New York City Budget Trip

Tripoto

All routes are planned for subway transfers and you will need a fair amount of walking. Every time you take the subway, it will cost you $2.25. If you are taking more than 13 metro rides, go for the weekly unlimited pass at $32.

Use google maps. I have planned the stops in a way, so they are in one line.

Day 1

Stop 1: Roosevelt Island Tramway – Take subway to Lexington Av/59 St, wall to the Tramway Plaza. Take the Roosevelt Island Tram (like a rope way) to Roosevelt Island.

Photo of Roosevelt Island Tramway, New York, NY, USA by Elisha Sarkar

In case you want to take a tour of the Island, you can avail the Roosevelt Island Red Bus which is FREE of cost and gives a 40 minutes’ tour of the island. (I had skipped the tour to save time; only took the tram ride)

Cost: =$4.50 ($2.25 for each way)

Stop 2: Grand Central Station and Bryant Park: Take subway from Lexington Av/59 St to Grand Central.

Photo of Grand Central Terminal, East 42nd Street, New York, NY, USA by Elisha Sarkar

Stop 3: Take the 42 St exit for Bryant Park.

Photo of Bryant Park, New York, NY, USA by Elisha Sarkar

Cost: $2.25

Stop 4: Madame Tussaud’s – Walk to W 42nd Street

Cost: $35-40

Stop 5: Empire State Building or Rockefeller Center

For Empire State Building, take subway from Times Square 42nd Street to 34th Street Penn Station and walk to the Empire State Building.

Photo of Madame Tussauds New York, West 42nd Street, New York, NY, USA by Elisha Sarkar

Empire State Building is between Rockefeller Center and One World Observatory, so you will get to view both of those building from up there. The 86th floor observatory deck tickets will cost you $36. The 102nd floor observatory is closed for renovation till July 29.

Cost: $36 plus, $2.25 for subway

OR

Take the subway from 42nd Street Port Authority Bus Terminal to 5th Avenue 53rd Street and walk to Rockefeller Center. Top of the Rock tickets cost $35-40.

Photo of Empire State Building, New York, NY, USA by Elisha Sarkar

I’d suggest going to Rockefeller Center instead because you will get the view of Empire State Building from there.

Cost: $35-40 plus $2.25 for the subway

Stop 6: LOVE Sculpture – 7 minutes’ walk to 6th Avenue and W 55th Street

Photo of LOVE Sculpture, 6th Avenue, New York, NY, USA by Elisha Sarkar

Cost: NA

You can either go to Times Square (see the midnight moment from 11:50 pm to midnight) or check in to the hotel to end the day.

Day 2

Stop 1: Brooklyn Bridge or Central Park

If you want to see the bridge at the golden hour, then wake up really early. Take the subway to High Street – Brooklyn Bridge. Walk the bridge from Brooklyn to downtown Manhattan. Come back to hotel to check out.

Photo of Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, New York, NY, USA by Elisha Sarkar

Cost: $4.5 (subway for both sides)

OR

Visit the Central Park. Take subway to 59th Street Columbus Circle. Take a walk/cycle inside the park. The John Lennon IMAGINE sign is in the Strawberry Fields. Check out the Bethseda Terrace. Come back to hotel to check out.

Photo of Central Park, New York, NY, USA by Elisha Sarkar

Cost: $4.5 (subway for both sides)

Stop 2: Brooklyn Bridge – Take the subway to High Street – Brooklyn Bridge. Walk the bridge from Brooklyn to downtown Manhattan.

Photo of Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, New York, NY, USA by Elisha Sarkar

Cost: $2.25

Stop 3: Staten Island Ferry or Liberty Island Cruise

For Staten Island Ferry, take the subway to South Ferry Station and board the Staten Island Ferry. This makes a tour of the Liberty Island as well. So, you can get a close look at Lady Liberty. The ferry operates to and from Manhattan every 30 mins and is free of cost.

Photo of Staten Island Ferry, South Street, New York, NY, USA by Elisha Sarkar

Cost: $2.25 for the subway

OR

Take the subway to South Ferry Station and board the Statue Cruises. For $20, you can visit Liberty Island and Ellis Island. You will also get an audio tour guide and a free pass to the Liberty Island Museum. If you book online really early, you may be able to get the tickets to the pedestal or crown. But that would include shelling out a lot of dollars and rounds to security procedures.

Photo of Liberty Cruise, New York, NY, USA by Elisha Sarkar

Cost: $20 plus $2.25 for the subway

Stop 4: One World Trade Center – Take subway from Bowling Green to Fulton Street Station and walk to One World Trade Center. You can visit the observatory for $32.

Photo of One World Trade Center, Fulton Street, New York, NY, USA by Elisha Sarkar

Cost: $32 plus $2.25 for subway

Stop 5: Wall Street – Walk to Wall Street for the Charging Bull and NYSE.

Photo of New York City Budget Trip by Elisha Sarkar

Cost: NA

Stop 6: Washington Square Park – Take subway from Wall Street Station to Christopher Street Station and walk to Washington Square Park.

Photo of Washington Square Park, New York, NY, USA by Elisha Sarkar

Cost: $2.25 for the subway

Stop 7: Madison Square Park – Take subway from 8th Street to 23rd Street and walk to the park. There’s always some kind of activity going on near the Flatiron Building.

Photo of Flatiron Building, 5th Avenue, New York, NY, USA by Elisha Sarkar

Cost: $2.25 for the subway

Now you are on your own until you catch your bus to base location. If you have time, you can go see the Highline and Hudson Yards (the Vessel) as well. If you are a F.R.I.E.N.D.S fan like I am, you may want to go check out the apartment at Bedford Street and Grove Street crossing.

When I am in NYC, I prefer to stay at Chelsea Cabins. It is by far the cheapest place with the best possible location. It’s on 8th Avenue and Times Square is just a few blocks away. It is located between the Penn Station and the 28th Street subway, so it’s very well connected as well. Even though they say that only breakfast is complimentary, you will pretty much get something to munch on any time of the day. I was a bit apprehensive about the shared bath before my visit but was completely taken by surprise at the cleanliness. However, a disclaimer for people who care for such things:

1. This place is mostly for solo travelers, so do not expect a huge king size bed or other luxuries like TV, mini fridge, etc.

2. Do not carry big luggage, your cabin won’t have space for it. However you can use the common hallway to keep your belongings; it’s safe.

3. There’s a long staircase leading to the Cabins office and you have to climb the long stairs every time. If you are not fond of stairs, this is not your place.

If you do plan to stay in the Chelsea are, Chelsea Market, Highline, and Hudson Yards are at a walking distance and a must see. While Highline is free, you need tickets for the Vessel.