Skip to content
Back Back to Insurance menu Go to Insurance
Back Back to Saga Money Go to Saga Money
Back Back to Saga Magazine menu Go to Magazine
Search Magazine

Top 8 free things to do in New York

Jenai Laignel / 17 November 2014 ( 27 May 2016 )

With numerous cultural attractions and parks to explore, there are plenty of things to see and do in New York which won't cost you a single dime.

Brooklyn Bridge in New York

Brooklyn Bridge

One of the oldest steel-wire bridges in America (completed in 1883), the bridge that links Manhattan and Brooklyn offers some of the most spectacular views of 'the city that never sleeps'.

The Brooklyn end of the bridge has been revamped in recent years, and now features piers, parks – and even a carousel.

Governor's Island

Once you have marvelled at the views from Brooklyn Bridge, head down to the bottom end of Brooklyn Bridge Park and hop on a ferry to Governor's Island.

While the ferry now charges $2 (it was famously free until this spring), there are numerous free activities to try when on the island – including a visit to the sculpture project or a round of mini golf. Note: the island is open to the public from May to September.

Ride the Staten Island Ferry

This ferry trip, however, is still free at the time of writing – and essential for any visit to the Big Apple.

Be sure to head to the back deck for a panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline. If time is short, stay on board when the ferry docks at Staten Island and enjoy the journey back.

Go to Coney Island

No trip to New York would be complete without a day-trip to Coney Island.

Whether you want to marvel at the vintage amusement rides or breathe in the sea air, a trip to Coney Island is a must for thrifty travellers.

Visit the Museum of Modern Art

Home to hundreds of exhibits – from Andy Warhol's iconic Marilyn Monroe portrait to Salvadore Dali's The Persistence of Memory, the Museum of Modern Art is well worth a look.

Admission is completely free to MOMA every Friday evening from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m – but it's first-come, first-served so be sure to arrive prompty.

Find out about Saga's Art Appreciation holidays

Rockefeller Center

If you're planning a visit over Christmas and Thanksgiving, head over to 30 Rock to see their spectacular Christmas Tree and ice-skating rink.

Although a trip to the top of the Rockefeller Center isn't free, many New Yorkers maintain that the view is better than that of the Empire State Building.


If you want to take a break, where better to head to than one of New York's tranquil parks?

The most famous is, of course, Central Park, but there are also many other "secret" gardens – from the oasis of Brooklyn Botanic Garden to La Plaza Cultural de Armando Perez.

Take a brew tour

The breweries in New York are becoming more and more popular with tourists as not only are they a fascinating way of seeing how craft beer is made, but they are often completely free.

Pay a visit to Manhattan's biggest microbrewery, the Chelsea Brewing Company, for a free tour and (even better!) a complimentary sample.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.