Travel inspiration and insider tips

5 years, 5 months ago

Unusual things to do in New York City for under $100

New York, New York, how we all crave to see you and experience you… but how we all worry about the impact you will have on our bank balance. However, the reality is that a little money can go a long way in New York City and so, here is our guide to some of the more unusual and off-the-beaten-track things to do in New York for less than $100.

Image © Andrew Mace

With museums’ entry tickets ranging in price from free to $20.00, there are plenty of affordable things to do and places to see. However one of the more unusual and underrated places to go is the United Nations building. A guided tour of the UN costs just $16.00 for an adult and shows you the beating political heart of the world.

Image © United Nations Photo

For a hectic city, New York is filled with those who are committed to a healthy life and yoga is still riding high as one of the most common ways to achieve this. Yoga to the People keeps its prices low (from $10.00 a session) but the slightly zanier ‘Laughter Yoga’ phenomenon is the latest craze to gain momentum in Manhattan, with YogaLaff offering free sessions at its office near Broadway. If you like your activities a little more traditional, then try knocking a few golf balls towards the Hudson River at Chelsea Pier Golf Club for $25.00, or take advantage of the super cheap and super retro roller-skating through Riverbank State Park which costs $7.50 including skates rental. In the winter, roller-skating turns into ice skating and $5.00 will buy 1 adult an hour of frosty good times and icy wind in your hair.

Image © Fabrizio Lonzini

It’s very easy to eat cheaply in New York City, with street vendors on nearly every corner fighting for passing trade. But while you’ll never struggle to get a hot dog, you have to search a little harder for an affordable take away desert. This is right about the time when you should head to Elieen’s Cheesecake; cheap and cheerful and a New York tradition for many. Delicious mini cheesecakes to go start at $3.50.

Image © Stefan Georgi

Image © Guian Bolisay

East Village Mud Truck – Image © Wally Gobetz

Image © Ed Yourdon

When it comes to drinking you can’t get much cheaper than the 50 cent beers served at the Bourbon Street bar in Manhattan. And for those with more elegant taste, then Joe Doe is the man for you – or rather the bar as it serves $6 cocktails during happy hour from 5pm until 7pm.

And then there is the bunch of free stuff you can indulge in including brewery tours of Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg, the regularly changing exhibitions at Fashion Institute of Technology, Manhattan and the very popular (so book ahead) tours of the Federal Reserve.

Brooklyn Brewery, Williamsburg – Image © Willamor Media

Image © Bionicgrrrl

There are also free walking tours of downtown Manhattan run by Free Tours by Foot (though tips are expected) and don’t forget the impressive High Line, a disused raised railway track converted into a public space and park.

Image © Trey Ratcliff

Image © Karen Blumberg

That’s not even mentioning the increasingly popular free kayaking sessions at New York Downtown Boathouse on weekends, though get there early to ensure you get a seat in a kayak as they operate a first come first served policy.

Image © – Linh Nguyen

Now would you like to hear the good news? The total cost of all the activities above would set you back just $83.50. That even leaves enough change for cheesecake, or just one more of JoeDoe’s celery sodas. Or why don’t you take that change, save it for tomorrow, and have a picnic in idyllic and illustrious central park? Whatever you do decide to spend your money on – and whatever budget you’re contained to – the city of dreams will help make something magical happen.

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  • stwash says:

    How could you forget the FREE Staten Island ferry for one of the most awe-inspiring views of the NY skyline and the Statue of LIberty?

  • bill brooke says:

    Great article. I agree with all that you mentioned. But also just walking around Manhattan is a phenomenal way to spend several hours; buy a hot dog and soda from a street vendor and you have had a super day for $5.00.

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