New York on a budget: 5 FREE art places in the big apple + a map

5 free art places in New York + a map

Let’s look at where you can go in New York to discover contemporary art, emerging artists and see some amazing performances. All of that in a tight budget of course and already located on the map, made just for you!


Chelsea Galleries

Well this had to be the first one. Enjoy the sunny afternoon and walk in the Chelsea neighborhood to visit some pretty big deal galleries. Since they are international and high-end you will be able to see exhibitions with amazing production and large-scale dimension. Think: David Zwirner, Gagosian, Pace, and so on. You might even find a waiting queue outside, going around the block! Keep in mind this is extremely rare, I experienced it when I was there trying to see the Yayoi Kusama solo show at David Zwirner Gallery. (75,000 people saw it!)

my art bucket list New York on a budget: 5 FREE art places in the big apple + a map
Douglas Gordon, Gagosian Gallery


The High Line

If you don’t know of this place already, go without thinking! It is an old railway turned in a walkway, of 2,3 km long! You will be able to walk without being bothered by cars, you will have an amazing view of the buildings and you will get to see some art. Perfect place. Also you can access it from the Chelsea district! Check their website to learn about the latest exhibition and their walking tours


Art centers

Just like in France and so many countries there are non-profit organization that will be more than happy to present you their current exhibition. In New York there are a lot of historical ones with a strong reputation in the art world. I have mapped a few of them on my custom Google Map and I hope to do more in-depth presentation next time I go back to the Big Apple!

New York on a budget: 5 FREE art places in the big apple + a map
Storefront art & architecture center


Socrates Sculpture Park

Feeling like getting out of Manhattan? Hop on a ferry and go discover this free park presenting outdoors sculpture. A perfect place to go with kids, they can run around, there are also benches and a beautiful view on the skyline. And of course some great art!

My art bucket list New York on a budget: 5 FREE art places in the big apple + a map


Public Art fund

This organization produces Public Art (just as the title say). It means they work with an artist and an institution to install an artwork in the public space. Since it is being presented in parks and other public areas the goal is to make it available to anyone. You can walk by it, you can go around it and have fun searching for it in the area. Check out their website to see what is coming up!

Ai WeiWei, Arch, 2017 – source: Photo. Jason Wyche.


Bonus tip!

Now that you got some cash left, hop on a ferry and do a tour of Manhattan! This will give you an amazing view of the city. The best is to do it by day and by night. I took the Staten Island ferry during the day and then I spent a New Year’s Eve with Liberty Cruises, it is an amazing memory! Yes it was freezing so I strongly recommend to do it in warmer weather but still. New York City at night beats the cold.

More info on the ferries Liberty Cruises in NYC here.

New York on a budget: 5 FREE art places in the big apple + a map
View from the ferry to Staten Island



You have waited for it and you got through the post, yay for you! Here are my recommendations on where to see art, where to eat out in New York, USA. Stay tuned for more posts about New York 🙂



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