The $500 NYC Weekend

Posted 08/26/2010

In this new series on the Traveler's Diary, we explore weekend getaways in cities around the world from just $500 to $5,000. Stay tuned for a slightly more upscale New York City trip coming soon!

New York City is famously regarded as one of the most expensive cities in the entire world. Most people who plan to visit for a fun weekend getaway never imagine that they can take the trip for $500 or less, but with some savvy travel tips and a bit of ingenuity with entertainment, it's completely possible! Below you'll find some tips on where to stay, where to eat, and how to have fun in NYC on the cheap.

New York City is home to thousands of hotels, ranging from the ultra luxurious to the bares bones. You can easily find a unique and charming small hotel for around a hundred dollars a night. Here are a few options. The Second Home on Second Avenue is a tiny (just 7 rooms, so call ahead) converted townhouse with a funky ethnic vibe. Rooms start at just $80 per night. The Cosmopolitan Hotel, located in the TriBeCa neighborhood, is right in the heart of downtown. With small but clean rooms, and a quiet place to rest, this is a great option for those looking for no frills but well kept. Rates start at around $100 a night. In the East village, you'll find the European themed Union Square Inn. The rooms here are larger than many others in the price range, and the atmosphere is funky and charming. Prices start at about $109 per night. For a very reasonable option in Midtown NYC, you will find the four Apple Core hotels to be a great choice. This family of hotels, including La Quinta, Comfort Inn, Red Roof Inn, and Super 8, all have basic but clean rooms, and include a free continental breakfast daily. With any of these options, you can easily stay the weekend and have plenty of cash left for meals and entertainment. Read on for some budget friendly dining options.

If you are looking for some great Mexican food for cheap (under 10 bucks in most cases), give Pinche Taqueria a try. With a wide menu including all your favorite Mexican dishes, you'll find plenty to like here. Give the tacos a try, they are what made this place famous. For a 24 hour eatery with great prices, visit the Corner Bistro. The burgers and steaks are the best items on the menu here, and the West Village location makes for a lively crowd at any time. If you enjoy a unique 1950's retro vibe along with your shakes and burgers, check out the Shake Shack. This spot has super low prices along with it's fantastic diner style food, but be prepared for a long wait: this is a hotspot for the locals also! New York is full of great dining options, and you'll find that quite a few of them are also budget friendly.

New York City can be enjoyed for an entire weekend for just $500, as long as you plan ahead a little. Use the tips above, along with your own sense of adventure and creativity, and you'll get the very best out of the big apple for super cheap!

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