The Best Free Things To Do in New York City

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1. Battery Park

A view of the northern end of Battery Park

Battery Park, located on the southern tip of Manhattan, offers beautiful views and meaningful memorials throughout. The Statue of Liberty welcomes visitors to Battery Park as she stands tall and proud in Liberty Island, southwest of the park. Naturally, regular trips to the Statue of Liberty and nearby Ellis Island are offered from Battery Park’s waterfront.

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2. Federal Hall National Memorial

First Capitol of the United States

The Federal Hall Memorial building, constructed in 1842, sits on historically important land; the site of the first capital of the USA. Originally the site of NY’s city hall dating back to 1700, the building’s significance increased after the Revolutionary war. Among the milestones at Federal Hall was George Washington’s inauguration as the first president.

3. Brooklyn Bridge


Connecting the borough of Manhattan to Brooklyn stands one of the most legendary 19th century engineering marvels in the world… the Brooklyn Bridge. A National Historic Landmark and National Historic Civic Engineering Landmark, it was also featured in the BBC’s “The Seven Wonders of the Industrial World” and many other films and TV shows.

4. City Hall / Civic Center (Manhattan)

Side view of city hall Image Attribution: Momos -->

New York’s Civic Center is dominated by historic public buildings. Roughly bound by the Financial District to the south, Tribeca to the west, Chinatown to the north, and Two Bridges (Chinatown) to the east, the Civic Center is renown for its beautiful Renaissance style architecture.

5. New York Stock Exchange

The front of the New York Stock Exchange 2012

Let’s preface this article by stating no public access is currently available to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). However, you are free to visit the outside of this National Historic Landmark.   The world’s largest stock exchange*, the NYSE’s average trading value currently stands at over $150 billion per day!

6. Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park is a MUST SEE landmark in Manhattan’s legendary Greenwich Village. Surrounded by New York University, the park is a hotspot for students, artists, musicians, and street performers alike. Walking through, you may recognize Washington Arch; built in 1892, the arch celebrates the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration as president.

7. Charging Bull


The brass “charging bull” has become a staple in lower Manhattan. Following the 1987 stock market crash, Italian-American artist Arturo Di Modica crafted this 7,100 lb sculpture spending approximately $360,000 of his own. Presumably referring to the bull market with increasing investor confidence and prosperity, the bull symbolizes the strength of the American people.

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