While the city of New York is considered as one of the priciest cities in America, you'd be surprised to know about the many things you could enjoy without spending a single cent.
Everything sounds and feels better when it comes to free. In a world like today's where everything seems to cost more and more, the toughest part is to enjoy something without shelling out a penny. Free stuff, however, hasn't lost its luster and never will. Imagine on your expensive holiday you discover the many things you can enjoy for free? Wouldn't it suddenly become more exciting and attractive? As travelers usually prefer to make the most of their trip by spending the least they can, anything that comes for free is simply a big fat bonus. Let us take a look at the list of the points of interest in New York City that you can enjoy for free. Explore great tourist attractions in New York with top restaurants, nightlife spots, shopping districts, sporting events, museums and performing arts. (Plus experience a slice of happy hippie life with our New York itinerary six- day trip).
Chelsea: Galleries & Market
The hip neighborhood below Midtown is known for its art galleries, and they generally don't charge an admission fee. This means you can feast your eyes on the lovely artwork and if you've luckily hit one of the right galleries you also get free wine in there for free. Bravo! While you're here, check out the Chelsea Market, a corridor of hip shops and eateries (all of which charge, of course, but the experience is still cool, and free!).
New York Public Library
In a huge, magnificent Beaux Arts building at the heart of Midtown, you eyeball the famous reading rooms and majestic corridors - and request a book or bring your own, You also get to use their Wi-Fi for free!
We've heard free candies, maybe free food, but free booze? A great wine shop out in Park Slope, Brooklyn called Big Nose Full Body offers free tastings daily. Intoxicating!
Now it's time for some suds. Several microbreweries such as Manhattan's Chelsea Brewing Company offer free tours and tastings!
The Tonight Show
So you're a Jimmy Fallon fan? You watch him for free on TV of course. Now watch his live taping for free as well. Wonderful isn't it? Catch The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon and enjoy your celebrity fun for free.
Brooklyn Botanical Garden
Treat yourself to some exceptional floral beauty at the botanic garden in New York City. The garden is free only on Tuesdays, though also on Saturdays from 10 am to noon.
The largest zoo in the city welcomes you for free with over 3500 animals on 265 acres. Donations are welcome but not required!
Socrates Sculpture Park
Enjoy a couple of hours at the magnificent Queens park with spectacular views of the waterfront. This park is a perfect getaway from a hectic routine - and has a backyard pool as well!
African Burial Ground
This lower Manhattan national monument site is where over 400 caskets were found in a time when New York was one of the cities that had the most number of slaves in America. This place makes for a good dig through history, with a visitor's center that very well narrates historic facts. Both free and very informative.
Best Islands of New York
A lesser known side to the Big Apple is a handful of islands that offer a refuge from the big-city hustle and bustle - lightly populated yet offering plenty of amenities, sights, and fun activities for visitors.
This beach is famous for surfing- one can literally "rock away" on the rising and falling waves. This island does have something of a dark past, though. It housed the children’s reform home, in which the children were abused and mistreated and the government had to intervene. However now, this place is the best to give you an adrenaline rush and then calm you down with its pleasant environment, and relaxed surroundings. It is easy to reach this island by taking the New York Beach Ferry or Beach Bus. The sand dunes and the waves give one the perfect opportunity to loosen up, take in the warm sun and relax before they can again hop on to a surfing board and explore the sea while rocking on the sea waves. Once done with that, one can enjoy the fish, Margaritas, and Tacos, available at the Surf Club. Overall, this place is not wanting anything and is the perfect holiday destination.
Part of the Bronx, this island is famous for its yacht clubs, and open restaurants, in which one can eat while absorbing the view of the vast sea. However, the beach is not easily accessible, unless one goes through someone who owns a beach here. This is the best place to relax and unwind with your loved ones. One can go there, eat and drink and watch time go by. Although it is famous primarily for food, this island also offers an opportunity for scuba diving. The best way to reach this island is to drive or take a bus.
