10 Free and Awesome things to Do in New York City

Dear Free Spirits,

“Here in the New York Concrete Jungle, where dreams of made of, there is nothing you can’t do!” Jay-Z got it right when describing New York City. This is the place to be this summer in the city that NEVER sleeps. When I mean “never” I am not joking: subway service is available 24/7 and there are over 8 million people for you to meet when you go!

Whether you are going there for a weekend or a couple of weeks, you will find something new and exciting every time! You might think that in a place like NYC you will need to spend a fortune – since it’s in the city – but that is not true at all! The best things in life are free after all, right? 😉

Being a Tour Leader in New York City I know what’s good! Here is my selection of Top 10 Things to do when in New York city!

1) Times Square

Free Things to Do in New York- Times Square

This place does not sleep, ever! Over 39 million people visit Times Square every year! Times Square is a major commercial intersection and a neighbourhood in Midtown Manhattan, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. There is so much to see here. Let me list a few things… Popular American Retail Chains such as H&M, American Eagle, Forever 21 and Mc Donalds. If your store is on this street you made it! Close by you can also visit the Madame Tussauds wax museum where you can take photos of celebrities in their wax form! Or you can visit the TKTS booth to buy some discounted tickets for broadway/off broadway shows. Oh and when you go to Times Square be on the look out for celebrities! I saw Justin Trudeau walking with his wife and security crew along broadway on their way to watch the Broadway Show “Hamilton”.

2) Coney Island

coney island photos

Photo from google images

This place is a bit further away from the touristy NYC, but nether less still worth a visit if you have the time. Located on Brighton Beach in Southwestern Brooklyn, it is the perfect place to get away from the city on a hot and sunny day. If you watched Uptown girls with Brittany Murphy and Dakota Fanning you would have noticed the amusement park. The scene where they are walking along the boardwalk and riding till they are sick in the spinning tea cups at Luna Park, is all happening at Coney Island!

In my opinion, Coney Island is one the best neighbourhoods in the world, where else can you get an Amusement Park on a beach, yearly Mermaid Parade and the best city in the world close by!? Coney Island that is where!

3) Central Park

free things to do in manhattan- Central park

This is my all time favourite place to visit when staying in Manhattan. Regain your sanity in nature, with over 843 acres of park space. Here you can visit the Central Park zoo, famous great lawn, and Bow bridge. For a list of all the attractions you can check out http://www.centralparknyc.org/things-to-see-and-do/

Free Things to Do in New York- Central Park

4) New York Public Library

Top 10 free things to do in nyc- new york public library

This building definitely earned its spot along 5th Avenue. A great architectural wonder this place is made out of lavish marble walls, floors and sometimes even ceilings! The architecture in this place will take your breathe away! Oh and its also close to other free attractions such as Bryant Park(right behind the New York Public Library) and Grand Central Station(a 3 minute walk). Which brings me to the next point…

5) Bryant Park

Top 10 free things to do in nyc- Bryant Park

This is not your regular suburban park with a slide, swings and some benches. This is NYC for goodness sakes, and here in NYC we have some of the best parks in the world. In this magical universe also known as Bryant Park you will find a carousel, cafes, patios, charging stations, benches and the best part a large lawn. On the grand lawn you can lounge in the sun, let your kids run around or watch some outdoor movies in the summer! My favourite place to hang out in the evening with a nice cold pressed juice.

6) Grand Central Terminal


photo from http://assets.fodors.com/destinations/5508/grand-central-terminal-midtown-east-new-york-city-new-york-usa-north-america_main.jpg

Is a wonderful architectural landmark in the city as well as a transportation hub. Many movies were also filmed here. Bring your camera and look up and around you at the stunning painted ceiling. “Which is one of the best-known parts of Grand Central. It depicts the constellations of the zodiac.  Though it is beautiful, the ceiling is not astronomically correct. It is actually backwards.” You can read more about the terminal on: www.freetoursbyfoot.com this read yourself walking guide is easy to read and entertaining.

7) Take the Free Ferry to Staten Island

Free Things to Do in New York- Staten Island Ferry

It’s Free Free Free and all the places and things you will see! During this 25 minute ride you will get a nice view of the New York Harbor and you will have a perfect view of The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Plus you’ll see the skyscrapers and bridges of Lower ManhattanStatue of Liberty/Ellis Island! For more information and departure times Click HERE

8) Party at a Free Music Festival

Check out the website nycfreeconcerts.com for some free festivals coming up this year or next year. And getting in free is nice because then you can spend money on things like food and beer, which are guaranteed to help you have a great time!

9) Use http://onthesetofnewyork.com to find all the places where your favourite movies/television shows were filmed! 

This website makes for a fun adventure!

10) Walk along the High Line 

Free Things to Do in New York- High Line

My dream condo! Right on the High Line!

I obviously saved the best for last! A wonderful walk along the highline will take you through neighbourhoods like the Meatpacking District as well as Chelsea. On your walk you will see a condo designed by Zaha Hadid, cozy seating areas and artsy murals. The video here started the High Line hype for myself. And here are some beautiful photos from my trip to the High-Line.


Free Spirit Brilliant EXTRA Suggestion

11)Rooftop Pool Party/Bar Open to the Public

RoofTop Bar in NYC

You don’t have to be rich and famous to celebrate a nice day on a rooftop pool party! Some hotels in NYC (such as the Williamsburg) offer open to the public hours for the rooftop patio and swimming pool. Check out this link for more information about NYC Rooftop Pools! Things to consider, the rooftop pool party option is great way to escape the NYC heat and also a great place to get superb views of the city. So my dear friend bring your bathing suite!

What’s a trip to NYC without a visit to a Rooftop Party/Bar? This place Top of The Strand looks really nice and is not too far from the Empire State Building. The Delancy and Mr.Purple(indoor) are both great options for a night out, and they are both a 20 minute subway from Empire State Building. For more Cool Rooftop Bars check out this article by timeout.com about New York Rooftop Bars

I hope that you enjoy your visit to NYC or if you know a friend that is visiting send them this article with them and they will thank you for it big time!

Have a wonderful day my Free Spirits! Until next week!

Lots of Love,



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