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Trip Report

New York City on a Budget: A Walkable and Bike-Friendly Itinerary

September is the best time to visit NYC because the weather is so nice! I recommend Hudson River Greenway: a scenic bike ride with stunning views.

  • Los Mariscos in Chelsea Market+ 3
  • Central Park picnic
  • The Rockaway ferry
  • New York City on a Budget: A Walkable and Bike-Friendly Itinerary
About Me:Taking a gap year before university to travel the world! I love to be active when I travel, like surfing, scuba diving, hiking, rock climbing, and I always find the beach volleyball :) read more

North AmericaUnited States7 days / September 2023

Highs & Lows

The food is amazing

September can be hot with climate change, and there is a lot of walking on this itinerary.

Itinerary Overview

The best (and cheapest) way to do in New York is by walking. This is a jam-packed itinerary that you can spread out to longer than a week if you don't feel like walking a few miles every day. The food is good and it's nice to stop for a bite every so often.

  • 7 Nights: New York
    Exploring all the fun activities in the city
  • Day trip: Rockaway Beach
    Beach time and surfing
New York - Exploring all the fun activities in the city

New York Exploring all the fun activities in the city

New York - Exploring all the fun activities in the city - Central Park picnic
Central Park picnic
New York - Exploring all the fun activities in the city - The Rockaway ferry
The Rockaway ferry
New York - Exploring all the fun activities in the city - Los Mariscos in Chelsea Market4+
Los Mariscos in Chelsea Market

There is so much to do in New York City it's hard to choose. Getting a CitiBike membership is a must in my opinion. I love biking up and down the Hudson River Greenway. The views of the Hudson River are amazing, and you can stop along the way for a snack and a drink at Drift In, or to just sit and relax at the chaise lounges overlooking the water. At night it is especially beautiful because the skyline is lit up and you can see the Statue of Liberty. You can also dock your bike and go to the Intrepid Museum which is really cool. There are also free kayak rentals at Pier 27, so you can kayak on the Hudson.

Walking up and down the High Line is also wonderful. You can stop at 16th street and go down to Chelsea Market, where there are a million delicious options for food. My favorites are Los Mariscos, Bar Suzette, Very Fresh Noodles, and Seed + Mill for some halva for dessert. 

If you like to thrift, take the L train to Williamsburg or CitiBike over the Williamsburg Bridge if you are brave. There are some great places there, like Beacon's Closet. Then get some birria tacos at the Birria-Landia food truck by Metropolitan-Lorimer. They are to die for. There is also a really cute street thrift market in SoHo, on Sullivan street. 

If you want to wander around a bit, take a stroll through the beautiful brownstones in the West Village, and then stop for dinner along Carmine street; there are some great places there. I like JaJaJa for vegan mexican food. 

Take some time to walk through Central Park. You can walk through it on your way to the Met, which is beautiful and affordable. If you have a student ID, it's free, but there is a suggested donation. 

Take a day to go to Governer's Island. It's a 10-minute free ferry ride from South Ferry, and you can CitiBike through the island and explore some museums and just relax a bit. 

Take an afternoon to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge as well! It's crowded, so I like to bike across it, because you can see the views with no crowd. It's a hard bike ride, so be prepared to sweat.

If you want to splurge a bit, see a Broadway show! I loved the Lion King, but there are always new shows playing, so check out which ones people are raving about online. Another splurge is the Edge, in Hudson Yards, which has an amazing view of the city, but is $40 to just go up and look. You can also go to the Empire State Building for a cool view of the city. 

Rockaway Beach - Beach time and surfing

Rockaway Beach Beach time and surfing

Rockaway Beach - Beach time and surfing - null

If you'd like a beach day, bike to Wall Street on the Hudson River, and take the ferry from Pier 11 to Rockaway Beach. The beach there is super nice for New York, and there are some good food options on the boardwalk. There are also surfboards to rent and decent waves if you go at the right time!

For a different beach vibe, you can instead take the subway to Coney Island to go to Luna Park for some amusement park rides. But Rockaway is a lot quieter and cleaner. 

Q & A

  • What would you have changed?

    I would've stayed longer! There is so much to see in New York.
  • Anything go wrong during the trip?

    It was hot and gross in the beginning of September because there was a heat wave.
  • Restaurant recommendations?

    Los Tacos 1 or Birria-Landia for tacos Mud Spot cafe for a nice coffee and brunch, Taboonette or Lava Shawarma for delicious middle eastern food (the Vegan Arabic sandwich is amazing) JaJaJa for vegan mexican food Van Leeuwen has delicious ice cream Stella's Pizza on 17th and 9th avenue is good for a NYC slice
  • Tips you would give a friend?

    Get a CitiBike pass!
  • Packing tips?

    Walking clothes
  • Transportation Tips?

    Get a metrocard; the entire city is accessible by subway!


  • The Standard Hotel, High Line. It's a nice hotel, though the rooms are small, but all hotel rooms in NYC are small. The High Line is a great location!