VISITING NEW YORK ON A BUDGET
New York’s long been one of my favourite cities. I first visited 20 years ago and it made a huge impression. It was my first trip outside Europe and felt a million miles away from home. Seeing iconic sights like yellow cabs, steam through subway grilles, towering skyscrapers and Times Square’s neon lights felt like walking onto a film set. I couldn’t get enough of it, and still can’t – I’ve been back five times since and need another New York fix soon. But like many world-class cities it can be expensive. So here are my tips on making the most of New York on a budget.
A big part of what makes New York so great is its atmosphere, and you can soak it up for free by walking the city streets. The changing feel as you move through the city’s neighborhoods – Harlem, the Upper East Side, Soho, Chinatown, Greenwich Village, Little Italy and the Meatpacking District – makes it feel like visiting lots of different cities in one. And that’s before you get out of Manhattan and start exploring the city’s other boroughs
There’s also free entry to some museums on certain days of the week. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is free after 5pm on Tuesdays, the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of the Moving Image are free from 4pm–8pm on Fridays, and the grounds of the New York Botanical Gardens are free to visit on Wednesdays and from 9am–10am on Saturdays. Many smaller museums are free all or part of the time too
The observation deck of the Empire State Building might be New York’s most iconic viewpoint, but it’s pricey at $54 to go right up to the 102nd floor. The Top of the Rock viewpoint at the Rockerfeller Centre might not be quite as tall but it’s a bit more reasonable at $36 and you get the bonus of a great view of the Empire State Building while you’re up there.