The 8 Best Free Things to do in New York

November 23, 2013


It’s hard to believe you can get anything for free in a place like New York, but if you know where to go, you can easily spend a whole day (or more) discovering this amazing city – without spending any money!

These are 8 of my favourite free things to do in New York:

St Paul’s Chapel

This is the place is where a lot of firefighters and rescue workers slept for weeks after 9/11 and is filled with memorabilia to that effect. Located right by the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, it’s free to enter and is a must-visit if you want to know more about 9/11.

Staten Island Ferry






In a city as bustling as NY, who imagined you could get any kind of transport for free? Most tourists who get on this ferry don’t actually want to get to Staten Island – they do it because it goes right past the Statue of Liberty – something a lot of people pay good money for!

Coney Island







This is one of the quirkier parts of New York and has loads to do that won’t cost you a dime. There’s a beach, a fairground and fireworks at the boardwalk every Friday, as well as tons of annual events including a 4th of July hot-dog-eating contest and a Mermaid Parade!

Walk the high line

Highline Park New York City, Highline Park New York City





Built on a former railroad, this 1-mile “urban park” has plenty to grab your attention, with glorious views across the water to New Jersey (no honestly!) or the striking graffiti art that pops up along the way. Add in the observation areas, water features, lounging spots, a bar and beautiful plants and you could easily lose track of time floating above Lower West Manhattan.

Central Park







You can spend the best part of a day just strolling through this gigantic park. It has a zoo (which you have to pay to enter, but it’s not a lot) and make sure you visit “Strawberry Fields” – a living memorial to John Lennon.

There’s always something going on too – like performances from a choir or street-dancers (who have been known to pick people from the audience to join in!), and you’re sure to recognise spots and locations from the movies as you walk along the paths.



When it comes to shopping, New York is officially the world’s best city. That’s not so great if you’re trying to keep your credit card under control – but just taking a walk down 5th Avenue with its fabulous window displays is an experience in itself – and can help to relieve those retail cravings!

Want that instant “kid again” feeling? Head to FAO Schwarz toy shop with its famous Big Piano. There are usually queues to “play” it but it’s a NY staple! Even if you’re not buying, you can easily spend hours looking at all the awesome toys, and there are always staff giving demonstrations!

If you know any other free things to do in NY, make sure you let me know!


About the author

Farrah Hedwat

Farrah is AttractionTix’s resident Copywriter. A city girl at heart, her best-loved travel moments are exploring new cities across the world like Barcelona or Los Angeles. Farrah’s favourite things are eating, sleeping, shopping and animals (but mostly animals). Her pet hates are bad grammar and other writing-based “offences”.

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