I recently took a trip to NYC, the greatest city in the world! It was amazing, but there are a few things I wish I had known before going. Particularly as it pertains to saving money in New York City!
Broadway is expensive, and you won’t get to see Hamilton unless you bought tickets months in advance, so don’t get your hopes up. Seriously, don’t. But it is possible to get tickets to other shows at a discount price. You just need to visit tkts or go to the website to get discount tickets to shows later that day.
Get there early though, because the cheap seats sell out fast, leaving you stuck with the expensive at a discount price, but they are still expensive, trust me.
I also was not prepared for the cost of everything in New York. If you’re wanting to go shopping, save more money than you would expect. The food was the kicker for me. Eating off Broadway or on Times Square is going to be expensive. I did enjoy this place called the Three Monkeys because it was close to our hotel and the food was really good.
Not to say I wouldn’t recommend eating good food, but I would consider stocking up on some snacks and drinks outside of the city so you can eat some meals at the hotel, or even just skip a meal and eat well at dinner, because there is often more than enough.
I would also be prepared to walk unless you want to spend a ton on taxis or get lost trying to figure out the subway if you’ve never ridden one before. If you’re only going seven blocks, maybe consider walking there and using a taxi to come back if your hands are full.
For our hotel, my parent got an amazing deal with the Hilton. They agreed to go to a meeting about investing in the company for a reduced room rate, and they were not obligated to invest at the end.
I also had some buyers remorse on Times Square. I would not buy anything there you can get somewhere else. M&M world cost us $40 for about the same amount of M&Ms in two bags. Similar to this would be places like the Disney store.
On the other hand, the Forever 21 and H&M in Times Square are huge, so if those are your thing, bring some extra money for that. My dad likes watches, so he brought money for Invicta because they have a store there too, but be prepared to spend some serious money in that store.
If you are there for the history and the sights, New York is perfect for you. Some things cost money, like the 9/11 museum or the Freedom Tower, but here is a list of places I would see instead, and the a free:
- Alexander Hamilton’s grave and Trinity Church. It is such a beautiful church and it’s cool to see where a founding father is buried. Though I guess it wasn’t free because I left some change at his grave, but that is optional.
- The 9/11 memorial. The museum is not free, but the fountains are. It was an experience that I will never forget. It was almost haunting.
- Visit the battery to get a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. You can’t visit them up close for free, but it is still cool to see them from a distance for free.
- Wall Street. It was cool to see where it all goes down, and the place where the Great Depression was ignited.
- Broadway is free to walk down. It is so cool to see the theater district and all the show billboards.
- The UN building. It may not be pretty, but it is cool to see where the UN meets.
- Central Park. I went in the winter, so nothing was blooming, but it was still beautiful and while you’re there you can even see Trump tower.
New York is so amazing, but it does get expensive. So be prepared to spend on the things you want, don’t buy the things you don’t, and know the difference! Remember, there are ways you can enjoy NYC without spending money!