NYC Restaurant Week

Restaurant Week NYC 2021

This post covers Restaurant Week, which runs for five weeks between July 19 and August 22, 2021.

Below you can find details as well as tips to help you secure a reservation at a 5-star restaurant.  Read more »

Best Hostels in New York

15 Ways to Find Cheap Accommodation in New York City

This post lists 15 ideas for finding cheap hotels and other accommodations for your trip to NYC. You might think that finding cheap hotels in New York City can be nearly impossible.

However, believe it or not, it’s possible to find great New York budget accommodation in a comfortable, clean room in a prime location.  

Check out our lists of tips to help you find an affordable place to stay during your next trip to NYC.  

And if you are planning on exploring the city, be sure to check out our pay-what-you-wish walking tours.

Related Posts:

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New York Empire State building 30 Rock

Which NYC Observation Deck is Best?

This post compares the observation decks at the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, One World Trade Center, and The Edge (Hudson Yards) to help you choose which one is best for you.

We also demonstrate how you can get discounts on all 4, so you don’t have to pay full price. Read more »

3 days in new york

3-Day NYC Itinerary

This post is a detailed sample itinerary for spending 3 days in New York City and is intended for tourists and other newcomers to the city, as well as other itinerary ideas.

Let’s dive in! Read more »

Cost to visit new york city

How Much Does It Cost To Visit New York City?

This post lays out the costs of both a 3-day trip and a 7-day trip for low and moderate budgets, including savings tips for hotels, attractions and more. 

 


HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE

When reading this guide, keep in mind the following:

(1) the prices are for one adult traveling in March. This is a non-peak time of year with moderate to pleasant weather. 

To find out about other good times of the year for your trip, take a look at our posts on the best time to visit NYC or the cheapest times to visit NYC.

(2) Prices are per day so that you can use that amount to budget for whatever number of days you plan to come to NYC. We also list, in parentheses, the total cost for a 3-day trip and a 7-day trip.

(3) We include two price points: budget and moderate.

Budget is for someone who wants to spend as little as possible but still get a lot out of New York City. This means staying at very inexpensive accommodations, not dining at full-service restaurants, and spending money on activities that are unique to New York City. 

Moderate is for someone who is flexible with the amount of money to spend. This means staying at mid-range accommodations in a convenient location, eating some meals out, and spending money on some of the best attractions in New York City.

(4) We do not include airfare since prices will vary greatly based on your departure point. We do include costs to/from airports. Take a look at our post on how to find the cheapest flights to NYC

TIP: Our New York City on a budget post is an excellent complement to this post.

SNAPSHOT OF COSTS

Based on the above calculations, here are the overall costs.

Budget Traveler

3-day trip (per person)

  • Food $60
  • Accommodations $105
  • Attractions and activities $150
  • Transportation $17
  • Total $332

7-day trip (per person)

  • Food $140
  • Accommodations $245
  • Attractions and activities $300
  • Transportation $32
  • Total $717

Moderate Traveler

3-day trip (per person)

  • Food $150
  • Accommodations $600
  • Attractions and activities $375
  • Transportation $50
  • Total $1,175

7-day trip (per person)

  • Food $350
  • Accommodations $1400
  • Attractions and activities $745
  • Transportation $70
  • Total $2,565
New York Travel Tips and Hacks

ACCOMMODATIONS  

Budget:  Hostel or Airbnb outside of Manhattan $35 per person per night ($105 / $245) 

Moderate: 3-star chain hotel in non-tourist neighborhoods of Manhattan -$200 per room per night ($600 / $1400)

Regardless of your budget, our posts listing 25 inexpensive hotels in NYC and affordable accommodations in NYC can help you find a hotel suitable for your needs, tastes, and amount of money you can spend.

TIP: Check out The Pod Hotels. They have locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn that are fun, well-rated, and reasonably priced. 


TRANSPORTATION

Prices are standard regardless of your budget when you ride the subway and buses. 

The only variation is if you take a few taxis. Find out more by reading our post on how to use taxis in NYC.


To/From airports via public transportation

Before purchasing your airport transportation, read our post on which MetroCard to purchase since a subway ride is involved in getting to/from both JFK and LaGuardia airports. 


Getting around NYC

Budget  

  • 3-day trip, take subway/buses twice a day – $16.50  
  • 7-day trip, unlimited MetroCard – $32

Moderate

  • 3-day trip, 3 subway rides per day ($25) and splurge for one taxi ride ($15)  – $50
  • 7-day trip, unlimited MetroCard ($32) and splurge for 3 taxi rides ($45) – $77

Before you take your first ride, read up on navigating the New York City subway!

How to Use the NYC Subway

TIP: One way to combine entertainment and transportation costs is to take a Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour.

Since you have to pay for transportation anyway, it may be worth it to you to pay a bit extra to travel from site to site while enjoying an entertaining ride in between stops.

Check out our post on which New York bus tours are best.

