Times Square in New York

New York Itinerary: Visit All Attractions in 7 Days for $75

In City Guides, Latest Posts 2, United States by Sheena26 Comments

Follow our New York itinerary & find out how to visit all the major attractions & museums in the Big Apple in 1 week for under $75!

The only attractions you’ll have to pay for on our New York itinerary are:

  • Headquarters of the United Nations
  • Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art

Many New York museums have free admission or Pay What You Wish days & times – we’ve done all the research for you to create the ultimate New York Itinerary!

This itinerary was designed in 2016 when The Met offered Pay What You Wish admission. In 2018 this was changed to a mandatory $25.00 admission fee.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is now free on Friday mornings (not Saturday).

The prices & visitor information has remained the same for most other museums & attractions listed here.

This itinerary is action packed for travelers like ourselves who like to make the most of their time and budget. Feel free to adapt it to your own travel style and interests.

*** Tip of the Week: Follow our New York itinerary & your Big Apple vacation will be heavy on footsteps but light on the wallet!

* Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before any trip to New York. We’ve been using World Nomads for over 10 years – it’s the best-value provider we’ve found but there are important things to consider. Check out our post & find out which of our claims were successful or denied.

New York Itinerary

MONDAY IN NYC

Spend the first day of your New York itinerary in & around Central Park, including the incredible American Museum of Natural History. At night, hang out at Times Square & catch a show with cheap tickets on Broadway!

  • Columbus Circle – free
  • Central Park – free
  • American Museum of Natural History – pay what you wish
  • Times Square – free

You can actually follow this New York itinerary on any free day you have in New York, not just Monday!

We also recommend Lonely Planet’s New York Travel Guide to help you plan your trip.

*** Tip of the Day: Bring a packed lunch to eat in Central Park, so you can maximize your time in the American Museum of Natural History

View of Central Park from Belvedere Castle

Take in the views of Central Park from the top of Belvedere Castle

#1. Columbus Circle *

Start your day by taking the subway to Columbus Circle (lines A, B, C, D, 1).

This traffic circle has a statue of Christopher Columbus in the middle & is the official point in which all directions in New York City are measured from.

Surrounding Columbus Circle are the headquarters of Time Warner Centre, Trump International Hotel & Tower with its steel globe & the USS Maine National Monument.

 * Free attraction!

Columbus Circle in New York City

Start your day at Columbus Circle, the official centre of New York City

#2. Central Park *

From Columbus Circle, enter Central Park and explore the southern side & The Great Lawn – this is the most interesting & popular section of Central Park.

In the southern end, the highlights are Angel of the Waters fountain, Central Park zoo (sneak a peek for free), vintage Friedsman Carousel, Grand Army Plaza, Hecksher playground (largest in the park) & The Pond.

Don’t miss Strawberry Fields with the famous “Imagine” mosaic, a memorial to John Lennon who was murdered outside his home in the Dakota Building across the road.

The next section is The Great Lawn: climb to the top of Belvedere Castle for the best view of Central Park.

Then head to Conservatory Pond & the sculptures of Alice in Wonderland & Hans Christian Andersen nearby. Other highlights are the Obelisk (the oldest man-made sculpture in the lake) & The Lake with the Bow Bridge.

* Free attraction!

Tour options:

Hans Cristian Andersen in Central Park

Pose with Hans Christian Andersen in Central Park!

#3. American Museum of Natural History

From Central Park, walk over to the American Natural History Museum, one of the largest of its kind in the world.

There are exhibitions & displays on humans, animals, plants, fossils, rocks, minerals, meteorites & cultural artifacts, to name a few.

Depending on the amount of time you have, you can either choose to race through every floor, follow the recommended highlights tour or pick & choose the sections you’re most interested in.

Entrance Fee: Pay What You Wish (suggested admission $23.00). Buy tickets here.

