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Secret Ways To See New York City’s Top Sights For Free


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Annaliese Tse



New York City, also known as the “Big Apple,” is a captivating and vibrant metropolis that attracts millions of visitors from around the world each year. From its iconic landmarks to its thriving arts and cultural scene, there is no shortage of things to see and do in the city that never sleeps. However, exploring all that the city has to offer can be expensive, with tickets, admissions, and fees adding up quickly. But fear not, as there are secret ways to experience some of New York City’s top sights for free.


By uncovering hidden gems and taking advantage of free attractions, you can enjoy the best of what the city has to offer without breaking the bank. In this article, we will share 15 secret ways to see New York City’s top sights for free. So, put on your walking shoes, grab your camera, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure through the bustling streets of the Big Apple.


Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or an art lover, there’s something for everyone on this list. From iconic landmarks to lesser-known treasures, these free attractions will give you a taste of the city’s rich history, diverse culture, and stunning architecture.


So, without further ado, let’s dive into the secrets of exploring New York City’s top sights for free. From Central Park to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we’ll show you how to experience the best of the city without spending a dime.


Central Park

No visit to New York City would be complete without a stroll through the iconic Central Park. Spanning over 840 acres, this sprawling oasis in the heart of Manhattan offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city streets.


Central Park is a playground for both locals and tourists alike, with endless activities and sights to explore. From lush grassy lawns to picturesque lakes, there are plenty of free attractions within the park that allow you to experience the beauty of nature without spending a penny.


One of the must-see landmarks in Central Park is the famous Bethesda Terrace and Fountain. This architectural marvel features stunning sculptures and intricate carvings, making it a perfect spot for photo opportunities. You can also listen to talented street performers who often entertain visitors with their music and dance performances.


Another highlight of Central Park is the Shakespeare Garden, where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of the Bard’s works. The garden features plants and flowers mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets, creating a serene and enchanting atmosphere.


For those seeking a bit of adventure, head to the Central Park Zoo, which offers free entry during select times. Here, you can get up close and personal with a variety of animals, including penguins, snow leopards, and sea lions. Don’t forget to check the schedule for feeding times and special exhibits!


If you’re a fan of art, make sure to visit the numerous statues and sculptures that dot the park. From the Alice in Wonderland statue to the famous bronze tribute to renowned author Hans Christian Andersen, these art installations add an extra layer of charm to Central Park.


Whether you choose to explore Central Park on foot, rent a bike, or relax on a park bench, the experiences and sights you’ll encounter are bound to create lasting memories. So, take your time and soak in the natural beauty and serenity of this urban oasis without spending a dime.


Times Square

Times Square is one of the most iconic and vibrant neighborhoods in New York City. Known for its bright lights, towering billboards, and bustling energy, this bustling intersection attracts millions of visitors each year.


While Times Square may seem like a place where everything comes with a price tag, there are actually a few ways to experience the magic of this famous square without spending a dime.


First and foremost, take a leisurely stroll through Times Square and immerse yourself in the electrifying atmosphere. Marvel at the dazzling billboards that light up the night sky and feel the energy of the crowds. You’ll see street performers, quirky characters, and the quintessential yellow taxis whizzing by.


If you’re a theater lover, be sure to check out TKTS booth in Times Square. This renowned discount ticket booth offers discounted same-day tickets for Broadway shows. You may be able to snag a bargain and catch a world-class performance at a fraction of the regular price.


Another way to enjoy Times Square for free is to attend one of the many public events that take place throughout the year. From New Year’s Eve celebrations and concerts to cultural festivals and parades, there’s always something happening in Times Square. Check the official Times Square website or local event listings to see what’s on during your visit.


For a unique photo opportunity, visit the iconic red TKTS staircase, located at the northern end of Times Square. This architectural gem provides a great vantage point to capture the vibrant energy and bustling crowds below. It’s the perfect spot to snap a memorable picture of your visit to Times Square.


Finally, if you’re a fan of people-watching, grab a seat on one of the public chairs scattered throughout Times Square. Sit back, relax, and observe the diverse mix of locals and tourists as they go about their day. It’s a fascinating way to experience the vibrant tapestry of New York City.


Times Square may be known as a commercial hub, but with a little creativity and curiosity, you can enjoy the essence of this iconic neighborhood without spending a dime.


Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is not only a marvel of engineering but also an iconic symbol of New York City. Connecting the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, this majestic bridge offers breathtaking views of the city skyline and the East River.


Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is a must-do experience for any visitor to New York City, and the best part is, it’s absolutely free. Marvel at the intricate architecture, the sweeping suspension cables, and the panoramic vistas as you make your way across this historic landmark.


Start your walk from the Manhattan side of the bridge, near City Hall Park. As you traverse the pedestrian walkway, take in the stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, with the towering skyscrapers as your backdrop. On a clear day, you can catch glimpses of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in the distance.


Make sure to take your time and appreciate the details of the bridge. From the Gothic arches to the granite towers, the Brooklyn Bridge is a testament to the craftsmanship of its builders. As you walk, you’ll notice plaques with historical information about the bridge, providing fascinating insights into its construction and significance.


Once you reach the Brooklyn side of the bridge, you’ll be greeted with the charming neighborhood of DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). Explore its cobblestone streets, trendy boutiques, and art galleries. You can also venture down to the waterfront and relax in Brooklyn Bridge Park, which offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline.


If you’re up for a longer walk, consider continuing your journey across the Brooklyn Bridge and onto the neighboring borough of Brooklyn. From there, you can explore the vibrant neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights and Williamsburg, each with their own unique charm and attractions.


For an even more immersive experience, consider joining a guided tour that explores the history and architecture of the Brooklyn Bridge. While these tours may come with a fee, they often provide insightful commentary and unique perspectives that enhance your visit.


The Brooklyn Bridge is not only a transportation corridor but also a cultural landmark that offers a captivating experience for pedestrians. So, lace up your walking shoes and embark on a memorable journey across this iconic bridge, taking in the panoramic views and the rich history of New York City.


High Line Park

One of New York City’s hidden gems, the High Line Park is a unique elevated park built on a historic freight rail line on Manhattan’s West Side. This 1.45-mile-long linear park has transformed an abandoned railway into a beautiful green space that offers stunning views of the city and a tranquil escape from the bustling streets below.


What makes the High Line Park truly special is its blend of nature, art, and urban design. As you walk along the park’s elevated pathways, you’ll be surrounded by lush vegetation, colorful flowers, and art installations that seamlessly integrate with the architecture of the surrounding neighborhoods.


With its well-maintained walking trails, comfortable seating areas, and numerous viewpoints, the High Line Park provides the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind, and enjoy the beauty of the city. Take a leisurely stroll and soak up the panoramic vistas of the Hudson River, the city skyline, and the bustling streets of Chelsea.


Along the way, you’ll encounter various curated gardens, art installations, and cultural events that showcase the creativity and vibrancy of New York City. From intricate sculptures to thought-provoking murals, there’s always something new to discover and appreciate.


One of the highlights of the park is the High Line Plinth, an open-air exhibition space that features rotating art installations. These larger-than-life sculptures and works of art bring a dynamic and interactive element to the park, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to engage with contemporary art.


While the park is free for all to enjoy, you may choose to support its maintenance and programming by visiting the High Line merchandise store or grabbing a bite to eat from one of the food vendors along the route. These vendors offer a variety of delectable treats, from artisanal ice cream to gourmet sandwiches, adding to the overall experience of visiting the park.


Whether you’re a nature lover, an art enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful respite from the city’s hustle and bustle, the High Line Park is a must-visit destination. Lose yourself in this elevated oasis and experience the unique blend of urban creativity and natural beauty that defines the heart of Manhattan.


Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal, often referred to as Grand Central Station, is a historic transportation hub and architectural masterpiece located in the heart of Manhattan. It is more than just a train station; it is a bustling center of activity, elegant dining, and exquisite architecture.


While train rides may require a ticket, visiting and exploring Grand Central Terminal itself is absolutely free. Step inside and be transported to a bygone era of grandeur and sophistication.


The main concourse of Grand Central Terminal is a sight to behold. With its soaring ceiling adorned with a breathtaking celestial mural, iconic clock, and elegant chandeliers, the space exudes an air of timeless charm. Spend some time marveling at the architectural details and observing the constant flow of commuters and visitors.


One of the most popular attractions within Grand Central Terminal is the Whispering Gallery. Located just outside the Oyster Bar & Restaurant, this architectural quirk allows whispers to be heard from across the room. Stand in one corner while a friend stands in the opposite corner, and whisper a message. The sound will mysteriously travel along the curved wall, allowing your friend to hear it clearly. It’s a fascinating experience and a fun way to test the acoustics of the space.


