New York City is one of the most famous cities in the world, if not the most. And year after year thousands and thousands of tourists visit New York to experience the Big Apple. But it can be a very expensive city and you may want to save on your New York City trip as much as possible. So in this article I will give you some easy to follow tips to save as much as possible in things you don´t need to spend extra.

metropolitan museum of art Save on your New York City trip

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, a must visit attraction included in the CityPass and New York Pass. Photo Credit: Guillermo Paz

I am not going to say anything like DOn´t buy souvenirs or take less tours. That is for everyone to enjoy as best they see fit. What I am going to talk to you about is how to save on your New York City trip without compromising the experience.

1- Purchase a Multiple Attraction Pass Card

There are several but I can recommend two of them: The CityPASS, and the New York Pass. They are very different one another and you should decide which fits your needs best.

The CityPASS allows you to Save on your New York City trip by offering you at 42% discount the possibility of visiting 6 of 9 top attractions: Empire State Building Experience, American Museum of Natural History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and then three choices for you two make: Either Top of the Rock Observation Deck or Guggenheim Museum; Either Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island or Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises And either 9/11 Memorial & Museum or Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. The booklet  lasts a full week and you can do the visits at your own pace. After all, probably the museums alone will take a full day each to visit properly.

The New York Pass is completely different as it is an “All you can eat” kind of deal. You purchase the card and activate it by days (1, 2, 3, 7) and you can choose from 80+ attractions.  Of course variety is a plus here, but in reality there are only so much you can do in one day. It depends on your traveling style. Both are very good options.

2- Use the Public Transportation

Unless you are planning on going upstate there really is no use for a car in New York City as a tourist Tweet this quote, quite the contrary. You will only spend more money on a rental and you won´t be able to use it all that much. Manhattan in a car is a bad idea. And the Subways connect everything. Also you can buy a weekly pass that is good for both subways and buses and save even more.

3- Consider staying in another burrough

Yes, Manhattan is where the “It” is in New York City. And probably where you will spend the most time in; but you should really consider hotel accomodations in other burroughs. In one of my trips I stayed in New Jersey even, and the rest of the times in Brooklyn. I have to say I recommend Brooklyn, as the transportation from NJ is more expensive and what you save in the room will go into transfer buses. But Brooklyn is very safe and you can be in Manhattan in minutes by subway. You should search for a hotel that is close to a subway entrance and that´s it. Up to 30 bucks a night less to save on your New York City trip. Not bad, huh?

4- Plan your visit, there are lots of Free days of admission

If you are planning ahead, you can enjoy savings and even free admissions. The NYC museums have free entrance in some cases, others have special free days or hours. And you know that extra bucks you save can go to another trip, and you know the adage: “Money spent in travel is money well spent”.

All of these museums are Always Free:
African Burial Ground Memorial Site, BRIC House, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Federal Hall National Memorial, The Federal Reserve Bank, General Grant National Memorial, Hamilton Grange, The Harbor Defense Museum, The Hispanic Society of America, Irish Hunger Memorial, Leslie–Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, National Museum of the American Indian, The New York Public Library Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, New York Transit Museum Annex & Store, Grand Central Terminal, Queens County Farm Museum, Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden (grounds and botanical garden only), Socrates Sculpture Park, Soldiers and Sailors Monument and Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace. And some others have special days or visiting hours. Take a look at NYCgo for more free options.

5- Learn about Free Tours and activities

Yes, they may not be the ones you were wanting to do, but maybe they are. You should take a look at what is free in New York, after all, you can go to a TV Show taping and experience the showbiz part of the city. There are a lot of shows that are free for live audiences and you should learn in advance if you´d be able to get tickets.

There are also some free tours (you should leave a tip) to visit some parts of the city; and you could even do your own self guided tour by following landmarks… NYC´s Manhattan is a walkable city.

6- Consider purchasing last minute tickets

The Broadway experience is amazing, but sometimes Broadway tickets are out of your budget. There is a big last minute Ticket Booth in Times Square that can sell you tickets to the biggest headliners for same day shows at half price or lower. You won´t be able to pick as much as you would if purchasing tickets in the usual way, but 60% off is 60% off, right?

I hope these tips on how to save on your New York City trip are useful. Let me know in the comments about other tips to share. And follow me on Twitter for more Travel Tips and reviews. And below, my Save on your New York City trip Infographic. Voilá!


Infographic-Tips to save on your New York City trip

Infographic done by Guillermo Paz on