How much money should you budget for a week trip to New York City?

Determining a budget for a trip to New York is quite complicated. You must take into account various expenses, some are more important than others.
Anyhow, I’ll try to give you some clues. I will define three types of budgets (tight, average and large budgets) for a couple who decides to stay a week in New York (7 nights).

For each budget, I will consider the following elements:
Flight + accommodation + food + departures + visits + shopping + extras

It is an estimate of what could be spent, based on my own experience. At least I try to give you an idea of how much your budget should be.

Factors to think about as you prepare your budget of a trip to New York City

Firstly, you must consider when you want to go to New York City. The flights and accommodation rates vary depending on the season.
The cheapest season is from January to March.
The seasons that attract more tourists are when there are school holidays (Easter, summer, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year).

The accommodation is another factor to care about. The place where you will stay, and comfort and services you want. You can start at around $90 a night up to $250-300 or a few thousand dollars for high-end hotels.

The lifestyle you want in New York also matters. You may don’t mind about eating sandwiches, going out at night or shopping; your budget may be more limited than a couple who wants to dine in restaurants, see a show on Broadway … and visit many places.

The 7 factors that seem most important to me are:
– the flight (round trip)
– accommodation (hostels, hotels, apartment…)
– transportation (from the airport, taxis, metro…)
– meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
– visits, attractions and shows
– shopping
– extra expenses (bars, cakes…).

How much does a flight cost to go to New York?

I know you read me from different countries, and I cannot easily compare the cost of a flight ticket from London, Sydney or Berlin. For those who read me from the United States, the price categories that I am going to give below do not apply, because domestic flights are usually much cheaper than international flights.

However, if you go on vacation outside school holidays, you will get cheaper rates. But still, you can review the fares of some airlines which propose offers throughout the year. The key is to check rates often, sometimes it can be useful to register to an airline’s newsletter and receive special offers notifications.

I prepared a list of airlines in this article. Do not hesitate to review it and compare the rates 😉

If you notice a promotion, you can also inform me, and I’ll publish it in this post.

I determine three types of budget:

Tight Budget
From $450 to $600 per person, or $900 to $1200 for a round trip if you go with your partner.
Average budget
The median fare for airline tickets ranges from $650 to $800 per person, or $1300 to $1600 for a couple.
Large Budget
You can spend much more in high seasons or if you want to travel in higher classes, in this case, consider a budget of about $900 to $1200 per person, or $1800- $2400 for a round trip for a couple.

How much does it cost to stay in New York?

Again, it is a bit difficult to give you a very precise cost.

New York City attracts a lot of tourists, the rates vary from month to month.

You can find a room at $150 off-season, and pay $250- $300 for the same room during the high season!

In addition, you have to take into account where you would like to stay, the number of travelers, comfort and services.

Tight Budget
You can find a room in a house (on NY Habitat or AirbnB), stay in a hostel (see in Booking). The night costs from $45 to $50 per person per night, or $630 to $700 for a week with your partner.
Average budget
If you prefer to stay in an apartment or hotel near Manhattan (Queens, Brooklyn, Harlem Long Island City), or if you want a budget apartment in Manhattan, you can find something between $130 to $200 per night, or $910 to $1400 a week for a couple.
Large Budget
If you want a hotel well located in Manhattan, or a high-end apartment, you could spend about $250 per night in a Times Square hotel up to $8000 a night in a suite of a large hotel in the city. Let’s say, usually, prices range from $250 to $400 per night, or $1750 to $2800 per week for a couple.

How much does transportation cost in New York?

The first expense you will have in New York is the transfer between the airport and your accommodation (JFK, Newark, La Guardia). The cheapest way is public transportation with the Airtrain and subway because it is equivalent to $16/person round trip, or $32 for a couple.

You can also book a taxi shuttle, about $ 23/person, or about $90 per couple, the round trip.

Another option is the taxi or a limousine. It can cost from $50 to $170 for a one-way trip.

Once in New York, if you stay a week, it is best to buy an Unlimited Metrocard. It costs $32 per person.

