Free NYC Activities Checklist

Visiting NYC but don’t have a lot to spend? No problem! While it may be one of the most expensive cities in the world, it also has an endless supply of free things to do. This list should keep you busy for at least a whole weekend, if not longer!

9/11 Memorial

I cannot recommend this enough. Take a look around, soak it in. Remember. The part outside is free, but I would also STRONGLY encourage you to spend the $24 and go to the museum. My friends and I spent several hours there without even realizing it. If you have the time, seriously, go.

MoMA on Friday

If you’re an art lover coming in for the weekend, the Museum of Modern Art is free on Fridays from 4-8 pm! You still have to go to the counter and get a ticket, but they just hand ’em out and you can go right on up! I personally am not a huge art fan, BUT if you’re even a little bit interested, go on Friday and you won’t have anything to lose!

Times Square

Yes, yes, the epitome of touristy spots. But it’s fun!! Watch out for all the people trying to sell you stuff, though. It feels like I’m back in Europe again with the street vendors practically putting jewelry on me in order to guilt me into giving them my money! Other than that, it’s just an incredible sight to see.

Staten Island Ferry

This was awesome!! The ferry runs every half hour, all day and all night, forever. Probably. You don’t even have to get a ticket! You just hop on, chill for 25 minutes, take some pictures with Lady Liberty, hop on the next ferry, and ride right back to where you started! Altogether it takes about an hour. And the subway runs right up to the front door of the terminal! Basically no downsides to this.

Brooklyn Bridge/DUMBO

Did you even go to New York City if you didn’t walk the Brooklyn Bridge?! Kidding. But really. It’s a good little trek across, so if you’re not feeling it, you can get some amazing pictures from below! Plus there’s a carousel and several good restaurants within walking distance.

Central Park

The first time I visited NYC, it was at the beginning of January. Snow, slush, very wet and cold. Not a ton of incentive to take a stroll through Central Park! But in the warmer months, it couldn’t be more inviting. And it’s HUGE, so there’s plenty to see. My favorite area is by the Hans Christian Andersen statue next to Conservatory Pond. It’s a wonderful place to read a book and people watch!

Long Island City Piers

It’s a little out of the way, but it’s so worth it! In my opinion, it’s better than DUMBO. The view is incredible, there are a plethora of food trucks, and the whole area is so open and clean! You can catch an amazing view of the skyline from here and PRO TIP: Go at sunset because it goes down behind the buildings, making for a great picture!

NY Public Library

I haven’t been yet, but I plan on it! It’s free to enter, and you can take your time “digesting” all the books! (sorry not sorry) Not to mention the beautiful architecture. This place is gorgeous inside and out!

Grand Central Station

`You better believe my best friend and I stood in the middle of that place at 10:30 pm and watched the first several minutes of the Gossip Girl pilot because HOW COULD YOU NOT? If you’re not a GG fan, it’s still a seriously incredible place to be! Even if it’s just for a few minutes, you’ve gotta stop here and take it all in. If anything, do it for the ceiling alone!

Aaaaand that’s it! As promised, I made you your very own checklist to print off if your heart desires! Have fun in New York, friends!!

NYC Free Activities Checklist



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