Home Articles From Flights to Food: The Ultimate Guide to Affordable NYC Travel

From Flights to Food: The Ultimate Guide to Affordable NYC Travel

by user
New York City View

One of the top ten most expensive cities in the world to live in recently was New York City. You might be wondering if it’s impossible to visit New York City on a budget due to its reputation for being pricey. In spite of the fact that it can be very expensive, it is actually possible to visit New York City on a budget.

New York City View

Numerous free and inexpensive activities are available to keep your expenses low without sacrificing the city’s fun. We provide dozens of ideas so that, even on a tight budget, you can take advantage of everything this city has to offer. Learn about money-saving tips, inexpensive restaurants, and free activities in New York City.

Plan the Best Time to Visit New York City

Finding the ideal time to visit your chosen destination is one of the most important aspects of trip preparation. The good news is that virtually anytime is a good time to visit. The city offers something for everyone all year long, and each of its four seasons is breathtaking in its own unique way. No matter the season, there is always something to do in New York.

New York High Buildings

In the city, the two busiest travel times are from June to August during the summer and November to December during the winter. In the summer, a large influx of foreign visitors to New York causes massive crowds and lines at all the wonderful attractions. A significant number of domestic tourists visit during Thanksgiving and Christmas. The cost of travel soars, and lodging quickly goes out of stock. In New York, the winter months of January through March are the least popular for tourists. Low hotel rates are another benefit of the cold weather.

The best time to visit New York City will largely depend on your travel plans, financial situation, and interests. When the weather is pleasant and there are fewer crowds of other tourists, April through June and September through early November are the best months to visit New York City. The best months to find great deals and save money are right now.

Find a Cheap Flight

The cost of air travel is notoriously high, and it’s easy to break the bank. Thank goodness, there are several travel hacks you can use to cut costs. Finding the best deals on flights requires a lot of time and effort, but when done correctly, it can result in significant savings and practically free travel.

Cheap Flight Tickets To New York

It does not need to be expensive to get there. In fact, because NYC is a major hub, there are frequently excellent flight deals there. Be sure to broaden your search to include JFK, La Guardia, or even Newark. To find the best deal that meets your needs, try searching with Google Flights. Always keep in mind that not all flight search engines are created equally and that each has advantages and disadvantages.

Find Best Place to Stay

When visiting New York, where should you stay? Booking lodging is by far the most expensive part of visiting New York City. Since central Manhattan is so expensive, there are many interesting neighborhoods outside of this vast city. You can cut costs on lodging by staying in the farther-flung areas of Brooklyn, Queens, or even upper Manhattan.

New York City Best Place to Stay

With stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, Long Island City is located right next to the East River. The neighborhood is very appealing. There is a vibrant art scene, as well as charming bars, a number of galleries, and even one of New York’s top state parks. Long Island City offers stunning views of the concrete jungle almost nonstop. It’s also among the most reasonably priced lodging options in New York City. There are many reasonably priced inns and Airbnbs. The cost of lodging in Coney Island is also among the lower ones in New York City, and each subway ride is a flat rate.

Eat Like a Local

Where to Eat in New York

In New York City, eating out can easily consume your entire budget. Eating like a local and indulging in the incredible cheap eats available in NYC is one of the best ways to keep your trip within your travel budget. There are actually many inexpensive, delicious restaurants nearby if you know where to look. This city has affordable restaurants serving food from all over the world.

  • Avoid Midtown and other very touristy areas when looking for a meal. Both the quality and the cost will be subpar. To find cheaper and better-quality bites, head to the nearby Chinatown, Greenwich Village, or Lower East Side.
  • Food trucks can be found all over the city. There are many intriguing options, ranging from gyros to Korean BBQ, some of which are more affordable than others.
  • Pizza slices for one dollar are a common sight throughout New York City.
  • Choose a hotel or hostel with a kitchen if you really want to save money on food by eating in for at least a few meals.
  • Bagel shops serve incredibly cheap and delicious breakfasts and lunches that you won’t find anywhere else.

