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Are you dreaming of a trip to New York but worried about it being too expensive? Don’t fret! With a bit of planning, you can still enjoy all the sights and attractions of the Big Apple while on a budget. To help you get started, here are 15 tips for cheap travel to New York. Plus, if you’re looking for some inspiration, check out Framey – a travel app through which you can post your vacation photos and get inspired by your friends’ trips! 

So, if you’re ready to explore New York on a budget, keep reading!

Make sure you’ll see the entire collection in Framey App, including addresses, opening hours, and contact information!

1) Use the subway to get around – New York On A Budget

Use the subway to get around

Use the subway to get around

The subway is one of the best ways to get around New York City on a budget. It’s affordable, efficient, and can get you just about anywhere in the city. There are 1,617 subway stations, so no matter where you want to go, you can always find a station close by. Plus, it’s easy to figure out the system with its iconic color-coded lines. You can buy unlimited-ride MetroCards that last up to 7 days or use your contactless payment card to pay as you go. To save even more money, take advantage of free transfers between bus and subway systems.

2) Don’t stay in Manhattan

When it comes to lodging in New York City, the prices can be pretty steep. Staying in Manhattan is usually the most expensive option, so if you’re looking to save money, you should consider staying in one of the other boroughs instead. 

Brooklyn and Queens are great neighborhoods with plenty of affordable hotels. You’ll also find some great Airbnb options in both boroughs. If you want to stay close to Manhattan without breaking the bank, Brooklyn is probably your best bet. Plus, you’ll still be able to access the subway, so you won’t miss out on all the sights and sounds of the city. 

If you don’t mind a bit of a commute and want to save even more money, you could also look into lodging in Staten Island or the Bronx. While these areas may not have as much to offer in terms of attractions and restaurants, they can be significantly cheaper than Manhattan and you’ll still be able to access the city with relative ease. 

No matter where you decide to stay, be sure to do your research beforehand so that you can get the best deal possible. You might be surprised at how much money you can save just by choosing to stay in one of the other boroughs!

3) Eat like a local – New York On A Budget

One of the best ways to save money on food while visiting New York is to eat like a local. Eating at restaurants and cafes frequented by New Yorkers can save you a lot of money. Check out hole-in-the-wall diners, delis, and even street vendors in the city’s various neighborhoods. You’ll get delicious meals for much less than the standard tourist traps.

For breakfast, grab a coffee and bagel from a neighborhood deli or stop by one of the many affordable coffee shops in the city. If you’re feeling adventurous, try some traditional New York favorites like a breakfast burrito, breakfast sandwich, or one of the many “egg sandwiches” that can be found on every corner.

Lunch is a great opportunity to explore ethnic cuisine. Visit Chinatown for Chinese food, Midtown for Japanese cuisine, the East Village for Mexican food, or the Lower East Side for Israeli food. Don’t forget about the multitude of Indian restaurants throughout the city either. Just make sure to check Yelp reviews before you go so you can get the best quality food for the best price.

For dinner, there are plenty of casual spots with inexpensive eats. Pizza is always an option and there are some amazing slices to be found. Also, try visiting the local pubs or diners to get a delicious meal at a reasonable price.

Eating like a local in New York doesn’t have to be expensive. With a bit of research and creativity, you can find amazing meals for much less than at typical tourist attractions.

4) Take advantage of museum deals

New York City is home to some of the world’s best museums, and many of them offer discounts. Take advantage of these offers when planning your trip!

Many museums offer discounted admission rates for seniors, students, military personnel, and more. Check with your local library or senior center for a listing of available discounts. You may even be able to get free admission if you’re a member of certain museums.

In addition, many museums also have special promotions for certain days of the week or month. For example, The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers a pay-what-you-wish program on Fridays, allowing visitors to choose their admission price. Similarly, the American Museum of Natural History. The NYC Official Guide app is another great resource for finding museum deals. It lists current discounts and promotions at various museums, galleries, and other attractions in the city.

By taking advantage of these discounts and deals, you can save money while still experiencing all that New York City’s world-renowned museums have to offer!

5) Take a free brewery tour – New York On A Budget

Take a free brewery tour

Take a free brewery tour

When you’re traveling on a budget in New York, it’s easy to find unique experiences that won’t break the bank. One great option for free fun is taking a free brewery tour. There are several breweries in the city offering complimentary tours with samples of their brews. Brooklyn Brewery and Bronx Brewery are two of the more popular options. Both offer informative tours of their respective breweries and give visitors the chance to sample their delicious beers. So if you’re looking for an affordable activity with a unique twist, consider taking a free brewery tour while in New York City.

