Free Things to Do in New York City

THE 10 BEST Free Things to Do in New York City

Best Free Things to Do in New York City

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    Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.
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    Highest rated attractions on Tripadvisor, based on traveller reviews.
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Tours, activities and experiences bookable on Tripadvisor, ranked using exclusive Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, popularity, user preferences, price, and bookings made through Tripadvisor.
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What travellers are saying

  • tshetter
    Port Trevorton, PA2 contributions
    Beautiful park, home to the Zoo, numerous biking/running paths, just a wonderful oasis in a concrete jungle!
    Written 6 February 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • TravelSunrise22
    Bedford, MA14 contributions
    Enjoyed walking on the High Line viewing various art installations. Unique views of the city. Really enjoyed it.
    Written 4 February 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Turtle5954
    Warrington, UK1,849 contributions
    ...what can you say? Still the classic skyscraper city unmatched anywhere else. Try and get up high to get a fabulous view of the city that never sleeps
    Written 5 February 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Chitranganie M
    Falls Church, VA209 contributions
    It was just after 9 a.m of winter morning but there was heavy pedsstrain traffic! the views deem the bridge, the bridge itself and the history behind it was quite something. Had we enough time we would have walked right across to Dumbo. Perhaps for a meal there.
    Written 7 February 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • crunch6
    Northbrook, IL719 contributions
    We are all so impressed with the new construction project at GCT. The mosaic murals, the quotes all over and the cleanliness is astounding! Bravo!
    Written 6 February 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Turtle5954
    Warrington, UK1,849 contributions
    Just walking around and taking in all the theatres and culture of the area is more than enough. But if you can find the time (and money) to do a show, then that is pretty special.
    Written 5 February 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Chitranganie M
    Falls Church, VA209 contributions
    The vibe of this place kind of gets to you even before you get there with the musicians playing in train, at the subway station. Once you do the bright lights, bill boards, food vendors all create an atmosphere like no other! To be sure NYPD also very much present.
    Written 7 February 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • The best desert ambassador!
    Morocco18 contributions
    The Island Ferry offers breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan skyline, and surrounding waterways, providing an unforgettable experience for its passengers. Modern amenities such as comfortable seating, restrooms, and snack bars make it perfect for families, tourists, and anyone seeking a convenient and comfortable ride. The friendly and knowledgeable crew always assists passengers with any questions or needs.

    In addition to daily services, the Island Ferry also hosts special events and tours, including sunset cruises, fireworks displays, and guided historical tours of New York Harbor. With multiple ports and terminals located throughout the city, the ferry is easily accessible for passengers. Convenient scheduling allows passengers to plan their trips around their own schedules and interests, with services running throughout the day and into the evening.

    The Island Ferry provides a memorable and enjoyable experience for all who take it, whether seeking a relaxing ride with stunning views or a thrilling adventure. Highly recommended!

    #deepmoroccotours
    Written 30 January 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • TreeDeeTraveler
    Oakville, Canada16 contributions
    We always skate here in the winter but had not been to NYC during the shutdowns. On-line booking was simple and the whole process had been tuned up for the better since our last visit - once through the ticket check everything well organized and the ice in great shape (much easier to do but less iconic than Central Park skate...)
    Christmas market at Bryant is also one of the nicest to visit in our experience - but it's a bit crazy at peak times if you are not into that.
    Great stop in summer as well to mix in with the visit to the Library (must see interior).
    Written 6 February 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Candiece L
    Leeds, UK59 contributions
    Visited top of the rock, think it’s expensive for what it is but was nice to have done it. I couldn’t stay on the top for long as I’m scared of heights and only went up as my daughter wanted to go up.
    Written 6 February 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • cornwall666
    Cornwall, UK70 contributions
    The building is amazing and the contents on free public display absolutely awesome. From Winnie the Pooh to the Declaration of independence, it's all in here. Easily the best value place to visit in NYC and the best bit of our short trip.
    Written 2 February 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • cornwall666
    Cornwall, UK70 contributions
    An incredible building with amazing acoustics; we were lucky enough for the organ to be playing when we visited - a must visit.
    Written 2 February 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Conny Wylie
    Ottawa, Canada502 contributions
    Chelsea Market is a food, shopping Hall, office building and television production facility in Manhattans Chelsea district and spans a full city block between 9th & 10th avenue and 15th & 16th streets. I popped in here at the end of my High Line walk.

    I ventured into one of my favourite clothing retailer: Anthropologie, and the book-worm in me could not resist a visitation to bookseller: Posman Books. The Chelsea Market is acclaimed as a foodie paradise and that it is, offering a variety of full service restaurants as well as the grab-and-go variety. Everyone was beating down the door at the Takumi eatery so I tried their trendy Asian Fusion Taco.....a great treat.The Chelsea is a unique and invigorating Market.
    Written 23 January 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Kathryn
    1 contribution
    We spent a week in NYC and had a blast. I did a lot of planning ahead of time so we could focus on a different area of the city each day.

    We loved walking around Chelsea on the High Line, having lunch in Chelsea Market, seeing the Vessel; a gigantic walkable sculpture recently discussed on Sunday Morning, however, it is no longer walkable. We didn't get any real details but, from a security guard, word is that the sculpture is not structurally sound enough for lots of people to be walking on it simultaneously - bummer! It is still worth seeing close up, as is The Edge, a clear promontory high up a skyscraper where you can walk out onto it and look at the tiny, tiny people below.

    We used Seat Geek to get cheaper tickets to an NCAA basketball game at Madison Square Garden and tickets to The Book of Mormon on Broadway. The game was a squeaker so really fun to be part of the crowd even though we really didn't have a favorite team. The acting, singing, and dancing at the Broadway show was great, but the storyline was ridiculous; interspersing a bunch of vocabulary words designed to make 12 year old boys giggle; stupid and would not recommend that particular show.

    We also got tickets (free) to be in the audience for a taping of the Seth Meyers Show. It was really fun to go behind the scenes and see how this all happens. The down side? Start to finish it took about four hours for a one-hour show. It was totally worth doing, but just know an entire afternoon is lost in the process. Just go to the NBC website to sign up for tickets.

    We also spent time looking at some very cool buildings and art, etc.; the NY Public Library is very cool and free, Grand Central Station is gorgeous. The Chrysler Building is NOT OPEN to the public since the start of COVID. The poor security guys have to tell hundreds of tourists daily that they may not wander around the Art Deco building since tourist websites have not been updated to reflect the buildings closure - bummer.

    We rode the bus to the tip of Manhattan to see the sites along the way, walked around the World Trade Center memorials; stunning, sad, thought provoking. We took the subway back home for that experience. It was easy and efficient, though the concierge at our hotel did tell us not to take the subway at night.

    In all, we had a great trip and needed to come back home to get some rest!
    Written 7 February 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • BBQPhil
    Houston, TX205 contributions
    We visited at Christmas and the decorations for Christmas were amazing. There is every store you need or don’t need. especially high end! The building is beautiful and a fun visit even if you don’t buy. Plenty of places to eat and drink, convenient to subway. Convenient to Freedom Tower.
    Written 10 January 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.