Real New Yorkers don’t hang out in Times Square. They definitely don’t go to the Empire State Building. And the Statue of Liberty is more of a passing glimpse than a destination. Of course, a traveler should see these things, but HI NYC wants to make sure you experience the city as a local would.
That means walking tours throughout the 5 Boroughs, outings to hear a Harlem Gospel performance, and bringing up and coming standup comedians into the hostel. It means hostel staff sharing their insider secrets of their favorite free things to do, as well as their suggestions for having a Green Footprint while visiting.
For travelers who really want to pack their impact, HI NYC also invites guests to volunteer with one of their local partners:
New York Rescue Mission
Purpose: To provide aid to the hungry, homeless, and hurting residents of New York City.
Volunteer Opportunities: Kitchen prep for their free lunch and dinner, folding and sorting donated clothes, and helping get beds and floors ready for guests who will spend the night.
Time Commitment: 3 hours
New York Restoration Project
Purpose: To preserve local green spaces, making them accessible to all New Yorkers, especially those in underserved communities.
Volunteer Opportunities: Helping restore Highbridge Park, an urban park.
Time Commitment: 2 hours
Purpose: To support the homeless and those living with AIDS, while sustaining its efforts by operating thrift stores and bookstores. (Photo of volunteers right)
Volunteer Opportunities: Sorting donations, organizing products to be sold, and tending to customers.
Whatever your interests, the staff at HI NYC will help you discover the real New York, the one they live every day – and the one you won’t find in any guidebook.
The authentic, local experiences provided by our hostels support our commitment to further the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. This goal seeks a world where communities are inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable by 2030.