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  • Writer's pictureLaura Skinner

Visiting New York City In A Day & On A Budget

I’ve wanted to visit New York City for a long time, and finally made it happen in November. My older brother Matt came with me, and it was a day trip for the books- almost 13 miles of walking, over a dozen major tourist sites visited, and the only money we spent was on transportation and meals. I’d always thought a big city trip would be expensive, and you could really only make time to see a few major attractions. But by the end of the day (even though my feet were pretty sore), I had seen a good chunk of NYC and didn’t come close to breaking the bank.

Here’s the breakdown for spending:

  1. Parking: $8 for entire day – Staten Island Municipal Parking Garage

  2. Staten Island Ferry: Free! Runs Every 30 minutes

  3. MetroCard: $6.50 per person for 2 trips

  4. Lunch: About $10 per person/meal

  5. The only other expenses were tolls and gas

Here’s the list of places we got to see, and if you scroll down you can browse photos from our trip. We didn’t do a full tour of the museums or buildings (unless it was free and open to the public), but we got to visit so many amazing landmarks.

  1. Staten Island Ferry – Statue of Liberty

  2. Raging Bull and Fearless Girl statues

  3. Federal Hall – Where George Washington was sworn in as the first president of the United States.

  4. Trinity Church – Grave of Alexander Hamilton

  5. One World Trade Center and the National September 11 Memorial.

  6. Oculus- One World Trade Center Transportation Hub

  7. Central Park

  8. Bergdorf Goodman Department Store- Meet Fashion Illustrator Jessica Durrant (@jessillustrator)

  9. Trump Tower

  10. Radio City Music Hall

  11. Rockefeller Center

  12. Times Square

  13. New York Public Library

  14. Empire State Building

  15. Grand Central Station – Whispering Gallery on dining concourse

  16. Soho

  17. China Town

  18. Little Italy

Statue of Liberty – Our view from the Staten Island Ferry

Fearless Girl

Federal Hall – The view from the steps of Federal Hall, where George Washington was inaugurated as president. This is the back of a statue of Washington, overlooking the New York Stock Exchange.

Trinity Church – The grave of Alexander Hamilton is in the cemetery of this church.

Alexander Hamilton’s Grave

One World Trade Center

National September 11 Memorial

National September 11 Memorial

The Oculus – One World Trade Center Transportation Hub

Central Park

Jessica Durrant – Jessica is an amazing lady and illustrator that I follow on Instagram (@jessillustrator) who was painting at Bergdorf Goodman for the day.

Trump Tower

Rockefeller Center

Radio Center Music Hall

Times Square

Empire State Building

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Whispering Gallery

Grand Central Main Concourse



Glossier Showroom


I’m so glad I finally made the trip to New York City, and learned that it’s not as difficult or as costly as I thought it would be. I’d encourage you to take that trip you’ve been wanting to, friend. It just might be easier than you think. 

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