New York City, a global centre for media, fashion, finance and trade, has one of the largest and most famous skylines on earth and attracts visitors from all around the world. New York, also known as The Big Apple, is home to many world-class museums, theatres and art galleries. But besides being among the world's most important and influential cities, New York is also one of the most expensive places to visit.
But with a vacation in the Big Apple you don't have to break the bank. With this tricks and tip you can visit New York City on a budget without sacrificing comfort and missing out on the great attractions.
Things to do
Take adventures of the free attractions in the city. Enjoy a long stroll in the iconic Central Park or even take a guided tour to learn more about its history – all for free. Visit the new public park, High Line, which is created from an old elevated rail line. You can walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, visit St. Patrick's Cathedral and view the famous Statue of Liberty without spending a penny. To avoid the touristy and pricey harbour cruises you can take a trip with the free Staten Island Ferry instead to enjoy for fantastic views of New York Harbour.
For all other tourist attractions that require entry fees you can purchase the New York Pass or the City Pass to enjoy not only huge savings but also line skipping privileges and even receive an insider guidebook. Visit the Empire State Building Observatory to enjoy breath-taking views or visit the insightful American Museum of Natural History.
Some museums offer free or reduced-price admission days, such as the Museum of Modern Art, which is free every Friday afternoon.
Save on Broadway tickets, such as The Lion King, Wicked or The Phantom of the Opera: very often theatres sell leftover tickets a couple of hours before the show starts, which can cost as little as $20. Great bargain!
To stay in a Hotel in New York City can be very expensive, especially if you prefer being located close to most of the main sights and attractions the city has to offer. Backpacker hostels are a cheaper option, but definitely do not offer a similar comfort with shared dorms and bathrooms.
A great alternative to save on accommodation and even stay for free is a home swap in New York. With a home exchange, also known as home swapping, you agree with another person or family to swap homes for a set period of time. A home exchange in New York is a fantastic way to enjoy your stay like a local and have a truly authentic experience.
To find your home exchange in New York check out the Home Base Holidays website (www.homebase-hols.com).
Even though New York City is huge, most of Manhattan is very walkable and most attractions are easy to reach. If you plan on staying in New York for a longer period of time it is quite cost-efficient to purchase a MetroCard that gives you unlimited rides with the subway for a week or longer. Also you can consider renting a bike. It is a fun and inexpensive option to get around and there are some wonderful cycle routes, especially along the Hudson River.
Enjoy delicious and authentic meals in areas like Chinatown, Little India or little Italy at affordable prices. Also you can purchase one of the discounted gift certificates for local eateries to dine out for less.
Areas like Chinatown, Little Italy and Little India are a great bet for authentic meals at affordable prices. One of our favourite dining experiences is to get up early on a Sunday and head to Chinatown for dim sum. Locals far outnumber tourists in the busy restaurants here, which offer small tapas-style plates for just a few dollars each.
Interested in home exchanges in New York?
2 bed apartment in Manhattan
Located on a beautiful block on the upper east side of Manhattan in New York. The location is perfect for exploring the city - steps from the Met, Guggenheim, the Frick, Central Park.
View this home swap in New York