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The Ultimate New York City Bus Tour Experience: What to Expect

New York City is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and there’s no better way to see it than on a bus tour. A bus tour to New York offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the city’s iconic landmarks, famous neighborhoods, and hidden gems. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what you can expect from a bus tour to New York.

The Benefits of Taking a Bus Tour

Taking a bus tour is an excellent way to explore New York City for several reasons. First, it’s an efficient way to see many attractions in a short amount of time. With so much to see and do in the city, having a knowledgeable guide who can show you around is incredibly helpful. Second, taking a bus tour is also an affordable option for those who want to explore the city without breaking the bank. Third, it’s an excellent opportunity for solo travelers or those who are new to the city and want to meet other like-minded individuals.

What You’ll See on Your Bus Tour

A typical bus tour of New York City will take you through some of the most famous neighborhoods and landmarks in the city. You’ll likely start your tour in Midtown Manhattan and head downtown towards Battery Park where you can see breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. From there, you’ll head uptown towards Central Park where you can get off the bus and explore on foot if you choose.

Next up on your itinerary will be Times Square – one of the most famous destinations in all of New York City. You’ll have plenty of time here to take photos or grab something quick to eat before heading off towards other popular landmarks such as Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and even Harlem.

Tips for Making Your Bus Tour Experience Even Better

To get the most out of your bus tour to New York, there are a few things you can do to make the experience even better. First, be sure to bring comfortable shoes – you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Second, consider bringing a camera or phone with a good camera so that you can capture all of the amazing sights along the way. Third, be sure to pay attention to your guide – they’ll have plenty of interesting facts and stories about each location you visit.

Choosing the Right Bus Tour for You

When choosing a bus tour to New York City, it’s important to consider what’s important to you. Some tours offer more time in certain neighborhoods than others, while some may focus more on history or architecture. Be sure to read reviews and ask questions before booking your tour so that you can find one that best suits your interests.

In conclusion, a bus tour to New York is an excellent way to see all that this incredible city has to offer. Whether you’re traveling solo or with friends and family, taking a bus tour will allow you to explore the city efficiently and affordably while making memories that will last a lifetime.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.

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New York Walking Tours

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See our Calendar Below for All Tours, as well as Things to Do & Travel Tips

Featured tours.

new york walking tour

  • Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal Highlights

new york walking tour

Soho, Little Italy, Chinatown

Soho, little italy, chinatown highlights.

  • SoHo's Cast Iron District
  • Haughwout Building
  • Heath Ledger's Apartment Building
  • Little Italy
  • Lombardi's Pizza
  • Canal and Mott Streets
  • Former Five Points District (Gangs of NY)
  • Film and TV locations, including Ghost, Sex in the City and Men in Black
  • and much more!

new york walking tour

Brooklyn Bridge, Heights & DUMBO

Brooklyn bridge, heights & dumbo highlights.

new york walking tour

Harlem Highlights

  • Abyssinian Baptist Church
  • Apollo Theater
  • Sites related to Malcolm X
  • Headquarters of William J. Clinton Foundation
  • Schomberg Center
  • Sylvia's Soul-food Restaurant
  • Strivers Row

new york walking tour

  • Lower Manhattan

Lower Manhattan Highlights

new york walking tour

Lower East Side Food

Lower east side food highlights.

  • Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery
  • Kossar's Bialy and Bagels
  • North China Dumpling
  • Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery
  • The Pickle Guys*

Welcome to Free Tours by Foot, offering pay-what-you-wish New York walking tours, including food, but also bike, audio, and free self-guided walks.

We provide a platform for licensed, local, freelance tour guides to lead tours at no upfront costs. You determine what a tour was worth, if anything, after the tour.

And in this time of pandemics, we’ve also created a slate of  free virtual video tours , condensed versions of our live guided tours as well as live streams that you can enjoy anywhere and anytime.

A 32-min condensed video version of our Central Park Tour

Central Park Walking Tour Video

Our model of live guided tours ensures that your tour guide must strive to give his or her best on every tour. It's the best money-back guarantee available.

