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How much it costs to travel to New York

January 11, 2019

New York is not a cheap city but like all cities in the world if you know certain tips you can spend less.

Before continuing, I warn you that if you got here from Google I have a very complete and free guide to New York

In this post I want to tell you how much is spent per day in New York on everything: lodging, food, outings, excursions and so on, so I’m going to divide it into sections.


  1. 1 Accommodation
  2. 1.1 Average cost
  3. 1.2 Cheapest option
  4. 2 Transport
  5. 2.1 Uber
  6. 2.2 Subte
  7. 2.3 Bus
  8. 2.4 Travelling to other cities
  9. 3 Food
  10. 3.1 Adjusted budget
  11. 3.2 Normal budget
  12. 3.3 Supermarket
  13. 4 Excursions and activities
  14. 4.1 Museums
  15. 4.2 Viewpoints
  16. 4.3 Tourist buses
  17. 4.4 Ferry
  18. 5 Shopping
  19. 5.1 Purchase of souvenirs
  20. 5.2 Purchase of clothing
  21. 6 Finally: How much is spent per day?
  22. 6.1 Adjusted budget (with accommodation)
  23. 6.2 Normal budget (with accommodation)
  24. 6.3 High budget (with accommodation)
  25. 7 Final conclusions


Accommodation is one of the most expensive things on the budget, probably taking more than half.

Average cost

The average cost per day is USD60 per person .

The cheapest areas to sleep in are outside Manhattan, crossing the bridges to Brooklyn and New Jersey but watch out, if you think you are going to save by doing this keep in mind that the cost of the subway is USD2.75 each trip (or USD 31 per week for unlimited trips).

Cheapest option

Whenever I went to New York I rented in downtown Manhattan (3 blocks from Central Park) for USD34 per person how? for Airbnb, but taking into account the following:

  • Staying at Airbnb is cheaper when you rent with time
  • Staying at Airbnb is cheaper if you rent by the weekend, full week or whole month, in my case I rented 28 nights for 2 people for USD1900, that same apartment cost USD2600 if you rented it by the day, and that’s because Airbnb has a system of discounts depending on the number of days you stay
  • .

If you haven’t done it yet, read my Airbnb guide where I also give you AR$500 pesos for your first accommodation.


If you follow this blog you already know me and know that I am a #antitaxi for many reasons, I will not recommend riding in a taxi in New York because there are better and cheaper options:


You can check the fare for the trip you plan to make from here, for example, the average fare from JFK airport to Central Park in the middle of Manhattan is USD65.


The subway is the best way to move in New York, costs USD2,75 dollars each way but if you buy the unlimited Metrocard for 7 days you end up with less.

  • MetroCard 7 days (unlimited): USD31
  • MetroCard 30 days (unlimited): USD116.50


It costs the same as the subway and also works with the MetroCard.

Travel to other cities

If you want to travel to Washington DC or some other US city I recommend you to take a MegaBus, it is a low cost long distance bus service (like airlines), it depends on the demand and if you book with time you can find incredible fares from USD1 per trip .


Let’s see, the subject of food is very broad and you can really eat for very little the problem is that cheap in New York is very bad for your health.

I’m not exactly a good eating fundamentalist, I like junk food and hamburgers, in fact it’s what I like best, but in New York they take that to a new level.

Adjusted budget

You can eat VERY cheap if you don’t mind eating always the same , for example:

  • 18-inch Pizza (big movie, 8 servings) costs USD8 , with one of these eat three people, these pizzas are available in stores that say “¢99 PIZZA” and there are all over New York
  • Taco Bell Combo (2 tacos, 1 burrito + Drink) for USD6
  • Combo in McDonalds, KFC, etc. between USD6 and USD9
  • Hot Dog on the street between USD2 and USD5 What does it depend on? How much they know how to haggle, is a tip that I will explain in the guide to New York later

As you can see it is cheap, eating this type of food can spend between 12 and 20 dollars per day (if they eat only pizza they spend 16 dollars per day between 3 people, very cheap but horribly harmful to health if they do it many days).

Normal budget

If they’re not so tight on the budget there are healthier options (and not so healthy too) although I must say that I never ate very healthy while I was in New York (and that’s why I came back with several extra kilos!).

Let’s say a typical American breakfast with scrambled eggs with bacon, pancakes with syrup and coffee like the one I ordered from AppleJack Dinner:

The menu:

Photo taken by @LucasMz

Breakfast served , pitcher is syrup (maple honey) and in those little white packages there is butter:

Photo taken by @LucasMzAmerican breakfast, as requested: Cramble Eggs with Bacon, Pancakes and coffee

The account:

Photo taken by @LucasMzThe account, it is common that they come with tips included as in this case.

For $20 they have a classic American breakfast, you can also for less but I wanted to go to one of those typical restaurants you see in the movies

If you want to know how much is eaten in a restaurant in New York I leave you some menus to which I could take a picture with all the prices updated to June 2016:

Photo taken by @LucasMz
Photo taken by @LucasMz
Photo taken by @LucasMzThis is the restaurant where the winter skating rink is set up at the Rockefeller Center. In summer it is a restaurant…
Photo taken by @LucasMz
Photo taken by @LucasMzPrice of alcoholic drinks at a New York bar

Photo taken by @LucasMz
Photo taken by @LucasMz

There is a place that sells you the best soup in New York at the pace, costs between 10 and 16 dollars:

Photo taken by @LucasMz “No soup for you” from Seinfeld is in New York, that is the place where they can buy soup at reasonable prices.


If you prefer to buy food and prepare it in the apartment or hotel can save a lot, I leave some photos taken in a supermarket in New York:

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