New York is expensive, yet there is remarkably much to do for free. In addition to the 8 most beautiful parks in New York that I wrote about earlier, there are many other free attractions. Read on to discover 8 free sights in New York City.
Free sights in New York
A New York City trip is expensive, but fortunately you can do a lot for free. Here are all the tips for visiting New York as cheaply as possible, but first check out these 8 free attractions.
1. African Burial Ground
It was not until 1991 that construction workers discovered more than 400 wooden coffins between Broadway and Duane Street. In the years that followed, a memorial was placed here and a museum established, where you can learn all about the 15,000 African slaves buried here during the 17th and 18th centuries. To enter the museum, you must first go through an extensive airport check, which even requires taking off your shoes. But this very interesting museum is more than worth it!
2. Museum of Jewish Heritage
In Battery Park in southern Manhattan, you’ll find the Museum of Jewish Heritage. The museum costs 12$, but on Wednesdays from 4pm to 8pm it is absolutely free! You’ll find exhibits about the lives of Jews before, during and after the Holocaust, illustrated with personal photos, possessions and videos. Very interesting!
3. New York Grand Central Terminal
Train delays are never fun, except when you have to wait in New York Grand Central Terminal. More a work of art than a station, you will be really amazed here. From the magnificent ceiling and famous clock to the Campbell-Apartment bar. By the way, did you know that this station has the most platforms in the world? Namely 44, and also 67 tracks. Every Friday at 12:30pm there is a free highly informative tour in and around this magnificent structure.
4. Federal Hall
This magnificent building, located at 26 Wall Street, hosted the inauguration of America’s first President George Washington on April 30, 1789. Federal Hall was built in 1703, but demolished in 1812. From 1842 to 1920, the first customs building in the USA was located here. Beginning in 1920, Federal Hall served as a store for the national bank’s gold and silver holdings. Today it is a monument and museum of historical events.
5. New York Public Library
About this very special library I have written here. Above all, do not skip this masterpiece.
6. Mahayana Buddhist Temple, Chinatown
Tired of all those gray buildings for a while? Then visit the Mahayana Buddhist Temple, the largest in Chinatown. At the free entrance, two large golden lions keep watch. Inside, you’ll find a combination of red lanterns, colorful fruit and kitschy flowers. But it is the large golden Buddha, nearly 5 meters high, that really draws attention. Just to get away from the hustle and bustle, this is a nice place.
7. National September 11 memorial
Ground Zero: familiar to all. Surrounded by 400 oak trees, we find the monument consisting of two water tanks located exactly where the Twin Towers once stood. Along the walls, water flows down 9 meters into the depths. In the copper panels that frame the water troughs are written the names of the victims who died in the Sept. 11 attack as well as in the 1993 WTC bombing. The accompanying museum is not free; we did not go there.
8. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
Actually, MoMA is heartily expensive (24$ pp.), but on Fridays from 4pm to 8pm, admission is free. And a lot of people know that. In fact, it was extremely crowded. Understandably so, as MoMA is one of the world’s leading and oldest museums of modern and contemporary art. The collection includes more than 200,000 works from around the world, including paintings, photography, architecture, films and books. These include Van Gogh’s The Starry Night and Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. We also very much enjoyed the piece “Plastic”, in which choreographer and artist Maria Hassabiin benches the floor at a very low pace.
What other free attractions in New York are there?
And there’s more! Two weeks is a long time, yet we did not get to visit all the free attractions in New York. Many museums cost a lot of money, but with a little planning you can save a lot. For example, you can visit the Guggenheim for free on Saturday night, and on Friday night the Whitney Museum of American Art, the New York Historical Society and the Rubin Museum of Art, among others, open their doors for free. For more free museums check out this website. Hidden behind the tall gray skyscrapers, New York turns out to be not only surprisingly green, but also very cultural!