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8 FREE Things to do in New York City

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to take my daughter to New York City for a weekend conference. We didn’t have long to sightsee, but we definitely packed in a lot of memories. If you are planning a quick trip to the Big Apple, then take a look at this list of FREE things to do in New York City! These ideas are big on memory making opportunities but don’t cost money!

25 FREE Things to do in NYC

#1 Ride the Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry offers the opportunity to see the Statue of Liberty when you are short on time and want to save on the ticket price. You can enjoy an amazing view of Manhattan and Brooklyn as well as Lady Liberty without paying a dime.

Staten Island Ferry

#2 Visit the Library

You just can’t be in New York City without walking through the New York City Public Library.

#3 If you can’t take the tour….

If you are on a budget or have a time crunch that is no reason to miss out on some of the major attractions of NYC. Take the time to at least walk past, step into or take your picture in front of the famous places. Empire State Building, Macy’s on 34th Street, Grand Central Station…

NYC Empire State Building

#4 Brooklyn Promenade

No matter what time of day you can visit the Brooklyn Promenade, you need to make sure this is on your list! We visited the Promenade three different times and each time was a completely different experience.

#5 Walk the Brooklyn Bridge

The Bridge that crosses from Brooklyn to Manhattan is a beautiful way to see the sites of NYC! My advice is to ride the subway from Manhattan over to Brooklyn and then walk back across.

Brooklyn bridge! What a gorgeous view of #manhattan! #nyc #brooklyn #williamsonthego

A photo posted by Sharon (@hobbiesonabudget) on

#6 Visit the 911 Memorial

No visit to NYC is complete without visiting the 911 Memorial and Freedom Tower. It is a powerful experience that you should definitely not miss.

#7 Visit Central Park

Don’t underestimate Central Park. The Park is huge! There are so many places to appreciate the beauty of nature right in the middle of New York City!

#8 Walk through Times Square

Times Square is an experience whether it’s noon or midnight. If you are anywhere close to Times Square, you must walk through Times Square at both times of the day to fully appreciate it!

Ride the Subway

This one doesn’t qualify as FREE, but it sure is cheap and a great part of experiencing New York City! If you have never ridden the subway in New York City, take a minute and read our tips. It’s not expensive or complicated, but can be a bit daunting for first timers.

NYC Subway

There are many more things to do in New York City for FREE! What are your favorites? I’d love to hear!

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