Jamie

WALKING TOURS

This is a city of neighborhoods and we focus on tours designed to show you what the Big Apple is made of.

Walking tours are our specialty, and we offer a number of daily and weekly, guided, pay-what-you-like walking tours of NYC.

New York Tours | Free Tours by Foot

You could browse the tours that we have by clicking the links below, scrolling through our public tours calendar, or just going to our booking page to see what we have available.

There's no cost to book our walking tours, so there's no risk for you.

Some tours focus on single neighborhoods and some combine parts of several.

Food tours and night tours are detailed in their respective sections, but you can find them on the calendar below.

New York Food Tours

We also offer dozens of  self-guided tours as well as audio tours .

We have over 6000 reviews with a rating of 5 out of 5 stars .

We are so well-reviewed, that TripAdvisor seems to hide us from you (probably because they can't sell our tours).  Read the reviews for yourself.

Daily (and Almost Daily) Scheduled Tours

  • SoHo, Little Italy, and Chinatown
  • Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights + DUMBO
  • 3 Hour Downtown Manhattan (Financial District, Soho, Little Italy & Chinatown)
  • Chelsea and the High Line
  • 6 Hour Downtown Combined 

NOTE: For the holiday season (through Jan 7th) we are running special daily tours

  • Midtown Manhattan Holiday Lights Tour
  • Dyker Heights Brooklyn Lights Tour
  • NYC Christmas Movie Tours

Weekly Tours (Tours that run 1 - 3 times a week)

  • Greenwich Village
  • Central Park
  • Midtown Manhattan
  • Graffiti and Street Art Tours
  • World Trade Center 
  • Greenwich Village Food Tour
  • Lower East Side Food Tour

Our New York tours are also a great way to meet fellow travelers and make new friends.

Our guests come from all over the world, and this means that many different perspectives are reflected in the questions asked of our tour guides and contribute to more enriching experiences for our guests.

We offer over 30 different NYC tours .

OTHER TOURS

There are other ways to explore New York City! Read our guides to the various bus, bike, and boat tours.

  • NYC Boat Tours Compared
  • How Much Is a Helicopter Ride in NYC?
  • NYC Dinner Cruise
  • Which NYC Bike Tour is Best?

Be sure to consider one of our pay-what-you-wish New York City food tours . With our competitors charging anywhere from $45-$65 for their food tours, a food tour experience is often out of reach for most travelers.

There is so much good food at affordable prices, there's no need to be forced to pay so much money.

Our two most popular and regularly scheduled guided tour options are:

We also offer weekly food tours of the East Village ,  Manhattan's Chinatown , and Williamsburg Brooklyn as well as free self-guided food tours, so that you can experience the flavors of the city at your own pace.

Since we do not offer any of our food tours on a daily basis, we have also included the food tour schedules of other companies that we trust.

AUDIO AND SELF-GUIDED TOURS

Can’t fit any of our tours into your schedule, then check out  our anytime audio tours , where you will find several of our most popular tours narrated by Free Tours by Foot tour guides.

These audio tours go deeper than our self-guided maps and allow you to enjoy our guided tours whenever they fit your schedule.  We are constantly adding new audio tours to our collection.

Listen to a sample of our Lower Manhattan Tour (an archaeological site of old New Amsterdam)

Available Tours:

  • 9/11 Memorial and World Trade Center
  • Times Square
  • Food Tour of Greenwich Village
  • Little Italy and Nolita
  • The Brooklyn Bridge (in both English and Spanish versions)
  • The High Line

New York doesn't have to be an expensive trip if you know how to avoid paying too much money.

We at Free Tours by Foot know a thing a two about saving money, from our pay-what-you-like guided walking tours, audio tours, and free self-guided tours.

If you are even considering visiting two of NYC's top attractions, say the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, then you have to read our post reviewing the top tourist attraction passes .

Below are some of the most popular articles:

  • Save money on attractions and tours with a tourist attraction discount pass .
  • Learn how to use the NYC Subway and which MetroCard to buy .
  • Find highly rated but inexpensive hotels and other accommodation options.
  • List of museums and galleries that offer free admission.
  • Tips on discount shopping .
  • Don't pay full price for tickets to Broadway shows .
  • Find the best cheap eats .