Take Advantage of Happy Hour

Restaurants in New York

In New York City, many restaurants provide happy hour seven days a week. In Manhattan, you can find happy hour, which offers great drink and food specials. It is a chance to unwind after a demanding workday, spend time with friends, and take advantage of drink and food specials. Joining the after-work crowd in New York and taking advantage of Happy Hour is definitely worthwhile because drinks don’t always come cheap in the City That Never Sleeps. The duration of happy hour can range from an hour to the whole evening.

Use Public Transport

One of the world’s most walkable cities is New York. Being able to travel anywhere in the city on your own two feet for free makes it one of the most affordable modes of transportation. If you really want to see the city and save money on transportation after you arrive, make plans to use the subway and walk a lot.

New York Subway

For a single traveler, taking public transportation is almost always less expensive than using an Uber, taxi, or other private vehicle. Being familiar with New York’s public transportation is essential because the subway is by far the most effective and affordable mode of transportation. It is extensive, user-friendly, and safe. Determine which MetroCard would be most appropriate for your trip. We advise using Google Maps to find the best and most current public transportation options in New York City.

Adventuresome visitors may want to ride a bike while exploring New York. With docking stations located all over Manhattan below 59th Street, Citibike, New York’s bike share program, is a good substitute for bike rentals. It should be noted that while annual memberships permit unlimited 45-minute rides, short-term members can only take unlimited 30-minute rides.

Purchase a New York Pass

New York City is not what you might call a budget destination. While there are many free sights and attractions in the city, the majority of the well-known places have a pricey entrance fee. In our experience, attraction fees are one of the major expenses associated with travel to the USA. The good news is that you can benefit from one of the various New York City attraction passes if you intend to visit several attractions in New York. These passes offer significant financial savings if you use them.

Welcome to New York

Not everyone will benefit from a New York Pass. However, if it’s your first time visiting NYC, you might be able to cut your travel expenses if you intend to visit many of the city’s top attractions. Visitors can access some of New York City’s most popular tourist attractions with the New York Pass. You can purchase a pass that is valid for one day up to ten days. Keep in mind that annual pass prices typically rise in April. But because the passes typically only last one or two years after purchase, investing early can help you save money.

Drink from the Faucet

Given that New York City has some of the cleanest drinking water of any major city in the United States, the answer is that the tap water there is safe to drink. There are numerous drinking fountains located throughout the city, particularly in public parks. Fill your reusable bottle with water to reduce plastic waste and spending. You shouldn’t have any health issues from drinking NYC tap water unless you have some sort of allergy or dietary restriction that prevents you from ingesting some of the additives used to clean the water.

save water cost

When it’s warmer outside, chlorine odors might be easier to detect. The best way to get rid of or lessen the taste is to put a pitcher or glass of your tap water in the fridge overnight before drinking.

Create a Spending Plan and Keep Track of It

Even though all of these suggestions are excellent, they won’t help you if you don’t keep track of your spending. In New York City, it is simple to spend more than you have. Establish a budget for the entirety of your trip to New York City and hold yourself responsible for it. Set money aside for unforeseen expenses, medical emergencies, additional costs, or even happy accidents like a last-minute event you might be invited to while traveling.

Plan and Keep Track of your spending

Have at least a general idea of what you want to do for the majority of your trip. Travel involves a lot of buying presents and souvenirs. Most of the time, we like to bring a small souvenir from our travels home. Keep some money aside to spend on items you want to buy while traveling, even though you won’t be able to know for sure how much things will cost until you arrive at your destination. You’ll save time, be more organized, and avoid overspending or making impulsive purchases if you make a list of the people you want to buy gifts for.

It is not at all difficult to create a travel budget. There are many apps available that enable you to set daily spending objectives and display your remaining funds.

See the Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Terminal is the official name of the terminal, despite being more commonly known as Grand Central Station. You’ve probably seen a number of TV shows and films that feature Grand Central Station. Of course, you can see it for free with your own eyes when you visit New York City. For your first trip to New York City, you absolutely must take pictures at this famous train station.

Take a Stroll along the High Line

Friends of the High Line was established in 1999 by locals who campaigned for the High Line’s transformation and preservation at a time when the historic building was in danger of being demolished. The non-profit conservancy is now collaborating with NYC Parks to ensure that the High Line is preserved as a remarkable public space for use by all visitors.

the High Line nyc

It offers free events all year long, like meditation sessions, stargazing, garden tours, movies, and more. The park is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. from June to September and from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. from October to May. It runs down the West Side from 34th Street to Gansevoort Street. Please be aware that weekend visits necessitate online time reservations.

 Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge

John A. Roebling was the architect of the Brooklyn Bridge. 1869 saw the start of construction, which was finished in 1883. It was the world’s longest suspension bridge at the time. Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn Heights are connected by the famous Brooklyn Bridge. The Brooklyn Bridge, which is famous for its stone arches, has six lanes of traffic (no trucks) and a shared path for pedestrians and bicycles. On average, over 116,000 vehicles, 30,000 pedestrians, and 3,000 cyclists cross the Brooklyn Bridge every day as of 2018.

Brooklyn Bridge

Every day of the year, locals and visitors alike use this New York landmark for walking, jogging, running, and bicycling. Although a warm day is ideal, you can travel the 1.1 miles at any time of year.

Make a Trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Although it may not be the oldest museum in New York City, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is unquestionably the biggest of the city’s galleries. The enormous museum, which has been open since 1880, occupies 11.5 acres of Central Park along Fifth Avenue, spans two million square feet, and welcomes more than 4 million visitors a year.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met, one of the most well-known museums in the world, has a suggested admission price of $25, but citizens of New York State and students from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut are free to pay whatever they like. And during certain hours, anyone from anywhere can enter for free at museums like the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the Rubin Museum of Art, and the New Museum.

Take the Staten Island Ferry for Free

The Staten Island Ferry operates four boats on weekdays, making a total of 117 trips each day. In order to ensure that all of the boats’ passengers travel safely between rush hours, the terminals are routinely cleaned and maintained during the day shift. A similar schedule is followed on weekends, with three boats and 96 trips per day as opposed to the flurry of activity needed during the workweek. This intricate system that has been made simple for the user runs year-round, making about 40,404 trips yearly to make sure you get where you need to go.

the Staten Island Ferry

If you ask a New Yorker how to see the Statue of Liberty for the least amount of money, they will probably direct you to the Whitehall Terminal at the tip of Manhattan. One of the most beautiful ferry rides in the United States, the Staten Island Ferry is free and travels for 25 minutes right by the statue.

Discover Battery Park

The Battery has played a significant role in the history of New York City for more than 200 years. Battery Park, which is one of the city’s coolest parks and is situated on the southern tip of Manhattan, is another entertaining and totally free attraction in New York City. Views of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty are available from The Battery. Concerts are held on its grounds throughout the summer, and ferries dock at its shore to pick up visitors to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Discover Battery Park

The Battery is a lovely place to stroll thanks to its lovely waterfront and flower gardens. The park is a popular starting point for walking tours through the city for those who would like to take a longer stroll because of its location at the southernmost point of Manhattan.

Take a Look at the Brooklyn Flea

The Brooklyn Flea is located in DUMBO on the cobblestone streets of Pearl Plaza, and it features about 40 vendors who sell their wares directly beneath the Manhattan Bridge. If you’re looking for the best selection of throwback goods and records—which you most certainly wouldn’t find in just any vintage clothing store or record store in the city—the Brooklyn Flea is unquestionably one of the most well-liked flea markets to visit in NYC.

the Brooklyn Flea

Numerous Smorgasburg vendors also sell prepared and packaged foods. Find vendors at the Flea market selling furniture, housewares, vintage clothing, antiques and collectibles, jewelry, art, and crafts.

Pay a Visit to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade

Brooklyn Heights Promenade

From this pedestrian walkway, beautiful views of downtown Manhattan, the East River, and the Brooklyn Bridge can be seen. Although it’s a popular spot for joggers, walkers, and rollerbladers, it also provides a peaceful setting for those who would rather sit and talk while taking in the scenery. The Promenade is part of Brooklyn’s first Historic Preservation District and is lined with opulent townhouses and mansions. Additional landmarks visible from here are the Brooklyn Bridge and the East River. Once again, Brooklyn Heights Promenade’s million-dollar views are free to enjoy.