Yellow cabs can be very practical … and they are so mythical! They are available 24 hours a day in Manhattan. A trip can cost between $8 and $10, it obviously depends on the distance. There are also green taxis, I give you more information in this article. They cost the same, the difference is that they go to areas where yellow taxis do not.

I want to draw attention to those who decide to stay in New Jersey. They must add the price of the PATH (train from New Jersey to NYC), it costs $29 /person, unlimited travel for 7 days. If you don’t stay close to a PATH station, you can take a bus, rates vary depending on the distance.

Tight Budget
If you leave the airport using the Airtrain + metro, for the roundtrip, and only use the Metrocard in NYC, it will cost you $95 for the week if you go out with your partner.
Average budget
If you reserve a shuttle for the airport transfers, buy the Unlimited Metrocard for NYC, and take 2 to 3 times a taxi, count an expense of $170 to $185 for a week with your partner.
Large Budget
If you prefer to book a limousine from the airport to your hotel, then a taxi to return to the airport, the Metrocard unlimited 7 days, and take a taxi 5 to 10 times during the week, your budget would be between $400 and $524 for a week with your partner.

How much money could you spend for meals?

It is another difficult point to determine. Some may be satisfied with a $3 hot-dog, and others prefer $200 meals at a good restaurant.
Let’s say a breakfast at a Starbucks costs $5 to $6 per person (a simple coffee and pastry). You can spend less at a 7 Eleven, Dunkin Donuts, Prêt-à-Manger…

Eating at a fast-food restaurant varies from $8 to $10 for a main dish + drink + dessert.
There are small restaurants or Deli’s, in which the main course (pizza, pasta, meat, …) costs from $10 to $12 per person. A full meal costs $20 – $26 per person.

As for restaurants, likewise any big city, some can be very expensive. But there are many with complete menus (entrees + main dish + dessert) between $50 and $60 per person.

Note: some hotels have breakfast included in the room rate, with a large selection of food.

For three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). dinner), my estimate is:

Tight Budget
One breakfast and two fast-food, or $25 to $30/day/person, or $275 to $460 per week with your partner.
Average budget
For a breakfast, a fast-food and a small restaurant, count about $30-45 per person per day, or $460 to $650 per week with your partner.
Large Budget
If you want a good breakfast, a small restaurant for lunch and a nicer one for Dinner, consider $50-90 per person per day, or $700 to $1260 for the week with your partner.

How much do visits, attractions and shows cost in New York?

First of all, I think that for a first visit of New York, the purchase of a Pass is very useful, like the New York CityPASS since it offers the main visits and attractions in NYC.

Then, if you want to see an NBA game, whether it’s the New York Knicks or the Brooklyn Nets, you could find tickets at $26-40. For a baseball game, it’s starting at $20-25, a football game is starting at $40-50. You can read more information here.

If you like shows and plays, you can go see a musical on Broadway, starting at $ 65-90 per person.

One of the must-see activities in New York is a helicopter flight, starting at $215 per person. It is impressive and allows you to see the whole city from an extraordinary point of view.

In short, there are thousands of things that can be done in New York, not to mention concerts, museums, bus tours, boats, guided tours…

Tight Budget
The key is to buy a visitor’s pass, such as the New York CityPASS, it costs $120 per person, or $240 for a couple, and you have 9 days to use it.
Average budget
You also could buy the New York CityPASS, add 2-3 activities as a game, a musical and a helicopter tour. It would cost between $330 and $650 per couple.
Large Budget
If you want to make a maximum of activities, in addition to the New York CityPASS, a game, a musical, a helicopter tour, one bus tour and more, it would cost you $650 or more from $1300 per couple for a week.

How much does a shopping session in New York cost?

It is one of the most difficult budgets to anticipate. Even if your not a regular shopper, the prices in New York are so attractive that one quickly falls into the shopping fever.

