New York is the heart of the world. New York is probably the most visited city in the United States since it’s famous for fashion, art, food, nightlife and theater. Every culture is represented here and there is always something to do. But as a student it can take a big bite out of your budget. Here I present you 5 things I wish I knew before travelling to New York
Where to Stay
Visiting the big apple sounds like fun right? Empire state, statue of liberty, central park, endless attractions, you name it! If you are a student with a budget, hotels and hostels prices per night can really add up and limit your budget even more. I remember my first time in New York where I spent $300 at night staying at a hotel, crazy right? I wish I knew before travelling to New York cheaper alternatives like air bnb and shared accommodations existed, it really makes a difference paying $300 at night to $50 at night. There aren’t many hostels in Manhattan and if you want the best deals, it’s better to stay in Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx. Since many air bnb’s and hostels offer cheap accommodations away from Manhattan, my advice is that as long as you are near a subway station, travelling to Manhattan and to many tourist attractions will be easily accessible if you don’t mind taking the subway for 30-45 minutes approx. Discover NYC by checking great events near me this weekend.
Yes, you read that right. New York has food at every price range from sit down restaurants for $15-$25 and prices just go straight up from there since NYC has some really fancy and expensive restaurants. I made reservations for Raclette, this place is so unique, they bring an alpine cheeses melted on the wheel and then scraped onto your dinner plate such as potatoes, other vegetables bread and meat , pretty fancy I must say but also budget friendly, dinner for two will average from $30-50$. But the most awesome price of all is the $1 pizza slices! It doesn’t get any better than this… (unless you like your pizza great, and don’t mind paying the money for it). Seriously… The truth is I freakin’ LOVE the 99¢ pizza places. I was walking on Manhattan on my way to see the Washington Square Arch with my girlfriend around lunch time, and we saw this cute small pizza place selling pizzas for just one dollar, later I found out there are many other pizza places selling pizzas for the same price, terrific! not to mention the wide variety of food trucks, you name it, they have everything from falafels, to fresh pretzels, Mediterranean food, Indian food, it’s quite a variety in every corner and prices range from $3 up o $8. Discover more places to eat by visiting events near me this week!
Seriously Use Public Transportation
All New York and its boroughs are really well connected, which means all major tourist attractions are conveniently accessible by subway and short walking distance from each subway stop, you can ride the subway from $2.75 per ride. I wish I knew before travelling to New York about the unlimited metrocard, If you are planning on sightseeing a lot for a couple of days this metro card will cost $32 for 7 days unlimited usage as you wish per day and you will be able to see a lot of NYC daily.
Uber pool is also another alternative if you missed your train, your stop or suddenly the subway train decided to divert to another route. I wish I knew before travelling to New York that trains are categorized by express train, weekend trains and schedule trains. Pay attention to your routes and download a navigation app or the MTA app to avoid getting lost or ending up in Jersey in the middle of nowhere.
Just because you’re in the Big Apple doesn’t mean you have to bring out the big bucks. New York is a great place to walk around. I wish I knew before travelling to New York that there are many free events, museums and tours to see! On Wednesdays there are free tours at Grand Central offered by the Municipal Art Society, and many other tours are being offered as well. Museums in NYC close around 5pm but over the summer places like Natural History Museum and Guggenheim open the doors beyond normal admission hours to allow visitors to experience whole new side of the museum. I wish I knew before travelling to New York that a lot of museums in New York are always free (the displayed price is often a suggested donation), but many of the ticketed museums also offer free nights during weekdays in summer.
Ball on a budget and shop at cheap clothing stores in New York and its boroughs, I wish I knew before travelling to New York that there are many cheap clothing stores that offer a great selection on a friendly budget without leaving NYC. Just because it doesn’t cost a lot doesn’t mean it’s cheap. Just remember that phrase the next time you shop at cheap clothing stores in NYC. Check out century 21 in the heart of Manhattan, you will find designer brands half their original price. (Seriously, I got this Marc Jacobs tote bag for half its original price!)
If you don’t mind commuting a little bit outside NYC, check out Primark. Get your plastic ready because you’re about to overload your closet with casual cool items at this shop. But, don’t worry; this splurge will hardly make a dent in your bank account. Why? Because Primark—the trendy, dirt-cheap, UK fashion brand—now has a store in New York! (well, the Staten Island Mall.) You can leave with multiple bags filled-to-the-brim with new clothes without feeling any shopper’s remorse. (Seriously, you can get a pair of shoes for $12.)
Discover more of New York by checking great events near me this weekend.
By Greta Hernandez
Greta Hernandez writes for Chillwall on fun events near me around the world.