Visit Union Square

Union Square nyc

Union Square, which was unveiled in 2010 as part of a series of significant renovations along Manhattan’s Broadway corridor, exemplifies the key guiding principles applied by the NYC DOT when redesigning challenging intersections. Throughout the year, there are green markets on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. A holiday market debuts in November and lasts through Christmas Eve. The park is conveniently located atop the equally busy Union Square subway station and offers some of the best people-watching in the city.

Check Out a TKTS Booth

Although Broadway shows are a mainstay of NYC tourism, the fun can be expensive for some tourists. Find a TKTS booth nearby and save money instead of paying top dollar! NYC has many nearby well-known attractions. These ticket brokers provide amazing discounts, making Broadway and Off-Broadway productions more accessible and enabling tourists to visit more well-known NYC attractions. For same-day performances and the matinees the following day, you can purchase extremely discounted Broadway tickets by standing in line.

TKTS Booth Ticket

Every day, TKTS provides discounts of 20% to 50% on a variety of well-liked tickets. No matter if you want to see the most recent Disney musical, a dance performance, or an Off-Broadway one-man show, you can get the best tickets in NYC at a TKTS booth. It’s critical to maintain flexibility if you want to make the most of this service. Same-day tickets are available at TKTS discount booths; matinée listings go on sale in the morning, and evening listings go on sale in the early afternoon. To ensure that you have the best selection of the more popular shows, it is best to arrive early. Planning ahead is advised because each discount booth has slightly different operating hours.

Participate in a Juilliard Performance

Every year, Juilliard presents more than 700 musical, dance, and dramatic performances; all tickets are under $40, and many are even free!

Juilliard Performance Concerts

Each year, the Juilliard School hosts a number of musical, theatrical, and dance performances that include both talented students and special guests. Free tickets are available at the Juilliard box office, and on the day of a performance, standby tickets are occasionally available.

Consider Free Kayaking

If you need to beat the heat, why not try free kayaking in NYC? It might not be the first activity that comes to mind when you think of summer in the city. From the Hudson River to the East River, we have access to plenty of water, and these waterways provide some of the best views of the city’s top attractions.

Couples Kayaking

Small groups are taken on cool, relaxing, educational adventures around New York’s waterways by groups of boaters and paddlers. Kayak use is only permitted for a maximum of 20 minutes at a time at the Downtown Boathouse, a volunteer-run nonprofit on Pier 26 that provides kayaks, bike locks, lockers, and sunscreen to the general public free of charge from May through October.

Visit Coney Island and Ride the Cyclone

The Coney Island Cyclone, one of Luna Park on Coney Island’s most beloved operating landmarks, has been a mainstay of the entertainment district since its opening on June 26, 1927. This iconic wooden roller coaster has 27 elevation variations, exhilarating curves, and exhilarating drops that have made it a timeless classic. After more than 90 years of operation, the Cyclone still exhilarates riders.

Coney Island

Take the subway to Coney Island’s Luna Park for an adrenaline boost while visiting New York. The whole family can enjoy and afford to ride the rollercoasters at Coney Island.

Watch Outdoor Films

 Outdoor Films

When you can watch crowd favorites outside, why go to the movies? Film enthusiasts can watch free screenings of old and new movies in parks all over the city. Thanks to some fantastic community organizers who identified the ideal locations and put everything together, there are a few locations in New York City where outdoor movies are currently being shown. One should never underestimate this city’s inventiveness. Summers in New York City are nothing short of epic, and taking in a movie while the city is lit up will leave you with memories you won’t soon forget.

View the Flatiron Building up Close

Flatiron Building

The Flatiron has been a beloved landmark of New York City that is instantly recognizable and is adored by both locals and tourists alike since it was built in 1902 as one of the city’s first skyscrapers. Enjoy a burger and shake from one of the food trucks after taking a picture.

You can make your ideal New York vacation a reality and save money at the same time by considering the advice provided here.

Subscribe to our newsletter for more money-saving wisdom and check back regularly for new coupons. Happy saving!

Keep Calm and Coupon

Take a Deep Breath and Save

Did you know that Amazon now has coupons for hundreds of items – see what savings they have available HERE.

Looking for more coupons? Online coupons, All Deals, Amazon Deals and click HERE to see a list of our coupon resources.

Don’t miss these tips!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Related Deals