French Travelers Stunned: The Unanticipated High Cost of Living in New York

Have you always dreamed of flying to the Big Apple, but worried about emptying your wallet too quickly once you get there? French tourists sometimes find themselves caught off guard by the exorbitant prices in New York, a popular destination but not always accessible to all budgets. Discover tips and best practices to enjoy the city that never sleeps without breaking the bank!

New York, the fascinating megalopolis which is the dream of so many travelers, is proving increasingly costly for French tourists. The figures speak for themselves: in 2023, some 728,000 French people explored the city that never sleeps. However, many people were caught off guard by the high cost of living there, despite their budget planning.

A financial shock on American soil

For many, the stark reality of New York prices is revealed upon landing. Sébastien, 33, from Paris, evokes a feeling of downgrading: “No matter your salary, when you arrive here, the shock is phenomenal.” With the high US inflation and the stagnation of French wages, daily expenses quickly become exorbitant.

Strategic accommodation choices

In order to reduce costs, some opt for alternative solutions such as Youth hostels, like Constance Bai, who stayed on Long Island to save money. However, this strategy often increases other expenses, particularly transportation. Hotels have skyrocketing prices. An average night costs €333 in 2023, making New York an unaffordable destination for tight budgets.

Cultural activities, a reserved luxury

Most of New York’s famous attractions charge high entrance fees. For example, Constance only paid for the MoMA and a Broadway show, avoiding other tourist sites to contain her expenses. Even museums, like the Metropolitan Museum, have seen their prices increase, making cultural visits less accessible.

Tips for controlling costs

Some tourists, like Sébastien, adopt tips and tricks to save money. For example, he visited the Whitney Museum for free on Friday and used the ferry to Staten Island to see the Statue of Liberty for free. These small alternatives allow you to discover the city in a more economical way.

Surprising daily expenses

The cost of daily expenses in New York remains a major surprise factor. Between $70 transportation from JFK Airport, $2.90 subway tickets, and meals costing more on average than expected, the costs add up quickly. A cheese pizza, for example, can cost up to $28.

Compare France and New York

Laure Boulan, who works in finance, was able to benefit from free accommodation thanks to a friend living in New York. Nevertheless, she regularly compares prices with those in France, highlighting the difference: “A bottle of Aperol Spritz here can reach $30.” These comparisons highlight the considerable gap between the two countries.

Economic walks and discoveries

To minimize costs, many tourists favor free walks and discoveries. Exploring iconic neighborhoods, admiring the architecture and visiting sites like the 9/11 Memorial allow you to savor New York without breaking the bank.

Planning and flexibility

To enjoy New York without blowing the budget, careful planning and some flexibility are essential. Looking for free activities, staying with friends, and being willing to compromise on certain paid outings are effective strategies for controlling expenses and savoring the charm of the Big Apple.