Summer in New York is the best time to experience the city. The summer I moved to NYC, I was 22 and an unpaid fashion PR intern. I had to learn the ins and outs of how to enjoy the city without spending a dime if I wanted to have a good summer. The common misconception, or the thing people spend too much time worrying about is “how expensive New York is”. I’m here to tell you that you can still have a good day while spending little to no money. These are 10 fun and affordable things to do in NYC!
1. Best View of NYC for $2.75 (one-way)
Catch the best sunset views on the Roosevelt Tramway for the price of a one-ride MetroCard. You can ride the tramway from E 59th St & 2nd Avenue to Roosevelt Island. That way you get to visit Roosevelt Island and get the second best view of the NYC Skyline. (Round-trip costs $5.50)
2. Brooklyn Brewery Tours (free tours on Saturdays).
Visit the iconic brewery and taste some authentic ales and lagers.
3. Sample Wines for Free in Brooklyn
Again, a round trip MetroCard is $5.50, so take the F train Brooklyn bound to Big Nose Full Body on a Saturday for their free wine tasting. Each weekend is a different theme and you can choose from over 300 different kinds of wines. They often offer educational teachings on wine and the winemaking process at the tastings as well.
4. Falafel Sandwich from a food truck.
Falafel over rice (get all the sauces) will cost you about $6 and in the Gyro will be $5. (My guy sits at the corner of Spring Street and 6th Ave in SoHo)
5. Vanessa’s Dumpling House
With locations in Chinatown, 14th STreet, and Williamsburg $1.50 will get you an order of 4 dumplings. I would normally get 2 orders of dumplings and a Chinese pancake which came out to under $6.
This “hole-in-the-wall” Chinese dumpling house saved my life last summer.
6. The fried chicken at Yafa Deli and Grocery
You can finally say you had fried chicken from a bodega and it was actually amazing. Three pieces (a breast, a wing, and a drumstick) will cost you about $4.
7. Grab a friend and have a picnic in Central Park.
Strawberries are around $2/lb at a Chinatown street market and Nutella is around $4. Have your friend bring the beverages.
8. Walk along the Brooklyn Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, or Manhattan Bridge all for free.
It also serves as the cheapest way to get to Brooklyn from Manhattan.
9. Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art
The price of your general admission goes by what you can afford. I paid $2 to see the Commes des Garcon: The Art of the In-Between exhibit last Sunday.
Take some iconic photos on the infamous Met steps…just don’t let Blair catch you sitting higher up than her. The Met has a diverse art collection and with that comes the title of the largest art museum in the United States. This place will entertain you for hours. Before you leave though, go to the 4th floor and take some photos at the rooftop garden.
10. Go Clubbin!
Believe it or not, you can go to a rooftop club with no money in your pocket…if you choose to pregame at home. My favorite is Hudson Terrace. It’s free before midnight!
Do you have any other fun and affordable things to do in NYC!? Share in the comments below!
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