I’ve organized this 5 day itinerary by areas (Midtown, Westside, Eastside,Coney Island, Central Park) in which you can spend a day in each area. And everything is FREEEEEEEE!
Rockeffeller Center and Top of the Rock (only thing on this itinerary that is not free) but this is cheaper than touring the Empire State building, which you can see from the Top of the Rock view.
Visiting Top of the Rock gives a great view of the city and memorable pictures. It costs $35 to go up. The staff will try to sell you a tour and picture session BUT DON’T buy it. You can do the tour yourself and the picture they take of you is just in front of a cloth backdrop. LAME!
St. Patrick’s Catherderal
New York Public Library
Grand Central Station
There is going to be a ton of people here so go during a week night.
- WEST SIDE
The Highline and Chelsea Market
This is a 2-mile walk-way that is raised. Start at the North side and end up in Chelsea’s market where you can shop and eat.
There is free kayaking on the Hudson river. Visit this site to see the available times. Free Kayaking Schedule
- EAST SIDE
China Town and Little Italy
They have the best shopping, food, and treats here.
Empire State Building (South Tip of Manhattan)
Take the free Staten Island Ferry. The Staten Island Fairy leaves from Whitehall Terminal every half-hour to Staten Island. You get a good view of the statue of liberty and you can get back on the fairy when it reaches Staten Island.
Walk the Bridge for cool photos, especially at dusk/night, when it is lit up.
- CONEY ISLAND
This might be a bit of a hike but the subway (Q train) takes you right there ($2.75). This is also where the New York Aquarium is located (right on the beach).
- CENTRAL PARK
You can’t explore the whole thing in one day, but here are the MUST SEES of Central Park.
You get a great view of Delecorte Theater and the Great Lawn.
There is a suggested price to pay and the workers will try to make you pay that price but its actually just donation so you can pay whatever you want to get into the museum. (I paid a quarter)
American Museum of Natural History.
This is also enter by donation so you can pay whatever you want. Don’t forget to grab a map, this place is a little tricky to navigate.