Top tips for a weekend break in New York City

If you are planning to travel as far as New York for a weekend break, it is important to make sure that your days and dollars stretch as far as they can. Enjoying a bite out of the Big Apple for a weekend break need not prove costly in time nor money, providing you know where to go and what to see - some museums and attractions even offer entry for free.

Top tips for a weekend break in New York City © sborisov - Fotolia.com
Top tips for a weekend break in New York City © sborisov - Fotolia.com

Top tips for a weekend break in New York City

If you're tempted to book a weekend in New York City, whether it's in summer or for a spot of festive cheer and shopping, Virgin Atlantic has great offers on flights direct from London. For some inspiration on ways to save and make the most of your time in one of the USA's most vibrant destinations, don't miss these top tips for a fruitful weekend break in the Big Apple.

Speedy repeaters

The queues at border control at JFK airport for first-time international visitors can be horrendous as travellers are interviewed and have their fingerprints and photograph taken. However, if you are returning within two years, you are directed through US arrivals where there are few queues.

Cheaper to take a taxi

With only a few days to see the sights, you will want to get from the airport to your hotel as quickly as you can. If there are two or more of you travelling, it is far quicker and as cheap to take a taxi rather than a shared airport shuttle. A round-trip shuttle from JFK airport costs around $40 (roughly £30) compared to a flat taxi fare of $104 (approximately £79) plus tolls. If there are three of you travelling, you'll be quids in.

Taxi rank at JFK airport © Sergio Calleja - Flickr Creative Commons
Taxi rank at JFK airport © Sergio Calleja - Flickr Creative Commons

Senior savings

Always carry your passport with you to take advantage of the various discounts available around New York City. Seniors aged 65+ can save $6 on the $24 entrance fee to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and $5 on the $22 entrance to the Frick Museum. The Rubin Museum of Art is free for seniors on the first Monday of each month.

Free Fridays

Andy Warhol exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art © Gorup de Besanez - Wikimedia Commons
Andy Warhol exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art © Gorup de Besanez - Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy 200,000 works of modern art by more than 10,000 artists for free on Friday evenings (4pm to 8pm) at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), and skip the queues by booking in advance online. There is discounted entry for students ($11) and seniors ($7) throughout the week.

It's not all about Fridays though: stroll among thousands of roses and a Japanese garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for free every Tuesday and Saturday morning (10am to 12pm), while seniors also go free on Fridays. The National September 11 Memorial & Museum offers free entry every Tuesday from 5pm to 8pm.

Japanese section at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden © Betty Crocker - Wikimedia Commons
Japanese section at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden © Betty Crocker - Wikimedia Commons

Pay what you wish

If you don't think you can afford to visit lots of museums, think again. Many of the city's attractions and museums offer free entry or pay-what-you-wish options on selected days or hours such as the Frick Museum from 11am to 1pm on Sundays.

Skip the queues

On a short break, you don't want to spend hours queuing at attractions. The New York Pass provides free entry to 80 attractions and fast track entry to 15 of the busiest, including Top of the Rock, Planet Hollywood, and the Rockefeller Centre Tour. Passes are available for one to 10 days.

Local knowledge

Discover NYC through the eyes of a local resident with the Big Apple Greeter service. They will take you to all the sights and neighbourhoods for around two to four hours. It won't cost a dime but a donation is welcome.

Bird's eye view

See the West Side of NYC from the High Line, an elevated walkway built on an historic freight rail line which is free to visit. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, and there are signs highlighting the various areas, buildings and vegetation along the way.

On the High Line walkway between 20th and 30th, New York City © InSapphoWeTrust - Wikimedia Commons
On the High Line walkway between 20th and 30th, New York City © InSapphoWeTrust - Wikimedia Commons

Whether you're into art, history, culture or simply want to tick off some of the city's biggest attractions such as the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, a trip to the Big Apple does not need to be crazy or costly, as our top tips for a weekend break in New York show. Tempted to visit New York for a long weekend break? Head over the Virgin Atlantic for the latest deals on flights direct from London. You can also keep an eye on the weather and see when to go to New York for the best weather.

Kathryn Liston

Kathryn Liston
Posted on Tuesday 26th July 2016 in: City Culture North America Travel tips

Related posts

Back to Blog Top ^