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Top 10 - NYC on a Budget

Destination(s): New York City

You don't have to break the bank to enjoy a visit to the Big Apple...there are plenty of bargains to be found even in one of the most expensive cities in the world. For shopping and great cheap food (try the dim sum), head to Chinatown. Tour historic South Street Seaport and pick up some discount Broadway tickets at the TKTS booth there. Check out the Union Square Greenmarket, or head to Coney Island for a walk along the boardwalk and a Nathan's Famous hot dog. At Upright Citizens Brigade, catch cheap--or even free!--comedy shows. Corner Bistro burgers and Caracas arepas are among the city's best, and Angelica and Tartine draw crowds for their great food and BYOB policies. For dessert, scoop up a sweet Italian treat at the tiny Il laboratorio del gelato. Finally, the Cosmopolitan in Tribeca gives you an affordable but comfortable home base in a great location for exploring the city.

Photo: Coney Island's Wonder Wheel. By Sarah. read more about Top 10 - NYC on a Budget

Chinatown

Chinatown

  • Canal Street to Bayard Street
  • (from Broadway to the Bowery)
  • tel:+1 212 484 1222(Tourist Information)
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10002
South Street Seaport

South Street Seaport

  • 12 Fulton St
  • Fulton & South Streets
  • tel:+1 212 732 7678
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10038

This historic trading port, which dates back to the 1600s, is located on the edge of the Financial District, where Fulton Street meets the East River. It was restored and revitalized for tourist use in the late 1960s, and now boasts more than 120 shops, restaurants, and bars, as well as the South Street Seaport Museum, the Pier 17 Pavilion, and the New York City Police Museum. Visitors to the Seaport will also find some of the oldest architecture in downtown Manhattan, including renovated original mercantile buildings from the early 19th century, renovated sailing ships, and the former Fulton Fish Market.

With its cobblestone streets and broad piers, South Street Seaport offers a welcome escape from the congested, skyscraper-lined streets of downtown. There are usually free outdoor performances going on - check out a number of prominent and up-and-coming acts at the outdoor stage set up in the summertime - and the cool breezes, fun people-watching, and beautiful views of the Brooklyn Bridge can all be enjoyed for free. read more about South Street Seaport

Coney Island

Coney Island

  • 1208 Surf Avenue (Post)
  • (Along Long Island Sound)
  • tel:+1 718 372 7099
  • Visit website
  • New York, 11224

This peninsula in southernmost Brooklyn boasts a diverse community of 60,000 people and a broad, sandy beach with a historic boardwalk. Its selection of amusement parks and attractions may have seen better days, but they can still provide a rich slice of Americana and a day of family fun during a spring or summer visit. As a major resort and amusement destination, Coney Island reached its peak in the early 20th century. Its popularity declined after World War II and for many years it was sorely neglected, but in recent years the area has been revitalized with the opening of KeySpan Park, home of the minor league baseball team the Brooklyn Cyclones. In addition to the Cyclones fans that swarm the area in spring and summer, Coney Island attracts thousands to its annual Mermaid Parade, which takes place on Surf Avenue every summer and features an array of floats and performers in crazy costumes. Another star attraction is the original Nathan's Famous hot dog stand, which opened in 1916 and quickly became a landmark. Its annual hot dog eating contest, held every July 4th since Nathan's opened, has recently attracted widespread attention, including international television coverage.

Those coming to Coney Island shouldn't miss the Astroland Amusement Park, with its selection of rides including the historic Cyclone, built in 1927 and one of the oldest roller coasters still operating in the United States. Wonderwheel Amusement Park provides an even bigger selection of thrill rides, while the Coney Island Aquarium houses dolphins and sea lions. The Riegelmann boardwalk, another landmark, stretches continuously along the beach from West 37th Street in the community of Seagate through Coney Island proper and Brighton Beach to the beginning of the community of Manhattan Beach, a distance of approximately two-and-a-half miles. read more about Coney Island

Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre

Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre

  • 307 West 26th Street
  • Between 8th and 9th Avenues
  • tel:212 366 9176
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10001
Corner Bistro

Corner Bistro

  • 331 West 4th Street
  • (between Jane Street and Eighth Avenue)
  • tel:1 212 242 9502
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10014
Caracas Arepa Bar

Caracas Arepa Bar

  • 93 1/2 East 7th Street
  • tel:1 212 529 2314
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10009

As you can tell by its name, this tiny East Village spot specializes in arepas--soft, spongy corn tortilla-like pockets with a crispy bite on the outside and a tantalizing array of fillings inside. Some of the delicious options include chicken and chorizo, guacamole and cheddar cheese, pork with mango salsa and shredded beef with black beans and mashed sweet plantains. Vegetarian options abound, and tasty side dishes include ensalada fresca (watercress, cherry tomatoes and avocado over a bed of yucca and cucumbers) and fried green plaintains topped with mojito mayo. Snag a table inside if you're willing to wait; otherwise you can get take out at the counter next door and take your arepa for a picnic in nearby Tompkins Square Park.


read more about Caracas Arepa Bar

Tartine

Tartine

  • 253 West 11th Street
  • (At West 4th Street)
  • tel:1 212 229 2611
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10014
il laboratorio del gelato

il laboratorio del gelato

  • 95 Orchard Street
  • (near Broome St)
  • tel:1 212 343 9922
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10002

This small ice cream café on the Lower East Side offers a changing selection of as many as 200 gelatos and sorbets, all freshly handmade on the premises from locally sourced seasonal ingredients. Regularly available flavors include hazelnut, dark chocolate, banana, as well as more unusual offerings such as olive oil, black mission fig, and Mexican cinnamon basil. read more about il laboratorio del gelato

Angelica Kitchen

Angelica Kitchen

  • 300 East 12th Street
  • (between First and Second avenues)
  • tel:1 212 228 2909
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10003
Cosmopolitan Hotel-Tribeca

Cosmopolitan Hotel-Tribeca

  • 125 Chambers Street
  • (at Broadway)
  • tel:+1 212 566 1900 / +1 888 895 9400
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10007

Rooms at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Tribeca are basic and plain, but modern and clean, and the larger loft-style rooms have an added character. Beyond its frugality, the Cosmopolitan's best asset is its location: on the corner of Chambers Street and West Broadway in fashionable Tribeca, near such fun spots as The Odeon and more upscale restaurants such as Nobu. It is a great home base for exploring neighborhoods such as Lower Manhattan and South Street Seaport, Soho, Chinatown and Little Italy. read more about Cosmopolitan Hotel-Tribeca