Planning a holiday in New York can be a challenging task because there are so many sights to see and things to do in NY. The largest city in the United States has so many museums, cultural institutions, attractions, neighbourhoods, eateries and entertainment places to offer, it’s sometimes hard to know where to start. Here are 8 practical and money-saving tips for things to do in NY that will keep you entertained and help you stay within your travel budget.


1. To save money in New York City take public transit. A weekly transit pass is $29, a single ride is $2.25. The NYC subway and transit system is huge, its subway is the largest in the world. Don’t forget that buses can also be a great way of sightseeing while you are getting to your destination. Taking New York City public translation is fast, safe, efficient and affordable.

2. Restaurants in New York can be on the expensive side, but there are other options for getting good food in NYC. The Big Apple has some of the most diverse street food of any city. This will help you stretch your travel dollars further.

3. Grand Central Terminal (more commonly, yet incorrectly referred to as Grand Central Station) is an architectural marvel and a transit hub that 700,000 people pass through every day. It’s also got a huge food court with many different eateries on the lower level where you can eat a good meal at a reasonable price.

4. Many New York City museums have days where they offer free admission. This link will connect you to a comprehensive listing of the museums of New York: http://www.ny.com/museums/all.museums.html

5. The High Line, a pedestrian walkway along a former elevated railway line on the west side of Manhattan, is one of the fascinating additions to the attractions in New York City. It was saved by a group of concerned citizens and it’s free to visit it.

6. Accommodation in NYC can take a big chunk of your travel budget. NYC hotels can easily cost several hundred dollars a night. There are options to reduce your costs: the cheapest way are New York City hostels, but not everyone enjoys dormitory accommodation. Some hostels offer private rooms with shared bathrooms for a reasonable price. In October 2010 I stayed at the West Side YMCA for under $100 per night. It was clean, affordable and steps away from Central Park and Columbus Circle.

7. One of the best ways to get to know the city is to bike New York. NYC offers a wide range of parks and greenways as well as designated bicycle paths on quieter city streets. Several companies offer bicycle rentals and guided tours. My bike ride took me from the west side of Manhattan to Battery Park, then to Brooklyn on the Manhattan Bridge and back over the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. It was amazing!

8. One of the most interesting things to do in NYC is to take a guided tour in New York. To really get to know New York City like a local, use the Big Apple Greeter service (www.bigapplegreeter.com). You’ll be matched up with a local volunteer who will show you their neighbourhood. I have seen Queens and the Bronx that way – it’s great, and it’s free!

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