Another hidden gem within Grand Central Terminal is the Vanderbilt Hall, a grand event space with ornate details and beautiful architectural features. Check the schedule to see if there are any public exhibitions, art displays, or cultural events happening during your visit.


As you wander through the terminal, keep an eye out for the iconic information booth located in the center of the main concourse. This iconic landmark is adorned with an opulent clock and is a popular meeting point for both locals and tourists.


No visit to Grand Central Terminal would be complete without stopping by the iconic Campbell Apartment. This hidden gem, tucked away in a corner of the terminal, was once the private office and salon of financier John W. Campbell. Today, you can step back in time and enjoy a drink in this opulent setting, which has been restored to its former glory.


If you’re lucky, you may even stumble upon a public performance or cultural event taking place in Vanderbilt Hall or the main concourse. From live music to dance performances, there’s always something happening in this vibrant and bustling transportation hub.


Grand Central Terminal is not just a place to catch a train; it’s an architectural treasure filled with history, art, and hidden wonders. Take some time to explore this iconic landmark and soak in the grandeur of one of New York City’s most beloved landmarks.


Staten Island Ferry

If you’re looking for a free and scenic way to enjoy the views of New York City’s skyline and Lady Liberty herself, look no further than the Staten Island Ferry. This iconic ferry service has been transporting passengers between Manhattan and Staten Island since the late 19th century and has become a popular attraction for both locals and tourists.


The Staten Island Ferry offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy stunning panoramic views of the city’s skyline, including famous landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Brooklyn Bridge. The best part? The ferry ride is absolutely free, allowing you to experience the beauty of the city without spending a dime.


The ferry operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with regular departures every 30 minutes during most hours. Whether you choose to ride during the day or at night, you’ll be treated to spectacular views as the ferry glides across the waters of the New York Harbor.


While the journey itself is a highlight, once you arrive at Staten Island, you can choose to explore the borough or simply hop back on the return ferry. The entire trip from Manhattan to Staten Island and back takes approximately 25 minutes each way, giving you ample time to enjoy the scenery.


Inside the ferry, you’ll find comfortable seating, spacious decks, and large windows that offer unobstructed views of the surrounding waters and the cityscape. Snag a seat near the windows or head outside to the open-air decks to feel the refreshing breeze and capture the perfect photo.


Keep in mind that the Staten Island Ferry is not just a tourist attraction, but also an essential mode of transportation for the residents of Staten Island. It can get quite crowded during rush hours, but with a little patience, you’ll still be able to enjoy the ride and the views.


Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned New Yorker, taking the Staten Island Ferry is a memorable experience that should not be missed. So grab your camera and hop aboard for a scenic journey that offers a unique perspective of the city’s stunning skyline and beloved landmarks.


National September 11 Memorial & Museum

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is a powerful tribute to the lives lost and the resilience of the American people in the aftermath of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Located at the site of the former World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, this memorial and museum offers a moving and educational experience.


The outdoor memorial features two reflecting pools, each measuring about an acre in size, placed in the footprint of the original Twin Towers. These pools are surrounded by bronze panels inscribed with the names of the nearly 3,000 individuals who lost their lives in the September 11 attacks, as well as the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.


Visiting the outdoor memorial is free and open to the public. Take a moment to reflect and pay your respects at the edge of the reflecting pools, where water cascades down into the void, creating a somber and contemplative atmosphere.


If you wish to delve deeper into the history and impact of the events, you can visit the National September 11 Museum. While there is an admission fee for the museum, it is worth it for the profound experience it offers.


The museum houses powerful exhibits that tell the story of September 11 through artifacts, multimedia displays, and personal testimonials. Explore the exhibits that delve into the events leading up to that fateful day, learn about the heroic actions of first responders, and witness the indomitable spirit of the survivors and their families.


One of the most poignant and emotionally charged areas of the museum is the Foundation Hall, where the “Last Column” stands amidst the remnants of the original foundation. This column, covered in tributes and messages, stands as a symbol of strength and resilience.


Visiting the National September 11 Memorial & Museum is not just an opportunity to pay homage to the lives lost, but also a chance to gain a deeper understanding of the impact these tragic events had on the world. It is a solemn reminder of the importance of unity, compassion, and resilience in the face of adversity.