Opening Hours: 10:00 am to 5:45 pm

American Museum of Natural History

Dinosaurs come to life at the American Museum of Natural History

#4. Times Square *

Take the subway to Times Square & soak up the atmosphere. It’s one of the world’s busiest spaces, including up to 50 million visitors a year.

Be dazzled by the crowds & bright lights of flashing billboards – it’s the most exciting places in New York City!

* Free attraction!

Times Square New York City

Get the party started in Times Square!

Free / Pay What You Wish on Monday

Plan your own Monday in New York City around these museums:

Imagine mosaic at Central Park

Pay your respects at the John Lennon memorial in Central Park

TUESDAY IN NYC

Spend the day in Lower Manhatttan – walk above the streets on the High Line, indulge in the Chelsea Markets, explore Little Italy & Chinatown and pay your respects at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

  • High Line – free
  • Chelsea Market – free
  • Greenwich Village – free
  • SoHo – free
  • Little Italy & Chinatown – free
  • National September 11 Memorial & Museum – free from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm

This New York itinerary is based around the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, which is only free from 5:00 pm on Tuesday.

*** Tip of the Day: The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is very big. Aim to be in line for tickets by 4:00 pm – once you’ve received your ticket, you may be able to go straight in, before 5:00 pm

September 11 Memorial

Visit the National September 11 Museum on Tuesday for free

#1. High Line *

Take the subway to 34th Street – Hudson Yards (line 7) & walk over & up on to the start of the High Line.

The High Line is a unique, 2.3 km elevated park that runs along the Lower West side of Manhattan.

The project transformed an unused railway line into an urban park.

Over 200 species of plants have been planted along the walkways. It also hosts cultural attractions such as urban theatre & art installations.

There are many spaces, benches & sundecks for relaxing & socializing, with stunning views of New York City & the Hudson River.

* Free attraction!

High Line Manhattan

Walk above the streets of New York along the High Line

#2. Chelsea Market *

The High Line ends at Chelsea Market, which is a great place for browsing & shopping.

It’s primarily a food hall so this is a good spot for a snack – save lunch for a little later…

* Free attraction!

Chelsea Market at Christmas time!

Chelsea Market at Christmas time!

#3. Greenwich Village & SoHo *

From Chelsea Market, you could walk and/or take the subway to either the bohemian neighbourhood of Greenwich Village, trendy SoHo or both.

* Free attraction!

#4. Little Italy & Chinatown *

Continue on to Little Italy & Chinatown for lunch & some exploration of New York City’s historic Italian & Chinese neighbourhoods. .

* Free attraction!

Chinatown Signs in New York

There are plenty of cheap eats in Chinatown!

#5. National September 11 Memorial & Museum

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum commemorates the 9/11 & World Trade Centre bombing (Feb 26, 1993) attacks that killed 2,977 & 6 people respectively.

The Memorial features twin reflecting pools, the largest manmade waterfalls in North America. They sit at the foot of where the Twin Towers once stood.

The names of every person who died in the 2001 (and 1993 World Trade Centre bombing) are inscribed into bronze panels around the Memorial pools.

Look out for the Survivor tree, which was recovered from the rubble in October 2001, badly burned with only one living branch.

The Museum tells the story of 9/11 through archives, multi-media exhibits, artifacts & narratives from the family & friends of the victims.

Entrance Fee:

  • Free on Tuesdays from 5:00 pm (regular admission $24.00). Buy regular tickets here
  • Tickets available on a first-come, first-serve basis from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Opening Hours: 7:30 am to 9:00 pm

September 11 Memorial Fountain

September 11 Memorial Fountain

Free / Pay What You Wish on Tuesday

Plan your own Tuesday in New York City around these museums:

National September 11 Memorial

Pay your respects at the National September 11 Memorial

WEDNESDAY IN NYC

Visit the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island and take in the views of Manhattan from the water. On return, explore the Wall Street & the Financial District in Lower Manhattan.

  • Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island – $18.00 to $22.00 including entrance & ferry transport for both islands
  • Charging Bull – free
  • Wall Street – free
  • Trinity Church – free
  • St Paul’s Chapel – free

You can actually follow this New York itinerary on any free day you have in New York, not just Wednesday!

