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Old 07-19-2009, 09:36 AM
 
153 posts, read 479,858 times
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OK my wife and I are coming to NYC for the very first time and this is also our first time on the east coast so we are very excited. We are in our mid twenties and are coming from Houston and we want a break from the oppresive Texas heat!! We will be staying somewhere in manhatten( dont know where yet) for convience for 3 days. I dont have to do everything because I know I will be back and I really dont have any idea what I would want to do during my visit except experience the city on a budget - I cant get any more specific than that. I dont HAVE to to "touristy" stuff and is very open to anything. How would you New Yorkers suggest a New York vacation on a budget.
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:38 AM
 
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How much are you willing to spend on housing?
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Old 07-19-2009, 12:13 PM
 
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Not from NYC, but the family & spend at least a week there each year. I find the most expensive part to be airfare & hotel. That being said once you get there there are tons of free/low cost things to do & eat(unless you want fine dining).We usually don't spend much at all once arriving.

My low cost hotel suggestion would be Davinci Hotel in Manhattan. I think this place is a total gem. It is a small botique hotel-central to everything and it is the cheapest safe/clean hotel that we have ever been able to find in Manhattan. Rooms are small but you should'nt be spending much time there anyway. My other budget suggestions are hostels or finding a room in one of the boroughs- I find some of my favorite things to be there anyway. We take the subway everywhere- it's a bargin!

Though cliche- some of the touristy things are well worth doing.

Some of my cheap ideas-Central Park (sometimes there's free performances etc), Top of the Rock (not that expensive), Museum admissions are usually not too expensive, Ride the Staten Island Ferry (great view & photo ops -free), Walk along the Brooklyn Bridge & landing (free) and have ice cream at the Ice Cream Factory, Prospect Park in Brooklyn (free),If you are ok with crappy seats there are some affordable Yankees tickets,St Patrick Cathedral(free),Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island(fairly low cost), Thrift shoping everywhere,If you wanna see a show try the TKS ticket booths for discount ones,Rockafeller (free).

To save cash we always do cheap(but good eats)-pizza(My favorites are John's of Bleeker & Grimaldi's, but neither sell by the slice), street vendor food, chinatown& deli's. No 4 star dining for us.

Enjoy!
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Old 07-19-2009, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,863 posts, read 26,919,222 times
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For a good rate on a hotel, check with some of the major sites, particularly Orbitz as you can search by hotel class and price within a given neighborhood. Most areas are fine, where a tourist would likely stay in Manhattan. It's parts that are very far uptown and in some of the boroughs where one has to know the lay of the land to see if the bargain price is really too good to be true for the surrounding neighborhood.

There is so much to do just wandering around the city, and you could easily spend a day in Central Park alone. What sort of things do you like to do? Any particular interests? That can help to narrow some recommendations for you, though I think you'll love your trip no matter what you end up doing.
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:31 PM
 
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History & the Brooklyn Museum you can pay what you wish for admission (as it is a suggested contribution).
A good view of Manhattan can be gotten from the Roosevelt Island tram which (I believe) costs the same a subway/bus fare ($2.25). From the Roosevelt Island side there is a nice promenade with a view of Manhattan as well.
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:21 PM
 
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Get a guidebook or two, figure out a couple of self guided tours, put on some comfy shoes and take a hike. You'll have a fantastic time. Don't worry about seeing or doing enough, just enjoy yourself. You'll see more in fifteen minutes on the sidewalk in Manhattan than you'll see in a month at home.

And here's something to remember--most New Yorkers enjoy helping visitors find their way around. Do not be afraid to ask questions.
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
8,435 posts, read 16,581,129 times
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Some good advice here.

In addition to Clevedark's suggestion of getting a guidebook for yourself (and figuring out tours), check them out for discounted events and admissions. For example, one major guidebook has coupons for $6 off each adult admission to Madame Tussaude's (which is initially $35)... there are many other ways to shave a few dollars off here and there.