Check out our post titled " Travel Guide for NYC on a Budget " for all of our helpful articles.

And much, much more

North america, united kingdom & ireland, middle east & india, asia & oceania.

Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

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The Best Walking Tours of New York City

People crossing a busy street in bustling NYC, USA with cars all around

New York City has tons of walking tour companies. There are free tours, food tours, neighborhood tours, expensive private walking tours. New York has a walking tour for everyone’s needs and interests!

Personally, I love walking tours. I think they’re a wonderful way to see a city, get your bearings, and learn about where you are from a local expert. After all, why visit a place if you don’t want to learn about it?

To help you decide what tours to take while you’re exploring the Big Apple, I decided to sample a big chunk of the city’s historical walking tour companies in order to find the best ones. While it took a toll on my feet (I definitely got my steps in!), I learned a lot about NYC history!

Here’s a review of the best walking tours in New York City:

Best Overall Tour

The Take Walks walking tour company logo

Take Walks specializes in behind the scenes access that other tours don’t offer. Their Met tour is hours of educational fun and their Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, 9/11 tour as well as their Disney tour take you behind the scenes and give you insider access you won’t get anywhere else. They are my FAVORITE tour company in the city. Any of their tours will be great!

Best Free Tour

Free Tours By Foot logo

Free Tours by Foot

These free tours are offered throughout the city by licensed guides. The company really shines in its diverse catalog — there’s a tour for everyone. They add a bit of quirky history to each tour and, since there’s no set script, each tour differs based on your guide. (My SoHo tour guide waxed poetic on gentrification.) Just make sure to sign up in advance and be sure to tip your guide at the end!

In addition to these two awesome tour companies, New York has over a dozen other insightful, educational, and delicious tours in the city. Here are my top suggestions:  

1. Big Apple Greeter

Big Apple Greeter was founded in 1992 and connects visitors with local residents who show them around their neighborhood for a day. These aren’t professional guides, just locals showing you their favorite spots. I haven’t taken a tour with this company in many years, but the concept is still spot on and it’s something I highly recommend first-time visitors do.

After a pause due to COVID, Big Apple Greeter is back, but at the moment they ask you to fill out a visit request 4 weeks in advance. Currently, they are not accepting restorations within 10 days so make sure to book in advance! Meeting a greeter is free of charge and there is a no-tipping policy. However, please consider making a donation to help this service continue.

2. Explore the Real Brooklyn

Friend and fellow travel writer Dani Heinrich runs this off-the-beaten-path tour around Brooklyn. She’s a diehard Brooklynite and loves taking people around the city to show them there’s a lot more to NYC than just Manhattan. She has been leading these tours for over 4 years and will take you all over Brooklyn (so be prepared to walk). Tours last 4.5 hours.

Tours from $44 USD.

3. Central Park Conservancy Tour

Ever wanted to know about the flora and fauna of Central Park? Well, now you can. Several free tours highlight the various features of the park. Not only do you get to walk around the park on a beautiful day, but you learn about what you’re looking at too! There are tours that cover the main sights, family-friendly tours, tours that focus on statues and monuments, and more. The tours usually last 90 minutes. You can purchase tickets online in advance.

Tours from $25 USD.

4. The Village Alliance

The Village Alliance offers free self-guided walking tours of Greenwich Village. You can get the itineraries and maps on their website so you can learn about the history and social culture of the area. Tours cover everything from LGBTQ landmarks to the 1960s to important women in history. Their website also has tons of information on the bohemian art scene, food, and gentrification. Since tours are self-guided, they last as long as you want them to.

5. Big Onion Walking Tours

This is one of the biggest walking tour companies in New York. Using Ph.D. candidates as tour guides, this company runs about 50 tours on varying days each month. I took their Prohibition walking tour. I liked my guide, and she provided a lot of historical information, but much of it wasn’t directly related to Prohibition. While that was a personal bummer ( I’m a sucker for anything Jazz Age! ), I still really liked the tour and would recommend the company.

