20+ things to do in New York City that won’t cost you a penny
For one of the most expensive cities in the world, both to live in and to visit, there is a surprisingly high amount of free things to do in New York – not unlike London.
If you are on a budget but still want to tick off the big-ticket items off of your New York bucket list, look no further!
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Discover how they set monetary policy and more. Mandatory advance registration here. Make sure to book a guided tour to access the famous vault.
Fashion Institute of Technology Museum
Holds one of the largest and most impressive collection of clothing, with items dating back to the 5th century.
Sony Wonder Technology Lab
For all things technology, geek and modern science.
Museum of Modern Art
Free on Fridays 4PM-8PM
Perhaps the most important museum of the city, with works by Monet, Dali, Warhol and Munch.
Pay-what-you-wish on Saturdays between 5:45PM and 7:15PM
Definitely worth a go, as the building is just as popular as what’s inside – namely Manet, Picasso and Chagal, for example.
Birthplace of the State of New York and home to Castle Williams. Easily reachable by ferry.
A 1.6 km long linear, urban park on an elevated railroad in the heart of the Meatpacking District.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Free on weekdays between December and February; also Tuesdays and Saturday mornings the rest of the year.
52 acres of green goodness with a strong love for flora.
Free on Wednesdays. More than 5000 species and Wild Asia monorail.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
For the best views of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge, and the best ice cream on the planet. It just doesn’t get more New York City (and inexpensive!) on a summer day than this!
NBC Studios live tapings
The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live are free if you manage to get your hands on tickets.
Staten Island Ferry
Hop on the free ferry from Whitehall Terminal in Battery Park and admire the view of Lower Manhattan.
Brooklyn Brewery Tours
Free tours on Saturdays
Visit the iconic brewery and taste some authentic ales and lagers.
Grand Central Terminal
The largest train station in the world, and the most fascinating.
Shakespeare in the Park
A tradition since 1954. Get to Delacorte Theater early or visit the online version to get tickets for the same night event. Still one of the most loved free things to do in New York City, even by locals.
St Patrick’s Cathedral
One of the oldest cathedrals in the city.
The second largest library in the US, with more than 53 millions of books.
Pick up a free map in the main lobby for a self-guided tour through the Art Deco skyscraper.
Easily reachable by subway for a day trip to the oceanside.