*** Tip of the Day: Save money & bring a packed lunch for the trip to the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

New York Itinerary Statue of Liberty

Visit the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island on the same day!

#1. Visiting the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

You can visit both the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island in 1 day – allow approximately 6 hours for the return trip to Battery Park.

There are no entrance fees for either island but they can only be accessed by ferries offered by State Cruises – tickets range from $18.50 to $21.50.

Statue of Liberty Itinerary

See Lady Liberty in the flesh!

  • Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is a female figure in robes, representing the Roman goddess Libertas. She bears a torch & a table inscribed with the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1977. A broken chain lies at her feet.

The Statue of Liberty is made of copper & was designed by Gustave Eiffel, the same man who conceived the Eiffel Tower in Paris.It was a gift from France (in 1886) & has since become an icon of the United States & a symbol of freedom.

  • Ellis Island

Ellis Island was America’s busiest immigration inspection station from 1892 to 1954. Over 12 million immigrants have passed through its gates.

Ellis Island Immigration Hall

Enter the historic Ellis Island Immigrarion Hall

Ferry information for the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

There are 3 different types of tickets available:

  • Reserve Ticket is the base ticket – $18.50
  • Pedestal Reserve Ticket includes access up to the Fort Wood section of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty –$18.00
  • Crown Reserve Ticket includes access up to the Crown of the Statue of Liberty – $21.50

All tickets also include access to the grounds of Liberty Island and Ellis Island, audio Tours of both sites & Priority entry into the Boarding Queue

Ferries depart from Battery Park to/from Liberty Island & Ellis Island regularly from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

For Crown Reserve Tickets & in peak seasons, it’s recommended to book online in advance. You can also buy advance tickets here.

Tickets are also available at the ticket booth & pier at Battery Park for same day sales.

Ferry view of Statue of Liberty

View of the Statue of Liberty from the ferry

#2. Staten Island Ferry *

The Staten Island Ferry is a free service running between Manhattan & Staten Island. It operates 24 hours, 7 days a week.

We recommending visiting both Liberty Island & Ellis Island but if you’re short on time or on a tight budget, you can take the free ferry ride for excellent views of the Lower Manhattan skyline & the Statue of Liberty

* Free service!

Staten Island Ferry

Take the Staten Island Ferry & see the Statue of Liberty for free

#3. Charging Bull *

On return to Manhattan, you should still have time to explore Wall Street & the attractions around the Financial District.

One of New York City’s most iconic sculptures is the Charging Bull.

Made of bronze, it’s 3.4 meters tall & 4.9 meters long – the bull’s testicles weigh 48 kg each.

The Charging Bull stands in Bowling Green Park, in the heart of the Financial District, as a symbol of aggressive financial optimism & prosperity.

* Free attraction!

Me with Charging Bull

Take a selfie with the Charging Bull & from the back too…

#4. Wall Street *

Wall Street is the financial hub of New York, the leading financial centre in the world. Be sure to check out:

  • New York Stock Exchange
  • Federal Hall (where George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the USA)
  • Federal Reserve Bank
  • Trump Building at 40 Wall Street

* Free attractions!

New York Stock Exchange

The American Flag draped on the New York Stock Exchange

#5. Trinity Church *

Take a look inside the impressive Gothic Revival architecture of Trinity Church.

It also features 23 bells, three sets of bronze doors & a cemetery.

* Free attraction!

Cemetery at Trinity Church

Cemetery at Trinity Church

#6. St Paul’s Chapel *

St Paul’s Chapel is known as “The Little Chapel that Stood” after surviving the attacks of September 11, 2001 without a broken window. It’s also the oldest church in Manhattan.

St Paul’s Church became a refuge centre for recovery workers at the World Trade Centre.

For eight months, hundreds of volunteers worked around the clock: serving meals, making beds & counselling fire fighters, police & others.

