NYC for the Budget Savvy Traveler + Giveaway

Want to visit NYC without having to spend a small fortune to do so? NYC is definitely doable for the budget conscious traveler! From places to stay, things to do, places to eat, and even places to grab a drink with locals I’ve got you covered.

You’ve booked your plane, bus, or train ticket and now you need a place to lay your head at the end of each day. Check out Hostelling International – New York City. It is a hostel located in a beautiful, historic building in one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city – the Upper West Side and can be your one stop shop for seeing NYC. Just one block away from the 1 Train and 2 blocks away from Central Park you’re in the perfect location to unwind and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.


This is great choice, especially if you are traveling solo because you have the opportunity to mix and mingle with fellow travelers and make new friends. The staff sets up free group tours to see the city, free nightly outings to happy hours, free pub-crawls with cheap drinks, free nights to hit the club scene with fellow travelers, and free events at the hostel. Free comedy was offered on one of the nights I stayed there, and they brought in some pretty decent comedians that had everyone laughing. When you need a break from the concrete jungle you can relax in one of the many lounge areas, watch a movie in the theater, or enjoy the day on the patio. Of course if you’d rather explore the city on your own there’s alway someone at the front desk ready to assist you in any way.


During my stay, I met travelers from all over the world. There were people visiting from Brazil, China, Germany, France, and Canada. One of my roommates was from Hamberg, Germany and was treating himself to a 2-week trip to NYC after graduating from college, and 2 of my other roommates were visiting from Paris, France. They’d already made stops in Los Angeles, Vegas, driven Route 1, and NYC was their final destination before returning home.

HI- NYC accommodates guests in one of three ways; a coed 8 bed dorm room, female 8 bed dorm room, female 10-12 bed dorm room, coed 12 bed dorm room all at $59 per night. When I stayed at the hostel I was in a coed 8 bed dorm room. I had some great roommates – everyone was respectful of each other and observed quiet hours in the room after 11pm. Bathrooms and showers are located in the hall and were kept cleaned by staff through out the day. I may have stolen a selfie or two before heading out for the day.

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Now, you have a place to stay, what are you going to do while you’re here?

Museums –  Three of the most popular , the MET, the Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of the City of New York, have an admission fee that is a suggested donation, so you can pay whatever you like and is in your budget. The Museum of Modern Art(MOMA), the Rubin Museum of Art, and the Brooklyn Museum have free nights every month where you can visit the museum after-hours while you have a cocktail or two and listen to live music.

Parks – Bryant Park has events throughout the week if you enjoy listening to music, poetry, and book talks. Its also a great to take a break if you’ve been walking around Times Square or checking out the New York Library. Central Park offers boating, cycling, or your can explore on foot – be sure to stop and visit the castle, and if you’re in town for International Pillow Fight Day join the battle with other New Yorkers at Washington Square Park. I did it two years ago and had a blast.

Shopping– Soho, the Garment District, the Brooklyn Flea Market, and the Upper West Side are some of my favorite places to shop. You can always find great deals without having to spend a lot of money.

Dining – Food trucks are all over the city and are a great way to grab a bite to eat while you are on the go. Happy Hour (usually from 4-7pm) of course is a great time to eat, have a few drinks, and chats with locals

Seasonal Events – Ice Skating in Bryant Park is free you just have to pay to rent ice skates which usually run about $14. Street Fairs and festivals are great places to shop, eat, and spend a few hours browsing. Governors Island is free to visit and is open every weekend from Memorial day to Labor Day.

Check out these great bars and restaurants if you need any ideas:

  • Blossom (Columbus Ave between 83rd and 82nd St.)
  • Flor De Mayo (Broadway at 101st St.)
  • Blockheads (Amsterdam Ave at 107th St)
  • Five Napkins Burger (Broadway at 84th St.)
  • Amsterdam Tavern (Amsterdam Ave at 106th St.)
  • Village Pourhouse (Amsterdam Ave between 108th and 109th St.)

To help you see the sites during your visit I’m giving away a gift certificate good for 2 tickets on any regular New York Water Taxi or Circle Line Downtown Cruise! To enter you must do the following and leave a comment:

Like A Girl Travels on Facebook

Like Hostelling International USA on Facebook

Follow A Girl Travels on Twitter and tweet “Enter to Win 2 #Free NYC Water Taxi passes from @agirltravels”

The deadline to enter is 11:59pm September 30, 2013. Good Luck!

If you need any additional recommendations on things to do during your visit to NYC just send me an email or message me below!

Wishing you safe and happy travels! -xo AGT

Go Local – Art After Dark

What better way to enjoy a museum than during one of its after hours events? Music, art, drinks, and there’s typically an age requirement of 21 and up. This is one of my favorite times to visit some of the museums in New York City either solo, with friends, or for date night.

