Free Attractions in NYC
1. Brooklyn Heights and Brooklyn Promenade
Also known as the Esplanade, the Promenade provides breathtaking views of the Lower Manhattan skyline, The Brooklyn Bridge, The statue of Liberty and the New York harbour. It stretches as long as a third of a mile and is rimmed with flower beds, trees, benches and playgrounds. It’s a great space for jogging, strolling, photography or just admiring the beauty of the city.
Location: BQE between Joralemon St. and Grace Ct., Brooklyn. (Take me to the map)
4, 5, or 6 to Brooklyn Bridge & City Hall
J or Z to J Chambers Street
2 or 3 to Park Place
N or R to City Hall
A or C to Fulton Street
Hours: Monday- Sunday: Dawn- 1am
Phone Number: 718-722-3214
2. City Hall
This City Hall in New York is one of the oldest city halls in the country. The building is known for its architecture which reflects styles from the French Renaissance, with an American-Georgian interior. It also houses an extensive collection of art and antiques. The Public Design Commission offers free tours of City Hall on weekdays, however, these need to be booked in advance.
Location: City Hall Park, New York, NY 10007 (Take me to the map)
4, 5, 6 to City Hall & Brooklyn Bridge
2 or 3 to Park Place
W or R to City Hall
C to A to Chambers Street
Bus: M15 to City Hall & Park Row
Hours: Weekday: 9am- 5pm
Phone Number: 212-639-9675
3. The Federal Reserve Bank
A definite highlight of a Federal Reserve Bank tour is a peek at the world’s largest accumulation of gold. Over 6,350 tons to be precise! The vault is able to support to weight because if it’s strategic location, 80 feet below street level and 50 feet below sea level. There’s also an exhibit on counterfeit currency and a huge, historical collection of coins to gawk at.
Location: 33 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10045
Entrance at 44 Maiden Lane
(Take me to the map)
2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J, or Z to Fulton Street
M5 or M15 to South Ferry
M9 or M103 to City Hall
Mon- Fri: Free tours offered at 1:00pm and 2:00pm
*All tours and visits must be scheduled online.
Phone Number: 212-720-5000
4. Grand Central Terminal, Main Concourse
This is one of the biggest train stations in the world, with over 20 million visitors each year. One can stand amidst the bustling crowd and admire the profound architecture of the terminal- The Scultptures of Minerva, Mercury and Hercules on the outside, and the beautifully painted Ceiling of the terminal depicting the constellations of the zodiac. The Grand Central Terminal Clock is its most iconic feature, with its value exceeding $10 million.
Location: 89 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017 (Take me to the map)
Subway: 4, 5, 6, 7, or S
Bus: M101, M102, M103, M1, M2, M3, M4, Q32 or M42
Hours: Monday- Sunday: 5:30am– 2:00am
5. New York Public Library
Guarded by marble lions named ‘Patience’ and ‘Fortitude’, the New York Public Library is a majestic landmark. From the original copy of the Declaration of Independence to over 400,000 old maps, the library is nothing short of a giant treasure chest.
Location: 476 Fifth Avenue
(42nd Street and Fifth Avenue)
New York, 10018
Q to Time Square and 42nd Street
4 or 5 to Grand Central and 42nd Street
Bus: Bm2 to Madison Avenue and E 40 Street
Monday- Saturday: 10:00am- 6:00 pm
Sunday: 1:00pm- 5:00pm
Bonus- Free tours at 11am and 2pm Monday- Saturday and 2pm on Sunday
*Closed Sunday during the summer.
Phone Number: 917-275-6975
6. Rockefeller Center
At the Rockefeller Center, the shows and the trips to the Observation Deck may require you to buy tickets, but you can always pop up to admire the the breathtaking Art-Deco architecture- the statue of Prometheus overlooking the skating rink and Atlas holding the world at 630 Fifth Ave are both incredible.
Location: 45 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10111
B, D, F, or M to 47-50th Street & Rockefeller Center
1 to 50th Street
6 to 51st Street
N, Q, or R to 49th Street
From Fifth Avenue (going south) Or Madison Avenue (going north):
M1, M2, M3, M4 or M5 bus to 50th Street
M7 to Rockefeller Center
From 49th Street:
Hours: Monday- Sunday: 7am- Midnight
Phone Number: 212-332-6868
7. Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens
Snug Harbor is somewhat of a hidden gem. The neighborhood itself is made up of charming Victorian and Tudor homes with quaint cobblestone walking paths that make for a relaxing place to rejuvenate. The botanical gardens are nothing short of a sweet retreat from the bustling city.
Location: 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, New York, 10301 (Take me to the map)
1 to South Ferry
4 or 5 to Bowling Green
R to Whitehall
*Free ferry at neon Staten Island terminal
From Staten Island:
S40 at Gate D to Richmond Terrace/ Snug Harbor
General Grounds and Botanical Garden:
Monday- Sunday: 10:00am- 5:00pm
Phone Number: 718-448-2500 or 718-425-3504
8. Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry takes you across the New York Harbor, and is absolutely free of cost for its commuters. It is the best way to admire the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan Skyline.
(Take me to Staten Island Ferry’s website)
Location: Staten Island, Manhattan (Take me to the map)
Public Transport: http://www.siferry.com/getthere.html
Hours: Daily, every 30 minutes.
For more details: http://www.siferry.com/schedules.html
Phone Number: 718-727-2508
9. Times Square
Any trip to New York is incomplete without a visit to Times Square, the most famous commercial intersection in the world. It lies at the junction of Broadway and Seventh avenue, and is often referred to as the Crossroads of the World. With gigantic flashy billboards, street performers and lines of shops, you’ll surely be overwhelmed by the energy of the place!
Location: Manhattan, NY 10036 (Take me to the map)
Subway: 1, 2, 3, 7, A, E, N, Q, C, or R