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Free New York Attractions and Landmarks

Home > New York > Free | Fun Things To Do | Fun for Children | Parks | Museums
by Jessica Mousseau (subscribe)
Jessica Mousseau is a copywriter & copy editor from the United States. Her work can be viewed at:
Published June 1st 2011
A trip to New York City does not mean you have to spend a lot of money. There are a lot of things that are free that may actually give you a more "up close and personal" view of the City than visiting a paid attraction.

Below is a list of some of the free things you can do and see in New York City. There are many more, but these are a representation of what you can do without spending any money.

Belvedere Castle, Central Park

As you wind your way around the road leading to this imposing structure, you may wonder if you've gotten lost because in some places the path simply appears to end. Keep walking, however, and you'll see the castle.

Admission to the interior of the castle is free. There you can visit the Henry Luce Nature Observatory, with its many displays of plants and animals. Afterward, you can go to the top of the tower, where you'll be afforded a spectacular view of Central Park.

Brooklyn Bridge

It costs absolutely nothing to cross the Brooklyn Bridge, and even though you have New York traffic whizzing past on both sides (the pedestrian walkway is situated right in the middle of the Bridge's six lanes), you're perfectly safe. The Bridge separates Manhattan from Brooklyn, a borough which has an energy and atmosphere all its own.

It will take you approximately 30 minutes to walk across the Bridge, but don't worry; there are benches along the way so you can stop and rest. Take your time, and enjoy the sights and sounds of New York City.

Ellis Island Immigration Museum

For many immigrants (perhaps even your ancestors) Ellis Island was the point of debarkation upon their arrival in America. Here they were welcomed to the Land of Opportunity.

Admission to the museum is free, although you must purchase a ferry ticket in order to get to Ellis Island. It's worth it, though, especially when you see the determination and courage that people displayed and still display in an effort to make a better life for them.

Grand Central Station

If you're always saying that your house is busier than Grand Central Station, now you can find out whether or not that is true. Find a bench to sit on and watch the people coming and going from the different trains. When you've had your fill of people-watching, walk around the station and enjoy the artwork and sculpture pieces that are there.

Looking and sitting is free; the only money you'll spend is if you need to purchase a train ticket or if you take advantage of one of the 25 restaurants or other eating places in the Terminal itself.

Staten Island Ferry

This is one of the most familiar sights in New York City, and also one of the most fun free things to do. The boat ride takes 25 minutes and you'll sail close to the Statue of Liberty. The ferry travels between Manhattan and St. George on Staten Island. You can disembark and spend a few hours discovering all the interesting things on Staten Island, then re-board the ferry for your return trip to Manhattan.
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Why? Because it's free
When: Whenever you want
Where: All over New York City
Cost: Free
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