Tours cost $30 USD. $20 for students and seniors

6. Bowery Boys Walks

The Bowery Boys started off as a podcast back in 2007, focusing on the unique history of the Big Apple. Since then, they’ve branched out and created their own walking tours based on some of their most popular episodes and topics. They offer over a dozen distinct tours that cover specific areas around the city as well as different historical periods, such as their Gilded Age Mansions tour (which is super interesting!). Their tours last around two hours. Be sure to book in advance since there is limited space.

Tours from $40 USD.

A fresh slice of pizza from a pizza place in busy New York City, USA

  • Scott’s Pizza Tours
  • Foods of NY
  • Famous Fat Dave’s Five Borough Eating Tour
  • Secret Food Tours
  • Beyond the Plate

Some other NYC walking tours I’ve heard are worthwhile from reliable, trustworthy sources but haven’t used myself include the following:

Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl — Actors from a local theater project take visitors around bars in the West Village and fill their heads with information about famous drinking writers and their stomachs with a lot of beer. Tours are on Fridays and Saturdays and last three hours. Tickets are $30-35 USD. Come thirsty!

Joyce Gold Tours of New York — Joyce Gold is a 30-year tour veteran who teaches history at NYU and leads very informational small-group tours around the city. Her history-focused tours are very detailed. Go if you’re a history buff! There are lots of tours to choose from and all are $25 USD.

New York Gallery Tours — This tour company takes you to a wide variety of galleries throughout New York City. It’s a great way to see up-and-coming art without having to figure out what galleries are worth seeing. The galleries visited frequently change, so check the website for tour information. Tours are $31 USD and are available on Saturdays. Private tours are available Tuesday to Saturday starting with a 10-person minimum for $300.

New York TV and Movie Tour — This tour takes you to all the famous spots you see in movies and on TV. Tours start at $61.

No matter what company you tour with on this list, you’ll learn a lot, have fun, and discover parts of NYC with these walking tours you wouldn’t have found otherwise. Nothing can replace an insider’s tour of a city! Try a couple over the course of your visit. (Again, my favorite is Take Walks but any company on this list will be phenomenal!)

Get the In-Depth Budget Guide to New York City!

Get the In-Depth Budget Guide to New York City!

For more in-depth tips on NYC, check out my 100+ page guidebook written for budget travelers like you! It cuts out the fluff found in other guides and gets straight to the practical information you need to travel in the city that never sleeps. You’ll find suggested itineraries, budgets, ways to save money, on- and off-the-beaten-path things to see and do, non-touristy restaurants, markets, bars, safety tips, and much more! Click here to learn more and get your copy today.

Book Your Trip to New York City: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.

If you’re looking for more places to stay, here my complete list of favorite hostels the city.

Additionally, if you’re wondering what part of town to stay in, here’s my neighborhood guide to NYC!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

  • Safety Wing (best for everyone)
  • Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
  • Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)

Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on New York City? Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on New York City for even more planning tips!

Got a comment on this article? Join the conversation on Facebook , Instagram , or Twitter and share your thoughts!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I use and the income goes to keeping the site community supported and ad free.

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“My husband and I did a  private   walking   tour  of Brooklyn with Dan and had a really enjoyable day! We felt like we were hanging out with an old friend as we meandered around the neighborhoods and he shared stories, history and special places we would never have found on our own. This was one of the most fun things we have done in all our years of visiting NY.”

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Like walking with a friend through NYC!

“HIGHLY RECOMMEND! This walking tour was one of the best I have done in the U.S. and abroad. My husband and I took a 4.5 hour private tour with David through Lower Manhattan, Battery Park, Wall Street, World Trade Center site, China Town, Little Italy, The Bowery, Chelsea Market… David customized the tour to our requests as we went along and was knowledgeable, easy going, and friendly. It felt like walking with a friend through NYC!”

