New York is one of the most exciting destinations in the world, with a wealth of things to see and do for every kind of traveler. While some parts may be pricey, backpackers on a budget will find that much of this popular city can actually be experienced for under $25.
Table of Contents
Stay at the Jazz on Lennox Hostel (West 128th Street)
Trendy Harlem from $17 a Night. This New York hostel in the heart of the Harlem community is an ideal base from which to explore the sights and sounds of the city. A short metro ride from Manhattan, there's also heaps of culture and history to explore on your doorstep in this energetic district famous for its poetry and music.
Take the Subway to P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City
Although an affiliate of the MoMa (Museum of modern Art), P.S.1 stands out from New York's host of museums through its radical approach to exhibitions. A former school, the corridors, classrooms and toilets are now all part of the displays of contemporary and conceptual art. It's one of the oldest and largest non-profit organizations in the USA and they suggest a donation of just $5 to enter.
Eat a New York Burger With All the Works
For under $6 at Blue 9 Burger on Third Avenue. A budget but quality fast-food restaurant, they use only fresh beef and hand cut the potatoes in-house for the fries. The specialties are “the blue 9 burger” – a monster of a double cheeseburger – and a mayo-based spicy mango sauce. Add classic-cut fries and a thick American milkshake if you dare!
Drink Fresh-Squeezed Lime Margaritas
At Mole Mexican Bar & Grill on Allen Street for $5 at happy hour between 4 and 7pm every day. This family-run bar in East Houston serves authentic Mexican fare in a friendly, casual atmosphere. Indulge in cocktails or add nachos, quesadillas and guacamole (also $5 at this time) and a $3 draft beer to your order.
See One of the World's Largest and Most Impressive Collections of Art
At the Metropolitan Museum on Fifth Avenue. Although admission is a pricey $20 for adults, a trip to New York can't be complete without a visit to the Met. There are more than two million works of art from classical antiquity to modern day in the permanent collection and numerous special exhibits.
Shop at Beacon's Closet on 11th Street
This vintage superstore in Brooklyn is a haven for unique second-hand pieces and hip shoppers. The sound system blasts indie while a fashionable crowd hunts for bargains. With tops starting from $15, there are some real deals to be had – if you have the patience to sift through their wares.
Walk Along Broadway Towards the Rockefeller Center
A stroll down this busy thoroughfare among New York's famous skyscrapers and frantic commuters is the perfect way to soak up a little of the city's unique atmosphere for free.
Browse New York's Up-and-Coming Talent in the Chelsea Art Galleries
Located in Manhattan's up-market West Side, Chelsea is the cultural center for New York's art scene with around 200 galleries displaying work from both new and established artists. Venues are open Tuesday to Sunday and are free to enter.
Dance Your Friday Night Away to the Biggest Names in Techno
At “The Bunker” at Galapagos Art Space (North Sixth Street, Brooklyn). A weekly $10 entry into one of Brooklyn's ultra-cool cultural centers will guarantee cutting-edge electronic dance music until the early hours with the city's trendy American Apparel and neon wearing youngsters.
Watch a Fresh New Show
At the New York Theatre Workshop in the East Village In comparison to expensive Broadway productions, all seats at NYTW are $20 for Sunday performances and students can get a ticket at this rate at any time. But lesser prices don't mean lesser theater – many of Broadway's biggest hits have been seen here first