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New York City is notoriously expensive. With world-class dining, theater, and nightlife, a lot of people hesitate to take a trip to the Big Apple since they’re afraid they can’t afford it. While the city that never sleeps can be pricey if you’re not careful, a little planning goes a long way. Whether you’re a first time visitor or an NYC pro, here’s a guide to seeing the best of New York City on a budget.
See the major sights with a bus tour.
Bus tours are the perfect way to get a feel for the city without having to spend a day hopping between taxis and metro cars. There’s a lot of the big city to see, and a bus tour makes it easier than ever to see the biggest sights for the lowest price tag. You’ll even have the added benefit of a knowledgeable guide sharing tips and tricks for exploring the city as well as local history you and your family might not have known about. TopView tour bus is one of the best bus tours in the city, and you’re sure to take the best family photos with 360-degree spectacular views!
Instead of buying multiple tickets, buy a single CityPass.
The NYC CityPass is by far the best way to save money in New York. The CityPass gains you entry into many of the top sights and museums all for one fee, and it’s good for several days so you don’t have to rush to see everything! The price of several different museums quickly adds up which can make it hard to see everything on your list. You don’t have to pick and choose when you have a CityPass because you can do it all for one price!
Visit during the off-season when prices are down.
New York City can be crowded in the summer and springtime when people from all over the world flock to the Big Apple. These crowds drive prices up, making it harder for those on a budget to afford a trip to the city. Prices for hotels alone can go over $300 a night easily just for a moderate hotel room.
Visiting during the off-season ensures you get the best price possible! The winter months are the best time to visit as long as you don’t mind the cold! If you’re absolutely against going when it’s snowing, try visiting in early spring or late fall for milder temperatures but lower crowds.
Stay outside of Manhattan.
When most people think of visiting the Big Apple, they think of staying in Manhattan. Manhattan is a relatively small island, meaning there is limited space and increased cost. While it’s nice to stay near the popular sights like Times Square or Central Park, these are notoriously expensive areas. New York City offers much more than Manhattan, and choosing accommodation in an outer borough like Astoria or Brooklyn can go a long way in keeping the costs down. Don’t worry about getting around even if you aren’t in a central location! The variety of inexpensive transportation in the city makes it easy to stay connected to the big attractions.
Don’t be afraid to eat cheap.
Cheap eating doesn’t have to mean unhealthy! There are a number of excellent quick service restaurants around the city that offer a great variety of food at a lower cost. When it comes to eating for less, you’ll need to see where the locals go. When in doubt, the food near colleges always seems to be plentiful and inexpensive. Try Greenwich Village around NYU or Harlem near Columbia University for cheap college-friendly eats.
Visiting NYC on a budget.
It’s not as hard as you’d think to visit the big city on a budget with a family! With so many different cultures and ideas in one place, New York City is a welcome place for all, and there really is something for everyone. As long as you do your research in advance and keep an open mind you should have a great time on a budget!