New York is one one of the most expensive cities in the world and the top of so many peoples travel bucket-lists. It was on mine ever since I was a child and it was one of those places I never really realised I could go to, and now I’ve been five times with two more trips lined up and it’s never really been a bank breaker. Lots of people don’t even consider NYC because of the fact people say it’s so expensive, and it can be, if you want a fifth avenue shopping spree and a horse driven drive around Central Park, but it can also be affordable – here’s how I manage
I often book with Norwegian and take a look at their low cost calendar, I’m never particularly picky about the dates, sometimes it’s super cheap to go via Ireland and it helps space out costs.
From London ^From Belfast ^
As you can see from Belfast you can do a trip for £200 return and you can often get to Belfast for less than £50 return.
I use booking.com every time because you can look for hotels that offer free cancellation and pay on arrival which again helps spread out the costs. I’ve usually paid between £100-250 for my stays (my partner or friend doing the same) The Pod hotels are a great shout because they’re cheap but clean and reliable, at the end of the day you’re in NYC you’re probably going to spend the majority of your time outside, so who needs an insane 5* hotel?
This is probably one of my favourite places in all of New York and it’s 100% free, it offers the absolute best views rain or shine. My best mate saw someone got engaged here and it’s clear to see why. There’s also a lot of food places around here as well as a carousel you can see in the background of this photo.
For ages I had absolutely no idea that there was an airborne tram in New York, I mean how does one hide that, but they somehow managed. This is the same costs as the metro ($2.75 each way) and offers a different view of New York. It goes over the water and to Roosevelt Island which like Dumbo beach offers fab views of Manhattan. I’ve been at day and night and both offer stunning photo ops as well as a really chilled out vibe.
NYC is famous for it’s pizza, but where to get it from? I can’t recommend Pizza Suprema enough, the prices are low and the slices generous. You can get 2 pieces and a drink for less than $10 which is quite the feat in NYC and you wont go hungry because the pieces are BIG
The first time I went to New York I really didn’t have a lot of cash, getting there took the bulk of it, so sightseeing in all the pricey places wasn’t really an option however I was DESPERATE to see the Statue of Liberty, I mean did you even really go to NYC if you haven’t seen her? Well the Staten Island ferry is completely free, it does a round trip and you can see her in all her glory! (TBH it’s not that expensive to actually go to the island and up to her, but this was the first time and I was just happy to be there!)
Self guided film tour
New York is home to MANY film and TV sets, Ghostbusters, Fantastic Beasts, SATC and Gossip Girl to name a few. There are plenty of companies that will charge you for a tour of these, but tbh it’s easier and 100% free (other than metro fares, but you can walk!) to do it yourself. None of the places are hidden or very hard to find, and Google map is your friend! I’ve had entire days in New York scouting down locations and it means you can go at whatever time you want and not jostle others for photo opportunities.
Outside Serena’s gaff (Gossip Girl)
Free museum entry
New York has some of the best museums in the entire world, including MOMA, but they come with entry prices, however on some days they waive these costs. MOMA has free entry on Friday evenings – there’s a list here – the list also includes a lot of none museum places.
This is my absolute fave, and I’ve visited it every single time I’ve been because it offers a different atmosphere depending on the weather and time of day. It’s also the place I got engaged because I loved it so much.
Walk walk and walk
So often people ask me what do I “do” in New York every time I go and sometimes I struggle for a response because the thing I like to do the most is walk, venture outside of Manhattan and check out Harlem and Brooklyn, take it in because every area offers something different. Check out the Highline and Central park! All free