The best thing about New York, unlike many cities, is most of the main sights are actually free. Ticking off the following should deliver a budget friendly, unforgettable 3 days.
Times Square the neon studded intersection which should top your list. It’s mad, familiar and impressive. Tip- it may sound obvious, but go after dark. Plus, check out the TKTS booth for cut price tickets for Broadway and Off Broadway.
Grand Central Station – our favourite landmark. Don’t miss: the information booth clock; the whispering gallery (outside the Oyster Bar) to hear the whispers of a friend on the other side of the gallery due to clever acoustics; the food market packed with European vendors selling fresh produce and gourmet treats – enter from Lexington at 43rd; and the huge choice of fast food vendors in the basement. Tip – don’t forget to look up at the ceiling and if you visit in the Winter there are light show projections in the main concourse.
Central Park – a huge 843 acres bang in the centre of Manhattan with endless possibilities. Check out: the rowing lake, Strawberry Fields, the carousel, the Belvedere Castle; and if you’re active hire a bike or jog round the reservoir. Tip – if you go in winter it’s home to the best skating rink in Manhattan.
911 memorial – this beautifully, moving memorial honours the 2977 victims of the September 11 terrorist attack and the 6 people killed in the World Trade Center bombing of 1993.
Tip – don’t miss a visit to the nearby Oculus transport hub designed by Santiago Calatrava; and the historic Trinity Church on Wall St with a graveyard dating back to 1681 featuring Alexander Hamilton’s grave and a poignant exhibition on the church’s key role in the 911 rescue effort.
Walk across Brooklyn Bridge for our favourite view of the city. It’s a good way to fight off early morning jet lag. Tip – it’s longer than you think.
The High Line – wander along this raised old railway line and take in unique views of some of NYC’s coolest districts. Tip – visit in Spring or Summer for the designer planting.
The Vessel – the latest addition to the Hudson Yards complex. Climb Thomas Heatherwick’s spiral structure for the best views. Tip – book your free ticket in advance.
Take the Staten Island Ferry for a free 25 min cruise past The Statue Of Liberty and a picture perfect view back at Manhattan. Tip – it’s free, but you do need to get off and then get back on again when you reach Staten Island.