Mourners placed memorials around the church fences.

St Paul’s Chapel is currently closed for restoration.

* Free attraction!

St Paul's Chapel in 2008

St Paul’s Chapel in 2008

Free / Pay What You Wish on Wednesday

Plan your own Wednesday in New York City around these museums:

Two Lemurs at Zoo

Visit Bronx Zoo for free on Wednesday

THURSDAY IN NYC

Tickets to The Metropolitan Museum of Art also includes same-day admission to The Met Cloister & the Met Breur so spend the day taking full advantage of this great deal!

  • The Met Cloisters – $25
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art – included in Met Cloisters admission
  • The Met Breuer – included in Met Cloisters admission
  • Museum of Arts & Design – pay what you wish from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

This New York itinerary is based around the Museum of Arts & Design, which is only free from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Thursday.

*** Tip of the Day: Start at The Cloisters & allow yourself enough time at The Met, The Breuer is a bonus if you still have the time & energy! ***

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Step inside The Metropolitan Museum of Art on our New York Itinerary

#1. The Met Cloisters

Start the day in Upper Manhattan at The Met Cloisters in Fort Tyron Park.

Take the subway all the way up to Dyckman Street (line 1) & explore the marvels of medieval Europe through art, architecture & gardens.

#2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the largest art museum in the US.

Its permanent collection holds more than 2 million pieces from all civilizations, dating back to antiquity.

The extensive collection includes paintings, sculpture, musical instruments, costumes & antique armor.

#3. The Met Breuer

If you have time, check out The Met Breur a few blocks away.

It’s dedicated to the 20th & 21st century modern & contemporary art from the Met’s permanent collection.

  • Visitor Information

Entrance Fee: $25.00. Buy tickets here.

Tickets to the Metropolitan Museum of Art also includes admission to The Met Breur nearby & the Met Cloisters in Fort Tyron Park, Upper Manhattan valid for 3 consecutive days.

Opening Hours:

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art – Sunday to Thursday, 10:00 am to 5:30 pm. Friday & Saturday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm.
  • Met Cloisters – mixed hours, check online
  • Met Breuer – mixed hours, check online
Inside The Met

Inside The Metropolitan Museum of Art

#4. Museum of Arts & Design

Take a break, then if you’ve still got the energy & stamina, head to the Museum of Arts & Design on Columbus Circle.

It displays historic & contemporary innovation in craft, art & design.

Entrance Fee: Pay What You Wish (regular admission $16.00), 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Opening Hours:

  • Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Thursday and Friday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm

Photo courtesy of New York The Sun

Museum of Arts & Design

Museum of Arts & Design on Columbus Circle

Free / Pay What You Wish on Thursday

Plan your own Thursday in New York City around these museums:

  • China Institute – Free (regular admission $8.00), 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
  • New Museum – Pay What You Wish (suggested donation $2, regular admission $16.00), 7:00 to 9:00 pm
  • Jewish Museum – Pay What You Wish (regular admission $15), 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
  • Brooklyn Children’s Museum – Free (regular admission $11.00), 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm

First Thursday of the Month:

The Met Building Entrance

The entrance to The Metropolitan Museum of Art

FRIDAY IN NYC

Explore Midtown East from the Headquarters of the United Nations to the Museum of Modern Art, with all of New York City’s most iconic buildings in between.

  • Headquarters of the United Nations – $22.00
  • Chrysler Building – free
  • Grand Central Terminal – free
  • Flatiron Building – free
  • Fifth Avenue – free
  • Madison Avenue – free
  • Empire State Building – free
  • New York Public Library – free
  • Bryant Park – free
  • Rockefeller Centre – free
  • Radio City Music Hall – free
  • St Patrick’s Cathedral – free
  • Museum of Modern Art – free from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
  • Whitney Museum of American Art – pay what you wish from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm

This New York itinerary is based around the Museum of Modern Art & the Whitney Museum of American Art, which are only free on Fridays.

