6 Ways to Save on New York City Hot Spots


Bucket List Worthy   Uncategorized  


The view from a bridge - New York City's skyline. Photo: Julienne Schaer/nycgo.com
The view from a bridge – New York City’s skyline. Photo: Julienne Schaer/nycgo.com

The lacklustre loonie doesn’t mean Canadians have lost their shine for the Big Apple. In fact, it remains one of our favourite getaways. Of the 56 million tourists who travel to New York City every year, Canadians represent the second largest international tourism market (after the U.K.) with more than a million visitors.

And while NYC can be notoriously expensive, you don’t need the bankroll of a Rockefeller to discover what makes Gotham great. You may have to temper your Tiffany tastes, but there are plenty of economical ways to enjoy the city in style.

Start off with a New York CityPASS and save 40% on admission to six top NYC attractions. Add a reloadable subway MetroCard, which will get you anywhere you need to go.

Strolling through Central Park is one of the best things you can do for free in New York City. PhotoL Marley White/nycgo.com
Central Park is one of the best things you can do for free in New York City. Photo: Marley White/nycgo.com
  1. Take a Stroll in Central Park 

Start your stay in the most fabulous urban green space in the U.S. The 843-acre Central Park, bordered by skyscrapers and luxury apartments, spans three avenues and runs the length of 59th to 110th streets. It offers plenty of free amusements, especially in the summer with Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater, Central Park Film Festival movies, and concerts at SummerStage.

Pack a lunch (pick up picnic fixings at the food hall under The Plaza Hotel and spend a leisurely day in this urban oasis. Wander down the literary walk, dotted with statutes of famous writers and flanked by 150-year-old elm trees, toss a coin in the Bethesda Fountain (originally designed as a watering trough for carriage horses) and hop on one of 57 colourful horses for a whirl on the historic carousel (just $3 a ride).

The longest running musical on Broadway. Photo: Anne Bokma
The longest running musical on Broadway. Photo: Anne Bokma

 2. Give your regards to Broadway

Good luck getting tickets to Hamilton, the hottest musical currently on Broadway. which scored a record 16 Tony nominations. (It’s sold out months in advance and scalpers are getting as much as $2,000 a ticket). But with 40 professional theatres, there are plenty of plays to pick from, including Tony-award winners The Color Purple and Long Day’s Journey Into Night (starring Jessica Lange). You can’t go wrong with Chicago, a vaudeville song-and-dance satire on how show business and the media make celebrities out of criminals — it’s the longest-running American musical in Broadway history, now in its 20th year. Save 20-50% on same-day Broadway tickets at one of three TKTS Discount Booths (the flagship location is in Times Square).


Museum of Modern Art, Midtown East, Manhattan
The Museum of Modern Art in midtown Manhattan. Photo: Alex Lopez/nycgo.com

3. Spend a Night (or Afternoon) at the Museum

Want to view Van Gogh’s starry night, Andy Warhol’s soup cans, Monet’s water lilies and Frida Kahlo’s self portraits for free? The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), where these masterpieces are displayed, offers free admission every Friday from 4-8p.m. It’s one of dozens of NYC museums that don’t charge admission during specific times and days. Check out this listing for free admissions.

Ride past the Statute of Liberty on the Staten Island Ferry. Photo: Phil Kline/nycgo.com
Ride past the Statute of Liberty on the Staten Island Ferry. Photo: Phil Kline/nycgo.com

4. Ride the Staten Island Ferry

Make like you’re a character in Working Girl — the 1988 Mike Nichols’ movie starring Melanie Griffiths as a Staten Island secretary who hits the big time on Wall Street — and go for a boat ride on the Staten Island Ferry. It transports 22 million people a year and the free 25-minute ride offers a majestic view of the New York Harbor, including the Statue of Liberty. Hop on, take it across and come right back.  2017 will see the introduction of a massive 192-metre Ferris wheel on Staten Island that will be one of the world’s largest, carrying more than 1,400 riders.

The view of the Empire State Building from the Top of the Rock. Photo: Marley White/nycgo.com
The view of the Empire State Building from Top of the Rock.                                          Photo: Marley White/nycgo.com

5. Travel to the Top of the World

“I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York’s skyline,” wrote the author Ayn Rand. The Empire State Building, considered the most iconic piece of New York architecture, and Rockefeller Centre’s 86th-floor observation tower dubbed Top of the Rock, offer breathtaking sky-high perches from which to take in the street action by day and the city lights by night. (Both attractions are included in the New York CityPASS.)


The Roger Smith Hotel boasts a 16th floor rooftop bar. Photo: Roger Smith
The Roger Smith Hotel boasts a 16th floor rooftop bar.  Photo: The Roger Smith

6. Turn in for the Night at the Roger Smith

If you haven’t got your fill of views, head over to the jazzy 16th floor Henry’s rooftop bar at the Roger Smith Hotel. Order up a nightcap (a Manhattan, naturally) before getting a good night’s sleep in the larger-than-average size accommodations at this affordable and stylish family-friendly boutique hotel in the heart of Manhattan. It offers special touches such as a rotating modern art display and a book-sharing program where guests leave behind novels for other guests. There’s free wi-fi and local calls, and special offers such as 10% off on 14-day advance purchases and 15% off on stays of three days or more. Best of all, you can save on breakfast by helping yourself to the plentiful granola, Vermont Green Mountain yogurt and heaping bowls of apples in the lobby every morning. Properly fortified, you’ll be ready for another day of New York adventures.

There are many cheap airlines that fly to New York city. You can sometimes catch a deal that might surprise you just how cheap it is to get to New York.


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About the Author: Anne Bokma

Anne Bokma is an award winning journalist, editor and travel writer in Hamilton, Ontario. Check out her work at annebokma.com

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