free tourist attractions in new york

Free Tourist Attractions in New York City – NY Free Things to Do

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Free Tourist Attractions in New York City

Tourists on a limited budget can still enjoy New York. There are plenty of free tourist attractions in New York and neighborhoods waiting to be discovered. Most of the free sights are in close proximity, otherwise, take public transit. The buses and subways are user-friendly and reasonably priced.


  • Times Square – Wander about, shop or just sit on the bleachers taking all the bright lights and NY glamour in. This is a must-see spot in New York

  • Central Park – No trip to New York is complete without a trip to the 843-acre park nestled in Upper Manhattan. Visitors could easily spend days wandering and exploring the ponds, bridges, and paths of the park. Take in the free entertainment by musicians and buskers throughout the park. Bring a picnic and enjoy this gem of NY.
  • Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge – A 20-minute walk across the Brooklyn Bridge offers great views of the NY skyline, day or night. If walking both ways in too far, take a bus to Brooklyn and walk towards New York for the best view.

  • Battery Park – Southernmost tip of Manhattan offers views of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

  • Grand Central Terminal – The terminal for the subway and Metro-North commuter trains is a beautiful building. The marble staircase, brass clock, and sky-painted ceiling are a work of art. Retail stores, restaurants, and the museum store can be found in the terminal as well. The terminal is at 42nd St. and Park Ave.

  • China Town and Little Italy – Wandering through these two ethnic communities is a treat for the senses. Discover the food, merchandise, and people in this corner of New York. The communities are accessible by foot from Canal St.

  • Canal Street – Visit the many street vendors and get offers for knock-off goods. This is a true New York experience that some visitors love and others abhor.

  • Be an audience member on one of the TV shows (Regis and Kelly, Dr. Oz, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader) Tickets are free but reserve early.

  • Staten Island Ferry – Some call it New York’s best freebie. The round trip takes an hour and lets visitors get a look at Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and Governor’s Island. Catch the ferry at the Whitehall Ferry Terminal.

Free New York Museums

Many New York Museums offer free admission to visitors under the age of 12. The MoMA offers free admission to youths under 16 years of age. The following three museums offer a time period of free admission to all patrons. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the American Folk Art Museum offer free Friday evenings. The Jewish Museum has free admission on Saturdays. 


Free Shakespeare in the Park in New York

Catch a free performance at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park. Each summer, two Shakespeare plays are featured. For the summer of 2017, Winter’s Tale and Merchant of Venice are playing. Check for the schedule. Plays begin at 8 pm and visitors can start picking up free tickets at 1 pm or try to secure tickets online. The best Central Park entrances are at 81st and Central Park or 79th and 5th.

It is definitely possible to tour New York on a budget. Take advantage of the free attractions in NYC, Times Square, Central Park and The Grand Central Terminal. Visitors don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy the spirit and sights of the Big Apple. Get your travel gear and enjoy the beautiful free tourist attractions in New York City.