How to Visit NYC as a Broke College Student

Ahh, the Big Apple.

Bright lights, big dreams, and anything else cliche you can think of about this landmark U.S city.

There’s a reason this is the number 1 tourist destination in the nation, however, there are also several reasons that it is the most expensive city in the nation. 

You don't have to put off your big college travel plans just due to your budget, Adventure Student Travel can help you get there affordably, and still have a great time.

We turn traveling into a customizable adventure, and we do it really well in NYC, so grab your roommates and let's go adventure!

Tips, Tricks, and Tourist Pits:

  • Don’t Pay for a Ferry: Many tourists believe that they must pay to take to the water and use a ferry, but this just isn’t true. The Staten Island Ferry is, and has always been,  free for all guests.

    NYC Pixabay Public Domain 

  • Airbnb it: Don’t blow your entire budget on a place to stay, look into an Airbnb room nearby (you’re in college, it’s just like crashing on your buddy’s couch), or even any of the many hostels like the Bowery House Hotel-Hostel (you’re in college, it’s just like the dorms).
  • Pay What you Want: There are actually quite a few ‘Pay What you Want’ attractions in NYC, from various shopping tours to popular museums. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a recommended $25 fee, but you can pay whatever you wish. The same is true with the popular Thrift and Vintage NYC Shopping Tour.
  • Citi Bike: Our first choice for getting around town on a budget for college students is the Citi Bike, a $10 a day bike to use at your leisure. Of course, you can always try your hand at navigating the subway system as well. (Don’t worry, there are apps for that.)
  • Tourist Pass: We said Tourist Pass, not a Tourist Trap. We strongly believe looking into any of the many NYC tourist passes is worth it if you plan to see the touristy spots while in town, but we will take care of this for you!
  • Groupon: Again, this is something we will do for you, but looking for the best deals for lodging, eating, and attractions on websites such as Groupon is always a great idea before traveling.
  • Discount Broadway: The day of performances there are always discounted/free broadway tickets at the various booths across town, and Shakespeare in the Park is always free!
  • Rooftop Bar Views: Instead of paying $30-$40 to get into the popular observation decks across the city why not take in the same views for free at any rooftop bar or restaurant. Make a couple of drinks last all night at the Standard Hotel, just be sure to come in the afternoon when the dress code isn’t strictly enforced.

Free Attractions:

Staten Island Ferry

Ikea Ferry

Central Park

High Line

Prospect Park

Swimming Pools - Asser Levy

La Plaza Cultural

6BC Botanical Garden

Tours by Foot

Brooklyn Bridge

Governor's Island

NY Public Library


Knitting Factory

Chelsea Brewing Company