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The High Line at 20th Street | © Wikipedia Commons
The High Line at 20th Street | © Wikipedia Commons
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A Student's Guide To Free Attractions In NYC

Picture of Dana deLaski
Updated: 9 February 2017
NYC is known to be an expensive city, and generally speaking, this is unfortunately true. Museums and monuments can cost up to $40 for entry, hotels and restaurants can get pricey, and there are upscale boutiques and department stores around every corner. That said, it’s more than possible to experience the best NYC has to offer on a budget. So if you’re a student, or generally want to save some money, here are some of the best FREE attractions in the city.
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Bronx Museum Of Art

While many museums in NYC are a bit expensive, the Bronx Museum of Art is free. The museum specializes in work by New York artists with diverse cultural backgrounds, and aims to foster community engagement – working with local schools, teens, and families. Opened in 1971, it’s become a cultural hub in the neighborhood showing modern art in all its forms.

Bronx Museum of Art, 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY, USA

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Free Comedy at Upright Citizens Brigade

While there are hundreds of free comedy shows in NYC, the very best one may be Whiplash at Upright Citizens Brigade in Chelsea, Manhattan. Definitely get a ticket ahead of time as its free price tag and reputation make it immensely popular. The show happens every Monday at 11pm and has been known to kickstart careers of famous comedians, so if you can get a seat, don’t miss it.

Upright Citizens Brigade, 307 W 26th St, New York, NY, USA

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Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island has become popular amongst tourists, and that’s because it’s a way to view the Statue of Liberty at no cost! The thirty-minute boat ride leaves lower Manhattan every half hour with commuters traveling back and forth, and the trip to Staten Island takes about 30 minutes. The view of the Statue is unblocked, and the view of downtown as you’re pulling out of the harbour is arguably just as good.

Staten Island Ferry Terminal, 4 Whitehall St, New York, NY, USA +1 212 639 9675

Chelsea Galleries

While the Met and the MoMA are only free for a few hours per week (during which the museums are packed), the galleries in Chelsea are always free. Some of the city’s most premiere art hotspots like David Zwirner Gallery and Pace Gallery show top-notch art year around, and it’s completely free to the public.

Various Locations in Chelsea, Manhattan

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Wine Tasting At Astor Wines

Wine is usually a luxury, but at Astor Wines you can actually attend a wine tasting for free. Astor Wines is a large venue where you can purchase a variety of wines and liquors, and they put on tons of tasting events. Check out their websites for times of particular tastings, or just pop in from 6pm to 8pm on any day and see what they’re pouring.

Astor Wines, 399 Lafayette St, New York, NY, USA +1 212 674 7500

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Brooklyn Brewery Tours

If beer is your drink of choice, head to the Brooklyn Brewery, grab a beer, and take a free tour. During the week they host small batch tours for $15, but go on a Saturday or Sunday and take a free tour every 30 minutes. Unfortunately, the beer is not free, but it’s a great to excuse to get out to this unique industrial space.

Brooklyn Brewery, 79 N 11th St, New York, NY, USA +1 718 486 7422

Amber, Viennese, dry-hopped, first, favorite, whatever you refer to it as, Always, Brooklyn, Lager.

A photo posted by Brooklyn Brewery (@brooklynbrewery) on

The High Line

At this point, The High Line may be as popular as the Empire State Building, but it’s still one of the best free ways to see some greenery and take a walk. The path is 1.4 miles long on a elevated portion of an old, disused railway, and it’s become one of the most popular urban ‘parks’ in the city. If you haven’t been yet, put it at the top of your list, but go early or late to avoid crowds.

It's another gorgeous morning on the High Line! Will you be visiting this week?

A video posted by Friends of the High Line (@highlinenyc) on