It's possible to enjoy New York without blowing your budget! Here's our advice and tips on how to prepare for your trip

A megalopolis of superlatives (or almost), New York fascinates lovers of the XXL version of the city. People come for the diversity of its museums, the exuberance of its architecture, its ethnic neighbourhoods and the overflowing creativity of its pop cultures! You'll also love getting lost in the intricate network of streets and avenues, the immensity of its monuments and its invigorating sea air.

But if you don't have much time to visit New York, then you need to go for the essentials. In other words: be smart.

La skyline de Big Apple

La skyline de Big Apple

- © Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

Plan a realistic budget

Preparing for a successful trip involves calculating your budget as accurately as possible. Of course! So that you don't spend money you don't have. It would be a shame to be stranded in the middle of a trip because of this kind of unpreparedness. A travel budget covers return flights, overnight stays, meals and transport. That's the minimum you need to budget for, with activities coming on top.

© Clearemotions / Shutterstock


With the exception of school holiday periods, return flights can be found for €400 on average.


There is a wide range of accommodation on offer. The further away you are from Manhattan, the lower the prices. If you're still aiming for Manhattan(which is understandable, because then you'll also reduce the time you spend on transport, and that comes at a price!), you can expect rooms at $160, or around €70 per person if you're a couple, or €500 per person for a week's stay. Your personal budget has just risen to €900.

Le yellow cab, un incontournable des transports new yorkais

- © GaudiLab / Shutterstock

Local transport

Let's start by planning the journey between the airport and your hotel. Last November, the city raised the cost of this journey to $70, to which must be added the various taxes, the tip and the cost of the tunnel to New Jersey. So it's considerably cheaper if you take the Airtrain/metro from the airport, which costs $8.

By taxi, you should reckon on a fare of $100 from Kennedy airport to Manhattan, or $200 for your arrival and departure, or $100 if you're travelling as a couple. Then there's the daily cost: the metroCard currently costs $32 for unlimited travel on the metro and bus throughout New York for 7 days. If you have opted for the AirTrain solution for transfers to and from the airport, your transport cost is therefore $48.

Your budget has just increased to €943.

The editor's advice

For more information about metroCards, visit this page.


If your breakfast is included in the price of your accommodation, allow an average of $40 per person per day for lunch and dinner. That's €37.00. Your budget has just increased to €1,203 per person.

Le hot dog, le secret d'un citytrip pas cher à NY !

- © Fabio Formaggio / 123RF

What to do

You can travel just for the pleasure of discovering a city, walking its streets, sitting on its terraces and eating in its restaurants. But for a taste of its artists and history, nothing beats its museums and exhibitions. You'll need a pass from NY City. The Go NY Explorer Pass, for example, costs €71 per person.

Your budget per person is therefore €1,274 for 1 week in the city, with a host of activities.

If you're smart and not too greedy, you can spend around €1,100 - and even less - for a week in NY, including flights and accommodation.

La myriade de spectacles sur Broadway, à la hauteur de Time Square

- © Luciano Mortula

The NY pass jungle: understand it before you buy it!

The pass, a strange invention. There are those who applaud it and those who curse it. Because let's be honest, while they can save you a lot of money as well as being a great way to get around, the New York passes are quite a mess. So we've started from the premise that you need the essentials, for a citytrip for example: a good price, and better still, good value for money. Present the QR code on your pass with your smartphone, and the magic will happen. Here are our picks:

The Go New York Explorer Pass and the Go City Pass

These are the cheapest passes in New York, the least expensive but also the best value for money. With over 95 visits and attractions to choose from, you'll have up to 60 days to enjoy them. The number of visits per spot is limited, but unless you're really hooked on a museum you'll want to revisit often, these passes are for you! They allow you to save up to 51% on the advertised prices. Statue of Liberty, Moma, Empire State Building, Madame Tussauds, Guggenheim Museum, The Edge, etc. All of NY's must-see attractions will be open to you. Up to 11 attractions are included. From €71 for adults.

More info here and here.

New York: Go City Explorer Pass, 90 visits and attractions New York

New York: Go City Explorer Pass, 90 visits and attractions

Pass including 90 visits to New York

The Sightseeing Flex Pass

Equivalent to the Sightseeing Flex Pass in terms of price and number of visits, it is suitable for a one-week stay, for example, and gives you a 50% saving on the standard price. It starts at $74 but does not include access to the Statue of Liberty. What's more, it's the only pass that gives you access to theEmpire State Building, the Top of The Rock, theEdge and the One World Observatory all at the same time. Its official page for all information is here.

Au coeur du Guggenheim de New York.

- © Asiastock / 123RF

The New York C3® pass

This pass is designed for short stays. There's no need to choose your visits in advance, you can decide later. You'll still have plenty to choose from, including access to the Guggenheim Museum, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Moma. For the full list of possible visits, please go here. The pass will be valid for 9 days and will save you 1/3 of the total price. Nice!

FlexPass: passes for over 100 attractions and museums New York

FlexPass: passes for over 100 attractions and museums

An economical, flexible pass for a whole host of activities in New York
by Faustine PEREZ
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