Thursday, September 3, 2015


I am in New York on a tight budget, I do not want to spend on a New York Pass but still want to experience New York to the fullest. Is it possible? Read on!

Prior to Arrival:

1. Download the map of New York city and study it. The best are the Red Maps: great variety of the town.

2. Estimate the number of subway rides you are going to take, and buy a metro card accordingly. If you are extremely lazy to walk, a 7-day pass is a good deal. If you are young and healthy, walk more! You will experience more.

3. Download the TKTS app if you are interested in catching a Broadway show.

4. Download Times Out New York to find out where and when are all those free events, sometimes there is free kayaking event at the Hudson River.

5. Survey on simcards (if you plan on staying in the USA longer than a week, better have one). I had mine from ATT.

Day 1: Mid-Manhattan

Bryant Park
Such a good place to start! There are often free events going on so check the Time Out NY! I participated in the Film Festival when I was there. Excellent place to do some people-watching.

5th Avenue Public Library
This magnificent building is right behind the Bryant’s Park.
YOU’VE GOT TO SEE THIS: You do not have to be a nerd to be in awe!

5th Avenue
The 5th avenue starts getting busy early in the morning. A scroll down this New York’s principal shopping street is a must, Have your own “breakfast at Tiffany's” moment or spent some time window shopping! Don’t miss the light show at Saks if you are visiting on a holiday!

Don’t miss this hallowed ground for art buffs, if you consider yourself one. It is $25 per admission but you can go for FREE on Friday evening!

Time Square
Just sitting on the steps people-watching brought me so much satisfaction. There are a lot of street art performance to enjoy after dark.  The "crossroads of the world" truly live up to its name. However, try to avoid the costumed characters if you are not a fan. A photo with them cost you money $5 or more per person. Not a wise way to spend your money.

Day 2 : Explore the People’s Park

Central Park is the people’s Park visitors should not miss. This green oasis is a place that you can explore all day, but still can’t finish in time. If you have limited time, make sure to see the castle, rambles and the Bethesda Fountain.

Top of the rock ($30)
This might just be the most expensive attraction of your New York Trip. I know you are on a budget, you can skip Empire State Building, all those equally awesome museums but this is something you should not miss! Don't buy tickets before hand, check the weather forecast first. In case it rains, visibility will be limited and your $30 will be flushed right down the drain! If you made it there, be sure to stay long enough to witness the lights transition from evening to dark. However, you won’t be able to witness the sun setting form the side of Empire State Building.

Day 3: Lower Manhattan

Statue of Liberty 
Take the free Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, Lower Manhattan skyline and Ellis Island. To board the ferry, take a subway to South Ferry. You won’t get too close to the Statue but the view is still great. Do not be fooled by tourist hustlers trying to sell you “tickets” to Staten Island. Stand at the end of the ferry for amazing photo opportunities!

Battery Park
A stone throw away from south port, the Battery park is well worth your time too!

The Reflecting pool and 911 Memorial

The memorial park is free to explore. Ask for guidance from personnel around the reflecting pool especially If you have a name (of the victim) you wish to find.  Don’t miss the survivor tree. Exploring the ground where the Twin Tower once stood proud is a moving experience. Admission to the museum cost you $28 on normal days but it is free on Tuesdays from 5 pm to 7 pm

Wall Street
The famous Wall Street is a short walk from the 911 memorial.

Charging Bull
There is usually a crowd at this Must-Photo sculpture. It’s fun to see people taking turn to cup the bull’s testicles. During my visit, there was a Spanish tour group around and there was this Spanish guy who kept waving the flag at the bull hoping that the bull will “Charge” him. That was hilarious and they really made my day! Sure you can have the bull all to yourself if you visit early in the morning, but you will miss all the fun!

Walk up the Brooklyn Bridge
Caution not to getting into the bike lane. The Brooklyn Bridge is a signature landmark of New York and standing underneath its massive tower will make you feel like you’re in a movie.

What a great outing! The view of Manhattan from the waterfront was spectacular. I love the cobbled street, the nice buzz around and the Shake Shack burger a stone throw away from the waterfront! Love the vibes!

Walk the Manhattan Bridge
Go back to Manhattan by the less crowded Manhattan Bridge

China Town
Small area, huge flavor, good value! I was craving for something Oriental food and I got it there.

SOHO, Little Italy
The view from the roads are fine and it was really crowded during my visit.

DAY 4: Others

Take a leisure walk along the Hudson River
There are so many things to see along the Hudson River. Sometimes there are even free events going on (Check your Time Out NY app).

Union Square
There will be Farmer's Markets on Union Square few days in a week (Check ahead). Great as you might score an inexpensive local lunch.

Madison Square Garden

Grand Central Terminal.
Probably the highlight of the day! Check out their impressive architecture (be sure to look up at the ceiling)! It cost you nothing without taking a tour.

Highline Park
Interesting park with a story to tell. Google up the history of the High Line Park and you will be amazed!

Thank You for Reading! 
This post is based solely on my honest opinion or personal experience. 
Feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below!

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