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10 great (and free) things to do in New York

Published May 31st, 2012

There are some that say New York is the greatest city in the world, others... well, they clearly haven’t visited yet!! It’s the city with the perfect mix of history, culture, glamour and energy. But with so many monuments, museums, galleries, new districts and shows, how do you choose to spend your time and hard earned cash? Here’s a list of Top 10 Great (and Free) Things To Do in New York, so you can save your pennies for other stuff that matters!

New York Public Library

New York Public Library

1. New York Public Library - 455 5th Avenue

One of New York’s oldest and most amazing attractions. Stand on the steps next to the sculptured lions guarding the entrance, the wander inside to check out the Main Rose Reading Room. The chandeliers and painted ceiling are just as incredible as the collection!

Whispering Archways

Whispering Archways

2. Whispering Archways at Grand Central Terminal - 42nd Street

Inside the largest train station in the world lies a few hidden secrets, one of which is the ‘whispering archways’ near the Oyster Bar & Restaurant. Here the acoustics of the low arches allow whispers to be transferred to the opposite corner at a fully audible tone. Grab a mate and test it out!

Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall

3. Berlin Wall Remnants, Madison Avenue - 53rd Street between 5th and Madison Avenue

Very few know that New York is the home to four of the pieces of the Berlin Wall, one of which is between 5th and Madison Avenue. Sitting at the very bottom of an office building, it often goes unnoticed by locals, only brought to their attention by the occasional tourist. If you want to see a bit of history minus the queues, now’s your chance!

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

4. Staten Island Ferry - 1 Bay Street

The Staten Island Ferry is more than just a way of getting around, it’s a great way to see the Manhattan Skyline and Harbour for free! Take the 25 minute trip each way but be sure to board quickly and get a seat on the balcony if you can - it’ll make it easy to take pics of the Statue of Liberty as you go by!

Central Park

Central Park

5. Central Park

Over 843 acres of awesomeness - if you have a whole spare day in New York, this is the place to go. If it’s warm, sit down on the Great Lawn and people watch, then stroll around to the Carousel, the famous Strawberry Fields, the famous Lake and if it’s winter, the ice-skating rinks. If you’re feeling lazy, look out for the many carriage horses waiting to transport you around the park...but for a price of course!

Times Square

Times Square

6. Times Square - junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue

As well as being the hub of broadway, it was a place to gather to monitor current events. Now, it’s a crazy mix of art, entertainment, commerce, news and electronics. The bright lights operate day and night... but during the day it’s also a great place to score discount tickets to shows! Don’t forget to check out the Times Square Ball if you can spot it amongst the blinding lights!

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

7. Brooklyn Bridge - hop on from South Street

Wander over one of the oldest suspension bridges in the world that connects Brooklyn and Manhattan. It’s a great place to get some snaps of Manhattan from a different angle. You may be doing a lot of walking in New York, this one’s definitely worth it!

New York High Line

New York High Line

8. New York High Line - runs from Gansevoort Street to 30th Street

This is fast becoming a must-see in NYC and once you take the walk, you’ll understand why. The High Line is a 1 mile long park that’s been constructed from the old elevated railroad. Now an aerial greenway that sits between a new urban development of trendy apartments, restaurants and hotels. Take the walk and you’ll end up right near the Meatpacking District.

Ellsworth Kelly. Sculpture for a Large Wall (detail).

Ellsworth Kelly. Sculpture for a Large Wall. Image courtesy of www.moma.org.

9. MoMa- 53rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenue

It was hard not to squeeze this one in - this place possibly has the largest collection of modern and contemporary art. And on Friday’s after 4pm, it’s free to the public, so you can check out Andy Warhol, Vincent Van Gogh, Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns, Picasso and Frida Kahlo without spending a cent. Tickets can’t be pre-purchased for the free admission, but it’s worth the wait.

Meat Packing District and the Chelsea Markets

Meat Packing District and the Chelsea Markets

10. Meat Packing District and the Chelsea Markets - West 14th Street to Gansevoort Street and from Hudson River east to Hudson Street.

Pre SATC this was a less than glam place full of butchers and bloody carcasses, now it’s a trendy place to eat, have a drink or and window shop in the expensive boutiques. Not far from the Meatpacking District you’ll find Chelsea and their famous markets. If you’re after a gourmet feed, a designer cupcake or a proper espresso coffee, this is a must see!

There you have it, the best of New York for next to nothing!

 

by Sarah McCullough

Direct Marketing Executive  |  Student Flights

 

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