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The High Line

The 19 best tours and walks in NYC

Take one of the best NYC tours and let an expert show you the city like never before

With so many must-see attractions in NYC , a visit to the city can be overwhelming. The best NYC tours — whether by land, sea or air — can help you make the most of your visit. Even locals will enjoy these tours and maybe learn something new (or discover a few secret NYC destinations) by taking an off-the-beaten-path tour . Choose your own adventure: walking tours, boat tours, bike tours and helicopter tours are all great ways to see the city, and the expert guides will leave you with a satisfying taste of the city. Looking for something more specific? There are food tours, movie tours, art tours, architecture tours and more. Whatever part of NYC you want to explore, there’s a tour for you, and you’ll have fun while learning everything you need to know about the Big Apple.

Recommended:  the best lesser-known attractions in NYC   Recommended: the best non-touristy things to do in NYC Recommended: the best parks in NYC Recommended: the best food tours in NYC  

This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click  here .

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Best NYC tours

Big Bus New York Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

1.  Big Bus New York Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

The quintessential city tour of all tours, hop-on hop-off's get some major props for ease, accessibility, and price. Map-reading and subway-taking not your strong suit? No worries — even the most directionally-challenged traveler can enjoy Big Bus Tours, condensing a sightseeing fest including thirty landmarks into one trip. Be sure to watch out for famous points of interest as you go with the aid of a live tour guide (and go-to know-it-all about New York attractions). And if something catches your eye? Just hop off wherever you fancy — simple. Choose from routes running in downtown, uptown, Harlem, and Brooklyn and get from Wall Street’s Charging Bull statue to the green meadows of Central Park with ease. Basically, it's an easy option for seeing as much or as little as you want of the city in one day – and not stress out about maps or super expensive Uber fairs.

Small Group Central Park Bike Tour

2.  Small Group Central Park Bike Tour

You’ll cover much more of Central Park’s 843 acres of meadows, woods, and ponds on a bike than you ever could on foot. Meet up with the guide from Central Park Tours Inc. to pick out your wheels for the day, then set off from the south end of the park. You’ll spy iconic landmarks, plus a few lesser-known gems. And since the tour is always capped at just eight people, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to ask questions along the way and maybe even make a new friend or two. Oh, and you know, we could think of worse ways to stay fit and save the planet. 

Circle Line: New York Landmarks Cruise

3.  Circle Line: New York Landmarks Cruise

As far as skylines go, Manhattan's is a hard one to beat. There's the Statue of Liberty leading the way from Ellis Island, Brooklyn Bridge showing off its architectural beauty, and the Empire State standing tall – all of which make for a stunning view from the water. Sail around New York harbor on the Circle Line cruise, which heads up the Hudson, as well as rounding the Brooklyn bay areas. You'll also hear the history and stories behind all of the sights, so fill up on the facts and don't hesitate to ask a question or two. 

9/11 Memorial and Ground Zero Walking Tour

4.  9/11 Memorial and Ground Zero Walking Tour

Remember the lives lost during the tragedy that was 9/11 by visiting the site where the World Trade Center once stood. Now known as Ground Zero, your guide will share facts, figures, and real-life stories with you – making for a trip that is insightful, informative, and moving all at once. Starting at City Tales Sightseeing, you'll also stop at the  Fireman’s Memorial,  twin reflecting pools, One World Observatory, and  St Paul’s Chapel .

Central Park TV and Movie Sites Tour

5.  Central Park TV and Movie Sites Tour

With 843 acres of meadows, woods, and streams, Central Park offers a gorgeous green backdrop for filmmakers. So perhaps it’s no surprise that countless movies have been set here, from When Harry Met Sally to Ghostbusters . Movie buffs will recognize the skating rink featured in Serendipity , the people-watching scene from Annie Hall, and the path that Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Jules Munshin biked along in On the Town . This two-hour walking tour takes you to 30 film locations within the park, though hundreds more exist.

Champagne Brunch Sail

6.  Champagne Brunch Sail

Fresh air, ocean waves, unlimited prosecco, and a massive brunch spread of bagels, lox, cream cheese, quiche, fresh fruit, and more—it’s fair to say that this midday cruise on the Shearwater really does have it all. Sit back and relax and the crew guides the restored 1929 sailboat out into the harbor. If you’re lucky, the captain will even let you take a turn at the helm.