*** Tip of the Day: Skip the Whitney Museum if you don’t want to hop around like mad – it’s Friday night, get yourself a drink instead!

Ice Skating at Rockefeller Centre

If you’re in New York around Christmas, ice skate at Rockefeller Center!

#1. Headquarters of the United Nations

Take the subway to 42nd Street-Grand Central (lines S, 4, 5, 6, 7) for the Headquarters of the United Nations. This is international territory, belonging to the Member States of the UN.

1 hour guided tours are offered which include visits to the General Assembly, Conference & Secretariat buildings and the Dag Hammarskjold Library. Many exhibits & art collections are also on view.

Entrance Fee: $22 adults, including the guided tour on weekdays only

Opening Hours:

  • Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
  • Saturday & Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:30 pm (no tours)

Requirements:

  • Bring your passport or government-issued photo ID
  • Arrive 1 hour before the start of your tour for a security screening

Schedule of availability & tickets can be booked online or purchased on-site.

Conference Building UN Headquarters

Conference Building at the Headquarters of the United Nations

#2. Iconic Buildings of New York City *

Now it’s time to check out some of the iconic buildings of the New York City skyline.

Start with the art-deco-style of the Chrysler Building before checking out the beaux-arts interior of Grand Central Terminal.

Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal

Then, take the subway to 23rd Street (line 6) & begin exploring again at the triangular-shaped Flatiron Building.

Criss-cross back & forth between the fashion meccas of Fifth Avenue & Madison Avenue before reaching the unmistakable Empire State Building.

NY Empire State Building

Empire State Building

Continue up Fifth Avenue until you’re at the New York Public Library – it’s free to enter so take a look around inside at its many exhibits & splendid architecture.

Alongside, is Bryant Park, a leafy green spot to relax, people-watch & gaze up to the surrounding skyscrapers.

Relax in Bryant Park

Relax in Bryant Park

Keep going along Fifth Avenue to the Rockefeller Centre & Radio City Music Hall, both of which are major landmarks of New York.

Then cross over to the nearby St Patrick’s Cathedral – admire the neo-gothic architecture & stained glass windows.

* Free attractions

St Patricks Cathedral

Neo-gothic architecture of St Patricks Cathedral

#3. Museum of Modern Art

Be prepared for long queues at the Museum of Modern Art on Free Friday Nights, even before 4:00 pm – the website recommends arriving after 6:00 pm but that doesn’t give you enough time.

It’s worth the wait though.

MOMA holds, arguably, the greatest collection of modern Western masterpieces in the world. These include the most iconic works of Dali, Picasso, Monet, van Gogh, Pollock & many influential American artists.

Entrance Fee: Free (regular admission $25.00), 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Buy regular tickets here.

Opening Hours:

  • Saturday to Wednesday, 10:30 am to 5:30 pm
  • Thursday, 10:30 am to 8:30 pm
  • Friday, 10:30 am to 8:30 pm
Free Fridays queue MOMA

Prepared to stand in line on Free Fridays at MOMA

#4. Whitney Museum of American Art

After MOMA closes, you have time for a quick visit to the Whitney Museum of American Art – take the subway to 14th Street-8th Avenue (lines A, C, E, L).

Its collection focuses on 20th & 21st century American art, through paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, prints, films & new media.

Entrance Fee: Pay What You Wish (regular admission $22 adult online, $25 adult at the museum or here), Friday 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Opening Hours:

  • Sunday to Thursday, 10:30 am to 6:00 pm
  • Friday & Saturday, 10:30 am to 10:00 pm
Whitney Museum

Visit the Whitney Museum if you still have the time or energy!

Free / Pay What You Wish on Friday

Plan your own Friday in New York City around these museums:

Radio City Music Hall

See Radio City Music Hall in lights

SATURDAY IN NYC

Spend Saturday across the East River at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Museum & Green-Wood Cemetery. Return to Manhattan in the evening for a few hours at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden – free between 10:00 am to 12:00 noon
  • Brooklyn Museum – pay what you wish
  • Green-Wood Cemetery – free
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum – pay what you wish from 5:45 pm to 7:45 pm

This New York itinerary is based around the Brooklyn Botanic Garden & Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, which both have Pay What You Wish admission on Saturdays.

