New York on a (seriously tight) budget

I recently went to New York on a seeerious budget, and managed to do everything on my list ~ without ~ spending a tonne (thanks to google). Here’s a list of the free things I enjoyed!

  1. New York Classical Theatre Company – Central Park

The New York Classical Theatre Company runs on the philosophy that art should be free and accessible to all. And, unlike it’s counter part – Shakespeare in the Park – which can be over crowded and extremely difficult to get tickets for – their productions are free and unticketed, meaning that you can just turn up. A donation is encouraged at the end, however there is no obligation to make one if you can’t afford it.

I’m very pleased to say this performance completely over-exceeded my expectations, and it was the best play I’ve seen in a while. The actors move throughout Central Park from scene to scene, and the audience follow them as they do so. This really included the audience in the action, and it did well to keep an air of magic about the performance.

2. Staten Island Ferry

This ferry is a free shuttle from Manhattan to Staten Island – and while it isn’t the prettiest item on the list, it is completely free and takes you right past the Statue of Liberty. Go to Battery Park and take the ferry from there – there isn’t much to do on Staten Island, so I’d recommend getting lunch in one of the food places in the terminal and heading back.


View from the Staten Island Ferry

3. The Standard rooftop bar

So when I booked to come to New York, I knew I wanted to go up a Skyscraper for that skyline view. However – when looking for tickets/ entrance information, the tickets were almost $40 for one person.

$40! Hell no.

A friend than told us about The Standard Hotel – which has a rooftop bar, complete with hot tub – with fantastic views over the city. Obviously, you need to buy a drink and wine was extortionately priced at $12 a glass. However, this way you get a glass of wine and a view, and that is a bargain and a half in my opinion.


View from The Standard’s rooftop

4. MoMA free Fridays

Every Friday evening, from 4-8pm the MoMA has free entry. It’s a must-see gallery for many people, and while it is packed at this time, seeing A Starry Night for free was magical. On that note – many museums are free on the first Friday of the month, so it’s worth trying to be there on this date, and having a museum day.


5. Dizzy’s Jazz Club Coca-Cola – Late Night Sessions

This Jazz club is located in the Lincoln Centre, and while it is extremely expensive for dinner (a $30 cover charge per person), the late night session is only $5 during the week. We expected the band to be a little off-the-wall to be playing such a spot, but it was incredible, and one of the best Jazz bands I’ve ever seen.

On top of this, the club has a fantastic view over the city – definitely worth the expensive drinks!

6. Brooklyn Bridge

This list would be pointless if a walk across Brooklyn Bridge weren’t included. It’s a beautiful view across the skyline, and it’s totally free. While walking across at sunset is crowded, it’s definitely the best time to go.


Brooklyn Bridge at Sunset



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