One of the best things about New York is that there’s always something to do no matter how deep your pockets are.
And if you have barely any cash to flash, some of the best attractions are still within your reach. Good news for all of us who like value for money, or value for no money at all!
Here are my top three things to do or see for free in the city that never sleeps:
Look up in Grand Central Station
One of the world’s grandest train terminals, Grand Central Station has undergone something of a facelift in recent years. As a result, you can see the beautiful sky-like ceiling of the main concourse in all its glory (and if you look closely you can spot the small patch that was left to show just how dirty the ceiling had become over years of being smothered in tobacco smoke). The terminal positively shines now, and the dining concourse is perfect for taking in the timeless glamour of passenger rail travel’s glorious heyday.
There’s also a hidden feature not to be missed – just outside the oyster bar you may see people huddling around the columns of the archways. Known as the whispering gallery, you can stand at the opposite corner to your travelling companion (or maybe convince an attractive stranger by giving them your best glad eye? Worth a shot) and whisper sweet (or other) sentiments into the corner. Through acoustic trickery, they’ll hear you, and you’ll hear them as if you were both standing right next to each other. Magic.
Ride the Staten Island Ferry
When I think of this ferry I always picture Melanie Griffith’s character in the film Working Girl; travelling over the water to the big city, off to make some waves of her own. But the truth is that this commuter ferry offers so much more than a journey to work – the views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty are outstanding. And with no need to buy a ticket or enter through any kind of turnstile, you can just do a spin on Staten Island and hop right back on.
The journey will take you about 20 minutes each way and the ferries run pretty much non-stop every half hour, day and night. If I return to New York, I’ll be sure to take the ferry both during daylight hours and under the cloak of darkness, for completely different views of the same unbelievable skyline.
Walk the High Line
I’d heard about the High Line before I went to New York and I was determined I’d make it to this relatively new and completely unique New York park. Something told me this was a sight I shouldn’t miss. Mr Holiday Addict knew nothing about it beyond what I’d mentioned to him prior to our trip, and when we made our way up there for a pre-dinner stroll on our final night in the city, we were both in awe at what we found.
This park is what can only be described as an urban masterpiece, but I don’t want to give too much away because this is one New York landmark that was much more than a “see” or a “do” for me – it made me really feel something, so please come back to find out why. I’ll be writing a complete post on the High Line soon.
What’s your favourite free thing to do in New York? I’d love to know in the comments.