15 Free things to do in NYC
There are countless of activities and sights in New York City to see and do. I’ve been to NYC twice now and been to a most of the sights more than ones. New York City has many neighborhoods such as Soho, Little Italy, China Town, Harlem and Brooklyn that are definitely worth a visit. Have a look at the musea you want to go too, many offer free entry on certain days, hours or as a student.
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Central Park
- The Vessel
- The High Line
- The Public Library
- The Oculus
- Grand Central Station
- Hoboken Pier Park
- Times Square
- Rockefeller Square
- Flatiron Building
- Coney Island
- Brooklyn Brewery tour
- Staten Island
Go for the sunrise or sunset walk on the Brooklyn Bridge, the views are incredible. During the day the bridge can be crowded but still worth the walk. It is a 1 mile (about 2 km) walk over the bridge. The Brooklyn Bridge connects Manhattan with Brooklyn. It used to be called the East River Bridge. When you arrive in Brooklyn take a walk around Dumbo. If you want to a good photo spot go to Washington st, Brooklyn. You will have the perfect view on the Manhattan Bridge.
Central Park is the perfect place for a picknick, stroll and some sport activities. I bought a bagel and tea to go and walked around Central Park while eating breakfast. You will see many kids, students, athletes and dogs in the park. Central Park is the biggest park in Manhattan and one of the biggest urban parks in the world. Central Park has its own zoo and Carousel. Some sights to see in Central Park are: Belvedere Castle, Bethesda Fountain, Conservatory Garden, Loeb Boathouse and The mall and Literary Walk.
The Vessel is such a cool architecture design which you can climb up to. You can book free tickets on the day itself or ahead of time. The views on and inside of the Vessel are amazing! The Vessel is 46 meters high and opened its doors in March 2019. It is located at the beginning of The High Line, 20 Hudson Yards in Manhattan.
The High Line
The High Line is a 2.33km elevated linear park and greenway with nature, art and designs build on a historic freight rail line that elevates above the Manhattan’s West Side. It is such a nice traffic free way of seeing New York City. The High Line starts at Gansevoort Street to 34th Street.
The Public Library
The Public Library was opened its doors in 1895. It is the second largest public library in the USA. The old building has so much character. Especially the Rose Main Reading Room is amazing. You are allowed to grab a book and quietly read.
The Oculus is the new World Trade Center station in New York City. It is located right next to the 9/11 museum and memorial. The Oculus is an architectural design by Santiago Calatrava. Inside are many shops and of course the transportation options.
Grand Central Station
Grand Central Station is used as a film location in many movies and series. Almost all metro’s leave from this point. Central Station is located at 42nd Street and Park Avenue.
The Macy’s Herald Square located in NYC is massive (230.000m2). It even has its old escalators. It is fun to walk around in such an old department store which was build in 1901. It is official a National Historic Landmark.
Hoboken Pier Park
Hoboken Pier Park has one of the best views of Manhattan I have ever seen. It is not touristic at all and has many restaurants and shops with good food. Hoboken is also known from Carlos Bakery on TLC. The original shop is located close to the Pier Park and definitely worth a visit, and a slice of cake. Hoboken has a lovely city centre, definitely check it out.
Maybe a bit obvious but Time Square is fun to see at least once in your life. The endless billboards, the crowds of people and of course the street artists that come here are amazing. Times Square is a major commercial intersection, with many stores such as the M&M’s shop.
Rockefeller Square is known for the Rockefeller Center (with the Top of The Rock). Sadly Top of the Rock is not free to visit, even though I definitely recommend it, the view is amazing! The Rockefeller Square is always crowded, and decorated with flowers or an ice skating rink during the winter time. And let’s not forget the giant Christmas tree which is put up yearly.
This building is shaped like a flatiron and was originally called the Fuller Building. The Flatiron Building is located at 175 5th Avenue and was built in 1902. It is around the corner from Madison Square Park, which is a lovely park to visit at anytime.
Coney Island is a bit further away from Manhattan but definitely worth the visit. It is known for its amusement park and beach. During the summer months this is the place to be for a lot of fun and a tan. Take the subway (Q, F or D line to station Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue) and walk 5 minutes to get to the famous sights.
Brooklyn Brewery tour
The Brooklyn Brewery started in 1988 in Brooklyn. You can visit the brewery for a tour, a beer or their store. The tours are every Saturday between 1pm and 5 pm and on Sundays between 1pm and 4 pm. You can reserve your spot here.
Definitely take the free ferry to Staten Island. It sails close to the Statue of Liberty, and brings you to Staten Island, where you can go shopping or just walk around. Staten Island is home to a large and diverse population of Wildlife and has many acres of federal, state and local park land.
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