The draw of the big city seems to touch people from all around the world. There’s proof of that on the busy streets that are packed with tourists and travelers from countries near and far. Something about the bright lights and overcrowded streets seems to pull us in. The only downside to this sweeping city are the expensive coffees and tourist prices. It’s hard to spend a day in the ‘Big Apple’ without buying one overpriced, delicious-looking pastry or an “I love New York” t-shirt. Don’t avoid this mosaic of culture and activities because of your budget, though. There is plenty to do while spending little more than a dime.
Museums and Art Galleries
It seems that around every corner, packed between stores, and filling every nook and cranny there are museums and art galleries begging to be seen. The best thing about NYC is the variety. One street may hold an art gallery totally inspired by African culture. Yet, just one block away could be home to local artists that you’ve never heard of. The magic is that there’s something for everyone. Of course, not everything is free. Do a little digging. Some museums are completely free all of the time. Other museums offer student discounts or free admission during their last hour. Almost all of the major museums around the city offer a reasonable or free admission at some point during the week. An easy way to find attractions is through your Facebook. Check the nearby tab and search museums. Facebook breaks down what is nearby and usually tells you right away what is free. Even those museums that usually charge an admission fee often have free days or discounted days that are worth looking into.
Parks and Zoos
Amidst the hustle and bustle of city life, there is a certain calm to be found in its many parks and zoos. Central Park is the first that comes to mind. Just a simple stroll will place you in about a hundred movies that feature the spacious break from skyscrapers and sidewalks. Don’t be fooled by the hype surrounding New York’s biggest park. There are around 1,700 parks and playgrounds to be found and enjoyed throughout the city. Spot a luscious patch of green and settle in for some good old fashioned people watching. There’s a multitude of culture and entertainment in the city, you just have to keep and eye out for it. In addition, there are several Zoos to visit as well. The Bronx Zoo, for example, is a big draw and you can pay-as-you-wish on Wednesdays. You can take the whole family for just a few bucks if you plan ahead. The New York Aquarium and several botanical gardens also follow this policy on certain days of the week or times of the year.
Monuments and Memorials
New York is full of the latest fashions, trends, styles, restaurants, clubs, and other attractions but that doesn’t compare to the history that fills the skyline around you. There are endless testaments to the history that took place on the same streets that now host the hottest trends. Several monuments and memorials are accessible without even spending the admission fee. The 9/11 memorial is free to anyone who passes by. The two great memory pools are something to admire and are free for all street goers. The Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge are architectural structures that will baffle and amaze visitors even from a distance. The best part, you can witness New York history for free. The Empire State building is another piece of the skyline that you should make a point to visit. Even if you don’t want to wait or pay to trek up to the top, there are shops and restaurants beneath the great, towering building that put you in the heart of the city. The Strand Book Store, which doesn’t technically fit into the memorial category, is definitely a monument dedicated to book lovers of all kinds. Just weaving between shelves, uniquely organized sections, and picking through bins of used books is enough to get anyone excited. The Strand is located on Broadway in New York and has a history as old as some of its books. This unique attraction is another piece of the city that allows your to embrace its history and worth.
By all means spend that five dollars on an overpriced pastry that will probably change your life, at least once; but don’t let dollar signs take you away from one of the greatest cities in the world. With a little planning and research, you can have a packed day in New York City for little to no money.
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