Most tourists buy souvenirs from $ 1 to $ 10 (key chains, I Love NY t-shirt …) but they also buy at least a pair of sneakers (Converse, New balance, Nike) from $40 to $50, a pair of jeans from $40 to $50, 2-3 t-shirts at $10 each…

You can save money going to one of the outlet stores near NYC. For nice souvenirs at “wallet friendly” prices, you can go to Cocoblues.

Tight Budget
If you do not buy much more than souvenirs, count from $30 to $65.
Average budget
With a shopping session in stores like Century 21 and common brands, count from $250 to $400 per couple for the whole week.
Large Budget
If you like the high-end clothes, or the shops of 5th Avenue, you may easily spend around $650- $1300 per couple.

What are the other expenses that can be spent in New York?

Within these expenses I include going to a bar at the end of the day, passing by a bakery during the afternoon… expenses that are not necessary but are part of the vacations.

A cupcake, muffin or cookie, can cost at least 3 to 4 dollars, a beer costs $6-10, a cocktail is from 9 to 13 dollars, if it is on a rooftop (on the terrace of a building) it is at least $ 13…

In this category you can count the administrative expenses (ESTA -$14 person- or visa, it depends on the countries in terms of price), the passport (the price depends on the countries), and are required to enter the American territory.

Tight Budget
So, if from time to time you want to eat a typical US cupcake, have a coffee and go to a rooftop at least once a week, count $50 to $65 for a week for two people.
Average budget
If you want to have an “extra” several times a week, consider a budget of $130 to $200 per couple for a week.
Large Budget
If you want to go out every day for coffee, go to a bar without forgetting a sweet treat everyday, count from $250 to $330 per couple for the whole week.

How much money should you budget for a week trip to New York City?

I prepared a table so you can better read the budgets calculated above.

Tight Budget
Average budget
Large Budget
from $900 to $ 1200
from $1300 to $1600
from $1800 to $2400
from $630 to $700
from $910 to $1400
from $1750 to $2800
aprox. $94
from $170 to $185
from $400 to $525
from $275 to $460
from $460 to $650
from $700 to $1260
aprox. $240
from $330 to $650
from $650 to $1300
from $30 to $65
from $250 to $400
from $650 to $1300
from $50 to $65
from $130 to $200
from $250 to $330
from $2199 to $2804
from $3550 to $5085
from $6200 to $9914

As you can see, you can go to New York with your partner with a little over $2000, reserving the flight and accommodation as soon as possible and limiting your expenses in the city.
However, I recommend that you go with a budget of minimum $2200 per couple, to truly enjoy your stay. I would say a minimum of $3500-$4000.

In this article, I am not talking about the agencies that offer flight-hotel packages. You can get a good deal on websites like Expedia.

To prepare your budget, you can also calculate how much money you spend per week when you are at home: meals, transportation to work, shopping, gas and electricity for example.

In conclusion, I hope I have helped you a little with this article, so you can prepare your trip to New York with ease.


My fist trip to New York was in 2007 when I was working for an airline company. I was born in the US, I lived in Mexico, in Europe in between Belgium, Spain and France… Well, let’s say I know about travelling! I bring my experience of NYC to the blog, to provide the best travel tips you could imagine!

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30 commentaires

  1. Eva Kalita says:
    Thank you for your response.

    I want to do some of the popular things that are done in terms of sightseeing like the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, , horse and carriage ride in Central Park however I have been told about apartments that were set up in the 1900s the the 1950s and want to explore the less known about activities if there is a such a thing? If there is would you be able to point me in the right direction?

    And the shopping is a whole other issue

    Kind regards
    • TeamMemo says:
      You’re welcome!
      I think that you are talking about the Tenement Museum.

      However neither the Tenement nor the horse carriage ride are included in a pass. Be careful with scams for the carriage rides and make sure that you are going with a real guide. Check their ID and official authorization.