Plan your visit ahead of time, as entry to the museum is timed and can be crowded. Be prepared for an emotional experience, and take your time to fully absorb the significance of this memorial and museum.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Pay-What-You-Wish)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, commonly known as the Met, is one of the world’s largest and most renowned art museums. Located on the eastern edge of Central Park, the Met is home to a vast collection that spans over 5,000 years of human history and includes masterpieces from various cultures and civilizations.


While the Met does have a recommended admission fee, it operates on a “pay-what-you-wish” policy, which means you can enter the museum by donating any amount you can afford. This makes the Met an accessible and affordable attraction for visitors of all backgrounds.


Upon entering the museum, you’ll be greeted by an incredible array of art and artifacts. The museum’s collection includes artworks from ancient Egypt, classical antiquity, medieval Europe, and many other periods and regions. From paintings and sculptures to textiles and furniture, there’s something to captivate every art enthusiast.


One of the highlights of the Met is the Temple of Dendur, an ancient Egyptian temple that was relocated and reconstructed within the museum. This awe-inspiring monument stands in a large hall surrounded by a reflective pool, creating a serene atmosphere that transports you back to ancient times.


Another must-see area in the museum is the European Paintings galleries, home to works by renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Monet, and Vermeer. Admire the brushstrokes and composition of these iconic masterpieces as you explore the rich artistic traditions of Europe.


Don’t forget to visit the American Wing, which showcases an extensive collection of American art from colonial times to the present day. From iconic portraits and landscapes to contemporary installations, this section offers a comprehensive overview of American artistic expression throughout history.


In addition to its permanent collection, the Met also hosts temporary exhibitions and special events throughout the year. These exhibits often require a separate admission fee, but the pay-what-you-wish policy still applies, making it an affordable way to experience world-class art and cultural events.


Plan your visit to the Met in advance, as the museum is vast and it’s impossible to see everything in one visit. Pick a few sections or exhibits that interest you the most, and take your time to fully appreciate the art and the stories they tell.


Remember, the pay-what-you-wish policy allows you to enter the Met for an amount that fits your budget, ensuring that art and culture are accessible to all. So, immerse yourself in the world of art at the Met and let the masterpieces inspire and ignite your imagination.


New York Public Library

The New York Public Library (NYPL), located in the heart of Manhattan, is a historic landmark and cultural institution that has been enriching the lives of New Yorkers and visitors alike for over a century. With its iconic Beaux-Arts architecture and vast collection of books and resources, the NYPL offers a haven for knowledge seekers and book lovers.


Visiting the library is absolutely free, and it provides a wealth of experiences beyond just checking out books. Stepping inside the library, you’ll be greeted by the grandeur of its marble columns, exquisite murals, and the famous Rose Main Reading Room, which spans almost the length of two city blocks and is adorned with elegant chandeliers.


Take a moment to explore the various sections of the library, from the Art & Architecture Room, which houses a comprehensive collection of art books and resources, to the Science, Industry, and Business Library (SIBL), where you can find valuable information on topics ranging from economics to technology.


Don’t miss the Library Shop, where you can browse a curated selection of books, gifts, and literary-themed merchandise. Proceeds from the shop support the programs and services offered by the NYPL.


For a truly unique experience, join a guided tour of the library. Led by knowledgeable docents, these tours provide fascinating insights into the history, architecture, and significance of the NYPL. Learn about the library’s vast collection, its role in fostering literacy and education, and the notable events that have taken place within its hallowed halls.


In addition to its regular exhibits and collections, the NYPL also hosts a wide range of free events and programs, including author talks, book discussions, and workshops. Check the library’s website for the event calendar and plan your visit around these enriching and engaging offerings.


While you’re at the NYPL, make sure to spend some time exploring Bryant Park, which is located just behind the library. This beautiful urban park offers a peaceful retreat with its lush greenery, seasonal gardens, and seating areas. Take a stroll, have a picnic, or simply relax and soak up the vibrant atmosphere.


The New York Public Library is much more than a repository of books; it’s a cultural hub that celebrates the pursuit of knowledge and the joy of reading. So, whether you’re a bibliophile, a history enthusiast, or simply seeking a tranquil escape from the city streets, a visit to the NYPL is a must for an enriching and inspiring experience.


