Exploring New York City on a Budget

Travel Map IconNEW YORK CITY - The city of New York can be a wonderful place to visit. It's easy to be overwhelmed by the size of the city and the many different attractions that it has to offer. Fortunately, there are ways to explore the city without breaking the bank!

Exploring New York City on a Budget


Visiting New York City on a Budget


Staten Island Ferry

One of the best ways to explore New York City on a budget is to take advantage of the Staten Island Ferry.  This free and convenient ferry connects lower Manhattan to Staten Island. The ride is a quick 25 minutes each way and provides some impressive views.

The ferry is a popular tourist destination for many travelers. It is the world's busiest passenger-only ferry system. It has been in existence for more than a century.

There are several ways to get to the Staten Island Ferry. If you are a visitor, you can take the subway, ride-sharing, or a taxi to the docks.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Take advantage of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden if you want to explore New York City on a budget. This park is an oasis in the middle of the city and is ideal for a relaxing day. The garden is a 52-acre space and features numerous themed gardens.

In addition to the garden's beautiful natural beauty, the site offers several events and programs to enjoy. You can join a virtual tour and learn about the plants in the garden or attend one of the many special events.

During the holiday season, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden transforms into an illuminary winter garden with poetry in light and music. Visitors can experience a variety of artists’ works throughout the garden.

Staten Island Museum of Art

The Staten Island Museum of Art is one of New York City's oldest cultural organizations. Founded in the late 19th century, the museum is housed in a gilded-age mansion. It has an extensive art collection, including Marc Chagall and Andy Warhol’s pieces. In addition to its permanent collection, the museum offers free admission to the public on the first Friday of each month.

Other notable NYC museums include the Guggenheim, which features an extensive collection of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Also, the Brooklyn Museum includes several exhibits on the subway system’s history.

If you're on a budget, skip the renowned Statue of Liberty. Although it's worth visiting, it's also a bit more expensive than many other top New York attractions.

Upper East Side

The Upper East Side may be a good choice for those on a budget. Not only is it close to Central Park, but it is also a vibrant and bustling neighborhood. There is an abundance of museums, restaurants, and stores in the area. You can even catch a ferry to Brooklyn.

The neighborhood has been a prime destination for the rich and famous for over a century. It is also a top destination for tourists. Try taking an Upper East Side tour to see the best of the neighborhood. This is a great way to learn about the neighborhood's history and architecture.


If you are planning a trip to New York, there is no reason not to explore the city's Midtown. The area is the heart of the city's theater and shopping and is full of iconic buildings and popular cafes.

While it may seem that Manhattan's Midtown is expensive to visit, you can save money while exploring the city's best attractions. Many hotels and restaurants in this area offer affordable rates. The neighborhood hotels are within walking distance of the Empire State Building and Broadway shows. You can even find a few hotels that are in the vicinity of Fifth Avenue shopping.