      For the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, you can get an “a la carte pass”, like the Go New York Pass. For these two activities, you’ll only pay $65.13.
  2. Mike Garvey says:
    Thanks for all the tips. As you may have guessed from me “tagging” my two daughters on Facebook, they are currently on holiday in New York.
    They flew out yesterday morning (Wednesday) from Ireland and are staying for a week.
    Thanks again for the tips, I’ll keep tagging as long as they are there.
    Keep up the good work
  3. Caitlin says:
    I am just starting to plan a 7-10 day trip to New York and am struggling with working out a budget. Excluding flights and accommodation, what would realistically be the lowest amount spent in a day for someone who is planning on doing all free activities/sightseeing and not eating in any restaurants only fast food and breakfast places? Also will be most likely getting the week metrocard.
  4. Lauren says:

    I am going to New York for 7 days 8 Nights in January, Hotel, Flights, etc are all paid for and sorted.

    All I need to do is work out a budget for spending money, we will have already purchased the city pass, so the budget will be for food and travel around New York. I am planning on taking £2100 for the two of us, do you think this is a tight budget? We don’t plan on doing any shopping although I may purchase the odd thing.

    Thank you
  5. Amit Patil says:
    Hello Sir,
    I am planning a solo trip to NY from India, I have gone through your article. Can you please tell me the minimum possible budget for a week trip to NY, I am interested in a NY helicopter ride and a football game in LA.
  6. Jack says:

    I am planning a birthday trip for my other half and I was wondering how much I should take for spending money. The money would be spent on attractions (most popular), food and transportation.

    How much would you recommend I take? The trip is for 7 days in the month of February.
    • TeamMemo says:
      Hi Jack!
      Concerning the attractions, if you want to visit the most popular, you can get a New York CityPASS. It costs $133 for 6 activities.

      For transportation, an Unlimited Metrocard costs $33.

      Then, for food and shopping, it depends on you. You can spend from $2 for a slice of pizza to hundreds of $ for a meal.
  7. Joe says:
    Hello going to NYC for 14 days. Is $1200 enough for food and transportation? excluding other things. I also want to buy $300 Gaming console. Will it be enough? i’m not really a big eater. I lost 90 pounds so i’m a toothpick and don’t eat much.
  8. Chalbern Sayson says:
    What if for a solo traveler like me. Excluding the roundtrip airfare. with a budget of $2500 or less is it enough for 4Nights 5Days?
    • TeamMemo says:
      Hi there,
      It is more than enough. Now if you want to save money on the activities, you can always get a pass.
      Depending on you itinerary, you have different options for a pass. In any case, you’ll save from 30 to 50% on the admission fees 😉
  9. Akso says:
    I am Planing a trip to New York with my two 17 years old and I am on Very Tight budget, i am considering buying The New York Pass for 3 DAYS,Which it cost around £411 What do you think?
  10. Reva says:
    So can the Subway take you to attractions
  11. Bosko says:
    Hi Memo !
    We’ll visit NYC from 2-9 April, and we would like to know where can we find best shops with mobile phones, lap tops,tablets at best price.
    Thanks in advance.

    • TeamMemo says:
      Hi Bosko,
      My favorite store is Best Buy! Chech their “open box” corner to get even more discounts 😉
      • Eva Kalita says:
        Hi Memo,
        I am in the process of planning my trip to NYC in June 2020. I have paid for my airfare and accommodation already. It will just be myself visiting nyc – how much should I be setting aside in AU dollars for my visit. I don’t want to be too extravagant but also not too frugal as this is my 40th birthday present to myself ☺️
        I look forward to hearing.
        • TeamMemo says:
          Hi Eva,
          As you’re planning your trip ahead, you may want to prepare an itinerary. From there, you’ll know the activities to do and then compare the passes to save money on your visits.
          Once in NYC, you won’t have to pay for there activities, your pass will be your admission ticket.

          That said, you just have to set aside money for food and shopping. For food you can spend a minimum of $40-50 a day (US dollars). Concerning shopping… well, it’s up to you!! 😀 😀

          For transportation, the best is to use the Metrocard, now it costs $34 for Unlimited subway and bus rides. Think about the transfer from the airport to your hotel, you can do it with public transportation or book a shuttle/private taxi. The fare depends on the confort you’re looking for.

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