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New York City has many nicknames. The City That Never Sleeps, The Big Apple, The City So Nice They Charged You Twice — or something like that.

It’s true that New York is an expensive destination. But enjoying Gotham doesn’t have to break the bank; just take the city one bite at a time.

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Here are 10 ways to enjoy a cost-effective — and fun — trip to The Five Boroughs without sacrificing the essence of all the city has to offer.


Take in a park

New York has some of the most incredible parks. Central Park in the middle of Manhattan is the envy of city planners the world over. But it is far from the only park in the city. Take Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Queens, for example. The park was created for the 1939 New York World’s Fair and saw further service during the 1964 New York World’s Fair. It’s also home to the Unisphere, which was famously destroyed in the “Men in Black” movie.

Ride the Staten Island Ferry

Long-time New Yorkers will tell you the Staten Island Ferry, a key mode of transport for workers who live in the city’s “forgotten” borough, offers some of the best views of the Statue of Liberty. In addition, the ferry offers splendid views of the skyline as it pulls into South Ferry on Manhattan. The best part is, it’s free to ride.

Walk the High Line

In 2009, the first phase of development on a former elevated train line opened as a walking trail. Today, The High Line, a nearly 1.5-mile-long stretch of elevated trail, provides the roughly 5 million people annually who venture onto the right-of-way a unique view of New York City.

See Times Square

The Crossroads of the World. Where else can one see such commercialization, bright lights and creepy people dressed up as Disney characters accosting passers-by for a paid photo opportunity? Of all the iconic New York City vistas, this may be the most famous. Pretty much everyone who comes to The Big Apple makes his or her way to Times Square. Plus, it’s in the midst of the city’s famed theaters.

Eat a bagel

Bagels are a staple of breakfast nationwide, but they taste better in New York. It’s the water, most experts will say. Who has the best bagels in town is the subject of an endless debate. Some of the tastiest in the city can be found in Brooklyn, a claim which is often argued among bagel connoisseurs.

Visit South Street Seaport

South Street Seaport offers visitors an opportunity to step back in time. The Dutch West India Company first established a pier in the area in 1625, and the rest is history. Today, in addition to a museum, the area offers one of the best views of the famed Brooklyn Bridge.

Take the subway

Many people prefer to take a taxi around the city. Nothing against a taxi, but head to New York City’s underground to experience one of the city’s true icons. The subway will take riders pretty much anywhere they need or want to go. To learn more, take the subway to the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn.

Head to a hot dog stand

The Big Apple has some of the world’s greatest restaurants. But, it’s also home to that random hot dog cart on the next corner. For just a few bucks, visitors can live like a genuine New Yorker and chow down for lunch. For anyone looking for a more traditional dining experience, find a nearby pizzeria and enjoy another of New York’s notable dishes.

Enjoy the architecture

It’s easy to lose one’s way in the hustle and bustle of the big city. But don’t forget to look up. Take a minute to appreciate the architecture that makes this city instantly recognizable the world over. As another idea, head over to the Main Branch of the New York Public Library. Officially the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, this Beaux-Arts designed structure was built between 1897 and 1911 and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965.

People-watch in Grand Central

There are few great train stations left in the country, but Grand Central Terminal is certainly one. Millions of commuters pass through the historic station every day, making it not only a hub for travelers, but a great place to people watch. In the summer, it’s also a great place to find air conditioning and take a load off.

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