Five Do’s and Don’ts for New York City on a Budget

Five Do's and Don'ts for New York City on a Budget

New York City is an absolutely amazing city! In the city that never sleeps, you are never alone and the locals are characters in themselves. New Yorkers are certainly friendly (despite the movie stereotypes) and often were the first to start conversations with us. One man – dressed impeccably well – approached us in the subway and asked if we were Canadian. When we said yes he said “My favourite TV show is set in Canada!” He was talking about Rookie Blue – a show neither Mark or I had seen.

There’s no doubt that visiting NYC can burn a hole in your wallet. The sights, the shows, the food and museums all add up pretty fast. But if you follow these do’s and don’ts, you can still enjoy the Big Apple without going bust.

Do see a Broadway show
Don’t pay full price for tickets

Broadway | Five Do's and Don'ts for New York City on a Budget Imagine seeing a Broadway musical at 50% off! It’s not a dream, it’s TKTS! Buying your Broadway show ticket the day of the performance from TKTS is a much cheaper alternative to buying it in advance. If you are not fussy which show you want to see or where you want to sit, this is the way to go. You can find more information on TKTS here.

Do visit a museum
Don’t miss free museum days

Dinosaur | Five Do's and Don'ts for New York City on a Budget Select museums have certain days and times where they offer free admission. Additionally, some museums offer free admission or pay-what-you-can admission all year round – these museums include The Metropolitan Museum of Art! Check out the list here: Free Museum Days.

See the Statue of Liberty up-close
Don’t wait in line for hours

Statue of Liberty | Five Do's and Don'ts for New York City on a Budget Like total newbs we didn’t know one had to buy advanced tickets or wait in line for hours for a ride to Liberty Island. When we saw the queue – a wait of at least two hours – we turned tail. A woman at the Water Taxi kiosk saw the look on our face and said “You can see the Statue of Liberty from the water taxi. You won’t be dropped of at Library Island, but we get pretty close for good pictures.” We weren’t let down: close to Library Island and entertained by a funny and friendly tour guide.

Do watch a Yankees game
Don’t pay full price

Yankees Field | Five Do's and Don'ts for New York City on a Budget This one can by hit-or-miss. We were lucky the Yankees were not playing a high profile game and we weren’t picky with our seats. We paid $20 each for nosebleed tickets but had a great view of the game. We also waited last minute when they got desperate to sell the seats.

Do see the city skyline
Don’t spend your cash on entry fees to the Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building

You can waste hours in line to get to the top of the Rockefeller building or the Empire State Building. Of course, they do offer stunning views of the city. An alternative option for great views at no cost, and offers a chance to get a few steps in is the High Line. The High Line is  an elevated section of a disused New York Central Railroad that runs along the Lower West Side of Manhattan.

What is your favourite cheap/free activity in NYC?

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10 thoughts on “Five Do’s and Don’ts for New York City on a Budget

    1. simplysojourns Post author

      Thanks Lyn! I’m glad to hear that 🙂
      NYC is a very walkable city. You won’t have any trouble getting around, and you’ll most likely stumble into a neat little neighbourhood!

    1. simplysojourns Post author

      It’s great to hear you guys are flexible which allows you to see Broadway shows! I’ve never heard of the raffle – I’ll have to look into it.

  1. Cheryl @ Central Park Blog

    What great tips! I’ve always thought of NYC as being an expensive city for traveling, but you make it sound totally accessible for families on a budget. Such a cool, minimalist concept! I hope to make it to New York City some day, so I pinned this post to save all of your excellent tips.

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