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Cheap Travel to New York City: 5 Great Attractions for Visitors on a Budget

Image: Cheap Travel to New York City: 5 Great Attractions for Visitors on a Budget
Times Square night. (wikimedia/commons)

By    |   Monday, 19 Jan 2015 05:06 PM

Cheap travel to New York City may seem like a pipe dream, but careful budgeting and keeping a look-out for attractions and things to do that don’t cost a lot can bring your dream to fruition.

Taking taxis through the city will run your expenses up quickly. One of the great things about New York City is the ability to get inexpensively around the city by subway. If you’re nervous about going on the subway, visit the Manhattan Transit Authority website to get an idea of routes and how the subway fares work, and make a plan.

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While you're traveling by subway, you’re bound to stop in Grand Central Station, an iconic New York sight.

Once you figure out how to get around the city, the next step is planning what you’d really like to see. It can take weeks to get to everything, so whittle your list down — perhaps the Empire State Building, Broadway, Times Square, and Central Park, to name just a few.

Here are five attractions to see if you’re in the Big Apple on a budget vacation:

1. Times Square: The cost of visiting one of the most iconic destinations in New York City can’t be beat: It’s free. From the flashing billboards to street performers to window shopping, Times Square is filled with the energy and atmosphere that is New York. Of course, attending a comedy show at Caroline’s on Broadway or the theater isn’t cheap, but maybe if you save in other ways, you can splurge.

2. Central Park: This bastion of green in the midst of New York City’s skyscrapers is a popular way for those who live in the city to escape for a while, but it’s also a must-see for visitors.

You can see amazing street performers, enjoy an ice-cream cone in the summer, or take a break for ice-skating in the park. Numerous attractions throughout the park are detailed on the park’s website, including the Central Park Carousel and Shakespeare in the Park summer festival. Families will enjoy the Central Park Zoo and Wildlife Center, with admission starting at about $12 per adult.

For prices starting at $15, you can rent a bicycle to do a bike tour, or for around $60, you can get an hour-long ride on a gondola that includes an Italian language lesson.

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3. New York CityPass:This pass gets you into six city sights: the Empire State Building, the Met, the American Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Modern Art, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island or Circle Line Cruise or Top of the Rock or the Guggenheim Museum. The pass sells for $184 per person, but in January 2015, it was on sale for $109.

4. Pick a museum: Although New York City museums cost around $25 for an adult ticket, the price is well worth the money. Most people can spend six or seven hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, so per hour, it’s a bargain. Other options, depending on your interests, include the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the American Museum of Natural History (think dinosaur bones). The 9/11 Museum is another option.

5. Shopping: You could spend a month shopping in New York City and probably not hit all the different areas, including Chinatown, the Brooklyn Flea Market, Fifth Avenue (another must-see experience) and Macy's in Herald Square. TimeOut.com lists some of the top free sites in the city, and many of those areas are included.

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Cheap travel to New York City may seem like a pipe dream, but careful budgeting and keeping a look-out for attractions and things to do that don't cost a lot can bring your dream to fruition.
cheap travel, new york city, attractions, visitors, budget
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2015-06-19
Monday, 19 Jan 2015 05:06 PM
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