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How to Tour NYC on a Budget and Still Have a 5 Star Experience

Are you interested in traveling to NYC, but you are limited by budgetary constraints? If so, look no further. Here is a step-by-step guide to how you can tour New York City on a budget and still have a 5-star experience.

Stay in a reasonably-priced, well-appointed boutique hotel

The first step is to find a well-priced Brooklyn boutique hotel that offers a wide range of facilities and benefits. It is best to pay per room, not per person. Secondly, it is advisable to check how many additional features are included such as free WIFI, a continental breakfast, concierge service, a kitchenette in the rooms, coffee, and tea both in the general areas and in the rooms, and free phone calls to anyone else in the USA.

Book a tour of New York City

Tour packages like the Freestyle 3, 5, or 7 Passes offer a 72-hour bus tour plus free admission into your choice of 3, 5, or 7 attractions. This tour is an open-top bus tour, including “unlimited hop-on, hop-off access to the Downtown and Uptown tour loops.”

Attractions include the Empire State Building Observatory, 9/11 Memorial and Museum, National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey, American Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 9/11 Tribute Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

These passes also include tours like the Radio City Stage Door Tour, Rockefeller Center Tour, Madison Square Garden All Access Tour, and the Tour of St. Patrick’s Cathedral – Black Pass.

These tours are value for money considering all they offer and what they cost. For instance, the 3 attractions tour costs $119 per adult and $99 per child.

The good news is that these tours are not the only tours offered to NYC visitors. Here is a list of some of the other tours.

1. The Skyline Package Tour

New York City is known for its impressive skylines. It has one of the most incredible skylines in the world. The Skyline Package Tour includes a visit to some of the buildings that boast the best view, such as the Empire State Building and the observation decks at the Rockefeller Plaza’s “30 Rock building.

The Empire State Building is one of the tallest buildings in New York. Not only does it provide an opportunity to see the most amazing views of the NYC skyline, but the lobby also contains a newly restored art deco theme with two exhibits and ornate murals. The 86th-floor observatory is 1 050 feet above the ground floor, allowing you access to the city’s stunning 360-degree panoramas.

Secondly, the Rockefeller Plaza’s “30 Rock building houses the “Joie chandelier, one of two crystal masterpieces created by Swarovski specifically for this attraction.” Additionally, the Sky Shuttle, a futuristic ceiling elevator, will take you to the Top of the Rock’s 3-floor observatory deck. If you look to the north, you’ll see Central Park, and to the south, you’ll see the Empire State Building.

2. The All About Town + 1 Attraction

This tour offers a two-day or three-day double-decker sightseeing tour of New York City. The benefits are an unlimited hop-on, hop-off access to Downtown, Uptown, and Brooklyn tours. Secondly, you have admission to one attraction including as the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Empire State Building, Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum, and Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum.

Each tour is between 1.5 and 3 hours long and costs about $98 per adult and $88 per child.

Hire a bicycle and tour parts of NYC

Hiring a bicycle costs about $10 per day. Citi Bike, NYC’s most famous bike share program, has 14 500 bikes and 950 different stations across Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx. The benefits of signing up with Citi Bike are that it operates in other locations across the USA and is expected to grow exponentially. An annual membership costs $15 per month with unlimited 45-minute rides on a classic bike. The brand also offers a single 30-minute ride at $3 per trip and a day pass at $15 for unlimited 30-minute rides over a 24-hour period.

Some of the best parts of NYC to tour on a bike include the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, Central Park, and Harlem. There are also cycling day trips you can go on, including areas such as Bronxville, Coney Island and Rockaway Beach, Hastings-on-Hudson, Hoboken, and Sandy Hook.

Final thoughts

It is possible to have a great time in New York City, irrespective of your budget. All you need to do is to plan your vacation, looking for great value offerings. Discounts are often offered in the off-season. Therefore, it is a good idea to consider going in the off-season when reduced ticket prices are offered. 

Note: It is a good idea to book ahead in the COVID-19 pandemic because social distancing constraints require that venues reduce the number of visitors allowed into the building at any given moment. 

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