 


ATTRACTIONS AND ENTERTAINMENT

When calculating these costs, we considered not just your budget but also the amount of time you had to spend. 

On a 7-day trip, you will be doing more than you would if you were here for a quick 3-day trip. See our suggested itinerary for 3 days in New York

Also, be sure to read our post on things to do for free in New York City.

If you are traveling with children, see our post about free things to do with kids in NYC.


Budget Traveler

3 days – $150 per person

If you take advantage of free museums and attractions, ride the free Staten Island Ferry instead of a Statue of Liberty cruise and take one of our pay-what-you-wish walking tours, you could conceivably spend NOTHING!

Add on the cost of visiting one of NYC’s observatories for breathtaking views of NYC and a deeply-discounted Broadway show, you can keep yourself entertained for 3 days and nights for $150 or less.


7 Days – $300 per person

You are here for twice as long, so you have more time to occupy. Your budget will be about double your cost for a 3-day trip.

In addition to the above activities, add on a few paid attractions and activities such as Madame Tussauds, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a Statue of Liberty cruise.

With an additional night of paid entertainment such as a show, comedy, or pub crawl, your total is $300.

TIP: Even for those on a tight budget, you may find that some of the less expensive tourist discount passes will save you money in the long run.

Take a look at our post comparing NYC tourist discount passes to see if getting a pass is right for you.

New York City Passes

Moderate Traveler

If you plan on seeing a number of NYC attractions, we recommend that you consider buying a tourist discount pass.

These passes aren’t cheap, but they can save you up to 55% of the cost of tickets to NYC attractions and activities. 

See our guide, Which NYC  Tourist Pass is Best? to compare what is available and if a pass is right for you.

Regardless of your budget, take advantage of the many free things to do in NYC so that you can spend your money on attractions that charge admission.

3-Day Trip – $372

We reached this amount by using the below 3-day itinerary designed to get the most out of a short visit.

To see a lot of the city in just 3 days, we suggest you buy a ticket for a 2-day (or 3-day) Hop-on, Hop-Off bus tour

  • Day 1: Lower Manhattan
    • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island $18
    • 9/11 Museum and Memorial  $26
    • One World Observatory $35
    • Pay-what-you-wish Lower Manhattan tour
    • 48-Hour Hop-on, Hop-Off bus tour $54
  • Day 2: Midtown Manhattan
    • Museum of Modern Art $25
    • Madame Tussauds or other attraction $37
    • Pay-what-you-wish Midtown Manhattan tour
    • Broadway Show with discount ticket $100
  • Day 3: Uptown
    • Pay-what-you-wish Central Park tour
    • Metropolitan Museum of Art $25
    • Rockefeller Center Free
    • Top of the Rock at night $52

TIP: There are a few tourist passes, like the CityPASS and the Smart Destinations Build Your Own Pass that can save you up to 25% even if you are here for a short stay.  

Since many passes include “skip the line” privileges, you will also save on time. 

 

 


7-Day Trip – $745

In addition to the above activities, take advantage of even more free activities like walking the Brooklyn Bridge, visiting the High Line, and exploring Soho, Chinatown, and Little Italy.

We offer pay-what-you-wish walking tours of these neighborhoods and more! We also offer pay-what-you-wish food tours and night tours. See our calendar of all NYC tours.

Even with so many free things to do, you will still spend double on attractions and entertainment as you will have more than twice the amount of time to fill with activities.

TIP: With this high cost just for activities and attractions, we encourage you to consider a discount tourist pass. For example, you could save up to 55% with a New York Pass.   

 


MEALS

One of the greatest things about New York City is that you can get incredible food of every type of cuisine at any price! 

You can eat three meals a day for $10 a day and it will still taste good! See our guide to cheap eats in NYC.

Prices are based on the below menu, which gives you the chance to taste several classic New York foods. 

Budget:  $20 per day ($60/$140)

Moderate: $50 per day  ($150/$350)

Note: Prices do not include tips, as you may only go to restaurants that do not have waitstaff. If you do have sit-down service, add a 15% tip for good service. See our post on tipping in New York City.

Alcoholic drinks: Prices do not include the cost of an alcoholic beverage. In NYC you will pay a premium for alcohol with your meals.

Beers average $6, a glass of so-so wine will be $8, and a mixed drink upwards of $10! Regardless of your budget, no one likes to pay $6 for a bottle of beer!

Take a look at our post on Happy Hour to find out how to save a lot for a good drink! We also have a self-guided tour of historic New York City bars.

 


SHOPPING 

Because the amount you spend on shopping can vary wildly depending on your tastes and what you want to purchase (beyond souvenirs), we decided to not include costs in this guide.

But we do recommend that you check out the following posts:

 


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New York boat tour or cruise

Which NYC Boat Tours Are Best?

This post compares New York City boat tours and cruises to help you choose the best one, including hop-on-hop-off tourist cruises, dinner cruises, sailboats, and more.

Let’s set sail! Read more »