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20+ Things To Do In New York City That Won’t Cost You A Penny

photos of new york

For one of the most expensive cities in the world, both to live in and to visit, New York has a surprisingly high amount of free things to do – 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!

free things to do in new york city

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.

Guggenheim Museum (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.

Governor’s Island: Birthplace of the State of New York and home to Castle Williams. Easily reachable by ferry.

High Line: A 1.6 km long linear, urban park on an elevated railroad in the heart of the Meatpacking District.

free things to do in new york city free things to do in new york city

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.

Bronx Zoo (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.

Central Park: obviously!

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.

free things to do in new york city

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.

free things to do in new york city

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.

St Patrick’s Cathedral: one of the oldest cathedrals in the city.

Public Library: the second largest library in the US, with more than 53 millions of books.

Rockefeller Center: pick up a free map in the main lobby for a self-guided tour through the Art Deco skyscraper.

Coney Island: easily reachable by subway for a day trip to the oceanside.

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CategoriesUnited States
Marie-Eve

Marie is a native Montrealer trying to balance a deep love for her hometown and an unquenchable thirst for travel and discovery. She has been to more than 36 countries, lived abroad in both France and the U.K., and is always on the lookout for authentic experiences wherever she travels -- especially if it involves chocolate.