New York On A Budget

With the Aussie dollar hitting the roof now is the perfect time to book yourself a holiday to New York. Here’s how to have an amazing time on the cheap.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, $0-20
This incredible museum is a Manhattan must – allocate at least a few hours. But what many tourists don’t know is that the $20 ticket is a suggested contribution, so if you’re watching your pennies you can pay up to $20.

Subway to Brooklyn or Queens, $2.25
Public transport is a flat $2.25 a ride in New York, so hop on the subway or a bus and head out of Manhattan, to beautiful Brooklyn or multicultural Queens and see a different, more real side to the Big Apple.

Chinese feast, $4
Pop over to the Lower East Side and not only will you forget you’re in New York, but you can feast on piping hot dumplings, greasy good scallion pancakes and slippery noodles for under a fiver, including tip. Try Vanessa’s Dumplings.

Fashion Institute of Technology Museum, free
This is one of my favourite museums, and entry is free. It’s the perfect size, taking you about an 1 hour to enjoy the beautifully-curated fashion pieces. Outside it’s a fashionista’s paradise, with clothing sample racks swirling by at top speed and Prada heeled PR pros shouting on their mobiles.

Papaya King/Grey’s Papaya, $2.50
Hot dogs are to New York what the meat pie is to Australia. Avoid the dirty water dogs on every street corner and seek out Papaya King or Grey’s Papaya for their more-ish dogs. Wash down with a fresh papaya juice and you’re good for hours.

Foraging in Central Park, $0-20
While Central Park is the place to go for picnics and leisurely strolls, did you know you can also forage for edible plants? “Wildman” Steve Brill leads regular tours throughout the park, allowing visitors to feast on flora. The suggested donation is $20 but he never turns anyone away for lack of funds.

Staten Island Ferry, free
A cruise around Manhattan is on most visitor’s must-do lists, but for an equally impressive view, take the ferry Staten Island ferry. You can either hope back on the next one and be back in 20 minutes, or enjoy a meal once there – there are some great locals-only eats to be had.

Music in Union Square, free
Union Square is a hive of activity, and the farmers market on Saturday is a must. There are always great buskers, and if he’s there, make sure you request your own signature piece from the ‘free poems’ guy who sets up by the fountain.

What are your favourite things to do in New York?