- Image via Wikipedia
Everyone loves to visit at least once in their lives, right? But what can a frugal traveler see in NYC for free and still truly “see” NYC? It will blow your mind the amount of free things people can do in the City. Let me take you for a tour around the “concrete jungle.”
Everyone has heard of it, everyone saw it in the movie Big with Tom Hanks and all of use New Yorkers roll our eyes when a tourist asks us about it, but secretly we love this store too. Who wouldn’t? It’s FAO Schwartz – the world’s best toy store! It’s located on Fifth Avenue and 58th Street. It’s free to “window” shop, but be prepared, depending on when you decide to visit…..you’ll be among what seems like millions in the store! However, it’s worth it – this store is a NYC trademark and visiting NYC without going is like having a Sundae without hot fudge! Just not right!
Getting a feel for the people that live in NYC is very easy to do by just walking through the streets at any time of day, any day of the week. It’s fast paced and full of sounds, sites and scents (some pleasant, like the pretzel street vendor, some not so pleasant, which you can discover all on your own). At some point or another, you will pass by someplace and a performance spontaneously breaks out in front of you…..more than likely, dancers or a musician. It can happen on any street in NYC, so enjoy it, they are totally free.
Ever heard of a little movie by the name of Sex and the City? I thought so. They filmed right at one of the most beautiful libraries you will probably ever enter, The New York Public Library. It’s located at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street and is guarded by Patience and Fortitude (those are the lions you pass on your way in). Totally free to enter, look around and soak up the architecture and history. Walk up the same stairs Carrie Bradshaw walked up!
After you come out of the library, hit Bryant Park at Sixth Avenue, right between 41st and 42nd streets. Great place to relax, soak up the sun and take a little break from all the walking around NYC. Plus, it’s a great place to people watch! Really see what New Yorkers are like – you’ve got “the suits” and the “sunbathers” all together, never giving each other a second look!
If you are lucky enough to be in NYC during the summer, check out a movie aboard the Intrepid! They have free movies on certain days during the summer. They show them on the flight deck. Totally free, just have to bring your own food, blanket and beverages.
Many who come to NYC, visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral. You don’t have to be Catholic to appreciate this place. You just have to walk around and take all the beauty in….it will inspire you with it’s architecture and design. It doesn’t cost anything to visit the Cathedral, so take it all in for free.
There’s always Rockefeller Center, where you can wander around and watch people skate down below, or take pictures. South Street Seaport is always a big draw for many tourists, just to walk around the unique streets and enjoy the food, shopping and taking in the water view. Central Park is an amazing place to visit, walk around and see many landmarks you might recall seeing in a few scenes of a few hundred movies!
Got kids? Willing to leave NYC and hit Brooklyn? There is an amazing new park you can visit that is completely free! It’s the Babylon of New York playground at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 (Atlantic Avenue and Columbia Street, Cobble Hill). It has four sections: Swing Valley, Slide Mountain, Sandbox Village and Water Lab. There’s so much to do there, it is crazy to miss the chance to visit. But only if you have kids, they won’t let you in without a child! Sorry. That much fun, there had to be a rule, right?
Enjoy experiencing New York City the frugal way!