Bryant Park

Tucked away behind the New York Public Library, Bryant Park is a hidden oasis in the heart of Manhattan. This vibrant public park offers a welcome respite from the bustling city streets, providing both locals and visitors with a peaceful and picturesque setting to relax and unwind.


Bryant Park is known for its beautifully landscaped gardens, well-maintained lawns, and iconic landmarks. From lush flower beds to towering trees, the park’s greenery creates a soothing and inviting atmosphere, making it the perfect place to escape the chaos of the city.


One of the highlights of Bryant Park is its central lawn, which transforms into an idyllic gathering space during the warmer months. Lay out a blanket and enjoy a leisurely picnic with friends or simply find a spot to bask in the sun and people-watch.


The park’s amenities go beyond its natural beauty. During the winter season, Bryant Park turns into a magical wonderland with its ice-skating rink. Lace up your skates and glide across the ice as you enjoy the festive ambiance and the surrounding city skyline.


Bryant Park also hosts a variety of activities and events throughout the year. From outdoor movie nights and Shakespearean performances to art shows and live music, there’s always something happening in this dynamic and lively park.


For book lovers, a visit to the park wouldn’t be complete without stopping by the Bryant Park Reading Room. Located on the park’s western side, the Reading Room offers a collection of books and periodicals that visitors can borrow and enjoy while lounging on the park’s signature green chairs.


Feeling hungry? Bryant Park is home to a food kiosk section known as the Bryant Park Grill and Café. Grab a bite to eat from one of the many vendors offering a range of delicious cuisines, from gourmet sandwiches to international street food.


From spring to fall, Bryant Park also becomes a haven for outdoor dining with its open-air food market known as “Bryant Park Picnics.” Indulge in a diverse array of culinary delights as you savor your meal in the park’s delightful surroundings.


Whether you’re seeking a peaceful spot to read a book, a vibrant space to socialize, or a picturesque setting for a picnic, Bryant Park offers it all. Its prime location, charming ambiance, and diverse array of activities make it a must-visit destination in the heart of New York City.


The Vessel at Hudson Yards

The Vessel at Hudson Yards is a unique architectural marvel and a must-see attraction in New York City. Located at the heart of the Hudson Yards development on the west side of Manhattan, the Vessel stands as a stunning piece of art and a captivating public space.


Designed by renowned British designer Thomas Heatherwick, the Vessel is a towering structure comprising numerous interconnected staircases and platforms. Its intricate lattice-like design and towering presence make it an eye-catching landmark that stands out against the city skyline.


Visitors are invited to explore the Vessel by climbing up its 2,500 individual steps and experiencing the various viewpoints and perspectives it offers. As you ascend, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding Hudson Yards neighborhood, the Hudson River, and the city beyond.


The Vessel provides a unique interactive experience, blurring the lines between architecture, art, and urban exploration. Its symmetrical structure allows for both spontaneous exploration and curated paths that guide visitors through its dynamic and ever-changing spaces.


Photography enthusiasts will find endless opportunities to capture stunning shots and perspectives from different angles and vantage points within the Vessel. Its reflective surfaces, intricate geometric patterns, and the juxtaposition with the surrounding skyscrapers make it a visually captivating subject.


Entry to the Vessel is generally free, but the popularity of the attraction has led to a timed-entry ticketing system, so it’s recommended to reserve your spot in advance. However, it’s important to note that as of March 2020, The Vessel has temporarily closed due to safety concerns. Be sure to check the latest updates before planning your visit.


Adjacent to the Vessel, you’ll find a vibrant mix of retail shops, restaurants, and other attractions within the Hudson Yards development. Whether you want to indulge in a delicious meal, enjoy a shopping spree, or simply take a leisurely stroll along the High Line, Hudson Yards offers a full day of exploration and entertainment.


The Vessel at Hudson Yards is more than just an architectural marvel; it’s a breathtaking art installation that invites visitors to engage with the structure and the city in new and exciting ways. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, an architecture lover, or simply seeking a unique experience, a visit to the Vessel is sure to leave a lasting impression.


Chelsea Galleries

For art enthusiasts and collectors, a visit to the Chelsea Galleries is a must when exploring the vibrant art scene of New York City. Located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, this artistic enclave is home to an impressive concentration of contemporary art galleries, showcasing a diverse range of artistic styles, mediums, and emerging talents.