*** Tip of the Day: Start early to give yourself enough time for the vast attractions in Brooklyn

New York Itinerary Guggenheim

View famous modern & contemporary art at The Guggenheim

#1. Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Take the subway to Eastern Parkway-Brooklyn Museum (lines 2 & 3) to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

It’s a huge park with numerous specialty “gardens within the Garden” including the Japanese Hill-and-Pond garden, the Cranford Rose Garden, the Shakespeare Garden & the Native Flora Garden.

*Updated Entrance Fee: Previously free on Sat mornings – now free on Fri mornings. Regular admission $15.

Opening Hours: seasonal, approximately 8:00 am to 4:30 pm/6:00 pm.

Photo courtesy of New York Through the Lens

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

#2. Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum is right next to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

It’s New York City’s second largest museum with an extensive collection of Egyptian masterpieces, African art, European paintings & contemporary art.

Entrance Fee:

  • Pay What You Wish (suggested admission fee $16.00)
  • Free on the first Saturday of every month from 5:00pm to 11:00 pm.

Opening Hours:

  • Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday – 11:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Thursday – 11:00 am to 10:00 pm

Photo courtesy of Poulin + Morris

Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn Museum, the 2nd largest museum in New York City

#3. Green-Wood Cemetery

Green-Wood Cemetery is located next to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Founded in 1838, it was one of the first rural cemeteries in America.

Green-Wood Cemetery is a National Historic Landmark recognized for its national significance in art, architecture, history & landscaping.

It features hills, valleys, glacial ponds & paths alongside tombs & mausoleums. It’s a Revolutionary War site as well as a magnet for bird watchers.

Entrance Fee: Free

Opening Hours: seasonal, approximately 7:45am to 6:00 pm

Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Brief

Green-Wood Cemetery

Green-Wood Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark

#4. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Take the Subway back to Manhattan, to 86th Street (lines 4, 5 & 6) – head to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum & view its impressive collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist & early modern & contemporary art.

The cylindrical building is a sight in itself.

The Guggeheim was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright as a “temple of the spirit”. The top is wider than the bottom, with a long ramp gallery running in a spiral from the ground floor to the skylit-ceiling.

Entrance Fee: Pay What You Wish (regular admission $25), 5:45 pm to 7:45 pm. Buy regular tickets here.

Opening Hours:

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday – 10:00 am to 5:45 pm
  • Saturday – 10:00 am to 7:45 pm
Guggenheim Museum New York

Pay What You Wish every Saturday night at the Guggenheim

Free / Pay What You Wish on Saturday

Plan your own Saturday in New York City around these museums:

First Saturday of the Month

Brooklyn Museum – Free art & entertainment, 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm

Third Saturday of the Month

El Barrio del Museo – Free art & entertainment

For a complete list of museums & attractions with Free or Pay What You Wish admissions, see our post Every Free Museum New York!

Guggenheim Museum

Saturday is the cheapest day to visit the Guggenheim!

SUNDAY IN NYC

Attend a Gospel church service in Harlem on Sunday morning before being inspired at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Finish the day with a sunset walk across Brooklyn Bridge.

  • Gospel Church Service in Harlem – free (donations collected)
  • Studio Museum in Harlem – free
  • Brooklyn Bridge – free

This New York itinerary is based around the Studio Museum in Harlem, which is free on Sundays, and attending a Sunday gospel church service.

*** Tip of the Day: Enjoy some soul food for lunch in the heart of Harlem, after the Sunday church service

Me on Brooklyn Bridge

Save the best for last with the Brooklyn Bridge on Sunday

#1. Gospel Church Service in Harlem

Take the subway to 135th Street (lines 2 & 3) and you have the choice of 2 churches to attend a Sunday service.

