New York is the city of skyscrapers. The city where everything happens, a vibrant place full of life. It is one of the most desirable Autumn getaways. In the end, every traveler ends up – sooner or later – in New York.
The first walk through New York is a mixture of sensations. On the one hand you have the impression of knowing everything. Everything sounds familiar to you. It’s normal, you’ve seen it in so many movies and so many times on TV that it’s like deja vu . On the other hand, everything is different from what you have seen. The impression is that everything is a little smaller than what you see on the screen and at the same time, everything is magnified. Much more alive. It is as if, suddenly, you are the protagonist of the film. Everything seems both real and unreal to you.
When the “sock” of the first walk passes and they put their feet on the ground, that is when the magic of the city is discovered. Then in when New York hooks you.
Of course, you have to prepare your pocket because it is not a cheap city. As the capital of the world, New York is also one of the cities with a higher standard of living and that is reflected in prices. There are some essential visits that are free, such as Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge or the New York Cathedral, but for many others you will have to take out your wallet. Although it is also a city full of surprises and charming corners. Places where you can soak up the real New York, mingle with its people and enjoy its views and do it all for free or for very little money.
Free and cool things to do in New York
The State Island Ferry
The ferry to State Island departs from Battery Park. It works 24 hours a day and leaves every 25 minutes. The ferry runs from Lower Manhattan to State Island, passing near the Statue of Liberty, and has one of the best views of Lower Manhattan and its skyline. In addition, the ferry schedule allows you to get to the island and take the boat that leaves back to Manhattan. The best time to go is at sunset, so that on the outward trip you still have light and for the return it is at night and all the skyscrapers in southern Manhattan are lit. Thus, you can enjoy both the view during the day and at night.
Views of Midtown Manhattan from New Jersey
One of the best views of Midtown Manhattan is the one you can see from across the Hudson River. For many, it is even better than the view of the city from the Empire State or Top of the Rock. Be it better or not, what is certain is that it is very cool and worth it. Leaning over the Hudson and seeing the silhouette of the most famous buildings in Manhattan on the other side is a pleasure, if it is also not crowded and it has not cost you more than the subway ticket, much better. The easiest way to enjoy these views is to take the subway to the Hoboken stop and when you arrive, walk a few meters to the river. Will not disappoint you.
Roosevelt Island Cable Car
At 60th Street next to the Queensboro Bridge, on the East River, is the cable car that connects the island of Manhattan with Roosevelt Island. The cable car costs the same as a metro ticket and you can use the transport card. The journey, almost 80 meters above the river, is amazing and has spectacular views of Downtown. Once on the island, taking a walk along the river bank is always a great idea. It is a pleasant park and on weekends it is common to find a fair or festival.
High Line Elevated Park
This urban park, built on an old railway line, is one of the most atmospheric places in New York at the moment. It’s on the West Side and runs from 34th Street to Gansevoort. The design is groundbreaking and impressive. Surprising to see how they have recycled this old elevated train track, the park has great views of the West Side and also has works of art, music and all kinds of daily events to make the visit even more interesting.
Free museums in New York
If you want to go to museums in the city and visit some of the most important in the world, such as the MoMa or the Guggenheim, there is no need to pick up your wallet. It turns out that many of the city’s great museums are free at certain times. The MoMa is free on Friday afternoons between 4:00 and 8:00 p.m. The Guggemheim is free on Saturdays from 5:45 PM to 7:45 PM. The 9/11 Memorial Museum is free on Tuesdays starting at 5 pm. The National Library is also free and it’s amazing.
If you want to visit the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art) or the Natural History Museum, be aware that the prices ($ 25 and $ 22 respectively) are recommended and not mandatory. You always have to give something when you enter, but no one will tell you anything if you give less than the recommended price.
Gospel Mass in Harlem
On Sundays, most Harlem Baptist churches celebrate their Gospel Masses. The experience, whether you are religious or not, of seeing a gospel mass live is shocking. The music and passion with which they live religion creates a very special atmosphere throughout the church.
Masses usually start at 11:30 and last around two hours. In many churches they are used to curious visitors coming as long as they do so with respect. It is forbidden to record or take photos and since you go to church, you must dress appropriately.
The flea market
Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market is the perfect plan for the weekend. It is located on West 39th Street, between Ninth and Tenth avenues, between skyscrapers. It is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is the place where many go to look and be seen. So much so, that it is common to come across a well-known character. There are more than 170 stalls with everything you can imagine, in addition to things that you would never have imagined finding. How in any good street market you can find real bargains, you just have to have the patience to look for them.