Art After Dark at The Guggenheim
1071 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10128

Hours:  9 pm–midnight

$18 guests and general public (credit card only at the door); cash bar

At its Art After Dark program, the Guggenheim transforms into a cocktail-driven, DJ-studded, fashion-forward event designed to introduce the masses to the museum’s art collections without the formality of daylight the first Friday of most months. The DJs change frequently and often bring a highly loyal fan base with them.  Lines can be long, so it’s best to arrive early.

Target Saturdays at Brooklyn Museum

200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn NY 11238

Hours: 5pm – 11pm


On the first Saturday of every month, the Brooklyn Museum hosts Target Saturdays, an evening of special events and drinks.The  is transformed into a DJ-thumping, bodies moving, fun dance party. Attendees also enjoy live music, special programs, and access to all of the museum’s exhibits until 11pm! Each month is a different theme i.e African Dance, Hispanic Culture, Pride, etc…Children are welcome at attend this event and there is special programing for them as well.

K2 Nights at Rubin Museum

150 W 17th St., New York, NY 10011

Hours: Fridays, 6pm – 10pm


Every Friday night, the Rubin Museum’s Serai Restaurant morphs into the K2 Lounge, serving cocktails and Asian tapas.  Admission to the galleries is free from 6-10pm, and you can stroll the museum’s Himalayan-themed exhibits while DJs spin accompanying tunes. The museum hosts special curated exhibits, film viewings and live music performances. Arrive early for the 2-for-1 drink specials offered from 6-7pm.

Late Nights at the MOMA

11 West 53 Street, New York, NY 10019

Hours: Fridays, 4pm – 8pm


Admission is free for all visitors during UNIQLO Free Friday Nights, held every Friday evening from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Your UNIQLO Free Friday Night ticket permits you to all other Museum galleries, exhibitions, and films.

Uptown Fridays! At the Studio Museum in Harlem

144 West 125th Street, New York, New York 10027

Hours: Fridays 6pm – 9pm


Join friends and neighbors to dance to the sounds of the DJ in the Studio Museum’s courtyard, check out the exhibitions on view during guided tours, browse through the innovative items in the Museum Store, and enjoy great food and creative cocktails at the Atrium Café.Uptown Fridays is FREE and open to the public. Visit their website for the next Uptown Friday event. 

Until next time! -xo AGT

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,

Weekend Events and Happenings in NYC

This weekend I’m using my time off to take a drive upstate to see the fall foliage and meet with friends to go apple picking. If you need some ideas for the weekend check out what’s going on in the city this weekend below.


Rubin Museum of Art  – gallery admission is free from 6-10pm. The cafe becomes the K2 Lounge with a DJ beginning at 7pm and offers a Pan Asian tapas menu. Films are shown at 9:30pm, and contemporary artists lead informal talks in the galleries beginning at 6:15pm. The museum is located at 150 W. 17th Street between Sixth and Seventh Ave.

Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) – every Friday Target hosts free Fridays at the MOMA. Admission is free from 4-8pm. The museum is located at 11 W. 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Ave.


Today the Queens County Farm will be keeping their corn maze open until 9pm for the Moonlight Maze event!. Bring your friends and family and try to find your way through the maze after dark! Admission into the maze for adults is $9, kids (4-11) $5, ands kids 3 and under are free.

All Weekend Long

Pick Pumpkins at Decker Farm on Staten Island. Free transportation will be provided from Historic Richmond Town to the farm. Enjoy a hayride and pick out a pumpkin.

New York Comic Con – is being held at the Jacob Javits Center from October 13-16th. It is the largest comic book and pop culture event on the East Coast, and last year it was the 2nd largest in the country with over 96,000 people in attendance. Definitely worth checking out if you like comic books. Use the link for additional information and ticket prices. I have attended a few events at the Javits Center and it’s really easy to get to via subway. There is also a parking garage nearby if you choose to drive.

Head to Coney Island for Halloween at the New York Aquarium from October 15-16th. There will be a haunted sea-fari, magic shows, story telling, musical performances, crafts, and treat stations. Kiddos (3-12) in costumes get in for free with adult admission and the aquarium is open from 10am – 5:30pm.

Queens County Farm and Corn Maize – opens their corn 3 acre maze every weekend to the public from 11am – 4:30pm. Have fun with friends and family trying to solve clues and find your way out of the maze. Admission for the farm is free, except during events. Admission into the maze for adults is $9, kids (4-11) $5, ands kids 3 and under are free. While you’re there also check out the museum on site and pick out a pumpkin.

5th Annual NYC Food Film Festival – is going on from October 13-16th. “Through documentaries, features and short films, the Festival showcases the best, and the most memorable, of the world’s favorite foods. Along with a heaping helping of mouth-watering films, Motz, Hawk and company serve up the food that guests are watching on the screen for a multi-sensory, full-bodied experience.”

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Until next time ~ agirltravels