New York City is known as the city that never sleeps. There are tons of things to do. Some of them are expensive, while others are cheap. If you are taking a trip to the Big Apple, we want to ensure you have a good time and save money. Today, I want to share 15 cheap things to do in NYC.
Things to do in NYC
If you are a Major League Baseball fan, check out Yankee Stadium. This version of Yankee Stadium was opened in 2009. It is home to the 27-time World Series Champions, the New York Yankees. Even if you are a Yankee hater like me, you must experience a game there. Try to get there a couple of hours before the game to visit Monument Park. It features monuments of all the past Yankee greats. Yankee Stadium is easy to get to via the Subway. Plan your trip by visiting the MTA website here.
If you see Yankee Stadium, you should also check out Citi Field. It’s the home of the New York Mets. Citi Field also opened in 2009. It replaced Shea Stadium.
Citi Field features the Mets Hall and Fame Museum. It showcases the team’s history and accomplishments. You will also find the Home Run Apple at Citi Field. It’s a large apple that’s located behind the center field fence. It rises whenever a Mets player hits a home run.
If you get a chance, visit the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s one of the most iconic bridges in the country. You can walk it from Brooklyn to Manhattan or vice versa. You can take some nice pictures if you don’t want to.
Central Park is located in Manhattan. The park is enormous. It covers 843 acres. It attracts 40,000 people each year.
Central Park features the Central Park Zoo, home to different animals, including bird species, sea lions, and turtles. The Central Park carousel is also located in the park. It has 57 hand-carved horses in it.
The Apollo Theater is located in Harlem. It is a world-famous venue for African American performers. The variety series, Showtime at the Apollo, is filmed there. The Apollo Theater draws over 1 million visitors each year.
You can’t go to New York and not visit Times Square. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the world. Times Square is located in Manhattan. Times Square has several notable landmarks, such as Planet Hollywood, the Disney Store, and Times Square Studios. This is one of the best cheap things to do in NYC.
Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden is the home of the New York Knicks and the home of the New York Rangers. MSG opened in 1968. It’s often called “The World’s Most Famous Arena.” It is located in Midtown Manhattan. Thousands of concerts and several other high-profile events have been hosted there.
Empire State Building
You can’t come to New York City and not at least take a picture of the Empire State Building. The Empire State building is 1454 feet tall. At one point, it was the tallest building in the world. There are observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors. It is open year-round for visitors.
The Empire State building has been featured in many movies and television shows.
You must visit Juliana’s if you want some great New York City pizza. It’s located in Brooklyn. The owner is Patsy Grimaldi, who originally owned the famous Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. He sold Patsy sold Grimaldi’s in the late ’90s but came out of retirement to open Juliana’s in 2012.
New York Stock Exchange
The next thing on the list of cheap things to do in NYC is to visit the New York Stock Exchange. Unfortunately, tours are not open, but you can take pictures of the building. Wall Street and the Charging Bull are also nearby.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The vast Metropolitan Museum of Art presents over 5,000 years of art worldwide for everyone to see and appreciate. The museum is in two iconic New York City locations—The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters. You also have the opportunity to take part in The Met experience online. It is the largest gallery in the United States. It allows you to explore exhibits like Chinese calligraphy, Classical sculpture, Egyptian mummies, Old Masters, Moorish textiles, Sumerian cuneiform tablets, Rococo fashion, armor worn by European monarchs, invaluable musical instruments, and many more.
The collection is so huge that spending a whole at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will never be enough to see all of it. Some of the significant exhibits are Rembrandt’s Aristotle with a Bust of Homer (1653), Egyptian Temple of Dendur (15BC), Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze (1851), van Gogh’s Self Portrait with Straw Hat (1887) and Raphael’s altar painting of Madonna and Child (1504).
National 9/11 Memorial and Museum
Located at the World Trade Center site, The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum is a memorial and museum in New York City paying tribute to the September 11, 2001 attacks, where 2,977 innocent people died and the six who died in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The site has twin reflecting pools which are an acre in size. It marks out the exact footprints of the Twin Towers and is surrounded by the largest man-made waterfalls in North America.
The names of all the victims who died in the two attacks are inscribed on 152 bronze parapets surrounding these pools. The monumental Last Column, fragments from the aircraft, and a damaged fire truck are among the exhibits you will find here.
Statue of Liberty
Since 1886, this inspiring icon of freedom would welcome people moving to New York for a shot at a new life. Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, a French sculptor, did the design, and Gustave Eiffel built its metal framework. The Statue of Liberty is 93 meters tall and symbolizes the Roman goddess Libertas. You can see her holding a torch upwards in her right hand, and in her left carries a tabula ansata (tablet) showing the date of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, “JULY IV MDCCLXXVI” (4th of July, 1776, in Roman numerals). Moving forward, free of the broken shackles and chains that lie at her feet, celebrating the national abolition of slavery.
Trips to the top of the crown are highly requested, so remember to book in advance.
Rockefeller Center is a large complex comprising 19 commercial buildings (14 Art Deco, five International Style) spread across 22 acres in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It was separated by a large sunken square and a private street called Rockefeller Plaza, all commissioned by the Rockefeller family, who first made their fortune in the American petroleum industry. It was built during the Great Depression and was regarded as one of the most significant projects of that era. In 1985, it was declared a New York City landmark and a National Historic Landmark in 1987.
You would have noticed some of these attractions in movies before, the Atlas statue (1936) facing St Patrick’s Cathedral across Fifth Avenue, Prometheus (1934) at the western end of the sunken plaza, the much-loved skating rink, and the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.
Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry is among the best free things you can do in New York. It operates across Upper New York Bay, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Before the bridges were constructed, the city’s residents used the ferry services to move across the waterways. It is among the last survivors of a whole system of ferries. The route between Whitehall Street and St George on Staten Island is used by 22 million a year, and the journey takes about 25 minutes. The trip will give you a fantastic view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, along with the skyscrapers and bridges of Lower Manhattan.
There are so many amazing things to do in NYC. This list is just the beginning. The city that never sleeps will have you busy all day. This list will help you when you plan your trip to NYC.
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Jason Butler is the owner of My Money Chronicles, a website where he discusses personal finance, side hustles, travel, and more. Jason is from Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Savannah State University with his BA in Marketing. Jason has been featured in Forbes, Discover, and Investopedia.