Traveling NYC on a Budget? Here’s Some Tips!

So you want to visit New York City, New York, but you’re on a budget? That’s possible with a little research and planning! Luckily, I’ve done a bunch of research for you, so here’s some tips that I’ve used while exploring NYC.

Search for a Room on AirBnb

Seriously. Do it. I’ve found a room for a weekend for $50 per night. Of course, it was literally just a room in a lady’s apartment and we shared the bathroom and kitchen… BUT, the way that I think of it is that, you literally just need a bed and a shower. You’re going to be out exploring all day anyways, so what does it matter what your living quarters are like for a few days? If you’re trying to budget-traveling NYC, you need to be willing to make a few sacrifices.


Utilize the NYC Subway

You definitely don’t need a car in NYC. Besides, NYC drivers are crazy and the traffic in NYC is intense, so I don’t think it’s worth it to try to rent a car. It’s only a few quarters to take the subway each trip and it takes you throughout the entire city and its suburbs. I, personally, hate the NYC subway but it does the job. Make sure to keep track of your belongings and be weary of the people down there; I’ve seen some interesting people in the subway before. It’s also very unreliable and I’ve had to wait two hours for a subway before.

Discover the Free Days at the Museum

A few popular museums in NYC offer free admissions days. The Museum of Modern Art offers free entrance every Friday night from 4-8 pm. The Guggenheim offers a “pay what you wish” admission every Saturday from 5–8 pm (however, there is a suggested $10 donation and the last ticket is issued at 7:30 pm). It’s really incredible that these museums offer free admission, however, there are so many tourists who go to these events. I went to the MoMA free day and really enjoyed my time there, but couldn’t get into the Guggenheim because the line was so long.


Explore Central Park

Central Park is, of course, a park in central Manhattan. There are plenty of things to do in Central Park, like walk around the gardens, play sports in their fields or feed the ducks. I found spending the afternoon in Central Park quite relaxing from the hustle of the city. I’m not really a city girl and NYC can be quite overwhelming, so grabbing a snack and a blanket can make an afternoon in Central Park fun. You get a beautiful skyline of the neighboring buildings as well. If you want to pay, you can visit the Central Park Zoo or eat at the restaurant that resides on the pond.


Ride on the Staten Island Ferry (and see the Statue of Liberty!)

The Staten Island Ferry is a free ferry service provided by the city to take passengers to Staten Island. The ferries from the island to Manhattan run every 30 minutes throughout the day. The boat ride takes about 30 minutes and takes you right past the Statue of Liberty. So, if you’re on a budget and don’t want to pay to visit the Statue of Liberty, you can ride the ferry and see it. Staten Island itself is an interesting place to visit, if you have the time to walk around.



Most importantly, plan what you want to spend your money on!!

There are a few things in NYC that are must-see’s or must-do’s that are not free. Broadway is always super fun and sometimes you can find tickets for as low as $60. The Empire State Building is $38, the World Trade Center is $35, and the 9/11 Museum is $26. A few hours of planning before your trip can save you a lot of money – even reserving tickets in advance at some of the locations I’ve mentioned above can save you a few bucks.


There are actually so many other free things to see in NYC, so here are a few other free or low-budget things to see!

  • Times Square
  • The Oculus
  • World Trade Center and 9/11 Memorial
  • Wall Street and the Charging Bull statue
  • Coney Island
  • Prospect Park in Brooklyn
  • Brooklyn Bridge


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I hope that this helps you plan your trip to NYC! Have fun and enjoy!


Thank you for reading! Have you ever visited New York City? Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it!




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