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Top 5 Free NYC Landmarks

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by Jessica Mousseau (subscribe)
Jessica Mousseau is a copywriter & copy editor from the United States. Her work can be viewed at:
Published May 15th 2011
You might say that if you can see it without having to pay for looking at it, then all the New York landmarks are free. In this instance, we mean those landmarks that either give you a choice of just looking at it or paying to take a tour, go up in it, or otherwise access it, and those landmarks that are places, too. Let's not talk semantics, let's talk about what you can see without having to pay anything to do so. If you decide you want to pay for a closer look or to see more of it, then you can.

Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York Harbor

You can actually get a "two-fer" if you take the Staten Island Ferry to go see the Statue of Liberty. Riding the ferry is free, and so is simply walking around Liberty Island. You can even catch a Ranger tour; it's free also. Again, once you get there, if you decide you want to go up to the top or in other portions of the statue or grounds itself, you can pay for those then. If not, you can still enjoy the beauty of the island and surrounding area.

Empire State Building

You don't have to pay to stand on the street and look up, up, up and the Empire State Building (or across the street for a better view), and it doesn't cost anything to browse around the shops located on the main lobby level. You only pay for what you buy or if you choose to eat at one of the restaurants located on that level. If you want to go up on the observation deck, you have to buy tickets for that. Again, if you decide that's what you want to do, you can. If not, just enjoy the view from the ground and don't forget to have your picture made in front of the building.

Times Square

Times Square is just that, a square with shops, office buildings, and other things located in and around it. Walking around Times Square is free, as is strolling through all the different shops and other venues located in that area. So much of what makes Times Square unique is the atmosphere—it's truly what makes New York City the "City". Taking in the atmosphere doesn't cost a thing, just stand still and enjoy it.

Central Park

Walking, jogging, biking, or rollerblading around Central Park is free. Enjoying the picnic tables, fishing in the lake, and people-watching is free. Looking for wildlife (yes, wildlife, right in the middle of New York City) is free. You'll pay to ride a hansom cab or get in the zoo or some of the other attractions in Central Park, but, again, that's only if you want to. With so many free things to do, you probably won't even be tempted.

Ground Zero

Viewing the site of the September 11 attacks is free, but the cost we have paid in the lives of those who were killed, as well as the loss of our innocence and security can't be measured. If you do go to Ground Zero, please do not treat it as just another tourist attraction; instead, show respect at this somber memorial.

There is a museum as well as some other venues around the Ground Zero site that require admission, but many things are on display for free public viewing. While you're looking at these, please remember there is construction going on, so watch your step and be careful.
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Why? Why pay for fun that can be had free in NYC?
When: Whenever you want
Where: All over New York
Cost: Free
I love Central Park. I'll go there year round regardless of the weather and it still always has that special feel to it. It's like it's own little relaxing world right in the middle of a busy city.
By L.R. - senior writer
Friday, 20th of May @ 10:55 pm
It is completely misleading to say walking around Liberty Island is free. The ONLY way to walk around Liberty Island is via Statue Cruises, which costs $20, or more. The Staten Island Ferry is free -- but it does NOT stop at Liberty Island. It travels between Manhattan and Staten Island only.

Evelyn Kanter
Lifelong New Yorker
Author/Editor 20 NYC guidebooks & apps
Publisher NYC on the Cheap
By evely14 - reader
Monday, 24th of October @ 04:54 pm
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