This island is to satiate the history geek in you. Cars are not allowed on this island. One can go there for picnics or to lie down in the sun and soak in the goodness of nature. The vast spread of hills against the backdrop of the sky can calm even the weariest soul. The view of the Statue of Liberty and the New York Harbor that this island offers is truly mesmerizing. The adventure enthusiast in you can indulge in sports like rock climbing and zip lining. Wide ranges of eating options are available. Especially famous is the Popup Dinner, wherein the guests are asked to bring their own cutlery, tableware, and decorations and the dinner is arranged at a secret location. This event is mostly held in September. The best way to reach this island is by taking the NY Waterway ferry or the NYC ferry.
Famous as one of the world's first amusement parks, with the iconic Cyclone roller coaster and the Wonder Wheel. It can be seen as a huge playground, in front of the wide sea, where one can play and enjoy. It is possible to engage in a wide variety of sports or to sit back and enjoy the famous Nathan’s hot dogs. Another place to visit in order to satiate your hunger is Ruby’s Bar and Grill. A popular attraction is the one-of-a kind Ford Amphitheatre, with seating for about 5,000 and different festivals and shows organized here throughout the year. An easy way to reach this island is to take the subway/elevated train to Stillwell Avenue.
A green oasis located in between East Harlem and Port Morris, it's a hub of fitness sports, good food, and cultural events, serving as a popular retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. Two of the most popular services offered by this island is free yoga every Tuesday, during the summers, and movie nights every Saturday. The yoga is held near the Sunken Meadow Picnic Area, while the movie night is held in Field 42, and a popular even is the Vegan Food and Drink Festival held in October, powered by which around a hundred vendors. One can drive here or take a bus.
Located just south of Randall’s Island, it also has a dark past. Once known as the Blackwell’s Island, it housed a jail, an asylum, and a hospital for the poor. Now it it offers green spaces and breathtaking views Manhattan city. A well-known spot here is the 60-foot pool in the Manhattan Park apartment complex, where visitors can buy tickets and cool off. there are a number of events held each year, especially for families and children like the pony riding and flower painting even held on Roosevelt Island Day. The other city attractions include the former New York Asylum lobbies and the Octagon. One can reach this island by taking a tram on East 59th Street and Second Avenue. This island is also connected via trains and buses.
Plus 4 Romantic Getaways
Walker Hotel Greenwich Village
Situated in the center of Manhattan, its early-20th-century atmosphere is perfect for couples to experience classic romantic vibes. Apart from this, room rates include access to the fitness center, so you can enjoy the sumptuous meals offered by the hotel while also keeping health in check. Couples can dine at various exquisite neighborhood restaurants and take free walking tours offered by the hotel.
Hotel 50 Bowery NYC
On the Lower East Side, this is a perfect getaway for couples who are into art; not only is each of its rooms super spacious but each of them also features original artwork. Guests and visitors alike can also explore the art exhibit that the hotel organizes, as well as take in the majestic Manhattan skyline from the hotel rooftop bar.
Luxurious and modern, within easy reach of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other attractions, this East-Midtown property offers couples spacious rooms lined with rich, artistic interiors with even more cozy bathrooms. The hotel offers free breakfasts and a wide assortment of wine and cheese for all guest, as well as divine live piano performances in the lobby every weeknight.
Allie’s Inn Bed & Breakfast
Experience authentic New York-style hospitality at Allie's Inn Bed & Breakfast with your partner on spacious, wooded St. Nicholas Park in far upper Manhattan's Harlem neighborhood (despite the area's dicey rep in past decades, today you'd be surprised!). While the rooms are spacious and have private baths, the suites come with private kitchens for you to give your beloved a delicious start to the day. Couples can also request private spa treatments.
You can best explore the city with New York Itineraries to get a perfect glimpse of the city and build memories that will last a lifetime.