Skip to content

New York City on a Student Budget – All the great things to do!

By: Muzna Hatmi

Some of you may have seen my insta-takeover in New York City a couple of weeks ago {lucky for you because I happened to have saved everything in the highlights section (along with every other cool thing ever), so if you’re as obsessed with NYC as me, you know where to go!}. I’m just here to say that I’m still not over it.

So, one of the many times I thanked being in DC also happened to be on the bus to New York City, as soon as my eyes witnessed the glorious skyline, I knew dreams were coming true. I have been wanting to visit NYC for as long as I can remember, and even though I’ve been to the US a few times before, I never had the chance to visit the big apple (and here I can tell you I’ve been to the Niagara Falls, so please go call my parents and ask them what they were thinking). Anyway, what matters now is that I can finally say I have been to NYC, and that too on my semester abroad (because that also just sounds cooler).

I remember googling and searching through the entire internet for the top things to do in the city for a weekend, which I will break down here so that if you happen to study abroad at GW and want to visit New York, this blog post can be your go to.

If you’re a train kinda gal/guy, way to go, but I preferred taking a bus because it was cheaper/fit the student budget and more convenient. There are quite a few options for the bus, if you’re European you’re probably familiar with the good old Flixbus, but I wanted to experience being in America (just kidding), so I booked Vamoos – pretty much Flixbus with a new name. so, no difference there.

Bus departed around 10AM from Rosslyn, and I was officially a tourist in NYC by 2PM, and I say that because I was lost in the metro station.

We booked Moxy Hotels in downtown, which is the student version of Marriot hotels, but I also know other people who booked months in advance to get cheaper Airbnb’s.

Now that the essentials are out of the way, I will list the top student-budget-friendly things to do in NYC in a short period of time (unless well you know, you move there, and all your dreams come true. In that case, don’t forget me).



Yes. I. watched. Broadway. In. New. York. City. And. I. Am. Screaming. #Goals. So, the trick to be able to afford Broadway tickets on a student budget is to not purchase them on the official website. Instead, get them last minute. The only downside is that you can’t really choose the seating location, but in my opinion all seating options are great and worth the discount. I watched Aladdin and I can tell you I cried.  It was magical.


Bryant Park Holiday Market

The Bryant Park holiday market was a cute little Christmas market with an ice ring and free ice skating (as long as you brought your own skates)! So, if you’re going around winter time, don’t miss the festive vibes with many food stalls and local shops. The good thing is that Bryant Park is also close to Times Square, so it’s a perfect opportunity to take a little break from all crowd. A perfect place to enjoy the city without spending too much.



The Museum of Modern Art was recently reopened after a $450 million renovation! I was lucky enough to catch the Uniqlo Friday Night, which is a free entry into MOMA. All you have to do is get in line around 6PM on a Friday night, and your ticket is sponsored by Uniqlo! The lines can be really long, but they keep moving fast. Bonus: You may even get a small Uniqlo voucher to shop at the gigantic Uniqlo store just across the street. The only downside is that the museum can get really crowded, even after all the expansion. And I can tell you, the new MOMA looks great!


Brooklyn Bridge

A journey from Brooklyn to Manhattan on foot! Yes, walk down the picturesque bridge and catch some stunning views of the city (along with stunning insta-photos, obviously). I recommend walking towards the Manhattan direction to really take in the breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline. The Brooklyn side just doesn’t do the bridge enough justice in my opinion.



Two words: cheap food.

And oh, SO Good!



Skip to toolbar