America, the Cheap

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Europeans offer tips on finding discounts in New York City.

Because of the tanking dollar, everything from food to iPods to designer clothes is downright cheap right now for Europeans traveling to New York. And they are descending on the city en masse—you can hear more French, Italian, German, and Spanish in the clothing stores on Fifth Avenue these days than English! But even if their euros and pounds go further than usual, most Europeans still love to find a bargain. Here are some tips from 12 visitors in the city this month:

Sara Yanez, San Sebastián, Spain
For anyone who craves Spanish food, Yanez says to check out El Faro, a 70-year-old Spanish restaurant in Greenwich Village that has murals of flamenco dancers on the walls and serves everything from tapas to the house-specialty paella (212/929-8210, elfaronyc.com, tapas from $6). "The prices are good for New York, and the food is amazing," she says. "It was recommended to me by friends from home." PHOTO

Josefin Dahl and Marcus Viktorsson, Malmö, Sweden
Dahl suggests visitors hit up Forever 21 for great deals on women's clothing (212/941-5949, forever21.com). "It's a good fit for our body types," she says of fellow Swedish women. She also says the Marc by Marc Jacobs store in the West Village sells the designer's wares at rock-bottom prices (212/924-0026, marcjacobs.com, accessories, sunglasses, and flip-flops $5-$10; T-shirts $30). Viktorsson was looking for baseball caps and Converse shoes, which he says you can find for cheap all over the city. "I've bought several pairs of Converse to take back with me," he says. PHOTO

Anna Martinsson and Gitte Nørgaard Grytli, Malmö, Sweden
The two said they were headed to Chinatown to buy knockoff designer purses from the stalls on Canal Street. Their friends back home also asked them to pick up iPods at the Apple Store in SoHo (212/226-3126, apple.com/retail/soho), as well as digital cameras, because the exchange rate makes the prices far better here. "The Apple Store is great," Grytli says. "But really any store that sells electronics is going to be a deal." PHOTO

Fritscher Leo, Austria
Research restaurants before coming to New York, she advises. "Some places are not as cheap as you'd think, so it's better to look up places before you arrive and know where the inexpensive restaurants are located," Leo says. She learned that the hard way after eating bad food at expensive places—none of which she wanted to mention. New York magazine publishes an annual "Cheap Eats" issue—a great source for affordable restaurants (nymag.com/restaurants/cheapeats). Or read Budget Travel's feature on the best places to eat, shop, and play in Brooklyn. PHOTO

Caren Downie, London, England
Downie, who was in town for New York Fashion Week, loves shopping in SoHo boutiques—some of which can be affordable, if you look for items on the sale racks. Alternatively, seek out sample sales where designer clothes are drastically marked down; a comprehensive list is published at nymag.com/shopping/articles/sb/. "But I don't just come for the deals," she says. "New York is a great place to get fashion ideas and to see the latest trends." PHOTO

Robert Bready, London, England
The value of the British pound in the U.S. helps when Bready shops at his favorite clothing store, Freeman's Sporting Club in the Lower East Side (212/673-3209, freemanssportingclub.com). Dress shirts start at $148, but with the exchange rate, that comes out to 80 pounds. "They've got a really nice, affordable selection," he says. PHOTO

Generoso Capaccio and Elizabeth Musumeci, Milan, Italy
The ultimate way to save in New York: Buy a pass to the city's Gray Line tourist bus (212/247-6956, newyorksightseeing.com, $44 for two days). Capaccio and Musumeci say they've been using the bus like a taxi to get around the city. They also recommend picking up a tourist discount card at the information counter at Macy's in Herald Square, which is good for deals on everything in the store (212/695-4400, macys.com). "We bought Champs and Tommy Hilfiger shirts—the prices are right to buy and buy," says Capaccio. PHOTO

Gregor Praher and Nina Steinecker, Vienna, Austria
Steinecker says they've relied on the Dorling Kindersley (DK) guidebook for New York to help them find deals (available at us.dk.com for $25). "We love this book. It's been great for our travels," she says. Her favorite spot in the city is the Peanut Butter & Co. Sandwich Shop in Greenwich Village, which sells inventive sandwiches made with peanut butter (212/677-3995, ilovepeanutbutter.com). Another tip: "Don't book a hotel room with breakfast included to save money. It's not worth it. Go to a Starbucks instead," she says. PHOTO

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