New York City is on the bucket list of most people, and for good reason! The atmosphere is electric, and it is a city like no other. That said, it can be pretty expensive to experience Manhattan between shopping, eating, and attractions, so here are some ideas of free things you can do while in Manhattan.

Before we get stuck in, a word of warning: whilst overall New York is a pretty well-maintained place, there is a lot going on and accidents do happen – however, if you do ever find yourself injured while exploring, you can speak to a personal injury lawyer in Manhattan.

The Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry is primarily used for people to get to Staten Island for work; however, as it is free, it is a fantastic way for tourists to see the Statue of Liberty. Lady Liberty is a must-see on your trip to NYC, of course, but it can work out pretty pricey. However, you get a pretty breathtaking view of it from the ferry, as well as that iconic New York skyline, so if you want to see the Statue of Liberty for free, the Staten Island Ferry is a perfect option.


Central Park

No trip to Manhattan would be complete without a visit to the famous Central Park. Although there are some things that require a fee in Central Park, such as the zoo, there is also a huge amount of things you can enjoy without spending a single dollar. There are so many pathways to explore, animals to spot, flowers to enjoy, artwork to browse, and people to watch – all for free. Take a picnic and spend a full day there.


The Library

New York Public Library is a stunning building filled with awe and wonder. Join a free tour to see why it is so special or explore for yourself. The Rose Reading Room is a must-see, and keep your eyes peeled for any events or exhibitions that are on.

The Chelsea Highline

The Highline is a really unique space in that it used to be a train line, before being transformed into a glorious green space. It’s a fantastic way to see the city, with water features, plants, and art installations – a far cry from the concrete jungle down below.

Grand Central Terminal

It might seem a little weird to go to a train station when you have the whole of New York at your feet, but Grand Central Terminal has been featured in so many films and TV shows, it is more than worth a visit. If you’re a fan of grand architecture, you will enjoy marveling at the celestial ceiling and iconic glass clock. There is also a fun secret in the archways in that you can whisper into the corner, and someone stood at the other side will hear the whisper, even in the busy rush hour.

It’s easy to spend a fortune when visiting New York between Fifth Avenue shopping, Broadway shows, and fine dining, but by also enjoying the free things that Manhatten has to offer, your credit card will thank you.

*Post contributed by peer travel writer and East Coast native, Julia Evans*