Exploring the Chelsea Galleries is like embarking on a visual journey through the cutting-edge and dynamic world of contemporary art. With over 200 galleries spread across multiple blocks, you’ll find a wealth of artistic expression on display.


From paintings and sculptures to photography, video installations, and conceptual art, the galleries in Chelsea offer a eclectic mix of artistic genres and mediums. Whether you’re a seasoned art collector or someone who simply appreciates aesthetics, there’s something to capture the imagination and provoke thought.


Each gallery in Chelsea has its own unique character and style, making it a delight to wander through the streets and discover the latest exhibitions. Many galleries rotate their displays regularly, so you can always expect something new and exciting during each visit.


The gallery owners and curators are often present during gallery hours, offering a valuable opportunity to engage in conversations and learn more about the artworks on display. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, as the gallery professionals are passionate about art and love to share their knowledge.


While the Chelsea Galleries are known for exhibiting works by established and renowned artists, they also provide an important platform for emerging artists to showcase their talent. This means that you can witness the birth of new artistic movements and discover fresh perspectives from the next generation of creatives.


Plan your visit to the Chelsea Galleries by consulting gallery listings and maps available online or in print. Consider starting at street-level galleries and work your way up to the higher floors, as some exhibitions are spread across multiple floors of a building.


Keep in mind that gallery hours may vary, so it’s a good idea to check the opening times before you go. Many galleries also offer public receptions and special events, giving you the chance to mingle with fellow art enthusiasts and gain further insight into the artworks on display.


Whether you’re seeking inspiration, looking to expand your art collection, or simply want to immerse yourself in the creativity of the contemporary art world, a visit to the Chelsea Galleries is an experience that promises a captivating journey through the ever-evolving world of visual expression.


Governors Island

Escape the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and take a trip to Governors Island, a hidden gem in the New York Harbor. Located just a short ferry ride away, this 172-acre island offers a serene and picturesque retreat from the city’s fast-paced energy.


Once a military outpost, Governors Island is now a public park that boasts stunning views of the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan skyline, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by expansive green spaces, tree-lined promenades, and historic architecture that transports you back in time.


One of the best ways to explore the island is by bike. Governors Island offers bike rentals, and with its car-free environment, you can cycle freely along the island’s scenic pathways, discovering hidden gardens, beautiful waterfront areas, and historic buildings along the way.


For history enthusiasts, make sure to visit the Governors Island National Monument, which includes Fort Jay and Castle Williams. These well-preserved military structures offer a glimpse into the island’s past and provide opportunities for guided tours and educational exhibits.


Art lovers will also find plenty to enjoy on Governors Island. Each summer, the island hosts an array of outdoor art installations and performances as part of the annual Governors Island Art Fair and other cultural events. Stroll through the island’s unique art spaces and immerse yourself in a world of creativity.


When it’s time to recharge, grab a bite to eat at one of the island’s food vendors or pack a picnic and find a scenic spot to enjoy your meal. You can also relax in one of the many shaded areas, take a leisurely walk along the promenade, or simply sit back and take in the tranquil atmosphere.


In addition to its natural beauty and cultural offerings, Governors Island also hosts various events throughout the year, such as live music performances, outdoor movies, and family-friendly activities. Check the island’s official website for event details and plan your visit accordingly.


To reach Governors Island, take the ferry from Manhattan or Brooklyn. The ferry service operates regularly during the summer season, typically from May to October, with limited service in the spring and fall.


Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat, a dose of history, or an outdoor adventure, Governors Island offers a refreshing escape from the city’s urban jungle. So, hop on the ferry and discover this hidden oasis that’s just a stone’s throw away from the bustling streets of New York City.


Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine

The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, is a majestic architectural masterpiece and one of the largest Christian churches in the world. This grand Gothic Revival cathedral is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking awe-inspiring beauty, spiritual reflection, and a glimpse into New York City’s rich religious heritage.


As you approach the cathedral, you’ll be struck by its towering presence and intricate detailing. Step inside, and you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of breathtaking stained glass windows, soaring ceilings, and ornate stone carvings that tell biblical stories.


The cathedral’s nave, with its grand organ and rows of intricately carved wooden pews, offers a peaceful space for contemplation and prayer. As you explore further, you’ll discover various chapels dedicated to different saints and adorned with exquisite altars and statues.


Make sure to visit the Cathedral Gardens, a peaceful oasis where you can take a leisurely stroll among meticulously manicured lawns, vibrant flowers, and tranquil fountains. It’s a serene setting that adds to the overall sense of tranquility and spirituality.