Brooklyn Bridge Bike Tour

7.  Brooklyn Bridge Bike Tour

Boasting some of the most jaw-droppingly spectacular views in the city, the Brooklyn Bridge is a beacon for snap-happy tourists. But don't let your only experience of this stunning structure and its incredible views be through the viewfinder of your camera. Put the gadgets down and take a bike ride across the bridge to really soak up the scenery. This 'Bike and Roll' tour takes about three hours, running at a  leisurely pace with  plenty of time for photo stops. Make sure you make the most of your guide, who is sure to have bags of knowledge about the bridge's history and architectural details. 

Sugar Hill and Washington Heights Tour

8.  Sugar Hill and Washington Heights Tour

Sugar Hill got its name during the Harlem Renaissance, as “life was sweet” for the wealthy African Americans who lived in the district. Thurgood Marshall, Langston Hughes, and Duke Ellington all spent time in the row houses here. Peep the stunning Queen Anne–style architecture and immerse yourself in the vibrant community on this walking tour of the area.

Lower East Side Bagel Tour

9.  Lower East Side Bagel Tour

Come hungry: You start this walking tour of the Lower East Side with a piping hot bagel smeared with cream cheese. The eats only get better as you visit venerable New York institutions like Katz’s Delicatessen, Russ and Daughters, The Pickle Guy, and Economy Candy. It’s not all about the food either: Your guide will explain how immigrants shaped both this neighborhood and its cuisine as you walk.

Roosevelt Island Tour

10.  Roosevelt Island Tour

Few visitors know anything about Roosevelt Island, a secluded residential community that feels worlds apart from the rest of the city. Once used for insane asylums and hospitals, Roosevelt Island is now home to a thriving population of about 14,000 residents. But, if you have the stomach for it, revisit the island's troubled past on the 'Island of Lost Souls' tour. Pass eerie sites, like the neo-Gothic ruins of the smallpox hospital, the first pathological and bacteriological research lab, and the NYC Lunatic Asylum which opened in 1841. After you learn about the island’s history, board the aerial tram for a sky-high trip over the East River into Manhattan.

Best of Brooklyn Half-Day Food and Culture Tour

11.  Best of Brooklyn Half-Day Food and Culture Tour

Despite Manhattan's abundance of white-clothed, Michelin-starred dining rooms, some are now touting Brooklyn as the epicenter of food culture in NYC. Either way, it's impossible to deny that Brooklyn's dining scene is incredible, from pierogis in Greenpoint's Polish stronghold to tacos and pupusas in Sunset Park and trendy farm-to-table newcomers in Williamsburg. To provide a thorough understanding of the borough's eats, this half-day tour will take you through all those neighborhoods, as well as Dumbo, the waterfront neighborhood where you'll enjoy sweets from the renowned Jacques Torres chocolate factory.

Sex and the City Hotspots Tour

12.  Sex and the City Hotspots Tour

What Sex and the City fan hasn’t daydreamed about switching lives with Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, or Charlotte for the day? The over-the-top outfits, glamorous parties, and outrageous dates might be too good to be true, but at least the scenery is true to life. Visit Carrie’s brownstone, some of the girls’ favorite bars, and an X-rated store featured on the show on this epic bus tour. There might even be time to stop for a Cosmo.

Statue of Liberty Express Cruise

13.  Statue of Liberty Express Cruise

Perfect for the sightseer who knows exactly what he or she wants, this Circle Line express tour goes right to the Statue of Liberty – no pit stops this time. Listen to an expert guide point out some lower Manhattan landmarks before pausing for photos right next to Lady Liberty. And since this cruise only takes an hour, it’s easy to fit into even the busiest itinerary.

High Line and Chelsea Walking Tour

14.  High Line and Chelsea Walking Tour

What started life as an unremarkable elevated railway is now famous across the world and one of New York's most photogenic landmarks. The High Line is a public park, rotating art gallery and perennial tourist attraction stretched, as the name suggests, high over the bustling city streets below. Take a two-hour walking tour hosted by New York Tour 1 to explore the full span of this green oasis and take in the architecture and unique history of Chelsea and the Meatpacking District. Make sure you save some time to shop in Chelsea Market afterward and don't forget to snap a pic of the lush greenery. 

