Since Big Apple is one of the most expensive cities in the world, it’s not a surprise that life there comes with a hefty price tag. However, there are still plenty of cheap things to do in New York City. Even though it might sound impossible, there are ways to live frugally in NYC. You can visit some of its unique attractions, eat fabulous meals and do plenty more without generating an enormous credit card debt. In this article, you’ll find out what free and cheap things to do in NYC. As an added bonus, we’ll let you know how to make your move to NYC cheaper, too.

What can you do in New York City on a budget?

There are many reasons people move to NYC, but relocating for a lower cost of living is definitely not one. Perhaps you are moving because of a new job opportunity or to get a fresh start and step out of your comfort zone.

Whatever the reason is, don’t think you’ll be limited by prices and forced to stay at home almost all the time. There are various cheap things to do in New York City, and we’ve prepared just some of them. 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

If you are a fan of art, you have to visit  “the Met.” It’s the most modern museum of art in the world, and it features over two million works from all over the globe. From mummified royalty of ancient times to avant-garde fashion from last season, there is nothing you can’t see here. The best time to visit it is early on weekdays as you can pay what you wish. 

Visiting Met is one of the cheap things to do in New York City
Met is one of the most famous landmarks in NYC and the largest art museum in the world.

Explore Brooklyn flea

One of the best places to spend your Saturday or Sunday is the Brooklyn flea. It’s open from April to November and is home to hundreds of booths. You can find vintage clothing, jewelry, antiques, artisanal foods, furniture, and so much more. During winter, you can find it at 50,000 square foot space in Industry City. 

Check out a Julliard Performance

A world leader in performing arts education, Julliard School hosts various dance, music, and drama performances throughout the year. Most of them feature their talented students and, very often, special guests. Tickets are usually offered at a reasonable price. However, there are plenty of free events you can check out, too.

Good delivery comedy

One of the cheapest ways to have an entertaining evening is to check out a comedy show at Gerti’s covered back patio. Plus, they even host free shows from time to time. Some of NYC’s best comedians perform here. We guarantee you’ll be coming back regularly!

A stand-up comedy performance under red and purple lights
NYC is known for amazing stand-up comedy clubs. Some of the worlds’ best comedians started right here in the Big Apple.

Try pay-what-you-want tours

Another great thing to try in NYC is a pay-what-you-want tour. There are about 30 organized regularly, so you can choose one depending on what you like the most. For instance, if you are a foodie, you can sign up for different food-focused tours. Usually, minimum group size is required as well as reservations. 

Have fun without spending money

Moving to NYC can be a significant change, especially if you are coming from a small town. But as you can see so far – there are still ways to live on a budget and enjoy what this extraordinary metropolis has to offer.

Besides cheap things we’ve already listed, there are various free things Big Apple has to offer, too. So as soon as the expert team from Capital City Movers NYC helps you with your relocation, start exploring straight away! 

People crossing the street at time square during the night
Besides Central Park, Times Square is probably the most iconic spot in NYC, and you simply shouldn’t miss it.

Free things to do in New York City

Here are our favorite free things you can check out in NYC: 

  • Bronx Zoo – Make sure to check it out on Wednesdays as it’s free for all guests. It’s perfect if you have kids.
  • New York public library – This iconic place is located on 5th Avenue. It’s an excellent place for taking incredible photos, but why not read a great book while you’re there?
  • The Museum of Modern Art – On Fridays between 4 pm and 8 pm, make sure to visit one of the worlds’ most exceptional museums.
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden – Check out stunning gardens and conservatories on Tuesdays and Saturdays, utterly free of charge.
  • Staten Island Ferry – Not only will you be able to get to Staten Island for free, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the view of NYC as well as the Statue of Liberty.
  • Times Square and Central park – It goes without saying that these two sights are something you cannot miss whether you are visiting for a couple of days or moving to NYC. 

Moving to New York City? Make it cheap!

If your budget is tight, you will want to save as much as possible before you start a new chapter of your life in NYC. Start with your relocation and make it as cheap as possible.

For example, look for ways to save on packing supplies. You can ask someone who moved recently to give them to you or ask for some freebies at a local grocery store.

If you find the right moving company, you’ll be able to plan your expenses with ease. Therefore, don’t hire the first company you find, but do your research and get several estimates. You’ll surely be able to find movers that are cheap enough but have relevant experience or even offer discounts. 

Also, make sure to declutter before your move and get rid of unnecessary things. You can even sell them at a yard sale and earn some extra money. Make sure to recruit some free help, too – your family and friends. 

Which cheap things to do in New York City will you try?

We hope you enjoyed reading about free and cheap things to do in New York City. Remember, no matter how expensive this metropolis might be, it’s still one of the most exciting places in the world, and living there, even temporarily, is an extraordinary experience. And if you learn how to cut corners and live frugally, you’ll be able to enjoy its perks even on a tight budget.

Author bio:

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Laura Jackson is a single mom of three. After the divorce, she decided to start fresh and moved to NYC, where she has lived for six years now. Initially, Laura worked two jobs to support her kids and learned the best ways to live frugally. She loves sharing her experience with all other New Yorkers who might be struggling financially. Currently, she is working as an office manager in an international company.