By Jade Johnston
New York City Budget Tips
New York is one of those cities where person A and person B can engage in the exact same activities and yet one person can end up paying vastly less than the other…. with a little creativity and time management. New York is a big city, and like all big cities, there are tons of great free or cheap activities if you look in the right spots.
Free Admission Days
For example, almost all of the major museums or galleries have either free days, or days where you can “pay what you wish”. For example, Friday evenings from 16:00 – 20:00, MoMA is free (go a bit earlier to get in Q), and the Met is pay what you wish at all times. For a full list of how to do museums on the cheap check out this website. I’ve actually been rather lazy on the museum front. I went to the Met and MoMA, but nothing else. I actually did put in a good effort in going to MoMA PSI in Queens, but got rather ill and decided to rest up instead.
Free Walking Tours
For general trip planning, and for a list of free events in New York try NYC Go. A great way to really learn details about the city that would otherwise be almost impossible to figure out, is to attend one of the many free walking tours. You can find a great list of them here. We did the tour of Grand Central Terminal. The tour was about 90 minutes long, and considering that it was a tour about a train station is was actually EXTREMELY interesting.
For example, there is a small hole in the ceiling from when they erected a massive rocket INSIDE the terminal to calm American’s fears when the Soviet Union put Sputnik into orbit.
But my favourite free thing that I did in NYC has something to do with this statue.
Some well known monument, or something
Free Statue of Liberty
You *can* take the ferry to Ellis island to see the statue of liberty….but that would require standing in a GIGANTIC Q and also paying $12. But if you don’t care about whether you are actually standing on the same piece of land as the statue or merely quite close by to it, you can take the Staten Island ferry, which is free. The ferry passes right by the statue, and then once you get to Staten Island you can either explore its attractions, or just turn right back around and take the free ferry back to Manhattan. Also, for free, you will get amazing views such as these ones:
Manhattan from the Staten Island ferry