Cheap Travel Tips: New York

Times Square New YorkNew York is one of the most interesting cities in the world. I just love how it’s filled with so much culture, art, history, and of course, good food! I had to plan a social event in NY back in March of 2009, so I decided to extend my trip and take K to do all the touristy things around The Big Apple.

We were fortunate enough to have snow in March; but, if you’re not a fan of the extremes, late spring or fall is a wonderful time to visit as the temperature is comfortable and sights are less crowded.

Hotel tips:
Hotels in NYC range from $200+ a night and rooms generally do not come with kitchens. If you’re staying more than 4 days, I recommend you rent a vacation condo on These rentals have competitive prices and often have kitchens. This way, you can buy food at a local grocery store or save your leftovers in the fridge so won’t be forced to eat every meal out.

Attraction tips:
NYC is an expensive city, but there are some tricks to getting things at a discount. If you want to do NY cheap, most of the museums in NYC have a “pay what you wish” entrance fees that are not advertised. Here’s a list of what days the deal is offered:

The Guggenheim – Saturdays from 5:45 pm to 7:45 pm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art – Any day
American Museum of Natural History – Any day

Itinerary and photos after the jump.

I will warn you now. I am one of those people that keeps a strict schedule when traveling. I plan when you wake up, eat, arrive and leave attractions, and sleep. I figured if I’m limited to the amount of days in a certain city, I better make sure I get everything in to make the trip worthwhile.

Note: I took out the times so you all don’t think I’m a total crazy. :)

Itinerary (7 days in NYC):

Day 1 (Work day for me)
Lunch: Shake Shack
Dinner: Lombardi’s Pizza
Snack: Dessert Truck

Day 2
TKTS Booth in Times Square (47th St and Broadway) – Stand out an hour before the booth opens to get discount Broadway tickets
Lunch: Recession Special at Gray’s Papaya (2 hotdogs and a papaya drink)
Rockefeller Center (1221 Ave. of the Americas)
Radio City Music Hall
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Ess-A-Bagel (831 3rd Ave # 1, New York, NY)
Grand Central Station (87 E 42nd Street)
New York Public Library (476 5th Ave)
Empire State Building (350 5th Ave) – Plan during sunset
Evening show: MamaMia

Day 3
Statue of Liberty – Adult Reserve $12.00
Ground Zero
Brooklyn Bridge
Lunch: Green Bo in Chinatown (Shanghainese food)
Snack: Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
Dinner: Il Palazzo in Little Italy

Day 4
Breakfast: H&H Bagels – (1551 2nd Ave between 80th St & 81st St)
Guggenheim Museum (1071 5th Ave, New York, NY)

Saturday–Wednesday 10 a.m.–5:45 p.m. Friday 10 a.m.–7:45 p.m.
Closed Thursdays, Christmas, and Thanksgiving Day

Lunch: Hotdog from a side vendor (love these!)
Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 5th Avenue, New York, NY)

Monday: Closed (Except Holiday Mondays)
Tuesday–Thursday: 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 9:30 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Sunday: 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Dinner: Southern Hospitality (1460 2nd Ave between 76th St & 77th St) – Had to go for JT
Dessert: Serendipity (225 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022)

Day 5
Breakfast: Popover Cafe (551 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY‎)
American Museum of Natural History (79 Street And Central Park West, New York, NY)

The Museum is open daily, 10:00 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.

Central Park
The Dakota (1 W 72nd St (Central Park West) New York, NY 10023)
Strawberry Fields
David Letterman Show – Picked up tickets before the trip
Dinner: White Castle (Tried it for the first time! Bummed it didn’t live up to the hype)

Day 6
Lunch: Katz Deli (205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002)
Burkina (hiphop clothing store) – 1 block away
Snack: Cannolis at Veniero’s
Greenwich Village
Evening Show: Wicked (Went to box office 2 hours before show and won 1 ticket in the raffle for only $20. We had to purchase 1 other ticket 5 rows back for $120.)

Day 7
TKTS Booth
5th Avenue
Evening Show: Marvelous Wonderettes (Off Broadway production)
Dinner: Saigon Grill (1700 2nd Ave, New York, NY‎)


Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station New York

The Metropolitan Museum

The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York

The Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim Museum New York

Snow in Central Park!

Snow in Central Park

Caught Wicked while in NY – Excellent show. I’ve seen this twice already.

Wicked at the Gershwin Theater

The Muppets Workshop at FAO Schwarz on 5th Ave.

Muppet Workshop at FAO Schwarz

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