Haggle, Haggle, Haggle! Almost everything is negotiable. You're probably well aware that you can negotiate the extremely marked up prices on street merchandise (Handbags on Canal St., Watches, Glasses, etc) but that's not at all where the opportunities end. I just returned from a few days in NYC with my girlfriend (we go a few times per year) and negotiated our hotel rate down to $90/night at the Algonquin Hotel on 44th. We did that by 1), checking last minute rates online (we booked two days before we left) through Orbitz et all, 2) Calling the hotel and asking if they had rooms available (we knew they did) and what they charged (she said minimum price was $250) and then we countered with an offer and she ended up settling lower than we expected (Far lower, this time actually) as they don't want the room to be vacant. This is a good tactic. You can barter food prices often and VERY frequently admission to shows and attractions... NEVER settle for what you're first quoted.

Street food is an experience (try the Halal Gyros) and a cheap one. Enjoy it! Also, walk around and look for restaurants... often times chefs or owners will invite you in during off-peak hours (and you can work your haggling magic if you want). This is a great way to meet the people of NYC and a great way to discover a hidden gem in town (there are over 34,000 restaurants in NYC!). I made a contact with a Belgian gentleman who was working at a bar on 51st. I'm going to Grad School in Brussels for a few months and he gave me his information because his family owns apartments over there. We stumbled upon Carbone on 38th (between 8th and 9th) last night and it was phenominal, authentic Italian (most of the staff had JUST come to the U.S.). You can try it or find your own.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:38 PM
 
2,312 posts, read 6,766,802 times
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Yes, if you're interested in street food or cheap eats the NYTimes has weekly articles on Thursdays highlighting notable places. Food glorious NYC food.....

There are countless websites also, there's one I've read about, for example, that continually updates reviews of street carts in midtown.
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:56 PM
 
10,454 posts, read 14,102,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
Some good advice here.

In addition to Clevedark's suggestion of getting a guidebook for yourself (and figuring out tours), check them out for discounted events and admissions. For example, one major guidebook has coupons for $6 off each adult admission to Madame Tussaude's (which is initially $35)... there are many other ways to shave a few dollars off here and there.

Haggle, Haggle, Haggle! Almost everything is negotiable. You're probably well aware that you can negotiate the extremely marked up prices on street merchandise (Handbags on Canal St., Watches, Glasses, etc) but that's not at all where the opportunities end. I just returned from a few days in NYC with my girlfriend (we go a few times per year) and negotiated our hotel rate down to $90/night at the Algonquin Hotel on 44th. We did that by 1), checking last minute rates online (we booked two days before we left) through Orbitz et all, 2) Calling the hotel and asking if they had rooms available (we knew they did) and what they charged (she said minimum price was $250) and then we countered with an offer and she ended up settling lower than we expected (Far lower, this time actually) as they don't want the room to be vacant. This is a good tactic. You can barter food prices often and VERY frequently admission to shows and attractions... NEVER settle for what you're first quoted.

Street food is an experience (try the Halal Gyros) and a cheap one. Enjoy it! Also, walk around and look for restaurants... often times chefs or owners will invite you in during off-peak hours (and you can work your haggling magic if you want). This is a great way to meet the people of NYC and a great way to discover a hidden gem in town (there are over 34,000 restaurants in NYC!). I made a contact with a Belgian gentleman who was working at a bar on 51st. I'm going to Grad School in Brussels for a few months and he gave me his information because his family owns apartments over there. We stumbled upon Carbone on 38th (between 8th and 9th) last night and it was phenominal, authentic Italian (most of the staff had JUST come to the U.S.). You can try it or find your own.

Enjoy your trip!
No one I know has ever haggled in NYC. Also, I don't know about you, haggling or not, Canal Street is pretty shady. You know all that is illegal right? One time I was in a storefront and the cops came by and the owner just shut the door and we were trapped in there for 20 mins with the chinese-speaking owner and his entourage. Shady dealing there. I wouldn't go there.
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Old 07-22-2009, 07:41 PM
 
2,312 posts, read 6,766,802 times
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My idea of vacation fun isn't haggling, but to each his own.
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