A report released at the end of 2022 – New York is the most expensive city on earth to live in. No one is surprised. Here are the best free activities for single travellers, kids, couples and families, from free ferries to Staten Island, strolling through New York’s Central Park, watching live street artists in Washington Square and soaking up the atmosphere of South Street Seaport.

Governor’s Island – a little-known corner of New York City

Located just south of the Brooklyn Bridge on the southern tip of Manhattan, this 172-acre island is one of the city’s most popular green spaces. Between May and October, take the ferry from Manhattan’s Battery Maritime Building or DUMBO’s Brooklyn Bridge Park. There are bike rentals, a beach, acres of lawns and a promenade that wraps around the perimeter, perfect for a walk or an afternoon picnic with views of Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Statue of Liberty. There are many mobile food trucks and vendors on the island, and a range of summer events from Jazz Age lawn parties to flash dinners.

The magnificent gardens of the High Line Park

It all started with a long stretch of disused elevated railroad track. Built in the 1930s, the track was used until 1980 to transport goods from the docks on 34th Street West to downtown Manhattan. The track was in disarray and with the help of the government, the High Line Park was finally opened in June 2009, becoming the second elevated park in the world. Since its opening, the High Line Park has become a classic New York City attraction, wowing visitors and locals alike with its cool design and integration into the largely natural environment.