6) Explore the city’s amazing parks

Explore the city’s amazing parks

Explore the city’s amazing parks

New York City is home to some of the most beautiful parks in the world. From Central Park to Prospect Park, there are plenty of stunning green spaces to explore. Central Park is an obvious choice for park lovers, but it’s also a great place to take advantage of free entertainment like outdoor movies, concerts, and art shows. Prospect Park is another great spot for outdoor activities like cycling and kayaking. For a more intimate experience, try one of the smaller neighborhood parks like Fort Greene Park or Madison Square Park. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful respite or a fun day of outdoor activities, New York’s parks have something for everyone.

7) Check out all the free historical sights – New York On A Budget

Check out all the free historical sights

Check out all the free historical sights

New York City is full of amazing historical sites and landmarks. From the Statue of Liberty to the Brooklyn Bridge, there are plenty of ways to experience the city’s history without spending a dime. 

One of the most famous and iconic places in New York City is the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. This site is a tribute to the victims of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, and honors their memory. There is no entrance fee for visiting the memorial grounds, though it is recommended that you donate if you have the means. 

Ellis Island is another great destination for experiencing the city’s past. This was the primary port of entry for immigrants coming to America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. You can tour the historic immigration center free of charge. 

In addition to these two sites, there are dozens of other free historical attractions around the city. Grand Central Station is one of New York City’s most iconic landmarks and has been around since 1913. The New York Public Library is another popular landmark, with its Beaux Arts building housing millions of books and artifacts. You can also take a walk along the High Line, an elevated park built on a former railway line. There are also several historic monuments around the city, including the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza and the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument. 

Whether you’re a native New Yorker or just visiting for a few days, these free historical sites are a great way to explore the city and learn more about its rich history.

8) Get insider recommendations from a New York local

Get insider recommendations from a New York local

Get insider recommendations from a New York local

One of the best ways to experience New York on a budget is to get insider recommendations from a local. Ask around friends and family who may have connections with someone in the city, or look online for sources like Airbnb Experiences, which provide locals who can give you tips on where to find the best cheap eats and activities. Talk to people about the hidden gems in the city, like parks, art galleries, and bars that aren’t well-known but are full of character. Locals know the city best and can provide valuable insight that can’t be found in any guidebook. Ask them what they think of their neighborhood and ask them to share their favorite spots. Get recommendations from locals and you’ll be sure to save money while experiencing the real New York City.

9) Don’t spend $ chasing the best views — check out these free vistas instead

New York City is full of breathtaking views, but you don’t have to break the bank to get an amazing view. There are plenty of free views around the city that will take your breath away.

One of the best ways to get a stunning view of the city is to take a stroll across one of the many bridges in New York. The Brooklyn Bridge offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge Park, while the Williamsburg Bridge offers breathtaking views of the city’s lower east side.

For stunning views from a higher vantage point, check out one of the city’s parks. Take a stroll through Central Park, High Line Park, or Prospect Park for unparalleled views of the cityscape below. Or stroll through the Battery Park Esplanade for unforgettable views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. 

If you’re looking for a truly unique view of the city, head over to the Manhattan waterfront and take in the breathtaking view of downtown Manhattan from Governor’s Island. 

No matter what kind of view you’re looking for, you can find it without having to spend a dime in New York City.

10) Walk or bike between activities and sights – New York On A Budget

Walk or bike between activities and sights

Walk or bike between activities and sights

New York City is full of amazing sights, but the cost of cabs, Uber, and other forms of transportation can add up quickly. Instead of paying for those rides, consider walking or biking around the city. New York City is one of the most walkable cities in the United States, with a great network of pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, crosswalks, and footbridges. If you prefer to bike, there are several bike-sharing programs available throughout the city. Citi Bike is the most popular, with thousands of bikes located at hundreds of stations across the five boroughs. Riding a bike is a great way to get around faster than walking and it’s also a fun way to explore the city. There are plenty of bike lanes, greenways, and paths that make it easy to bike from one place to another. So whether you’re looking for a cheap way to get around town or just want to take in the sights and sounds of NYC, biking or walking is an excellent option.

11) Plan your trip for the winter

Winter in New York can be a magical experience. With fewer crowds, more affordable accommodations, and snow-covered attractions, winter is the perfect time to visit New York without breaking the bank. One of the best parts about planning a trip for the winter is that many of the city’s iconic attractions are covered in snow, making for a picturesque backdrop for your holiday adventures.

When it comes to accommodations, hotels in New York tend to be cheaper during the winter months, so if you’re looking to save some money on lodging, this is the time to book. The cold weather makes outdoor activities like ice skating, sledding, and snow tubing more enjoyable. Additionally, several museums offer discounts for their winter programs, making them easier to enjoy without spending too much money.

As with any major city, make sure to plan your trip ahead of time to ensure you get the best deals on flights and hotels. When planning your itinerary, consider free or discounted activities you can do while you’re in town — such as exploring the city’s iconic bridges or taking a free brewery tour — as these will help you save money. 

