New York City prices
BACKPACKER INDEX: US$84.25
New York City hotel prices
Hotels in New York City are cheapest from mid January through March, but relative bargains are possible almost any time of year. Booking as far as possible in advance is usually the best strategy, though sometimes prices do come down as the dates approach if rooms are not booked and demand is weak.
Hotels outside of Manhattan are cheaper than ones on the main island, but for most people it’s worth paying for the convenience of staying near all the action, since commuting back and forth can drain lots of time and energy.
Star ratings in New York City can seem arbitrary in many systems so don’t assume that a cheap 4-star hotel is nicer than a more expensive 2-star hotel on the same block. Rooms tend to be surprisingly small, and street noise can be a problem, so it’s a good idea to read reviews you can trust before you lock in a place.
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New York City has a reputation for being very expensive, and especially as a place to sleep it deserves that reputation. But once you have that handled you can actually get by on a fairly low budget, especially if you spend time away from the cheesy Times Square area. Do yourself a favor and choose from our recommended New York City hotels and hostels, where you’ll have a few great choices instead of a huge list of uncertain ones.
The famous attractions are expensive but many of them are overrated and the city is jammed with free and cheap things to do. Just pick up a Time Out New York magazine once you arrive and you’ll realize that there are endless cheap possibilities. For more specific information on prices check our New York City attraction prices page. For those who want to see all the most famous sights in a short time, we break down if the New York Pass is a good deal.
Drinking in NYC is expensive but if you self-cater with some beer or wine before you go out it keeps things from getting out of hand. Great and cheap meals are quite easy to find as long as you get out of the main hotel districts. Check out our cheap New York City tips for information on keeping costs down.
New York City attraction prices
|Metropolitan Art Museum||NYC's biggest and most famous museum asks for these "suggested donations" but you can pay less if you are broke or cheap.||adults||25.00|
|Empire State Building||The building's observation deck has long lines and complicated pricing for extras.||adults||25.00|
|Circle Line 2-hour harbor tour||This highly recommended tour is worth the money, and if the weather is nice the 3-hour version for a few dollars more is even better.||adults||34.00|
|2-hour city bus tour||These bus tours are a fast way to see the city, but not as nice as the Circle Line. Buy tickets online for these prices.||adults||39.00|
|Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island||The statue and Ellis Island are free but you have to take this ferry to get there, and lines are usually long so go early or buy online.||adults||13.00|
|Guggenheim Museum||Some people say the building exterior is the main attraction here.||adults||18.00|
|Museum of Modern Art||One of the best modern-art museums in the world.||adults||25.00|
|Whitney Museum of American Art||This popular museum mixes modern and classical American art. Pay what you want on (crowded) Friday evenings.||adults||18.00|
|Madam Tussauds Museum||These impressive wax museums are usually crowded, and expensive. Save 20% by buying tickets online.||adults||36.00|
New York City Transportation prices
|AirTrain from JFK to Manhattan||7.25 - 13.00|
|Taxi from JFK to Manhattan||45.00 - 50.00|
|Shuttle bus JFK to Manhattan||17.00 - 21.00|
|Subway ride with unlimited transfers||2.25|
|Shuttle bus LaGuardia to Manhattan||12.00 - 16.00|
|Taxi from LaGuardia to Manhattan||21.00 - 30.00|
|3km taxi ride in Manhattan||7.50 - 14.00|
New York City food and drink prices
|Budget breakfast||Hotels in NYC rarely include breakfast, but it's always easy to find a deli or bagel shop for a fast and cheap meal.||3.00 - 7.00|
|Budget lunch||Big slices of cheese pizza are around $2.50 each, and filling sandwiches start around $4.||4.00 - 8.00|
|Budget dinner||Cheaper and faster options are available, but a budget restaurant meal in this range is easy to find.||7.00 - 12.00|
|coffee (cup)||Coffee is cheap in a deli, and quality and prices are higher elsewhere.||1.00 - 2.00|
|Pint of beer||Especially in Manhattan, getting drunk is expensive. Self-catering cans start around $1 each if you look around.||5.00 - 7.00|
New York City Miscellaneous costs
|Cigarettes||Crazy taxes make smoking in NYC very expensive||9.00 - 11.00|
|Cheap umbrella||When it starts to rain vendors will suddenly appear but don't pay too much. You can get them for $1 at the various "dollar stores".||2.00 - 5.00|
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New York City facts
|Airports||John F. Kennedy International (JFK), LaGuardia International (LGA), Newark International (EWR)|
Avg temps & precip
|Hi F||Lo F||Precip Inch|
New York City weather follows the classic seasons pretty closely. Summers are almost always hot and often humid, but pleasant days are usually mixed in every week or two. Winter can be quite cold but even when it snows it’s usually cleared away quickly in Manhattan. Spring and fall are most people’s favorite seasons to visit since temperatures are usually pleasant and free of extremes.
It sometimes rains buckets in NYC but whenever rain starts you’ll suddenly see vendors selling $5-or-less umbrellas out of nowhere. Finding fast shelter is always easy as well, so you shouldn’t need to pack for heavy rain.
Sunrise and sunset