Ah, New York, New York. The city that doesn’t sleep features heavily in many travel enthusiasts’ dreams. As one of the most popular travel destinations in the world and international cultural capital, New York has seemingly unending activities for travelers to enjoy…even travelers on a budget!

Yes, for those who cannot afford to splurge a bit on a foray around the Big Apple, there are plenty of bucket-list-worthy things you can put in your NYC itinerary, from museums to parks to tours- and all that for free!

10 Central Park

Well, this is a no-brainer, really. A New York staple and one of the most famous parks in the world, a visit to Central Park is a must in any New York bucket list, and entrance is free! Pay nothing as you stroll around the 842 acres of nature, grassy fields, and glistening lakes, watching park goers and picnickers of this natural oasis right at the heart of Manhattan.

9 The High Line Park

The High Line park doesn’t have all the fame and popularity of Central Park, but it has its own amazing history and fame, becoming an inspiration worldwide due to its history of revitalizing an abandoned industrial space, the elevated train track that High Line was originally built to be, and after decades of disuse, repurposing it into a beautiful and dynamic park that adds some natural beauty into this stone jungle and can be enjoyed by all people, completely for free. Today the High Line is an elevated park with tons of plants and trees overlooking the streets and is the home of many communities and art projects.

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8 Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal is a building full of history and life, seeing over 750,000 visitors every day. Its famous arches and golden clock in the middle of the floor are as much a part of the New York Cosmos as the statue of liberty. Grand Central Terminal is often the stage for many events, not to mention a great option for shopping and dining as it has restaurants inside!

7 Bronx Museum of Art

New York has often been an art hub, and the Bronx Museum of Art is a gem in this city’s art scene. Opened in 1971, the Bronx Museum is a contemporary art museum that seeks to reflect and share the history, experiences, and dynamism of life and history in the Bronx borough. Admission is always free, for everyone.

6 NYC Public Library

For the literati out there, a bit of literary tourism is always welcome. New York’s Public Library is among some of the most important libraries in the United States and the world, and the second-largest library in the country. The NYC Public Library has branches across most boroughs of the city, and they’re all open and free for the population; its 1911 Main Branch building on Fifth Avenue is a National Historic Landmark, its marble columns and famous lions reason enough to put this on your NYC Bucket List.

5 Bryant Park

Right beside (and around, and even under) the Main Branch of NYC Public Library is Bryant Park, one of the most beautiful natural parks in New York City. Bryant Park has a skating rink, green lawns perfect for picnics and tons of trees, a french-style carousel, and, keeping it on-brand with its neighbor, their own reading room.

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4 Brooklyn Bridge

A design and engineering treasure, Brooklyn Bridge was built in the 1880s and has been in use since 1883, connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn above the East River. It’s one of the oldest suspended bridges in the country, a national and, of course, a New York landmark.

3 Staten Allen Ferry

The Staten Allen Ferry travels from Staten Island to Manhattan, taking visitors and locals alike to and fro. The tickets to the Ferry are free, where travelers can experience a different view and way of traveling through some of New York’s most iconic places like the Manhattan skyline and Ellis Island.

2 The Oculus

The WTC Oculus is one of New York’s most interesting architectural pieces (and that’s saying something!), a place where transportation hubs and shopping and dining experiences all come together under a slick, modern, and highly interesting building, with tall white arches framing a roof that lets in a lot of natural light. For anyone looking for an extra cool place to take a shop and dine stroll, the WTC Oculus is the perfect option.

1 Times Square

Last but certainly not least, the one place that is guaranteed to come to mind anytime somewhere utters ‘New York’: Times Square!

Visiting this dynamic, colorful town center is an absolute must when visiting New York, and while, sure, shopping in Times Square will certainly not be free, the experience of walking around and taking in all of the sights and sounds of one of the most famous streets in the world does not have entrance tickets and is available for everyone.

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