You are ready for New York and Lady Liberty is ready for you. Now you need to decide where to go and how you can see as much as possible without breaking the bank. Look no further. Here are top money saving tips for your trip to the Big Apple plus many free things to do.

With more than 50 million tourists bustling about during any given year and a plethora of places to visit where should you land first? Here are the five boroughs (neighborhood districts) of New York with not-to-miss tourist attractions and free things to do. Check out and save the interactive Google Map on the bottom of this post with all the mentioned locations tagged for you!

Home to Central Park, the Empire State Building and upscale art galleries. The Fashion Institute of Technology Museum is here and piles of gold beneath the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. World renowned, eclectic neighborhoods include Hell’s Kitchen, Greenwich Village and SoHo.

For inexpensive, ethnic delicacies, visit Little India in the East Village or Chinatown in lower Manhattan. Ready to hit Broadway and see a show? Locate the nearest TKTS booth to score half price same-day and next-day tickets. Purchase tickets online in advance here:

Free Things to Do:

Take the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, visit the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) on a Friday from 4-8 p.m. or have a picnic on Governors Island. The Jewish Museum does not charge admission on Saturdays.

Home to Coney Island and all the hot dogs you desire. There is also a BMX Bike Park, Saturday market at Grand Army Plaza and a ‘House of Yes’ that you get to visit for free, the weird art exhibits and cabaret are a bonus.

The Brooklyn Museum and Brooklyn Children’s Museum (free admission Thursdays from 2-6 p.m.) are located here. For music venues, nightclubs, restaurants, theaters and everything that’s going on in the art and film scene view the online magazine Brooklyn.

Free Things to Do:

Visit the New York Aquarium on a ‘pay what you wish day’ or hop on board the historic Waterfront Museum Barge. On Tuesday’s the beautiful flowers and plentiful fresh air of the 52-acre Brooklyn Botanic Garden are free.

Home of the New York Yankees and the Bronx Zoo. Take your family to the zoo on Wednesdays for free. For authentic Italian food at reasonable prices visit the Belmont neighborhood to get your fill of pizza, potato gnocchi, lamb chops, soft shell crab and pastas.

To work off the calories, explore the 26 acres of gardens and greenhouses located in Wave Hill. Views of the Hudson River and admission are free on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

Free Things to Do:

Take a stroll in the lovely New York Botanical Gardens on Wednesdays. The Bronx Museum of the Arts is open Wednesday to Sunday and free to the public.

If you are looking for the newest, hip tourist hub in New York this may be it. If you love bird watching, spend a morning at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Then visit the MoMA PS1 or Noguchi museum. Admission to Noguchi is free the first Friday of every month.

Afterwards head to Tacuba Mexican Cantina for fish tacos or Alewife NYC for all day happy hour Monday through Thursday from 4:20 p.m. to 1 a.m. want some nightlife action. Try BOB Bar featuring hip-hop, R&B, reggae and dancehall music. You can watch live bands perform at The Open Suitcase, Rockwood Music Hall or Terraza 7.

Free Things to Do:

Museum of the Moving Image. For those who love movies, television and all things video. Free admission on Fridays from 4-8 p.m.

There are more than 170 parks on Staten Island with activities such as ice-skating (Clove Lakes), swimming (South Beach), horseback riding (Clay Pit Ponds State Park) and bird watching (Mount Loretto Nature Preserve). Take your pick.

There is also the Staten Island Zoo (free admission after 2 p.m. on Wednesdays), the Staten Island Children’s Museum (free on Wednesdays 5-8 p.m.) and the now defunct Fort Wadsworth; the longest operating U.S. military base until 1994.

Free Things to Do:

The Museum of Maritime Navigation and Communication does not charge admission. Ride the Staten Island Ferry for free back to NYC.

Money Saving Tips for Transportation and Meals for Your Visit to New York City

Skip the cab fare and put your walking shoes on. Alternatively, hop on the subway and see where it takes you. You will get to see more at a more enjoyable pace and discover hidden gems all on your own. Wander through a neighborhood that looks appealing and see what you can find.

To save costs on food enjoy the plentiful street food rather than eating in pricey restaurants. Head to Uncle Gussy’s in Midtown Manhattan for stuffed pita sandwiches, Korilla BBQ for Korean-style rice bowls and burritos (new location daily) or stop by the award-winning King of Falafel & Shawarma in Queens.

To research the many street food options available check out the website

This is a simple, easy-to-follow blueprint for how to save money during your trip to New York including many free things to do in NYC. Each area and neighborhood has its own vibe and noteworthy places to visit, try to check out as many as you can. What are some of your money saving trips for New York City?


Jayson Goetz

Jayson is a writer from Phoenix, Arizona that is passionate about traveling on a budget. Being a broke writer, Jayson soon learned that if he wants to travel he needs to find the best deals. He loves sharing his experiences and tips in hopes of helping people travel the world. Connect with Jayson here !