Lower East Side Food and Culture Tour

15.  Lower East Side Food and Culture Tour

This is one for the foodies. The Lower East Side’s culinary scene is as vibrant as its culture. It's impossible to separate the two: as different immigrant communities moved in over the decades, each brought the foods of their homelands with them. These days, you can find everything from knishes to stroopwafels to fresh mozzarella within a few blocks. This three-hour walking and eating expedition around the neighborhood lets you t aste all the foods it has to offer – and learn about their origins. 

Ghost Tour of Greenwich Village

16.  Ghost Tour of Greenwich Village

You’d never know it from the looks of Washington Square Park, but Greenwich Village has a sinister past. At the northwest corner of the park is the Hangman’s Elm, one of the oldest trees in the city and the site of at least one public execution. Master of horror Edgar Allan Poe once lived in the neighborhood and rumor has it that artist John La Farge still haunts the nearby Church of the Ascension. Delve into the neighborhood’s gruesome past on this two-hour ghost tour, and discover all of its haunting secrets. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes!

The Sopranos Sites Tour

17.  The Sopranos Sites Tour

Technically speaking, this tour takes you outside the five boroughs, but The Sopranos is such an iconic New York show that we couldn’t leave it out. After you board the bus in Midtown, you’ll go through the Lincoln Tunnel – the site of the show’s unforgettable opening sequence – on your way to the New Jersey suburbs. There, you’ll check out the Bada Bing! strip club, Big Pussy’s auto body shop, and the restaurant featured in the final scene of the series.

Alternative New York Street Art Tour

18.  Alternative New York Street Art Tour

There's much more to art in New York than just the paintings, photography, and sculptures exhibited in its many prestigious museums. Graffiti started life in the Big Apple and NYC remains at the very forefront of the street art world to this day. Discover some of the city's very best outdoor artworks and murals on an Inside Out Tour of either the Lower East Side or Bushwick and Williamsburg. You won’t find these artists hanging in any gallery. Yet.

New York City Lights Sail

19.  New York City Lights Sail

There's only one thing more spectacular than New York's skyscrapers glimmering in the sun – the famous skyline dramatically lit up against the night sky. Board the Shearwater for a cruise around the harbor after dark. The 105-minute trip is a great way to get awe-inspiring views of the city and a much-needed moment of calm out on the water.

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Get up close and personal to Lady Liberty herself on one of these six Statue of Liberty tours

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The best tours of off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods in NYC

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Go outside your comfort zone to visit off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods like Washington Heights or Forest Hills

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19 booze tours in New York City

Look past the endless assortment of beer and wine bars in NYC, and instead sign up for one of these booze tours

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The best bike tours in NYC

Ready to bike, New York? Find the best bike shops, pedal through the prettiest routes and more with our guide.

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The best food tours in NYC

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Eight things in NYC you can only do on guided tours

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The best NYC bus tours

In a rush to see all of NYC? Bus tours are your most efficient option.

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The best walking tours in NYC

New York natives and first-time tourists alike will discover parts of the city they’ve never seen before on the best walking tours in NYC

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The best TV and movie tours in NYC

Spot  Carrie Bradshaw’s stoop from Sex and the City , the deli from  When Harry Met Sally and more film locations on these TV and movie tours in NYC

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The best boat tours in NYC

Why settle for exploring the city by bus or taxi when you could cruise the harbor on a boat tour in NYC? 

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The best walking tours for theater lovers in NYC

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14 tours to help you see NYC by land, by air and by sea

Whether you book a tour by helicopter, speedboat or bike, you'll see New York City from a new vantage point

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The best helicopter tours in NYC

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Uncover some of NYC’s secrets on these unique tours

Uncover some of NYC’s secrets on these unique tours

Peel back the veil of mystery on one of these nine tours

Take this taco walking tour for the best day ever

Take this taco walking tour for the best day ever

Over the past few years, New York has slowly begun to experience a taco renaissance. What is better than a walking tour to see (and taste) all of the best bits?

