New York City is one of the most expensive cities in the world. With the average rate of a hotel stay in NYC at over $250 a night, it’s the most expensive place to visit in the United States. With expensive attractions, that price only goes up from there. However, if you’re willing to do some budget research before your trip, New York City can be a surprisingly affordable place to visit. Here are tips for saving money while visiting the Big Apple.
Research the best tours
Tours are a great way to save both time and money. If you want to make the most of your time in NYC, you need to do your research to find the best tour that meets your needs. With an endless number of tours available in the city, you don’t want to waste money on those that fall short. Whether you want to bike Central Park or tour the Statue of Liberty, there’s a tour for you. When researching tours, check for knowledgeable guides, small groups, and flexibility.
Purchase a CityPass
The most popular attractions in New York City can get pricey quickly. The best way to save big on these big ticket attractions is by purchasing a CityPass. These passes give you entry into tons of attractions covered in the price of the pass, and it is valid for several days. The CityPass includes the cost of admission to the MET, the Empire State Building, and many more popular sights. This is also an easy way to avoid waiting in long lines for tickets to popular attractions.
Visit museums for free
You cannot end your vacation before enriching your soul by appreciating all the beautiful art that’s stored in New York’s museum. A lot of museums, like the American Museum of Natural History or the Whitney Museum of American Art, have a pay-how-much-you-want policy on certain days, where there isn’t an actual admission fee but you rather pay what you can afford.
But that’s not the best part. You can even visit certain museums, like the Museum of Modern Art or the Museum of the Moving Image, without having to spend a nickel (on certain days).
Be vigilant about scams
New York City scammers prey on unsuspecting tourists, and you might find yourself lured into a pricey trap. One of the most popular scams, for instance, is the New York Harbor cruises. Tour “guides” will claim this is the only way to see the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline from the water, charging hefty fees for a spot on their ferries.
This isn’t true, and the Staten Island Ferry offers the same excellent view for free. Brush up on the most popular scams in the city before you leave on your trip to protect yourself (and your wallet).
Eat where the locals eat
While some come to NYC just for the upscale dining, there’s more to the big city than fancy lounges and expensive restaurants. When it comes to dining cheap, eat where the locals eat. The neighborhoods surrounding the bigger colleges in the city and prime spots for great and inexpensive food. Try the East Village near New York University or one of the outer boroughs.
Find low-cost Broadway tickets
If you’re a theater lover looking to catch a show in the Big Apple, you don’t have to pay big bucks. TKTS booths are a great place to find discounted Broadway tickets and they can be found throughout the city. There are also online resources which often have great deals. If all else fails, visiting the theater’s box office hours before the show can sometimes score you last-minute deals.
Do your shopping on Canal Street
New York City is filled with street vendors claiming to have the best deals. Do yourself a favor and head straight to Canal Street for all your bargain hunting needs. It’s the best place to find purses, jewelry, and way more at super discounted prices. This is also a great place to find a cheap lunch without the crowds of more touristy spots.
Use AirBnB instead of booking a hotel room
It’s common knowledge that accommodation in New York is one of the priciest around. In order to save some money, consider staying at an AirBnB where you’ll rent a room at a much cheaper price without sacrificing comfort. You can make sure the room has all the necessary amenities you need by doing a thorough search.
Visit NYC on a budget
With the right research, visiting New York City is more affordable than ever. As long as you’re open-minded and flexible, you can have a great trip to the city at a low cost. With everything from Broadway plays to local dining, there’s something for everyone in the city that never sleeps.
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