Travel Guide to Free Things to do in New York City

August 2, 2013 | By More
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New York City is a magnet for travelers both foreign and domestic. And it’s no surprise: NYC is packed with sights, sounds and people from all walks of life. Although the cost of living in New York is notoriously high, the cost of visiting doesn’t have to be. New York City has a lot to offer for travelers with a tiny budget.

Rockefeller Center New York

If you’re looking for a few days’ worth of sightseeing without going broke, these activities, museums and memorials are absolutely free:

Be in the studio audience for a late-night show.
New York is home to The Late Show, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live and more. Tickets to see a taping are free, but they can be hard to get ahold of. Check a show’s website to find out how to reserve tickets. Plan far in advance to boost your chances of gaining admission to your favorite show.

Rachel Ray Show

Daytime shows, too!
The Rachael Ray Show, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The View and other daytime shows are filmed in New York City, too. Some of these require free tickets, but for others, like The Today Show, you just need to show up outside the taping and you might get on camera.

Public places to see and be seen.
New York City is flush with history, creativity and beauty just waiting for you out in the open. Make sure you visit Times Square, walk down Broadway, stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge, and visit the stone lions at the New York Public Library.

Central Park New York

Don’t forget the parks.
Central Park is New York’s most famous park, but it isn’t the only one (and it isn’t even the largest). Some of the other wide swaths of calming greenery you’ll find throughout this metropolis are Pelham Bay Park (Bronx), Greenbelt (Staten Island), Marine Park (Brooklyn) and Flushing Meadows (Queens).

World Trade Center Memorial

The 9/11 Memorial and One World Trade Center.
While you’re in Manhattan, take a few moments to meditate on the 9/11 Memorial, and then turn around and get an eyeful of the tallest building in the western hemisphere. Standing at a meaningful 1,776 feet high, the One World Trade Center is an architectural feat to behold. (Tours begin in 2015.)

5 Pointz Aerosol Art Center:  This outdoor art exhibit space features the work of graffiti artists who come from around the world to show off their skills on the walls of a 200,000-square-foot factory building.

African Burial Ground Memorial Site– The monument in Lower Manhattan features a 6.6-acre burial ground of both free and enslaved Africans. The site includes an interactive visitor center, tours and an art display.

American Folk Art Museum-This museum features the artwork of both American and international folk artists, including quilts, sculptures and paintings.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts– An internationally recognized facility, the Bronx Museum of the Arts features contemporary art exhibitions, educational sessions and various events, including film screenings, concerts and readings.

General Grant National Memorial– Also known as Grant’s Tomb, this mausoleum contains the remains of American’s 18th President and Civil War General, Ulysses S. Grant. It has been recognized as the largest mausoleum in North America. The site also includes a gallery that details highlights of Grant’s life.

The Hispanic Society of America– A museum and reference library, the Hispanic Society of America features artifacts for those interested in the history, arts and cultures of Spain, Latin America and Portugal.

Museum of Biblical Art– Located in Manhattan, this museum focuses on the Bible’s influence on artists who depicted the faith of Jews and Christians throughout history.

Scandinavia House– The Nordic Center in America–This New York cultural site offers visitors an in-depth look at the cultures of Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Many New York museums that charge admission also have special days or times when you can enter for free. If there’s a particular site or attraction you want to see while you’re in New York, check its website for the cheapest times to visit.

Staying safe in the big city is largely a matter of staying alert and using your common sense. New York City sees over 50 million visitors a year, including 10 million from overseas.  If you’re coming in to New York City from outside the United States, take the time to be prepared. Make sure your passport and visas are in order, keep an eye on foreign exchange rates, and purchase international travel insurance from a reputable company like HCC Medical Insurance Services to cover any health issues that might arise. And make sure you keep proof of that insurance with you at all times.

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About The Author: 
Cassandra Lynne who is an avid traveler and adventure seeker. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending her time outdoors hiking and camping with her pup, Joy. Follow her on Twitter @goodmorningblog.
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Photo Credits:  Google Commons

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Category: Family Vacations, Featured, Good To Know, New York Tips, New York Travel Tips

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