Are you looking for a few free things to do while visiting New York City? New York City consists of five boroughs, and a few years ago I shared a list of things to do in New York City if you’re on a budget, in each of the boroughs. If you’re also traveling with your kids, you might also want to check out what you can do in a week with your kids while visiting the city that never sleeps, or the “Big Apple” as we locals like to say.
New York City has a (well-deserved!) reputation as an expensive place to stay. But just because the Big Apple is a pricey place doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the sights without breaking the bank. So if you are in New York City for a cruise and looking for some wallet-friendly sightseeing, check out these free things to do that show off the best the city has to offer.
1 SEE THE STATUE OF LIBERTY BY BOAT
The official Statue of Liberty tours can be pretty expensive, but did you know you can get the best view of this magnificent New York icon for free? Hop aboard the Staten Island Ferry from Whitehall in Manhattan to St. George Terminal in Staten Island and enjoy amazing views of the famous skyline as well as Lady Liberty without spending a cent. As a bonus, you can explore under-the-radar Staten Island at the end of your mini-cruise!
2. STROLL THROUGH CENTRAL PARK
Taking up nearly three and a half square kilometers in the middle of Manhattan, it is hard to miss Central Park…and you really shouldn’t! World-famous, this exceptional green space is full of museums, gardens, and excellent sights, as well as being a pretty beautiful place just to wander around in. Don’t miss the romantic Bow Bridge or the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir.
3. WALK THE HIGH LINE
One of the most ambitious and successful public works that New York has ever produced, the High Line is a triumphant combination of post-industrial architecture, gorgeous natural beauty, and repurposing redundant structures. Built along the bridges and tracks of an old rail freight line, this elevated garden, walkway, and art space runs from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street, free of charge, 365 days a year.
4. TOUR BROOKLYN BREWERY
The heart of Brooklyn’s hipster revival, tours of the famous brewery are pretty limited (40 per tour) but well worth waiting for. You’ll learn all about how this excellent brew is made, as well as get a chance to taste the delicious suds for yourself!
5. GO TO THE BEACH
New York’s beaches are the city’s hidden treasure, and a sunny day relaxing on the surprisingly beautiful stretches of sand minutes from Manhattan is an exceptional New York experience. Whether you prefer the retro stylings of Coney Island or the less developed, empty joys of the Rockaways, New York’s beaches are a real treat and well worth exploring.
You don’t have to blow your budget while visiting New York City, consider our list of free things to do while in New York City and make the most of your visit.