New York, the city that never sleeps, is one of the top destinations for many people in their lifetime. It isn’t exactly renowned for being good value for money, in fact, it is actually the fifth most expensive city in the world! So, it is surprising to know that there are many free things to do in New York, but there are and I have found them for you.
Free tours in New York
While I always say it is free to walk around any city, New York is pretty big and it would be impossible for a newcomer to know where to go and where to find the best attractions. A free tour in New York is the ideal way of experiencing what is on offer, without the hefty price tag.
- Big Apple Greeter is a free service that invites newbies to the city to take part in an informative walk through various New York neighbourhoods. Your greeter is not a tour guide, but rather a friendly face who wants to spend a few hours with you, to show you around the city and share what they know with you.
- Central Park is at the core of New York. What better way to find out the history of this amazing park than with a tour from someone on the inside. There are FOUR free tours of Central Park to choose from; heart of the park tour, mid-park welcome tour, conservatory garden tour and northern welcome tour.
- Free Tours by Foot offer tours of every part of the city for completely free! They also do a range of themed tours such a food tour, private tours, student tours and a guide service. Their tours by foot cost whatever you feel they should, so if you don’t want to pay, you don’t have to.
- The Grand Tour is a free, weekly, no reservation required walking tour of the Grand Central area. This award-winning tour is conducted by The Grand Central Partnership, which covers many of the architecturally and historically significant sights – among them the Chrysler Building, Grand Central Terminal and Pershing Square.
- Hank’s New York Tours offer a unique insight into the area as Hank is a real-estate agent who will bring you on a tour of the neighbourhoods. He will entertain you while filling you in on all the historical and need-to-know points about each place.
- A Women’s History Walk celebrates women’s contribution to modern society. The 21-stop walk highlights pioneer writers, agitators, abolitionists, suffragists, and September 11 heroes.
- A free beer tour can be found at both Chelsea Brewing Company and Brooklyn Brewery. Both breweries offer tours every Saturday with samples of the fine beer.
These tours offer a fantastic insight to every corner of New York city for a total cost of €0, you can’t put a price tag on that!
Free museums in New York
While tours are always interesting, visiting a museum opens up cultural doors which cannot be found on the city streets or under the trees in the park. At the museum you become exposed to the inner workings of other people’s minds as they created a masterpiece. Whether it is an art, historic or any other kind of museum, it is an interesting and informative way of spending a few hours. There are many free museums in New York, most of which are permanently free and others that are free on certain days of the week.
From Africa to the Bronx, from Irish hunger to the Queen’s farm, from Soldiers to Sailors, from gay and lesbian art to biblical art and a few more thrown in; these are all free, all of the time. Certain zoo’s, gardens, parks and museums have free entry on particular days of the week, a full list can be found here.
Free attractions in New York
Famed for it’s world class attractions, a visit to New York would not be complete without seeing some free attractions in New York. In no particular order of relevance, I have compiled a list:
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Brooklyn Flea
- Chrysler Building
- 5Pointz Aerosol Art Centre
- Flatiron Building
- Grand Central Terminal
- Little Italy
- New York Library
- Rockefeller Centre
- Roosevelt Island
- St Patrick’s Cathedral
- South Street Seaport
- Staten Island Ferry
- Times Square
And while the world’s most famous statue, the Statue of Liberty, does incur a charge, you can see it from a distance for completely free…just be sure to have a good zoom for photos!
Free parks in New York
After a long day of sight-seeing, you may just want to sit back and watch people while having a nice picnic. Or maybe you just want to read a book somewhere you won’t be disturbed. Whatever the case may be, it’s a bit off-putting when you have to pay into a park, so luckily there are a few free parks in New York.
The most well known of these parks is of course Central Park, a 843-acre green haven in the heart of Manhattan, it has offered free entry since 1856. Brooklyn Bridge Park is a waterfront area full of different piers, featuring a beach, a green-way and some playground’s. Flushing Meadows Corona Park is the site of two twentieth century fairs, a zoo, an art museum, a botanic garden, a science museum, baseball stadium and recreation area. Hudson River Park is a waterfront park perfect for skating, walking or simply admiring the view. These are just some of many beautiful, free parks all across the city.
Free parties in New York
Can many of your friends say they danced the night away at a free party in New York? Well now you can as I’m about to let you in on a few little secrets because let me tell you, clubbing in New York is not cheap…but it can be…
On Monday, head to Mobile Monday’s! x The 45 Sessions a 45‘s vinyl night for music lovers. On Tuesday, head to ladies night at McFadden’s where a lady can enjoy a bottle of wine for $2; just make sure to share with the guys! On Wednesday, Take a Turn for the Nurse features live burlesque and plenty of cocktails. Hit the roof on Thursday to Copacabana’s rooftop gay dance party. Dance the night away on Friday to some funky beats at Call to Drum. Twirl Saturday’s not only offer free admission, but free drinks and an upgrade to VIP admission while a group of 5+ ladies get a free bottle of champagne!
So go to New York for Free
Well, not exactly for free but while you are there you can pretty much have a free stay from site-seeing to partying into the wee hours. Just keep an eye on my blog for cheap trips to New York…