6 Free Things To Do In New York City

free things to do in new york city

New York City is one of the world’s most exciting city. It is famous for sparkling lights, Broadway plays, fine dining, and the likes. This high-class reputation discourages many budget travelers, but fear not! You can still enjoy the best of New York City without spending a dime. Just follow this guide of 6 free things to do in New York City.

1. Head to one of New York City's beautiful parks

free things to do in new york city | head to one of new york city's beautiful parks

While NYC is known for its towering skyscrapers and iconic skyline, the city has done a fantastic job of maintaining parks. The most historic park in the city is Central Park, a massive green space that you can spend hours, if not days, exploring. No matter how many times you visit Central Park, you will always see something new. Make sure to check out some of Central Park’s most legendary sites like Strawberry Fields and Bethesda Fountain.

2. Window shop on Fifth Avenue

5th Avenue&42th Street Manhattan, New York
Source: Photo by user llee_wu used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Those of us traveling on a budget are probably not planning to actually buy anything on Fifth Avenue, but you can still enjoy all of the glitz and glamor. The shops on Fifth Avenue are truly spectacular and worth a visit, even if you are just pressing your nose against the window.

3. Catch a street performance

free things to do in new york city | catch a street performance

Why pay for a Broadway show when you can skip the lines see a live performance for free? Almost every park and corner in NYC houses a street artist, but for the best free performances, head to Washington Square Park on a sunny day. The park comes to life with artists playing jazz, singing, dancing, and more. If you are lucky, you will even catch a performance by Washington Square Park’s famous Piano Man.

4. Explore New York City's famous holiday scene

free things to do in new york city | explore new york city's famous holiday scene

If you are lucky enough to be in the city during the holiday season, enjoy it. Check out the holiday-themed window displays on 5th Avenue, the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, and the holiday markets at Union Square and Bryant Park. It is all free and all fantastic!

5. Check out the summer street fairs

free things to do in new york city | check out the summer street fairs

Not coming during the holiday? Well there is plenty of seasonal fun for those coming during the warm-weather months as well! They are hard predict, but if you walk around NYC long enough (especially around 3rd and 4th Avenue), you are guaranteed to come across a pop-up street fair. These fairs are always full of music, food, and more.

6. Visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum after 5pm

visit the 9/11 memorial and museum after 5pm

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is a powerful experience, but it costs a hefty sum. Because they wanted to make the story of 9/11 available to everyone, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum is free from 5pm until closing every day.

New York City does not have to be expensive

New York City is famously expensive. It has one of the highest costs of living in the world. But if you stick to this list and seek out other free adventures, you can enjoy everything the city has to offer without burning a hole in your wallet.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Sarah Dittmore is a freelance blogger and travel addict. Though currently living in California, she is constantly on the road and in search of her next adventure. Sarah has visited over 25...Read more

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