It’s really not that hard to backpack across even the notoriously expensive city of New York while on a budget. The truth is that New York is also home to tons of free and/or cheap attractions. You just need to know where to look. With that in mind, here are some attractions for budget travelers:
1 -The High Line
This raised, elongated platform space used to just be a dissed cargo train railway that cuts through several Manhattan buildings. It’s been turned into a garden worth visiting – literally the highest garden in NYC.
2. Brooklyn Grange
Spanning 65,000 square feet, Timeout reports that Brooklyn Grange is currently the world’s largest rooftop soil farm.They offer events like sunset yoga, botanical soap-making workshops (a useful skill for avid backpackers), and even a five-day Sustainable Farming Certificate Program that teaches aspiring urban farmers everything they need to know.
3. The Haunted Spring Street Well
Look for this eerie oddity inside the clothing store at 129 Spring Street. Ask about the woman who supposedly died of nefarious circumstances inside this very well.
4. Evolution Store
The Evolution Store museum is where you can touch anything and everything. This is because the assortment of natural history collectibles are for sale. The staff at Evolution are highly knowledgeable about their wares as well, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.
5. The New York Earth Room
The Earth Room is 280,000 pounds of soil installed in a gigantic apartment at 141 Wooster Street by artist Walter de Maria. Whether it’s a waste of space, a genius work of art, or just a peaceful and quiet room divorced from Manhattan’s chaos is up to you to decide.
This floating barge is a self-sustaining organic farm that serves as a reminder of the possibility of large-scale, sustainable, zero-waste living standards. Equal parts science project, social experiment, and great way to spend an afternoon.
7. Riverside Skate Park
Welcome to NYC’s first-ever skate park. Recent renovations include a 10-foot half pipe, a mini pipe, as well as a quarter pipe. Watch some of the best, independent skaters practice for free.
Where to Stay
Take your pick from the many Airbnb apartments offered all across New York. We have already shared our experience staying at a Brooklyn Brownstone we found on Airbnb, which you can check out, too.
Manhattan is another excellent choice when searching for a place to stay, although it is best if you are traveling in a group. Manhattan apartments are some of the most expensive in the world, so the best way for a backpacker to experience what it’s like to live here is to book a holiday apartment. Yoreevo explains how the average apartment in Manhattan is $2 million but for a lot less you can get a brief taste of what it would be like to live like a true New Yorker by renting an apartment for a couple days. Not only will this allow you to have somewhere you can leave your stuff, rest, and bathe, if you opt for an apartment with a kitchen, you’ll be able to save a ton of cash by eating in. Apart from real estate, another notoriously expensive thing in NYC is the food – but not if you peruse the local organic farmers’ markets and cook your own food.
How to Get Around
Everyone knows that the NYC Metropolitan Transport Authority is far from perfect, but the 24-hour trains run almost all the time. With more than 400 stations all across Manhattan, it’s arguably the best and cheapest way to get around. If you’re going to try the local public transportation, better get yourself a MetroCard which you can also use for the buses. UBER Pool can also be a cheap option – just remember to tell your driver in advance if you’ll be lugging a huge backpack around with you.