The NYC walking tour of the High Line

The NYC walking tour of the High Line

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The NYC walking tour of Brooklyn's most beautiful brownstones

Go on—let yourself get house-envy on this pretty Park Slope walk

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The six most romantic fall walks in NYC

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The NYC walking tour of the city's prettiest cobbled streets

Brooklyn Heights offers old-world charm in a modern city. Check out this walking tour to see it in all of its glory

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The NYC walking tour of Ditmas Park's Victorian mansions

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Take a behind-the-scenes tour of an abandoned rail line in Queens

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The abandoned lines of the Rockaway Beach branch of the LIRR has a proposal in place to become “the Queensway”, a pedestrian and bike-friendly walkway running through the center of Forest Park

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Fall tours of New York: Walking and biking tours of NYC

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Cheap New York: Cheap walks and tours

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WALKING TOURS & ACTIVITIES IN NEW YORK

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Free Tour of New York

Book the original New York free walking tour and visit many of the city's highlights with a local gu ...

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Small Group New York Classic Food Tour

Embark on an unforgettable 3h culinary experience in New York City!

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Tell us the landmarks, stories or parts of the city you want to see, how long you have to see them and when you want to go, and we’ll build an itinerary that suits you.

Discover the many faces of New York with a passionate local guide

Few cities set hearts collectively racing like the Big Apple. The epitome of the American Dream, combined with the hustle and bustle of a true world city; it’s not hard to see why New York is so often the backdrop of movies, music and books. It’s easy to get lost in this impressive concrete jungle, so let us show you the city that never sleeps through the eyes of New York’s best local tour guides.

As the original  FREE Tour company, we’ll show you many of New York’s top attractions with our Downtown Manhattan walking tour, including Broadway, Wall Street, the 9/11 Memorial and Battery Park, with views to the Statue of Liberty.

After you’ve got the overview with the free walking tour, delve deeper with us on our other great New York tours! The Midtown Tour will take you to some of New York’s best landmarks, such us Times Square, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center and Fifth Avenue.

You can also visit some of New York’s most famous neighborhoods on the  Chinatown, Little Italy & Brooklyn Bridge Tour .

Need an escape to nature? Our Central Park walking tour  is the ultimate Central Park guide, taking you to must-see famous sites like the John Lennon tribute Strawberry Fields, as well as some hidden gems you won’t find yourself.

For the foodies, don’t leave the big apple without joining our Small Group New York Classic Food Tour !

Enjoy authentic local experiences

New York is part of the SANDEMANs NEW Europe network, one of the largest walking tour companies in the world. Offering daily tours in English and Spanish, we believe in supporting local communities and are committed to giving a voice to some of New York's best local freelance tour guides, who passionately share the city's history and culture with their own unique and always-entertaining style.

Aside from the Free Tour, in New York you’ll also find unforgettable tours and experiences. We’re looking forward to seeing you soon!

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things to do in new york travel guide

Things to do in New York

Ready to start exploring New York? Check out these useful tips and don't miss any of the city's main attractions

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Finding the right place to stay can be difficult - that's why we have sorted you out with a list of our favourite hostels and hotels in New York

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Discover our selection of popular spots among the locals to taste from craft beer to delicious cocktails

new york walking tour

Participation in tours promoted by SANDEMANs NEW Europe is strictly on a voluntary basis. Neither SANDEMANs NEW Europe, nor the self-employed freelance guides who are the providers of the tours promoted by SANDEMANs NEW Europe, will be held responsible in any way for injuries to body or property incurred during tours. The tour guides reserve the right to deny participation in any tour, to any person, for any reason. Thank you for your understanding.

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  1. A Walking Tour of Washington DC’s Monuments and Memorials

    Washington DC is a city steeped in history and culture, with an array of monuments and memorials that pay tribute to the nation’s rich past. Taking a walking tour of the city’s most iconic landmarks is a must-do for any visitor to the capit...

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