July 18, 2019

The Big Apple on a Budget: Affordable Ways to Experience New York City

The Big Apple is one of the most expensive places in the world, but Lauren Fairbanks of Life Styler Mag, a New York City budget blog, knows how to tour NYC on a shoestring. Her first tip? Check out Prospect Park in Brooklyn, which has free music and dance acts during summer months. For comedy, Fairbanks recommends the complimentary midnight performances on Wednesdays at the UCB Theater.

Fairbanks also enjoys the free rides on the Staten Island ferry, which provide a great vantage point for photos of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. Here are other options for those trying to experience the Big Apple on a Budget.


Podcast personality Brian Peters, of No Debt World Travel, is an avid excursionist. He recommends free tours through Big Apple Greeters. This not-for-profit organization is staffed by volunteers who greet travelers in more than 20 languages and offers free tours with a strict “no tipping” policy.


Pamela Parisi of The Elegant Tightwad, a frugal fashion and money-saving web site, dines for a buck in midtown Manhattan. Her menu includes pizza for $1 a slice at Bros Pizza and Z Deli. Poultry fans can score southern-fried goodness at Piece of Chicken for a buck, and fresh produce is sold for $1 per pound at the Stiles Farmers’ Market. When in a rush, Parisi buys hot dogs – also for a buck a piece – from her favorite vendor carts.


Pauline Frommer, author of “New York City: Spend Less See More,” had the inside scoop on where to rest your head on a budget. Dorm-style rooms can be booked at the Gershwin Hotel for as little as $34 per night, according to Frommer. As anyone used to taking holidays to New York can tell you, that’s one seriously great bargain.

Photo Credits: Trek Hound