How much does a trip to New York City cost?
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How much does a trip to New York City cost? Here is my estimate and how you can estimate for yourself!
New York City is up there with LA and Chicago as the most visited cities in the United States. Sixty million people from around the world visit New York each year. New York is also one of the most expensive cities in the world, and you might have sticker shock if you aren’t prepared.
Here are some questions that will help you find the answer to how much does a trip to New York City cost.
How long do I need to spend in New York City?
This is the number one question I get from followers of my blog! The minimum amount of time if I were flying (or driving from a long distance) to see NYC is 3 days. If you live within easy driving distance (as I am fortunate enough to live), you can visit for a day here and there and still get tons out of your visit.
If time is not an issue, I would recommend 5-7 days to see the sites in New York City. This timeline would allow you to see 2-3 big sites a day and really get a feel for the city.
Getting to New York City
- Most people arrive in New York City at one of 3 airports: LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy, or Newark Airport. All of them have public transportation into the city, but if you have a choice, La Guardia is the closest and easiest to navigate. Prices can be a normal subway fare, or you can take a cab for more.
- Trains are available to get into NYC from New Jersey, Long Island, Connecticut, and New York. The Metro Transit Authority runs these, and schedules and fares can be found here.
- You can also choose to drive. Driving is not for the weak-hearted but it is not horrible either. It is just busy. Drivers follow the rules of the road, and you don’t see too many crazy things. But watch out for pedestrians.
Parking in New York City
Parking is a real headache in New York City, but it is possible. If you are driving in and you can afford to leave your car in an indoor lot for the entire trip, that is what I would do. Driving around the city is slow and aggravating.
If you can’t afford a garage (they range widely in price, but you would be paying between $45-$75 per day), you can sometimes find street parking in the Upper West Side or Harlem. You have to pay attention to signs because a lot of neighborhoods have certain days of the week your car needs to be moved and other neighborhoods only allow parking with a resident permit.
I always park in Harlem if I am driving in with the kids. We then take the subway to wherever we are headed.
Prices in New York City
Prices in New York City are higher than in most of the United States. The currency is the US dollar.
- Mid-range hotels will run you around $200-500 per night.
- A meal at a fast food location will cost around $12.
- A decent restaurant meal will cost $18-$35.
- An economical Broadway show will cost $50-$150.
- A 10-minute taxi ride will cost $12-$15
- A subway ride will cost $2.75.
- Admission to many museums is $15-$30 per person.
- The Statue of Liberty is $25 per person through this link.
How much will I spend for 3 days in NYC?
After doing some calculations and a lot of averaging, I have found that the average trip to New York City for 3 days with 2 adults and 2 children will cost…..$1950. That is estimating in the middle on hotel costs for a room for 4, figuring in 4 museums, the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, one Broadway show, Subway tickets, and at least one taxi. Plus food and souvenirs. This is a pretty middle-of-the-road trip in terms of hotels and budgeting food.
While it is expensive, there are a lot of things you can do to lower the price. You can choose to stay outside of New York City and take the train in every morning. You can skip fancy meals and opt for fast food. You can limit the number of museums you do or pick the least expensive ones. You can pack lunches at your Airbnb so you can avoid paying for lunch. You can walk instead of taking the subway. All these things will allow you to save money on your trip.
Planning a trip to NYC
There are lots of things you need to do to begin planning your trip to NYC. This is my shortlist. For more information, see my post about a first-time visit to NYC.
- Decide how many days you want to stay in the city. I would recommend 3 at the minimum. It is hard to see even a fraction of the city in any less time.
- Decide where you want to stay, which depends on what you want to see. Check out my post on Where to stay in NYC.
- Pack for unpredictable weather. Layers are your friend!!
- Find the best flight with my post on cheap flights.
- Get ready to enjoy your trip!
My NYC guides below will help you plan your trip: where to stay, things to eat, things to do, musicals to see, and what to do for Christmas in NYC. Plus, they will give you a better idea of what you want to do so you can budget accordingly.
Click on your favorite one and get ready to plan your trip!
New York City for the First Time
If you need a starting point to do your planning for your New York City trip, this is where I would start. Very thorough overview of what you will encounter in NYC and how to avoid issues. Plus, great itineraries and some cost-saving buy-ahead tickets.
A list of the best hotels by neighborhood and how to make sure you are staying where you want to. Manhattan is a big place, and you will want to stay close to the things in which you are interested. Plus, my favorite hotels for families.
A great resource for families who live in New York City and want a day trip to another place. There are lots of options with public transportation to beaches, forests, small towns, and more.
The very best desserts in New York City! Where they are and why you want them.
Best Broadway Shows for families
The shows your family should be seeing if they are interested in a Broadway show. Plus, tips on how to get cheap tickets and last-minute tickets.
All the best things to do in New York City at Christmas! Includes Christmas trees, Christmas windows, Ice Skating, Christmas on Broadway and more!
Free Christmas Tree Tour in NYC
This includes a free map of where the trees are and the best way to get to them. This is a really fun family activity if you happen to be in NYC during Christmastime.
A packing list for New York City
Subscribe to my blog and get a free packing list for New York City!
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