Overall, winter in New York is a wonderful time to visit and explore without breaking the bank. With some research and planning ahead of time, you can enjoy all the magic of winter in New York City without going over budget!

12) For phenomenal views on the cheap, walk across the bridges

New York City is one of the best places in the world to enjoy some of the most beautiful views. And luckily, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get some of the most stunning panoramas.

One of the best ways to see the city skyline is to walk across one of its many bridges. Bridges like the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, George Washington Bridge, and Queensboro Bridge provide breathtaking views of the NYC skyline, and it won’t cost you a dime.

Not only do these bridges give you amazing views, but you also get to experience a bit of the city’s history as you cross them. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, for instance, is a great way to take in the sights and sounds of NYC. The bridge was constructed over 130 years ago, and walking along it is like taking a journey through time. 

If you want to get up close and personal with the Statue of Liberty, you can walk across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge for unparalleled views. It connects Staten Island to Brooklyn and is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. 

For an even closer look at the statue, you can head to the Queensboro Bridge and get an almost-panoramic view of Lady Liberty while still standing on solid ground. 

These bridges are not only free but also offer some of the best views of New York City, so don’t miss out on them!

13) Sign up to be in the audience of a live show – New York On A Budget

If you’re looking for a great night out in New York, attending a live show is a great way to go. If you want to experience some of the best shows without breaking the bank, then signing up to be in the audience of a live show is the way to go. Many TV tapings require audience members, so you can watch and be part of the show for free. All you need to do is sign up ahead of time and show up early to get good seats.

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and Saturday Night Live are all taped in front of a live studio audience, so check out their websites to see if there are open slots. Additionally, you can check out the websites of other popular TV shows such as The View and Live with Kelly and Ryan to see if they’re looking for audience members. 

If you’re interested in a more intimate experience, you can also look into attending a taping of talk radio shows such as The Breakfast Club or The Brian Lehrer Show. While most shows are filmed in Manhattan, many also take place in Brooklyn and other boroughs throughout the city. 

Attending a live show is a great way to have an unforgettable New York experience without breaking the bank. You’ll get to experience some of the best shows that New York has to offer without having to pay full ticket prices. So if you’re looking for a great night out, sign up to be part of the audience of a live show!

14) Make sure to get discount Broadway tickets

If you’re looking for a night of culture and entertainment, catching a Broadway show is an absolute must. Unfortunately, tickets can be expensive. But with some planning ahead and a little creativity, you can snag discount Broadway tickets.

To start, look into what ticket lotteries are available. Some shows have daily or weekly lotteries where winners receive tickets at reduced prices. You can also look out for discounts offered by the theater companies themselves, as well as discounts through student, teacher, or military affiliations.

You can also check out TKTS booths in Times Square, Brooklyn, South Street Seaport, and downtown. These booths offer tickets to same-day performances at discounted rates. Just make sure to get there early to guarantee a spot in line!

Finally, don’t forget to check out online discount sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, and TodayTix. You can often find amazing deals on tickets to the latest shows!

15) Brooklyn Heights Promenade: View the Manhattan Skyline from this Beautiful Park – New York On A Budget

Brooklyn Heights Promenade

Brooklyn Heights Promenade

One of the best places to take in the stunning Manhattan skyline is the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. This iconic spot overlooks the East River and offers a breathtaking view of the Financial District, Midtown, and Downtown Manhattan.

A promenade is a great place for an evening stroll or a leisurely lunch with friends. There are benches throughout the path where you can stop and take in the sights. To get there, take the 2/3 subway to Borough Hall and then walk a few blocks east on Clark Street.

At night, the promenade is illuminated by lights from the skyscrapers on the other side of the river. It’s a magical sight to behold! On warm summer evenings, many people come out to enjoy the incredible views and watch the sunset.

The Brooklyn Heights Promenade is a must-see destination for any visitor to New York City. It’s a great spot to take photos and simply relax while admiring the Manhattan skyline. Make sure to include this beautiful park in your New York City itinerary!

If you’re looking to plan an affordable trip to New York City, there are plenty of ways to do it. From finding cheaper versions of typical tourist attractions to eating like a local and taking advantage of museum deals, there are many ways to save money while still having an incredible time. Even taking advantage of free historical sites and brewery tours can help you stretch your budget further. And don’t forget to take advantage of the natural beauty the city has to offer with its bridges and parks.

Check out Framey!

To ensure you remember your trip, consider signing up with Framey App. This easy-to-use app helps you create beautiful photo albums of all your travels. Whether you’re in New York or elsewhere in the world, Framey allows you to share your photos and be inspired by the trips of your friends. 

So what are you waiting for? Plan your next budget-friendly trip to New York City today!

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