How to Visit New York on a Budget

How to Visit New York on a BudgetNew York is one of the first and best cities to visit in the world. A tour to Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, and Greenwich Village among other attractions will give you all the fun you have ever dreamed of. Apparently, there are many attractions in New York and you can’t visit them all except you’ll be spending more than a few weeks. From the food, shopping experience, to sightseeing, there are many incredible places to spend your money on. So, if you’re an international traveler, this post provides tips on the ways you can visit New York on a budget and the documents you’ll need for your trip, including the ESTA form.

·        Plan Places to Visit in New York

When planning your trip to New York, it’s important that you consider how much you’re willing to spend. Of course, you can visit The Statue of Liberty, The Empire State Building, Times Square, Central Park, and a host of other places. But it doesn’t stop at merely looking at these places. The views of these iconic landmarks are amazing, but experiencing their fullness is what matters.

When planning to visit New York on a budget, think of doing some walking. If you love to watch people and their pets, you can spend hours at Central Park or walk around the Brooklyn Bridge. If you intend to lodge at a hotel, you may not spend less than $250 per night. So, you may want to rethink your accommodation options. You can commit more time to deciding what you want your vacation or tour to be.

Make a list of the places you hope to visit and ensure that they’re possibly within the same location. Say you plan to visit Times Square and Central Park; put both visits on the same day. This way, you can save cost on hiring Uber rides. Alternatively, you can visit the local neighborhoods like Tribeca where you won’t have to break the bank to have a great time.

·        Get a Tourist Pass to Save Costs

Another way to enjoy New York on a budget is to buy a tourist pass. You’ll get the city pass to visit many popular places at a discount price for some days. The New York Pass and the CityPass are two great options that reduce how much you spend and allow you visit museums and other sights in a week and few days.

·        Look for Free/Affordable Events

Visiting New York on a budget entails going for shows, exhibitions, and events that are affordable or even free. There’s barely a day in New York City that doesn’t have a concert or free event. Hence, look for such and grab the best moments there.

You can also get discounted Broadway tickets from or go to theaters where preference is given to students or senior citizens.

·        Don’t Stay in Manhattan

It’s agreed that hotels in New York are generally expensive; thus, you can consider alternatives outside Manhattan. Think of hostels, apartment rental or even inns with shared baths. These options allow you to avoid paying too many hundreds of dollars while you still enjoy some level of comfort and easy access to the public transport.

·        Shop at Flea Markets

If you’ll like to increase your collection of jewelry, bags, and purses, think of shopping at places where you’ll spend less but get value. Flea markets in Brooklyn or Manhattan offer unique products at great prices compared to vendors on street corners.

·        Skip the Fancy Restaurants

As much as you’d love to eat your fill of the sumptuous and mouthwatering meals in restaurants around Times Square, you must remember the bills in your wallet. Think about eating at local restaurants in ethnic areas like Chinatown or Little India. These places offer delicious local meals at affordable prices and in great dining atmospheres.

·        Make Plans for Your Travel Documents

International travelers from Visa Waiver Countries don’t need the usual visas for their trips. Are you from Chile, Spain, Ireland, Austria, Malta or Belgium? These are only some of the member states that benefit from the Visa Waiver Program. With the ESTA, you can visit New York and any state in the U.S. without a visa. Once you fill the ESTA form in the online application, you get the ESTA approval to visit the U.S. for 90 days.

It’s important that you comply with the conditions of the VWP since visiting New York on a budget falls under the leisure trip. For the application, the documents you’ll need include your contact information, credit card details (for payment), details about your place of work, and your valid passport.

Interestingly, the ESTA is valid for two years for traveling to the U.S. So, you can save cost on visa expenses while you put the money into other important parts of your trip.


In this post, we’ve considered ideas and tips that’ll help you visit New York on a budget. It’s important to save some cash while getting a good view and touring experience of the Big Apple.

Hence, start by finding out if you’re qualified to fill the ESTA form and benefit from the VWP. And make your travel plans early so that every moment you spend in NYC can be memorable.

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