Sweater Weather On A Budget: How To Visit NYC This Winter For Virtually $0

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Sweater weather is upon us.

Most New Yorkers right now are lamenting over a summer that went by too fast and are trying to hold on to the warmth for as long as possible. I, however, fall into the group of people who’s looking forward to seeing the city transform into a Winter Wonderland.

If you’re like me and you’re dreaming of seeing the city’s magic for yourself, then it’s time to start planning. The city was already enchanting during the summer and I’m excited to grow and change with it as the seasons collide.

Alas, we’re also checking our wallets for spare change at this point after living summer up as much as we could. So planning a vacation to New York City might not seem like it’s in the cards for you.

You may be dreaming of twinkle lights, but for now… you’re just worried about keeping your lights on. Sure, you always hear of people complaining about how expensive the city is. But trust me, there’s plenty you can experience without breaking the bank.

Sweater weather is here and winter wonderland is coming. Here’s how to take advantage of the season for basically zero dollars.


1. Look up free events happening in the city

There are SO many things happening all the time and not all of them come with a high price tag. Do your research and you’ll be surprised by the bargain pleasures.

Cost: $0

MTA holiday special bringing vintage trains back at Second Avenue subway stop.

MTA holiday special bringing vintage trains back at Second Avenue subway stop.


2. Try some deliciously cheap treats

When you come to New York you better expect to eat amazing food. Thankfully, you can do that without paying a million dollars. Check out the best restaurants where you’ll only spend $10.

Cost: $10

Mimi Cheng's Dumplings

Mimi Cheng’s Dumplings


3. Stay at furnished apartment a hotel

Hotels can be expensive, but leveraging Gypsy Housing on Facebook or renting a furnished apartment can be a great way save and not stay somewhere sketchy because it’s all you could afford.

Cost: Varies.


4. Go sightseeing from below

Ticket costs for views and attractions can quickly add up. However, the majority of landmarks you can knock off of your list from seeing them on the ground or going to a cover-free rooftop. Times Square? Done. Bryant Park? Done. Statue of Liberty? I see ya over there ma’am.

Cost: $0

The High Line in Chelsea, Manhattan

The High Line in Chelsea, Manhattan


5. Go shopping – but at a flea market

Everyone wants to say they went shopping in New York. But not everyone has the cash to do anything more than window shop on Fifth Avenue. For that, there are sick flea markets to peruse.

Cost: Depending on your purchase, but with huuuuge discounts.

Union Square Winter Market

Union Square Winter Market


6. Use a subway pass instead of a cab

It will be cold and you will want to take a cab. But if you really want to save money, then opt to take the subway wherever you’re going. The average cost of a one-way ride is only $2.50-2.75 and if you get a 7-day unlimited pass it’s only $31 — aka the one cab you take five blocks.

Cost: $2.75


7. Download this app for free drinks

Hooch offers you one free drink a day at a variety of restaurants around the city. If you find someone with a promo code, you can try one month for only $1. That’s essentially 30 drinks for $1 if you go every day. Bottoms up.

Cost: $1

Genuine Liquorette

Genuine Liquorette


8. Take advantage of discount sites

There are plenty of options for fun activities on Groupon, Living Social, and Gilt. You can feel real fancy without spending like you are.

Cost: Depending on your purchase, but with huuuuge discounts.


9. Download this app for free Broadway tickets

Today Tix offers a daily ticket lottery you can enter for free tickets and also offers last-minute Broadway and Off-Broadway tickets for on the low low.

Cost: $0 or real, real cheap.



Okay, maybe not zero dollars, but it’s real darn close. I guarantee once the weekend is over you would’ve experienced a priceless amount of New York City’s magic without spending like you did. After all, money doesn’t buy happiness… but a plane ticket to NYC during the holidays just might.

Source :

Katherine Lam, wwww.istock/oneinchpinch

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