Times Square is one of my happy places, so I love spending time in New York City. That being said, I don't love all the money you have to spend just to eat and sleep there. Luckily, over the years I have perfected my money saving abilities and now know how to enjoy New York City on a reasonable budget. Here's the advice I have to offer.
1. Stay in a hostel at HI-NYC.
HI-NYC Youth Hostel
This is by far the most beautiful youth hostel I have ever stayed at. Beds go for around $70 a night, and it's located right next to a subway stop! Plus, there are multiple common areas, including a patio covered in string lights. Check it out here!
2. Book a hotel just over the New Jersey border.
New York and New Jersey
New York City hotels can be wildly expensive; prices are significantly lower just over the border in New Jersey. An added bonus is that most hotels by the border have express buses that will bring you from the front of your hotel into the heart of New York City in minutes!
3. Check out the High Five Tickets To The Arts program.
New York City Broadway
If you or someone you know is a middle school or high school student, you could get $5 tickets to some of the best shows in New York City. Every teen who applies gets the opportunity to purchase one $5 ticket for themself and one for an adult who is 18 or older. Check it out here!
4. Stop by the TKTS Booth.
Head on over to these iconic red steps to snag some cheap last minute tickets to popular shows and performances around the city.
5. Get a sightseeing pass.
Sightseeing passes such as The New York Sightseeing Pass or City Pass allow you to enjoy multiple attractions for a fraction of the cost. This is a great option if it's your first time in the city or if you're just feeling touristy!
6. Hop on the Staten Island Ferry.
Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry is a free ferry ride to and from the Statue of Liberty. If you tend to get seasick on boats, I would recommend skipping out on this one. Otherwise, it's the perfect opportunity to get close-up pictures of the statue!
7. Hang out in Central Park and walk around Times Square.
New York City is an extraordinary place to wander around in. Central Park and Times Square are two of the most popular tourist destinations in the city, and they're great places for people watching!
8. Take advantage of free continental breakfasts and skip lunch.
If you fill up on a big breakfast, you can skip lunch and have an early dinner instead. That way, you can save a little more cash for shopping and unique experiences. It's an added bonus if the place you're staying at offers free breakfast.
9. Grab a slice of pizza for $1-5.
Pizza by the Slice
Dollar slices and five dollar slices are a common sight around the city. They're the perfect meal when you're looking for something quick, cheap, and tasty!
10. Go on a chocolate tour.
What sounds better than a two hour long chocolate tour? This one's a bit pricier than most of the other items on the list, but for five chocolate tastings, it sounds pretty worth it. Check it out here!
Enjoy your trip!