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NYC For Free: 5 things to see and do


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New York City. The world’s cultural hub. The city that never sleeps! Don't let its expensive exterior put you off. Grab yourself a cheap airfare from airports around the UK and listen up to our tips on seeing a new side of New York while still holding onto your pennies.

1. Green Spaces

NYC is a secret oasis, holding a top 10 spot in terms of cities with the highest % of green space. The Big Apple has a range of parks – Prospect, Battery, Corona, Union Square, Brooklyn Bridge, East River State and Washington Square, but we've found two that you absolutely cannot miss. 

Central Park - perhaps the most well-known park there is! The Green Belt covers 843 acres and lies in the heart of the city centre; boasting a zoo, year-round free events, a reservoir, a theatre and the ‘imagine’ mosaic where John Lennon lost his life in the 80s. Enjoy a skate on one of two ice rinks during the winter; hire a boat from the Loeb Boathouse in summer and have a picnic away from the hustle-and-bustle of New York’s busy streets.

High Line Park, a unique space that has been revamped from its 1940s role as an elevated railway carrying goods from West Manhattan, is a 24-block stretch filled with flowers, trees, wild grasses and postcard-crushing views. Ditch the crowds and stargaze at dusk between West 15th and 16th streets every Tuesday, alongside the Amateur Astronomers Association.

2. Chelsea Galleries

Below the High Line Park is the district of Chelsea. Here lies the largest concentration of art galleries in the world, with many being completely free of charge. The Milk Gallery, Gagosian and David Zwirner in particular, hold a quality that rivals even NYC’s biggest museums. When New Yorkers think of art, they think of Chelsea.

3. Socrates Sculpture Park

It’s not just Chelsea that ebbs and flows with creativity. Other areas of NYC house pockets of fascinating art. For example, the Socrates Sculpture Park on the East River, houses several art installations and light shows, all whilst sporting panoramic views of Manhattan, Roosevelt Island, and the Upper East Side. What was once a landfill site was transformed by activists into a 4.5-acre site for outdoor works, a Greenmarket, as well as general health and well-being. Combine your sculpture trip with a visit to Roosevelt Island; completely free of charge and steeped head to toe in history.

4. Coney Island

Head further South and you'll find Coney Island; a trendy, cultural hub near the state border. Without spending a penny, stroll along the boardwalk and sneak peeks at the best window shopping, carnivals, and all-night dance parties. For those wanting to get away from the soaring, urban heat, the Coney Island beaches are a haven. Enhanced only by the soul, reggae and Latin rhythms drifting along the 3-mile stretch of beach from the boardwalk.

5. Chinatown and Little Italy

What makes the Big Apple one of the world’s greatest cities is its rare mix of dynamic cultures, from the rhythms of the Coney Island Boardwalk to Chinatown and Little Italy.

Chinatown is an ever-growing hub overspilling with markets, fortune tellers, and vendors. The vibrant area is sure to ensnare the senses and give you the opportunity to try new things... from fancy fruit to a steaming pork bun.

NYC has a deeply rooted Italian Heritage, as embodied by Little Italy, explored nowadays through its espresso bars, pizza parlours, and swanky boutiques. Located next to Chinatown, both areas are best explored by foot, since visitors can experience a complete change in customs, merely hinted at by a change in accents. 

If you’ve always wanted to see NYC but have been put off by the extortionate prices, then now you have absolutely no excuses! Throw yourself into life in the Big Apple, without worrying about costs. 

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