How much money do you need when coming to NYC?

A lot. Not only will you pay a quite significant amount for a place to stay but you will also need to move around by subway and – let’s face it – you wanna shop a little. Not to mention getting some food. In other words: take as much as you have.

Seriously, though, I will give you some actual prices you may encounter here.

1. Places to stay. Hotels are expensive, which is why I recently wrote of an affordable alternative, Airbnb, which means staying at a New Yorker’s place. If you are not willing to consider this option, be prepared to spend at least $90 per person per night. Still the conditions you will be staying at will be far from perfect.

2. MetroCard for the subway. Even with the best possible location, you will simply have to get a MetroCard to move around the city. A single ride is $2.50, which takes you where you need to be in as many transfers as the ride requires, all within a single entering of the subway. A weekly card is $30 and this is the one I recommend. It gives you the right to use the subway (and the buses) as often as you like. It’s very comfortable and will make your stay a lot easier. 

3.  Food – the cost of a cup of coffee in a deli is just over $1, prices at Starbucks start at $2, same with other coffee shops. A cream cheese bagel is usually around $2.50, a deli sandwich is a few dollars. If you feel like having a larger breakfast, be prepared to spend at least $10. That is also the price of an inexpensive lunch, whereas a dinner starts at $22 (needless to say, I am discussing the most inexpensive options here). If you prefer to set your limit at around $5 that I definitely recommend Chinese takeouts, in which that amount will buy you a small portion which is still quite large.

4. Entertainment. There are a lot of free events taking place in NYC. It’s worth to check out, which lists everything that’s going on. Some museums are free on particular days (I will write more about it in subsequent posts), but if you’re not lucky enough to chance upon those days, the usual price is around $10-25 (both in museums and in live music venues). Concert tickets are priced similarly, although the bigger the star, the more expensive the ticket. Entrances to the night clubs are for free, but sometimes can surprise you by an unexpected cost as high as $35. Broadway shows are expensive. You can get them cheaper but usually, you have to be prepared to spend at least $70 (which is the usual a very special price). A beer at a bar starts at around $6 (don’t forget about happy hour, usually from 5 to 8 pm, when beers are $5 or half-priced). Whisky starts at $10.

5. Shopping. How much do you need for that…? Only sky is the limit… Seriously, though, I will write more of the most popular shopping places in my next posts.