New York, the Big Apple, is known to be an expensive place, but that is not to mean you cannot have fun if you are on a low budget (besides, it does not have to be expensive.. use the Flyavel webapp and find out just how cheap the flights to and accommodations in New York can be). There are numerous cheap and free things to do in New York. If you are on a low or a fixed budget, you can book in advance because there are discounts offered in most of the sites for advance booking. We at Flyavel especially recommend visiting the following locations which will cost you very little or are even free to visit.
Visit museums for free
Museums such as the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology are always free to visit. It would be wise for someone on a tight budget to take advantage of these free museums as they are a lot of fun to visit. There are also other free museums such as the Goethe House German Cultural Center and Guggenheim Museum Soho. Museums like the Brooklyn Botanical gardens are only free on Saturdays from 10 am to noon. There are others that let you pay as you wish. The Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art are some of the museums that you can visit and pay as you wish.
Big bus New York; hop-on and hop-off tour
This would be a good adventure for those trying to know the city a little better. The bus tour gives you an excellent overview of the city's top sights, culture, landmarks, and architecture. With your bus ticket, you can access three different sightseeing bus routes. These bus routes are midtown, uptown, and downtown. This will give you a chance to explore the entire New York City.
The bus tickets come along with the following benefits:
A tour for a day on a double-decker bus with open air seats on the second level
You can hop off and on to more than 25 bus stops if you wish to visit some attractions by foot.
Access to the three sightseeing bus routes; midtown, uptown, and downtown.
Each bus route takes about 2.5 hours
Free Wifi access on these buses.
This is one of the top places that you can have fun in New York without having to spend much. The best way to explore Central Park is by using a bike. Renting a bike will not put a dent in your bank account balance. Bike around the park to see the natural beauty and landmarks such as Jacqueline Kennedy, Loab Boathouse, Onassis Reservoir and Strawberry fields. While renting the bike, ask for a lock to keep the bike safe just in case you feel like taking a walk around the park. Everyone at Flyavel is in love with Central Park in winter time, it is simply gorgeous!
Brooklyn Brewery tours
Do not miss out on Williamsburg's Brooklyn Brewery free tours. They are usually on Saturdays from 1-5pm and 1-4pm on Sundays.
National September 11 Memorial
A memorial site was built at the location of the former World Trade Center Twin Towers in honor of the fallen. This is a site that everyone planning a trip to New York has to visit. The site of the two reflecting pools built where the Twins stood is something to behold. This memorial is a reminder of the tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001. It claimed the lives of thousands of people. Waterfalls that create pools which stretch for acres symbolize the loss of life and the void left behind by the attacks. They are the largest man-made waterfalls in the entire North America. There is a 45 tour with a tour guide to explain the history behind the gorgeous architecture of the memorial. It will be an emotional tour, but it will make you see how the people of New York are strong for bringing back the city after the tragedy. After the 45-minute tour is done, you will be free to walk around on your own. This is an experience that you cannot compare with getting the information from Google.
Staten Island Ferry
This free ferry ride is a great deal if you are on a low budget. Don't just stick to the city; a little view of its skyline would be fun. Flyavel is all about finding awesome deals and that's what we are doing when travelling ourselves. Why pay for an expensive boat tour to see the skyline when the Staten Island ferry gives a 25-minute free ride? Through the trip, you will be able to have a good look at Southern Manhattan, Lady Liberty, and Ellis Island.
Try a gallery crawl in Chelsea. All the galleries here are free with no one on your neck asking you to buy or try out stuff. There is usually a wine and cheese opening on Thursdays; it would be more fun if you visited on this day.
Public boathouse kayaking
Kayaking is always fun and adventurous. Get a free kayak from public boathouses such as long Island community boathouse in Queens.
This iconic bridge is open any time of the day. It would be a pleasant experience to bike or walk along it from Brooklyn to Manhattan. The Brooklyn Bridge gives you a beautiful view of the city.
Go stargazing on the High Line
There are fewer people in this park in the evening which gives you a higher chance to stargaze from the telescopes that are usually set up by Amateur Astronomers Association. This is not an activity for every other day as the telescopes are only brought on Tuesdays.
As you have seen, there are various things that you can do in New York without putting a dent in your bank account balance. The secret to having cheap fun in this city is booking in advance where you can. Advance tickets are usually a lot cheaper.