New York City is mostly known as one of the world’s most expensive cities. While there are countless ways to splurge in this daunting city, surprisingly there are also plenty of amazing activities that are totally free! With proper planning and a bit of knowledge you can enjoy the best of New York City for free. Here are the free things we did in the city that never sleeps.free things to do nyc new york
Free Things to Do in NYC
1. Times Square
The living spot that extremely proves that the city never sleeps is undeniably Times Square. You can’t be in New York and not to go here! Apart watching a Broadway show here, we experience the area in day and night. It’s amazing how busy and alive it is in both times. Huge commercial screens that add to the city lights, bustling, endless array of shops and restaurants – we had a great time here!
2. Central Park
After spending a week in New York, I must say my favorite spot is Central park. Maybe because of the perfect weather when we’re here or with an awesome travel buddy? The 800 acres of green space in the middle of Manhattan offers a lot of things to do plus the fact that it’s free to enter here made it a choice among visitors and locals.
Address: 14 East 60th St New York
Timings: Open daily from 6 AM to 1 AM
Read More: Romantic Things To Do in Central Park
3. Grand Central Terminal
The Grand Central Terminal is worth seeing even if you aren’t using the trains. You can gaze at the celestial ceiling mural above, dine in the lower level or mimic your favorite actor as this terminal is featured many times in movies! (First scene of Selena in GG!). It’s a good place to nosh, relax at a bench, or just use the restrooms at either end. This hundred years old terminal is rightly to be one of the most popular attractions in the world.
Address: 89 E 42nd St, New York
4. St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Said to be the largest church in the city located near the Rockefeller Center, we made sure to give thanks and check out the gothic architecture and stunning interior of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Check the mass schedule or the guided tours timings in the church official site.
Address: 5th Avenue between 50th/51st Streets New York
5. New York Public Library
Going to a library seem to be boring but make an exemption for this urbane library of New York! It’s not your typical library of only books and periodicals. Its incredible ceiling, paintings, marble structure and engrave literature quotes spread on the walls made it to our list of NY must visit. Though we haven’t seen the Rose Main Reading Room as it was under construction last May 2016, the library is worth visiting! Besides, it is free 🙂
Timings: Open Daily except Sunday from 10 AM-6PM, Tuesday & Wednesday until 8 PM
Address: 5th Ave at 42nd St, New York
6. Metropolitan Museum of Art
The MET is fairly in the list of top museums in the world. The variety and depth of collection makes it one of the top cultural centers in the world. Lucky as the entry is officially free, but most visitors pay a small donation or the full recommended price $25. Also, the cost online is the same. But we strongly suggest you to book a CityPass as this was included and other famous attractions.
Address: 1000 Fifth Avenue New York (Near Central park)
Timings: Sunday–Thursday: 10 am–5:30 pm, Friday and Saturday: 10 am–9 pm
Read More: Best Things to Photograph at The Met
7. American Museum of Natural History
Not really a fan of this museum, or maybe because I’ve seen The Met before it that makes it less attractive to me. But what made it different is the planet show in a big dome. I somehow rested my foot from all the walking and enjoy artificial star gazing. Officially free, but there are suggested admission fees $22.
Address: Central Park West at 79th Street New York
Timings: Open daily from 10 am-5:45 pm except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
8. 9/11 Memorial
Occupying a gaping hole in front of World Trade Center, the 9/11 Memorial consists of giant shiny pools surrounded by trees and with a wall inscribed of names of those who died on 9/11 attack. Admission is free but done on a timed reservation system. If you opt to visit the museum, you can book online for $24 or buy a CityPass as it was included.
Address: 200 Liberty Street, 16th Floor New York
Timings: Open Daily from 7:30am to 9pm
9. Brooklyn Bridge
Another iconic symbol of the city is the Brooklyn Bridge. I guess all visitors include a visit to the famous architecture to walk or bike here. You get incredible views of the Manhattan skyline and if you please, catch the sunset from here. Now I know why many photographers and artists are fascinated by it.
10. The High Line
An additional green space in the concrete jungle is the High Line. It’s said to be a former industrial railway that was rescued after years of abandonment and restructured into a pathway of metropolitan gardens. From here, you’ll get a feeling that you’re drifting through the city as taxis speed are just underneath you!
Address: 820 Washington Street – New York
Timings: Open daily from 7 AM to 10 PM
11. Staten Island Ferry
Admire the iconic Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline from the ferry and at the port. Check their official website for the timing schedule. Great views of the Governor’s Island and Ellis Island can also be spotted from the ferry and if you have your CityPass it includes a tour inside the Ellis Island.
12. Chelsea Market
The Chelsea Market is great for food lovers. They said the best food vendors in the city are here. A little quirky market that is crowded so take a deep breath and try not to get frustrated and just enjoy your food trip.
13. Bryant Park
A social place where friends meet, eat, chat or simply sit and relax Bryant Park is a small city park full of urban facilities and historical monuments. It’s behind the New York Public Library so checking it out just for curiosity is fine.
Address: Between 40th and 42nd Streets & 5th and 6th Ave.
Timings: Open Daily from 7am to 10pm free things to do nyc new york
A cool district of cobblestone streets lined with antique, red brick galleries, restaurants and stores – DUMBO which stands for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Make sure to pass by in this district to take some snaps with Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge as your backdrop and see Jane’s carousel or just chill out in one of the cafes here. Then make your way to the Brooklyn Bridge.
Planning out free activities to fill your day in the expensive city of New York is surprisingly easier than we all think. With numerous attractions and city parks, there’s plenty to do that won’t cost you a cent. Take note of the attractions mentioned here before your next trip to the Big Apple and I assure you that you’ll save more money and spend your precious time wisely 🙂 free things to do nyc new york