Top (Free!) Things to Do in New York City

new york skating

When you start thinking about a holiday to New York City, you probably don’t think about a budget holiday! The Big Apple is certainly a global capital of culture, media, art, music, food, fashion, business, economy… the list goes on for ages! It’s a can’t-miss experience for any traveler. But it is a notoriously expensive city, so most people don’t go without a walletful of cash.

But we’re here to tell you that there are indeed cheap and FREE things to do in this amazing city. So splurge where you can when you stay in New York, but also don’t miss these awesome and free activities in NYC:

new york skating

Explore Central Park

Of course most parks are free, but Central Park is the most visited urban park in the U.S. so it’s definitely a top destination in the city! And there are so many things to do here. Check out Strawberry Fields, an area commemorating John Lennon, and take a walk through the Conservatory Garden, a 6-acre gorgeous garden in European style. You can take a free tour starting from Belvedere Castle, and score awesome views over the park.

Take a Trip to Governor’s Island

A free, 7-minute ferry will shuttle you over to Governor’s Island, a 172-acre island that just opened up to the public in 2003. They’ve got a 2.2 mile bike path to go for a walk or a jog, or go mini golfing at the adorable mini golf course. There’s plenty of military-era architecture, forts, a picnic area and a “ghost town” at Nolan Park.

Enjoy the Atmosphere

Just walking around New York City is an experience in itself. You will encounter such a diverse array of people, shops, smells, tastes and everything in between… you’ll find you don’t need to spend money to have a good time! At Christmastime, the city twinkles with spirit so bundle up and walk through the glittering streets. And although it’s not quite free, it’s certainly cheap to go skating in New York at Central Park!

Read in New York Public Library

The Public Library here is iconic and massive, the perfect place to while away the day if you’re a book-lover. Just east of Times Square, it’s perfectly located in the center of the city. Your jaw will drop as you enter the massive reading room with a towering ceiling and antique lamps. They give free tours at 11 am and 2 pm for those interested in the history and construction of the library. Explore a bit and find a copy of the original Declaration of Independence!

Socrates Sculpture Park

The Socrates Sculpture Park, on the East River overlooking Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side, actually used to be a dump site! It’s now a great place to see some interesting rotating art installations and shows. It’s also the site of various public programs like healthy living workshops, an outdoor cinema and solstice celebrations and festivals.


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