Everyone knows that New York City is one of the top destinations in the world. Getting a piece of the Big Apple is something that people dream about. When you get to NYC there are going to be a million and one things you will want to experience. In order to save some money to spend on yourself later, here are five things that you can do for free in NYC.
1. The Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry is one the most popular free activities to do in New York City. It’s super fun, quick, and easy. Round trip usually takes about one to one and a half hours. As you cruise across the New York Harbor, you get to take in amazing views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline. It’s a photography lover’s dream. Sunset and night cruises are always particularly memorable and can be quite romantic. When touring as a group, you can rest assured that the ferry is clean, safe, and functional. There’s a snack bar with food and drinks, including alcoholic beverages. A helpful tip: Remember to bring a jacket in the cooler months as the weather on the water can be quite chilly.
2. Museum of Modern Art
The world-famous Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is free for all visitors on Friday Free Nights, every Friday evening from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. The museum holds one of the largest collections of modern art in the world and has six floors with great gallery spaces. Some of the most popular exhibits include the following:
- The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh
- Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond by Monet
- Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Picasso
- Campbell’s Soup Cans by Andy Warhol
- One: Number 31 by Jackson Pollock
- Drowning Girl by Roy Lichtenstein
- Self-portraits by Frida Kahlo
- Outdoor sculpture garden
There are also special temporary exhibits and numerous film series, which are also accessible for free. Each exhibit has its own unique flair and modern touch. There’s enough variety to ensure that everyone in your group sees something they absolutely love.
In order to avoid lines, the museum recommends visitors arrive after 5:30 p.m. and refrain from bringing backpacks since larger bags need to be checked. The line for Free Friday Night tickets begins at the museum’s 54th Street entrance.
3. Brooklyn Botanical Garden
This New York City sanctuary is one of the best gardens in the world and offers free admission each weekday during the winter, from December to February; and Friday mornings before noon year-round. The most popular section is the Japanese Garden featuring a Bonsai tree collection and beautiful cherry blossoms. The garden is the perfect place for you and your group to have a coffee (yes, there’s a café) and/or talk a walk. The entire garden is family-friendly if you have kids in your group, and there is a lot for everyone to do.
4. The High Line
The High Line is an old spur of the New York Central Railroad on Manhattan’s West Side that has been turned into an elevated 1.45-mile-long tree-lined public park 30 feet above the ground. It runs from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th avenues, and is a great place to go for a casual stroll and take in views of the Hudson River and Manhattan’s streets below. When you walk down the path, you’ll see views that can’t be seen anywhere else in the City. There are benches and walkways to nearby shops that will allow you to spend as much or as little time as you want on the path. It’s open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily, and offers many seasonal tours and special events free of charge. For more information, go to http://www.thehighline.org.
5. The Museum of Arts and Design
The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) on Columbus Circle in Manhattan has “pay what you wish” rates on Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m, but you’ll need to make reservations in advance. The museum is perfectly sized for you and your group to see everything you want without having to spend the entire day here. The exhibitions, which all document contemporary and historic innovation in craft, art and design, are constantly changing. So it’s best to consult their website for current and upcoming exhibitions and collections.
Restaurant Robert, located on the museum’s ninth floor, has a phenomenal view of Columbus Circle and Central Park, along with an amazing menu. You and your group can sit down and eat or have a drink in a chic lounge environment if you want to take a break.
These five must-see attractions allow you and your group to enjoy NYC like a native. Following these tips and advice will ensure you get the most out of your trip. If you need or would like any help, please don’t hesitate to contact our office to speak to one of our NYC travel experts. Call us at 212-564-1001.