Yay, we finally made it back to New York City. It’s been a long three years, but here we are. And to shake things up, we decided to pick a hotel on the Upper West Side, rather than mid-Manhattan, as we did previously. We have been to the Upper West Side before for a quick mooch around, but this time we decided to spend some more time here and give it a closer inspection. After all, there are plenty of things to do on the Upper West Side. And it does have a very different vibe to Lower Manhattan.
New York for free? Sounds too good to be true. I mean, we all know that city trips cost a fortune. And New York is no exception. What if I told you there are heaps of things to do in New York that cost little to no money? Perfect, if you are visiting New York on a budget. Or if you want to keep some spare change for that shopping spree.
OK, without further ado, let’s dive straight into it. I’ll share with you 14 things that you can do in New York for free or for very little money. Yes, some might require a little planning. Surely that’s a little price to pay to get the most out of your trip when visiting New York on a budget.
People keep asking me if we don’t get bored visiting New York over and over again. Since we’ve seen it all already. And you know what? No, we don’t (obviously, otherwise we wouldn’t go back). New York City, same as any other major city really, has the beauty of constantly changing. New things to do and places to see are popping up. One thing on my To Do List for our last trip to New York City was visiting the Vessel in Hudson Yards. After all, last time we walked the High Line, this part wasn’t finished and not yet open to the public. Having seen loads of pictures of the Vessel all over the net and Instagram, I was eager to see it for myself. But is the Vessel worth a visit? Well, I’ll let you be the judge of that.
As Alicia Keys sings in her song Empire State of Mind: ‘a town that is famous as a place of movie scenes’. Even if you’ve never been to New York in real life (although, if you haven’t, I’d absolutely urge you to go. It is just such a wonderful place), I am certain you have a whole bunch of pictures flick through your mind when you think of New York. The city has been the setting of so many movies and TV series over the years, that we all feel familiar with certain corners (whether or not they actually exist like this in real life is a different matter). So, as we headed back to New York for yet another week, I thought it was finally time to head out on a movie location tour through New York City.
Well, to be honest, there are loads of ready-made movie location tours available in New York, it could be rather difficult to choose just one. So instead, I decided to have a bit of all and create my very own self-guided movie location walking tour through New York. Intrigued? Let me tell you all about the movie locations we visited. And the good thing? My movie location tour is completely for free. See, not everything in New York needs to cost a fortune (in fact, there are heaps of things you can do in New York for free or very little money).
Shall I share a big secret with you? You’ve got Mail is one of the all-time favourite movies of Mr T and me. We must have watched it at least a hundred times. Cuddled up on the sofa and You’ve got Mail on the tele is pretty much my idea of a perfect Sunday. So, during our recent trip to New York, we decided to finally check out those You’ve got Mail movie locations once and for all.
Over the years, some of those locations have obviously changed. After all, the movie is over 20 years old. But you can still find loads of them.
When you think of New York City as a concrete jungle, you are only partly right. Yes, New York is home to some of the biggest and best skyscrapers and it is built on a fairly tight grid. But it is also full of greenery.
The best known is probably Central Park, which is a world in itself. So if you are heading to New York, make sure you don’t miss it. And to get you going, check my 10 recommendations of what to do in Central Park (and the one to give a miss).
But Central Park isn’t the only green on offer. Far from it.
Head to the West and you will find the ‘High Line Park’, an elevated linear park that spans from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District all the way up to the 30th Street.
Battling jet lag the first night, we decided to make the most of being wide awake at 4am. So we wrapped up warm and headed out into the night. To experience the city that never sleeps first hand and explore Times Square by night. More so as it was just a few blocks away from our hotel.
Any time of day or night Times Square is a weird world of its own. The lights, the hustling and bustling, cars, noises and millions of people. For sure a place you have to see for yourself once in your life.
To see? Yes. To actually enjoy? Maybe not so much… unless you are the kind of person that loves being shoved around… not this girl though.
So obviously we’ve been there before both during the day and in the evening. But going there in the middle of the night? Totally different thing. You can actually walk around and, believe it or not, you can see the ground.