How to Visit New York City on a Budget

Apr 03, 2017Reading Time: 3 min

New York is known as one of the most expensive cities in the world. If you’re visiting the Big Apple on a budget, don’t worry. There are many tips and tricks you can use things to easily stick to a budget and prevent overspending during your stay.

Opt for an AirBnB or hostel
One of the huge expenses for visiting New York is the cost of accommodations. Hotels can run several hundred dollars night and often only offer very small rooms. Instead of a hotel, find an apartment or an empty room on sites like AirBnB because they are often much cheaper and have more amenities like a full kitchen and free WiFi. Another option that is even cheaper is a room in one of the city’s many hostels.

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Many museums are pay-what-you-want
Visiting museum after museum can quickly get expensive because of the high ticket prices. At many of the museums in New York, however, the entrance fee is a suggested donation as opposed to a fix ticket price. If you’re struggling to justify the hefty price to visit spots like The Metropolitan Museum of Art or The Museum of Modern Art, you can take a little off the top of the price to make it more affordable.

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Don’t spend money on cabs
Sometimes cabs are the easiest option, but they are usually slower and more expensive than the subway or other public transportation. The Subway can get you anywhere in any of the city’s five boroughs and it is only $2.75 per ride. While sometimes the easeof a cab outweighs the cost, taking many taxis will soon use up your entire budget. Utilize iPhone and Android apps like HopStop or GoogleMaps to help you navigate the transportation while also saving money.

Visit the city’s many free attractions
Though New York has a reputation for being very expensive, there are still dozens of free events and tourist hot spots throughout the city. If you’re visiting on a budget, visit places like Central Park, the High Line, the Brooklyn Bridge and Chelsea Market to see some of the city’s best sites while still spending little, if no, money.

Get discounted tickets for shows
If you’d like to see a Broadway show when you visit, head to the TKTS Booth in Time Square. The booth sells discounted tickets for shows the same day—and while you can’t necessarily pick the show in advance, you can get tickets at a very good discount and see some of Broadway’s most iconic shows.

Don’t overspend at restaurants
New York has countless restaurants with hundreds of different cuisines and endless options. But, that doesn’t mean you need to overspend to enjoy a wonderful meal. Instead of heading out for a large dinner, instead opt to stop in restaurants for lunch when the menu is often more inexpensive but often offers similar dishes. Another option for saving a few dollars is to head out of Manhattan to Queens, Brooklyn or the Bronx where prices will often be more inexpensive.