36 Hours in New York City on the cheap!

This is an article in the 36 Hours In… series. To find more in the series, head here.

Going to New York City? Ahh, you lucky bugger. We’re totally jealous – the Big Apple ranks as The Global Couple’s favourite city in the world!

Need some inspiration of what to do while you’re in the Concrete Jungle? Look no further – here’s TGC’s 36 Hours in New York City!

We love spending as little money as possible while covering as much ground as possible, so we have made this 36 Hours itinerary with that in mind. Enjoy!

Friday evening

Line up and grab a burger and shake at The Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. Believe us, that line is worth it! If you still haven’t had enough calories, wander across Broadway to Eataly and lick a gelato. Oh and while you’re there, take a look at NYC’s first skyscraper – the Flatiron Building (one of our personal favourites!).

Saturday a.m.

For breakfast, you’ve got to do what the New Yorkers do and wash a bagel down with a bad coffee. Then head over to the West Village and get a MUCH better coffee at Stumptown (30 W 8th St), and wander the streets of the West Village with it in hand. Find some solace in Washington Square Park before heading to Chelsea Market at W 15th St and 9th Ave. Satisfy your hunger pangs with lunch at one of the many excellent food outlets in the market – we recommend Los Tacos.

Serenity in Washington Square Park

Serenity in Washington Square Park

Saturday p.m.

To help digest your delicious lunch, climb the stairs behind Chelsea Market and head north on the Highline (another one of our favourite places in NYC). It’s so lovely to be off the street and amongst lots of greenery. If you’re feeling like a bit of exercise, walk all the way up to Central Park and soak in more greenery.

Saturday evening

No matter where you’ve ended up in Manhattan, there will be a subway station close to you. Head to Brooklyn on the L train and alight at Bedford Ave in Williamsburg. We love going to the Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Ave) – it’s a fun atmosphere and you can bowl, have a drink, and watch live music all at the same time! Across the road, The Ides rooftop bar at Wythe Hotel has incredible views of the Manhattan skyline and is a great place to watch the sun go down.

Sunday a.m.

Have a late start, and nurse your hangover with brunch in Williamsburg – there is an abundance of good places to choose. Take a look around the quirky shops and boutiques in Williamsburg, and pick up some treasures to take on your journey. Wander through the DUMBO area (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) with its cobbled streets and converted warehouses, and make your way to Pier 5 at Brooklyn Bridge Park for lunch and gorge yourself with goodies from Smorgasburg, a delicious concentration of food trucks and stalls.

Sunday p.m.

Admire the views of downtown Manhattan while walking towards the island across the Brooklyn Bridge, and then head to Battery Park and catch the free ferry to Staten Island. Wave to Lady Liberty as you pass by and enjoy the stunning views of the Financial District. Get off the boat at Staten Island and get on the one heading back to Manhattan, and do it all again.

NYC from the air in a helicopter

NYC (from the air) – you’ll get a similar view but from sea level on the ferry!

To finish off your whirlwind 36 Hours in New York City, catch the subway up to Grand Central Station and find the Whispering Gallery (if you can’t find it, just ask someone!). Then head three blocks west to Times Square – yeah, we don’t really like it either but you’re in New York so you have to go there once!

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

We hope you enjoyed your 36 hours in our favourite city. Of course, we’d recommend spending much more than 36 hours there! We also recommend buying a Lonely Planet guide to help you out while you’re on the ground. Buy one here!

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What’s your favourite thing to do on the cheap in NYC? Have we missed anything that you think is a ‘must do’? Leave your comment below!

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