The best things in life are free, and New York City is no exception. Sure, you can splash out on all the biggest and best attractions, meals, and hotel rooms if that is what you want. For more fun and to see the best of the city, you need to downscale your budget and check out the amazing and free sights that the city that never sleeps has to offer.
Wall Street, Manhattan
This famous New York street is about much more than money. Situated near the tip of Manhattan, this street gets its name from the fort wall that used to run down its center. The earliest Dutch settlers built their fort on the tip of the island and erected a wall to keep out their native neighbors. When you take a stroll down Wall Street to take in its sights, including the Charging Bull and Fearless Girl sculptures, take a look beneath your feet. All along the centerline of the cobbles and asphalt, you may spot the remains of the original Dutch wall, with small squares marking where the stakes of the fort were anchored into the ground back in 1625.
Wall Street is just a short cab ride from the New York Port Authority building, where most busses terminate in the city. If you are arriving there you can enjoy two New York experiences for the price of one and take a trip in a big yellow taxi. For tourists from inside the Empire State, the Syracuse to NYC bus route is the perfect way to arrive in the big apple and puts you in a prime position for some budget sightseeing. Take a look here for more information on the route and see how Wanderu makes it easy to book your ticket to the heart of New York City while on a budget.
The Bright Lights Of Broadway
Since you are already in Manhattan, Broadway is a must visit for the neon lights and big name performers on one of the city’s most important streets. This big wide boulevard has been the epicenter of New York City entertainment since the mid-1700s. It may stretch over 13 miles from Manhattan to the Bronx, but the theater district on the Manhattan Island end is what has made this street so famous. There are over 41 theaters in this small area, all proud to boast the distinction of being a ‘Broadway House’.
The world’s biggest theatrical productions all come here to make their mark, and it has been home to some of the most iconic and legendary performances in history. The Phantom of the Opera ran on Broadway for a record 35 years, and the live-action production of The Lion King on Broadway is the highest grossing theater production ever in the world there. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. You do not have to spend a single cent to get a good feel for the atmosphere of the theaters, and if you hang around Broadway around lunchtime you might get a glimpse of one of its stars.
Take In Times Square
Where Broadway meets 7th Avenue you will find one of the most iconic images in the city. It is a haven for locals and tourists alike and seems to be where every aspect of the city meets in one place. Times Square is the definitive New York landmark, featured in hundreds of films and TV shows, and serves as a backdrop for morning television and breaking news broadcasts. There is plenty to do here that doesn’t cost a dime either. Just spending some time people watching can be an endless source of entertainment; New Yorkers never disappoint. You have some great options for lunch in this area too.
For a low cost souvenir, get your photo taken with one of the many cosplaying celebrity and character impersonators in the area. For just a few bucks they will happily let you get a snap with them, whether they are a Tom Cruise lookalike or dressed like Super Mario. Shop around to get a good balance between price and costume quality. The Sesame Street impersonators like Elmo and Cookie Monster are legends in the area and make the perfect Instagram post from your trip to the big city.
There is still more to see and do for next to nothing in New York. If you need to walk off the extra calories from a New York deli lunch, go south and head for Central Park; another excellent free attraction. Getting to the big apple and enjoying a day of sightseeing does not have to cost much money at all, in fact visiting New York on a budget is more fun than a luxury trip!