The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine is not only a place of worship but also a center for cultural and artistic expression. Throughout the year, the cathedral hosts a variety of concerts, art exhibitions, and special events that celebrate music, dance, theater, and visual arts. Check the cathedral’s schedule to see what exciting events are happening during your visit.


One of the notable features of the cathedral is its resident peacocks, who freely roam the grounds and add a touch of whimsy to the atmosphere. Keep an eye out for these beautiful creatures as you explore the cathedral and its surroundings.


Guided tours are available for those who wish to delve deeper into the history and architecture of the cathedral. Knowledgeable guides will lead you through the grand halls, sharing stories and insights into the significance of the cathedral’s design and the traditions of the Episcopal Church.


The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine is not only a place of worship but also a space for reflection, artistic expression, and community engagement. Whether you’re seeking a spiritual experience, an appreciation for architectural marvels, or a moment of tranquility amidst the city’s chaos, a visit to this awe-inspiring cathedral is sure to leave a lasting impression.


Free Walking Tour in NYC

Exploring New York City on foot is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in its vibrant energy and rich history. And what better way to discover the city’s hidden gems than by joining a free walking tour? Experienced guides lead these tours, sharing fascinating stories, historical facts, and insider tips about the city’s iconic landmarks and lesser-known neighborhoods.


Free walking tours allow you to discover the city at your own pace while learning about its culture, architecture, and local legends. Explore neighborhoods like the bustling streets of Midtown Manhattan, the vibrant cultural enclave of Greenwich Village, or the trendy boutiques of SoHo.


During these tours, you’ll have the opportunity to visit famous landmarks such as Times Square, Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the High Line. You’ll also uncover hidden gems and hear captivating anecdotes about influential figures, historic events, and the city’s ever-evolving landscape.


Free walking tours typically last about 2-3 hours and cover a specific area or theme. Some popular tour companies include the Big Apple Greeter, which offers personalized, neighborhood-specific tours led by enthusiastic volunteers, and Free Tours by Foot, known for its diverse range of routes and informative guides.


It’s important to note that while the tours are advertised as free, it’s customary and appreciated to tip your guide at the end as a token of gratitude for their time and expertise. The amount is up to your discretion and budget, but a general guideline is around $10-$20 per person.


Before joining a walking tour, be sure to check the schedule, meeting point, and any specific requirements such as reservations or group size limits. Consider wearing comfortable walking shoes, bringing water and sunscreen, and dressing according to the weather.


Aside from traditional walking tours, you may also find themed tours like food tours, street art tours, or even ghost tours. These specialized experiences offer a unique perspective on the city’s culinary delights, urban art scene, or haunting history.


Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a local seeking to delve deeper into the city’s hidden corners, a free walking tour in NYC is an excellent way to discover the diversity and charm of the city. So, lace up your shoes, join a tour, and let the knowledgeable guides unveil the secrets and stories of the city that never sleeps.



New York City is a vibrant and dynamic destination with an abundance of sights and experiences to offer. By taking advantage of the secret ways to see the city’s top attractions for free, you can enrich your visit without straining your budget. From Central Park’s serene beauty to the bustling energy of Times Square, there are countless opportunities to explore and appreciate the essence of this iconic metropolis.


Uncover the architectural wonders of the Brooklyn Bridge and the High Line Park, or delve into the city’s rich history at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Discover hidden art gems in the Chelsea Galleries or take a peaceful retreat to Governors Island and enjoy the breathtaking views of the cityscape.


Embrace the cultural experiences of the New York Public Library and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where you can immerse yourself in knowledge and creativity. And don’t forget to join a free walking tour to uncover the city’s fascinating stories and neighborhoods, connecting with its rich tapestry of cultures and history.


Remember, while some attractions may have recommended fees or optional donations, many of New York City’s top sights and experiences can be enjoyed without spending a dime. Take advantage of these opportunities to immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant atmosphere, engage with its art and culture, and create lasting memories.


New York City truly has something for everyone, from nature lovers to history buffs, art enthusiasts, and foodies. So whether you’re a visitor or a local, embrace the secrets and hidden treasures of the city and make the most of your time in the Big Apple without breaking the bank. Enjoy the journey, explore with curiosity, and discover the magic of New York City’s top sights for free.