New York City is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the US... and the world. Unfortunately, it's also one of the most expensive. A day spent visiting the Statue of Liberty, seeing a Broadway show, or admiring works at the Guggenheim will take a chunk out of any tourist's pocket.
Sure, there are always the sights to take pictures of, like Times Square, Wall Street, and Ground Zero, but there are fun things to do in New York City besides taking pictures. And they're free.
So here's our list of the top 5 free things to do in New York City:
Staten Island Ferry - The ferry goes from Battery Park to Staten Island and back, and is totally free. On the way you'll get fantastic views of the Statue of Liberty and the Lower Manhattan skyline. It leaves every 30 minutes, so you can hop off and explore a bit of Staten Island before heading back.
Manhattan Adirondacks Tour - The North Woods of Central Park were designed to look like the stunning forests of the Adirondack Mountains in northern New York State. If you don't have the time to get out of the city, you can take a free one-hour tour of the North Woods from the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center. The guides are knowledgeable and the crowds are few.
Bronx Zoo - Although the Central Park Zoo is more famous, you can escape 90% of the other tourists and save a bit of money by visiting the Bronx Zoo on Wednesdays when admission is free.
Shakespeare in the Park - New York City is known for its world-class theatre, and one of the most hotly-anticipated events on the calendar is the annual Shakespeare in the Park, another of the free things to do in Central Park. Celebrities like Robert de Niro, Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway often star. Tickets are free, but highly sought-after, and distributed at the Park.
Big Apple Greeter - What better way to get an insider's view of New York City than to take a tour from a local? The Big Apple Greeters are volunteers who are passionate about their city, and give interesting and informative private tours of their neighbourhoods for up to six people at a time. Tours need to be booked 3-4 weeks in advance.
Image from here.