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New York City - Money Saving Tips

We just got back from a brilliant weekend in New York City, it was our first visit and we have used the experience to help others save money on their New York holiday.

So here are our money saving tips for New York.

Accommodation

There are some wonderful hotels in NYC and lots of areas you can stay in.

To help cut the cost remember you don't need to stay around the expensive Times Square, Central Park or Midtown Manhattan areas to get the feel of New York City.

Years ago cheap hotels in New York conjoured images of seedy dirty rooms, this simply isn't the case anymore, even many of the affordable hotels are now very stylish and comfortable.

Rooms might be smaller but they are functional. Consider the following areas - Hell's Kitchen Neighborhood or Flatiron District for affordable chic accomodation.

Steer away from large hotel chains to keep the cost down. Consider an Airbnb stay (see this article for getting great Airbnb discounts) or look for last-minute bargains.

Airport Transfer

Getting to and from your airport can be costly if not included in your holiday package. The the prices from JFK to Midtown Manhattan are approx:

Yellow cab costs about $50
UberX approx $35-$65
Go AirLink (book at a Transportation desk at the airport) approx. $40
Airtrain and Subway approx $8

We would recommend Go Airlink because it's just really easy although it is a shared shuttle service, and if you book in advance you could get it cheaper.

Food

Eating needn't be expensive to eat in New York. There are a couple of recognisable cheap places to eat (Subway and McDonalds for example), but some of the cheapest eats are the food carts that you find on most streets.

Note: These carts don't always show prices or show a range of prices for items, so it's worth asking the price when you approach to avoid surprises. My first experience was using one at Times Square and paying the highest advertised price for everything!

There are also a couple of $1 pizza shops around that charge $1 for a slice of plain (cheese and tomato) pizza. Pizza with toppings typically cost between $1.50 and $2.50 a slice. Our favourite one was Radio City Pizza behind the Rockefeller Center (2 slices of any pizza and a drink for $5.99).

Also look at Sbarro restaurants that you can find around the city that offer some reasonable priced meals.

There are a couple of places around the city where you can buy groceries, so you could easily buy a small feast for a reasonable price and take it back to your room.

Getting Around

Walk. We love walking around cities. Walking means you see things and landmarks that you might otherwise miss, so walk wherever possible, you'll save lots of money too.

It's a flat city so walking is easy, our busiest day was 21,000 steps (almost 9.5 miles) and we saw loads of great stuff around the city.

Hop on, hop off bus offers 35+ stops close to all NYC attractions for $50 each, but read our special Attractions tip below.

Attractions

Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial and Museum, 9/11 Tribute Museum, Central Park Bike Tours, Grand Central Tour, Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour - there are a lot of things that as a visitor to New York City you want to do, but how do you see the key attractions and save money?

All of the above costs $230 per person, but buying a 2 Day New York City Pass is just $199, this gives you access to all of these, saving $31 immediately plus there are 100+ other attractions you can enter PLUS loads more discounted attractions.

We have no problem in recommending the New York City Pass.

Gifts

You can’t leave New York with empty bags, but shopping costs money, you can easily save money by looking for the best bargains.

For the best shopping bargains in NYC look for Century21, Burlington or Nordstrom Rack.

Macy's will give overseas visitors a 10% discount by showing their Visitor Savings Pass.

Here's an extra discount tip for gifts, if you are looking for a simple "I 'HEART' NY" t shirt, NYC mugs or sweatshirt etc, wait until you are back in the airport and visit a Hudsons store, these items tend to cheaper here!



Top Tours in New York City 

If you’re interested in taking a tour, here are some recommended tours from Get Your Guide:

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