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what is good to do in New York?

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My sister and her boyfriend are going to New York in a few weeks, and I promised that I’d ask whether anyone had any tips, or ideas for things that they might want to do whilst they’re out there.

I guess that they’ll want to see tourist-y things, and she’s not into personal finance, but loves clothes. With the $:£ still being in our favour, she’ll be able to stock up without racking up credit card debt.

But, what about food and drink? I know that New York is expensive, is there anywhere in particular they should head to or avoid? Or transport - I guess the subway is the frugal choice? Anything else you can think of?

All ideas, tips, tricks, and suggestions are warmly welcomed, just add them to the comments.

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12 comments for “what is good to do in New York?”

  1. Free From Broke did a great post on frugal things to do in New York. http://freefrombroke.com/2008/07/frugal-things-to-do-and-see-in-new-york-city.html . Hope this helps!

    Posted by Capital Couples Finance | August 29, 2008, 1:07 pm
  2. Plonkee - My wife is a native New Yorker - I’ve been there many times but she is the expert. They should definitely see a Broadway show. I recommend Jersey Boys which is musical about the Four Seasons. (If you don’t know the Four Seasons, I am sorry for you!) If this is their first visit, I also strongly recommend taking one of the Circle Line cruises around NY. I will ask my wife for other ideas.

    Posted by ToughMoneyLove | August 29, 2008, 2:57 pm
  3. definitely recommend chinatown!

    Posted by deepali | August 29, 2008, 4:51 pm
  4. I think you can buy a day pass for the bus and subway system in the lower level of Grand Central Station, which will make travel throughout the city less expensive.

    I visited in May and had a very nice dinner at Dim Sum Go Go in Chinatown. I recommend the taro root fries! The area is definitely something to experience.

    Have they decided on a hotel? I stayed at The Library Hotel in midtown. It’s centrally located to everything, on a quiet street a block from Grand Central Station and about a $10 cab ride south to Greenwich Village or north to Central Park. They have bottles of water in your room when you arrive and a 24-hour lounge with free self-serve non-alcoholic beverages and snacks, which cuts down on the amount you have to spend on food.
    There’s a Starbucks across the street, a beautiful rooftop lounge, and you’re two blocks from major bus lines. The staff will even help you catch a cab!
    Check out their web site to see all their amenities and any special rates.

    Posted by Kate | August 29, 2008, 5:20 pm
  5. I forgot to mention the breakfast buffet that is served each morning and is included in your room cost!

    Posted by Kate | August 29, 2008, 5:22 pm
  6. Try to get a hotel that includes breakfast or an apartment where you can cook yourself to save money.

    Ellis Island (you can look up your surname and find potential family members that arrived in NY)

    Posted by Frugal Trenches | August 31, 2008, 1:35 pm
  7. Avoid eating in the area of times square there is a “times square premium.” The most popular street meat location is on 6th ave and 54th st next to the Hilton hotel. If they don’t have breakfast included head to the closest deli general you can get a fresh made breakfast sandwich and a coffee for under $5/person or get coffee and a not so great bagel w/cream cheese for $2 from the closest street cart. If they want to hit a famous steak house for less check out Peter lugar’s in Brooklyn for lunch you can get a burgar made from the trimmings of their prime steaks for about $10. I hope they are not going at the end of September because that is always a crazy time due to the UN.

    Posted by jane | September 2, 2008, 12:43 am
  8. I lived in NYC briefly and really loved Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The park is free, but there’s a small voluntary fee for entering the museum.

    The only times I ate out was when it was a business thing and I wasn’t picking up the check, and the only restaurant I particularly remember was called Blue Smoke. The food there was good, but a quick check at http://www.menupages.com/ does remind me that it wasn’t cheap, at least not in American dollars. With the pound to dollar conversion, it may be another story for them.

    By the way, that menupages site may be useful for them to decide ahead of time whether they want to go someplace in particular or not and how much it might cost for what they’d want to eat.

    Posted by annie | September 2, 2008, 2:45 am
  9. I agree with Chinatown. It is very inexpensive to dine out there, and it is a great place to go shopping, usually for just nicknacks. I walked almost everywhere in New York or used the subway.

    Another great free thing to do is to walk central park (just not at night). Maybe you should look into concerts in the park as well. They are usually free and lots of fun. Tell them best wishes for me!

    Posted by James | September 2, 2008, 2:21 pm
  10. Whenever I think of traveling to New York I always think of central park. It is in a gazillion movies and TV shows that take place there and seems to me to be one of the most New York things about New York. That and the Statue of Liberty (though I hear that is not as cool anymore that you can’t walk up to the head).

    Posted by Jack | September 3, 2008, 3:19 pm
  11. We visited New York a few weeks ago - I recommend taking the Staten Island Ferry (free) to get a good view of the Statue of Liberty (note it doesn’t stop on the island) instead of waiting three hours and paying $12 each as we did to catch a ferry to the Statue! We only found out after, to our chagrin.

    If you do want to go to the actual island, go early in the morning. Ellis Island is included in the ticket, and is really interesting.

    The subways are safe and cheap, throughout Manhattan Island at least. If you can, stay in New Jersey and take public transport over each day - it’s cheaper!

    Go to the Empire State Building after dark - better view and far fewer people to wait in line with!

    Re: clothes shopping: American clothing in general is far cheaper. Check out Marshalls, TJ Maxx and Ross for bargain-hunting deals on department-store clothing with a much better price tag.

    Hope this helps - and the trip is great!

    Posted by Tina | September 7, 2008, 5:45 pm

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