The Best (Free) Things to Do in New York City

The Big Apple. The City that Never Sleeps. NYC. What is there to do when you need to save some dough but can't eat another $1 slice? Here's another list of free hidden gems for locals and tourists alike in the Empire city!

1. THE HIGH LINE

This stretch of railroad revamped into a public park is one of the coolest, most unique spots in the city. It cuts through the entirety of Manhattan's West Side and is home to many restaurants, art galleries and public gardens.

  The High Line - Image via @ anikaisabella

The High Line - Image via @anikaisabella

2. ST. PATRICK'S CATHEDRAL

It was a shock for me to stumble upon a Neo-Gothic cathedral in the middle of my shopping trip, and I encourage you to take a look around. Stop in for a moment of silence and mindfulness within the bustling city -- even if you're not Catholic, it's an architectural wonder.

  St. Patrick's Cathedral

St. Patrick's Cathedral

3. BROOKLYN BREWERY

Become a true Brooklyn hipster by taking a tour of the Brooklyn Brewery and getting a small batch beer tasting along the way. These tours are free every weekend but tickets are released the day of the tour only, so come early for a walk along the waterfront and a craft beer while you wait!

4. NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

The New York Public Library's main branch, also known as the Schwarzman Building, boasts some serious architectural chops. For a quiet place to read, write or get some work done, take a seat in one of its many high-ceilinged and ornate rooms.

5. MOVIES IN THE PARK(S)

In the summertime, Central Park, Bryant Park and more offer free movie screenings ranging from classics to recent blockbusters. Check out their website to find out which movies are playing and for details on showtimes. This activity is great for all ages and is an especially lovely way to spend some family time outside!

  Central Park's cherry blossoms - Image via @ anikaisabella

Central Park's cherry blossoms - Image via @anikaisabella

6. FEDERAL RESERVE GOLD TOUR

All that glitters is not gold, but this tour sure is! For $0, the Fed offers tours that will take you through its underground gold storage facilities that stretch for blocks. Surrounded by stacks of gold bars, you will finally be able to channel your inner Goldfinger.

7. THE HAMILTON GRANGE

Since the premier of Hamilton on Broadway, this attraction has gained a bit more popularity. However, a tour of the founding father's only house is worth braving the crowds, so don't throw away your shot to experience a piece of America's history! It'll be worth the trek to Saint Nicholas Park -- just you wait.

8. BRONX ZOO

On Wednesday afternoons, the zoo offers free admission to the public, so bring the whole herd along for a day in the wild. It can get a bit crowded, however, so go early to make the most of your time and avoid a stampede!

9. CHELSEA ART GALLERIES

Visit New York's up-and-coming art and fashion district for one of the most culturally enriching afternoons the city has to offer. Admission to all the galleries is free, so you'll be able to discuss the art over a $5 cup of coffee afterwards! 

10. PIER 5

This is one of Brooklyn's newest parks along the Hudson River. Attractions include (but are not limited to) expansive soccer fields, picnic areas, a local ice cream shop, and scenic views of the Brooklyn Bridge. 

  Pier 5 - Image via @ anikaisabella

Pier 5 - Image via @anikaisabella