Every autumn, the same thing happens. The leaves start to change, and I start thinking about one of my great loves – New York City. My Netflix queue fills with Gossip Girl episodes and You’ve Got Mail, and I start wishing I could be sipping my lattes in Central Park West. I’ve said it time, and time again, but there’s just something so magical about what I think is the greatest city on earth. New York is vibrant, alive, ever changing, and EXPENSIVE. So today, I decided to share some of our insight on how to make this cultural mecca a little bit cheaper, with our favorite free things to do in the Big Apple.
1. Central Park
You say cliche, I say iconic. Central Park is the landmark that it is for a reason. It holds a magical, transcendent quality that is not dependent on season. It’s equally beautiful winter or summer, rain or shine. It’s always our first stop when we get to New York for a reason. We especially love it during the winter Holidays, when the Christmas Markets are open for browsing at leisure.
2. The High Line Park
What used to be a elevated railroad track, is now a park with beautiful views of the river and city. People watch, or just enjoy the Hudson view. Either way, the innovative park is a treat.
3. The New York Public Library
I love the stately stone lions out front, and the way the reading rooms on the inside vaguely remind me of Hogwarts. Plus you can see a copy of the Declaration of Independence, and a Gutenberg Bible, which is a not to be missed historical experience.
4. Free Fridays at the MOMA
Need your Modern Art fix? Every Friday, from 4-8 pm, entry is free! The lines get LONG though (like wrap around the building long!), so we recommend getting there before four, unless waiting in long lines is your idea of a fun vacation.
5. Grand Central Station
Seeing the inside of this beautiful, 100 year old train station should be on your travel bucket list. There’s also restaurants on the bottom floor (SHAKE SHACK!), if you feel like having dinner. Grand Central is another spot that has some of New York’s famous Christmas Markets during the Holidays.
6. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
While not technically free, the MET is ‘pay what you like’, with a suggested donation sign. We encourage you to pay the full admission if you can, but if money is tight, you can pay less.
7. Chelsea Market
One of our favorite places in New York, this eclectic collection of shops and eateries is free to browse. While you’ll have to spend money if you want to purchase something, looking never costs anything! It might be hard to walk away without spending any money though, as Chelsea Market has some of the best food and coffee in the city.
New York City can be a pricey place, but knowing where to seek out free experiences can help offset some of the costs. We hope you enjoy your time in the city as much as we did!