New York City – the Big Apple. We all want a bite of it, right? But more often than not, a trip to New York will cost you more than your average vacation, and depending on where you are in the world; the flights can get pretty pricey. Not to mention how expensive hotels can be! But there are ways to spend less during your trip to New York (which means you can spend more in the shops) as there are hundreds of free activities in and around the city. Bonus.
When you think of New York City, you probably think of the Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty, Times Square and of course, Central Park. Central Park is not famous just because of THAT scene in the Friends intro (which we all obsess over), but this park is full to the brim of history, culture, and fun. And the best part? It’s completely free! The park was originally opened in the 1860s to boost the Manhattan housing prices, but nobody expected it would be as popular as it is today. Spanning over 2.5 miles long, Central Park is full of lakes, bridges, walkways, green spaces and more. On a daily basis, the park is teeming with street performers, food stalls, and some of the most incredible artwork – including the Alice in Wonderland statue, and the John Lennon ‘Imagine’ mosaic.
New York Public Library
If you love books, poems and writing, then you’ll love New York’s Public Library. This century-old building is located on the outskirts of Times Square – and you won’t be able to miss it. Flanked by incredible marble lions (called ‘Fortitude’ and ‘Patience’) this dramatic structure is unlike any other building you’ve ever seen before. But it doesn’t stop there. The inside of the building houses the most amazing reading room, full to the brim with layers upon layers of books, reading desks and traditional reading lamps. Don’t worry if you don’t like reading though, this library also houses some of the most historical American exhibits – including a Gutenberg Bible, an original copy of the Declaration of Independence and over 400,000 maps.
Staten Island ferry
One of the main attractions of any trip to New York City is the Statue of Liberty – but if you’re on a budget, getting up close and personal to the green lady can seem impossible as many ferry tours start from around $15 each. However, you don’t have to get on a Statue of Liberty tour to see it properly! The Staten Island Ferry runs through the New York Harbor ferrying Staten Island residents across the water to their home, and is completely free! So rather than shelling out for a tour, hop on the ferry, take in the sights and the Statue of Liberty and then head on back to the city.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, more commonly referred to the Met, is known across the world as an iconic building in New York history, as well as an incredible museum for art. This building offers everything you could possibly want from an art gallery, with collections of multiple eras – including Roman, Byzantine, African, Egyptian, and Greek, as well as modern artwork. The gallery also features the work of some of the most prolific artists in history, including Pablo Picasso, Vermeer, Vincent Van Gogh and Rembrandt. As if this wasn’t enough, the Met also houses artifacts like costumes, weapons, musical instruments and more. But if you’re not that interested in art, then you might just want to visit the Met to sit on the steps and follow in the footsteps of the Upper East Side Queen, Blair Waldorf…
If you want to visit Times Square, you’re going to want to take your sunglasses. Known to many as the Crossroads of the World, Times Square is one of the brightest, biggest and busiest places across the globe. Times Square is the home to Broadway, as well as intense adverts, screens, and music. And of course, the yellow New York cab. The best time to visit Times Square is on New Year’s’ Eve, where you can hang around the square to watch the iconic ‘ball drop’ which signifies the start of a new year. And it’s all free! That’s what we like to hear.