit to the Statue of Liberty is a must on any city trip to New York! How good that you can do it for free.

  • Whitehall Terminal near the Battery Park
  • Departure every quarter to half hour around the clock
  • Bicycle transport possible

If you take the Staten IslandFerry and have a Metro ticket (which you should purchase), you can travel free of charge from Manhattan to Staten Island, past the world-famous Statue of Liberty. Apart from being the best way to see the landmark from the water, you’ll also experience a great ride with views of New York’s gigantic skyscrapers. To get back to the Metro Card: You should definitely get it at the beginning of your stay, as it will save you a lot of money. You can get a Metro Card for 32$ per person and you can travel seven days with the Metro through New York.

2. cross the Brooklyn Bridge

Being in New York without having crossed the Brooklyn Bridge at least once is almost impossible. So, you definitely have to cross the famous bridge on foot! This free experience is even cooler than it sounds. Get something to drink, run and enjoy the view of Manhattan while strolling.

Especially the first visitors among you I can already promise: You will be speechless and bring home great photos. Alternatively you can also cross the Brooklyn Bridge by bike, because it has its own lane for cyclists. My tip: Take the metro to Brooklyn to the station Borough Hall and walk from there over the bridge to Manhattan.

3. free city tour through New York City

At Big Apple Greeter, more than 300 volunteer New Yorkers offer guided tours for tourists. They don’t see themselves as classic city guides, but want to introduce you to their personal New York City and help you on your New York trip with helpful tips. To schedule a meeting with your personal greeter, you’ll need to sign up on the website in advance, specify the neighborhood you’d like to meet, your personal preferences and interests, and with a little luck, your free New York Guide will be there to provide you with some great insider tips. Watch this video for more information about this free program:

4. free events in the Big Apple

Free events, shows, sports activities, concerts and clubs – all this and much more can be found on Clubfreetime.com. On this page you can regularly see all the events that are currently offered for free in New York. Among other things, there are theatre performances, music festivals, exhibitions and readings. A colorful mix for all who are interested in culture and events.

Photo: Miljan Mladenovic/Shutterstock.com

5. free admission to New York’s museums

The museums of New York are also an absolute must. At least one of them should be chosen and visited, because the museums are really worth seeing and world-famous. Especially popular is the Museum of Modern Art, which you can visit for free every Friday from 4 pm to 8 pm. Some museums, such as the Guggenheim Soho or the National Museum of American Indian, even offer daily free admission. Other museums only offer free admission on certain days.

But don’t let it irritate you if there is a sign at the entrance with a price on it, because that is often only a so-called “suggestion price”, which you can pay if you want, but don’t have to. “Pay what you wish” is also valid in one of the most popular museums in New York, the American Museum of Natural History. Actually you have to pay an entrance fee of 23$, but theoretically you can only pay one dollar to enter the museum.

Photo: istock.com/wdstock

Below I have compiled a small selection about the pay what you wish (pwyw) and the free museums in New York City:

Free admission on all days / Pay what you wish

  • American Folk Art Museum
  • American Museum of Natural History (pwyw)
  • Bronx Museum (pwyw)
  • Brooklyn Museum (pwyw)
  • The Cloisters (pwyw)
  • El Museo del Barrio (pwyw)
  • Green Wood Cemetery
  • International Print Center
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art (pwyw)
  • Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology
  • National Museum of the American Indian-Smithsonian Institution
  • New York City Police Museum (pwyw)
  • P.S.1 MoMA (pwyw)
  • Queens Botanical Garden
  • Queens Museum of Art (pwyw)
  • SculptureCenter (pwyw)
  • Socrates Sculpture Park
  • Staten Island Museum (pwyw)
  • Storefront for Art & Architecture
  • Studio Museum in Harlem (pwyw)
  • Waterfront Museum

Free admission on certain days

  • MontagMuseum at Eldridge Street Yeshiva University Museum
  • Tuesday9/11 Memorial Museum (17-20 h) Brooklyn Botanic Garden Staten Island Museum (12-14 h)
  • MittwochBronx Zoo (pwyw) Museum of Jewish Heritage (16-18 Uhr) New York Botanical Garden
  • DonnerstagBrooklyn Children’s Museum (15-17 Uhr) Museum of Chinese in America New Museum (17-19 Uhr)
  • FridayJapan Society (18-21 h) Morgan Library & Museum (17-19 h) Museum of Modern Art (16-20 h) Rubin Museum of Art (19-22 h) Staten Island Museum (12-14 h)
  • SaturdayBrooklyn Botanic Garden (10-12 h) Wave Hill (9-12 h)
  • SundayStudio Museum in Harlem

6. visit the parks in New York

Whoa! One of the hottest locations in New York is located on a converted railway line – the so-called High Line Park. It’s an idyllic track in the hip Chelsea district that hovers above the city. In the summer, numerous benches and sunbathing areas invite to stay, but also in the winter, a walk is worthwhile. But of course, not only this park is an absolute eye-catcher, but especially the famous Central Park. Yes, dear New York fans, also the free visit of a park in New York definitely belongs on your to-do list! Especially for the visit of the Central Park, you should take a good two to three hours if you want to see a big part of the park, because it is really huge. Alternatively, you can simply lie on the meadow and take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. If you’re in New York this summer, I recommend you go to a Summer Festival in Central Park. These are also free of charge.

7. free canoeing on the East River

Wait a minute, canoeing in New York? Yes, you have read correctly, because in the middle of the East River – with a great view of the New York skyline – you have the opportunity to start a free canoe tour in the warmer months of May. In New York there are several organizations that rent canoes for free. One of them is the Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse, which is located under the Brooklyn Bridge between Pier 1 and 2. The sessions last only 20 minutes, but that’s enough to see New York from an unusual and new perspective, isn’t it?

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Christina Cherry
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