It can be a very powerful experience with gospel music & impassioned sermons.

The service usually lasts around 2.5 hours & there are collections for donations, like in all churches. Dress appropriately.

Abyssinian Church Harlem

Tourist are welcome at the 11:30 am service at Abyssinian Church

  • Abyssinian Church

Abyssinian Church is the most popular church but it has mixed reviews.

The 11:30 am service is open to tourists – it’s attended by many tour groups so be prepared to arrive early & line-up (seating is based on a first come, first serve basis).

Abyssinian Church also has a strict dress code & no bags or photos are allowed. Consult their website for more information.

  • Mother African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

Mother African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is the oldest African-American church in New York City.

It offers a more informal, but equally commanding, 11:00 am Sunday service with gospel singing, worship & preaching.

Entrance Fee: Free (collections for donations)

Mother Zion Church

Attend a Sunday gospel service at Mother Zion Church

#2. Studio Museum in Harlem *

The Studio Museum in Harlem is a contemporary art museum dedicated to the work of African-American artists. Through paintings, sculptures, photographs,

Entrance Fee: Free on Sundays, Pay As You Wish on other days (suggested donation $7).

Opening Hours: Thursday & Friday, 12 noon to 9:00 pm. Saturday & Sunday, 12 noon to 6:00 pm.

* Free attraction!

Studio Museum in Harlem

Take in some African-American art at the Studio Museum in Harlem

#3. Brooklyn Bridge *

From Harlem, take the subway to the start of the Brooklyn Bridge (lines 4, 5, 6  to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall or lines J or Z to Chambers St.).

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the quintessential New York City experiences.

It’s beautiful at any time of the day but especially at sunset.

This way, you can enjoy views of Manhattan, Brooklyn & the Statue of Liberty while there’s still light & then watch as all the lights go up, when the sun goes down.

* Free attraction

Brooklyn Bridge at Sunset

Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge over sunset for amazing light & colour!

Free / Pay What You Wish on Sundays

Plan your own Sunday in New York City around these museums:

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Comments

  1. Great list! We loved so many of these places like the High Line, but will have to add a few to our list for next trip!

  2. That is indeed a great itinerary. It takes in so much and cannot believe it is so cost effective. A week in New York with so many diverse experiences is indeed something to look forward to.

    1. Author

      Thanks Vyjay, there really are so many free or pay what you wish museums & attractions in New York City, it’s unbelievable! Good luck on your future trip to the Big Apple! 🙂

  3. I could spend a lifetime exploring NYC. It is one of my favorite cities of all time. I especially like how there are so many free sites to explore. You post has made me want to visit again soon.

    1. Author

      Hi Christina, New York is also one of my favourite cities in the world. It can be expensive but I wanted to show that there are so many things you can do for free or not much money. I hope to be back there one day soon too! 🙂

  4. It’s nice to know that you can actually go around New York on a budget. It’s one of my dream cities, because of all the TV shows that I’ve seen set on that city haha…

    Of course the greatest goal is to see the Statue of Liberty in person.

    1. Author

      Hi Marge, Lady Liberty is a beauty – you can take the 24/7 Staten Island ferry & see her for free or take a cruise to Liberty Island & climb up inside the statue & out onto the viewing platforms.

      I hope you can get to see her one day soon! 🙂

    1. Author

      Thanks Stephanie, the Aussie dollar is even weaker! I love museums but my favourite thing to do in any city is just walking around the streets & getting a feel of the place 🙂

  5. Oh wow! I seriously thought that New York is an expensive place to go to. It’s so amazing to read that there are lots of places to see for free here! Thanks for sharing!

  6. AAAHHH New York is a dream city to travel. and never thought i could travel there with a limited budget.. I have to think moe again so I could visit there soon.

    1. Author

      And this doesn’t even cover all the free stuff on offer during the summer! Dance classes on the pier, movie night in Bryant Park, & Shakespeare in Central Park to name a few.

      Did you check out our free museum post?

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