Be dazzled by New York city as you set out by foot. You get the lay of the land and learn more about the city and its history from a trained professional. It also makes the most of your time by getting you from one attraction to another in a shorter period of time. This is why you’ll find an abundance of walking tours offered throughout the city. Here are a few of the best walking tours in NYC to look out when you happen to travel to this captivating United States city:
If you’re looking for something different, and out-of-the-ordinary, try one of these unique tours. Whether you’re a marvel fanatic, or simply want a tour tailored to your interests, these walking tours of New York will not disappoint.
Cost: From $35 per person
Duration: 2 hours
Highlights: Visits to the Empire State Building, Flatiron Building, and the Chrysler Building – all of which have been featured in famous superhero movies.
Marvel fans, assemble! You can now follow in the footsteps of your favorite superheroes in New York City. You’ll also get the opportunity to see Marvel Enterprises HQ and other comic-related nooks and crannies only the real New Yorkers know.
Hint: there’s a bar where the best comic book artists have been drawing on the wall for years!
Cost: Free – but feel free to donate to the Highline
Duration: 75 minutes
Highlights: View NYC’s park in the sky, learn more about its history and how it is protected by the volunteers.
The friends of the Highline are a group of volunteers who work together to keep the NY park in the sky going. They run biweekly tours of the Highline and allow visitors a unique view of the city.
Tip: This tour only runs on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and is reliant on good weather. The Highline website recommends that you check @highlinenyc on Twitter for updates prior to arriving at the park.
Cost: $25 per person
Duration: 2 hours
Highlights: Take your pick of the fascinating, yet eery touring options.
Take a tour through one of New York’s fascinating neighbourhoods, and explore the spookier side of the city. Choose between a walking tour of Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and other haunted districts. Boroughs of the Dead walks are not recommended for children younger than 12 years.
Quick on the draw with the camera? Step this way. Whether you’re an Instagram sensation with a love of all things filter-friendly or a film fanatic who kicks it old school, the Big Apple has plenty of photo ops to spare.
Cost: Varies between $185 and $150
Duration: Also varies from 90 mins – 3 hours
Highlights: Take your pick – choose from photo safaris around a specific neighbourhood, or do NY at night.
These NYC photo safaris are perfect if you’re hoping to get in some holiday snaps. Take a tour led by a professional, and get to photograph the most iconic New York spots.
Cost: $225 for a group of 6 or more
Duration: 2.5 hours
Highlights: Get some gorgeous sunset photos while being guided by a local, licensed tour guide who is also a photographer.
For this one, you’ll need to gather a group together, and you’ll pay a combined cost of $225. Your walking tour local guide will then take you down to Lower Manhattan and over the Brooklyn Bridge. Your guide will be able to direct you in taking professional shots, and you’ll go home with some forever memories.
This walking tour through Central Park will enlighten and inspire even the most amateur photographer. Take a walk through the park as your guide points out the most photo-worthy spots, and directs you on getting that perfect shot.
If you mainly travel for the joy of experiencing a new country’s cuisine, NY is the place to be! There is an enormous variety of foodie walking tours available in New York, with a host of different food to try and enjoy.
Cost: Free! Only pay for the food you’d like to eat.
Duration: Approx. 2 hours. Walk for around 1 mile.
Highlights: Learn the history and culture of Chinatown, NY, and sample unique foods as well as Chinese staples.
Discover New York’s Chinatown with this free guided walking tour. Learn the history of the area, make stops at popular landmarks, and sample delicious food as you go. This tour has no charge, but in the end, if you feel it’s worth a charge, you are welcome to pay your guide.
This tour is only available on Thursdays but you can check out Free Tours by Foot for more free foodie walking adventures.
Cost: $32 per person. Includes food tastings.
Duration: Approx. 2 hours. Walk for 1 – 2 miles.
Highlights: Tour the Lower East side of NYC, learn about the history and diverse cultures in the area, and taste traditional food from shops and markets.
This tour, run by big onion tours, runs on specific dates, so you’ll need to check the schedule. This food tour doesn’t stop at restaurants, but rather stop for food tastings from shops and markets. The food tastings are to represent the diverse cultures of the Lower Eastside, namely Italian, Chinese, Jewish, and Dominican.
Cost: $55 per person. Includes pizza tastings, and pizza journal.
Duration: 2.5 – 3 hours long. Walk for about 1 mile.
Highlights: Stop at three different pizzerias, get a historical lesson on pizza, enjoy kitchen tours and pizza tastings!
For some of the best NYC pizza, join in on one of Scott’s Pizza Walking Tours. There are different public tours available, depending on which day of the week you are visiting New York. You can also book a private pizza tour, at an additional cost.
As far as cities with fascinating histories go, New York definitely comes out tops. Now you can experience NY’s past, present, and future with New York city walks and historical tours that follow the epic journey of a nation.
Cost: $49 per adult; $39 for under 18s.
Duration: 2 hours.
Highlights: Explore the neighbourhoods of New York, while learning about their fascinating history.
Go on one of the well-known New York Historical Tours and learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about NYC history. There are multiple different tours on offer, and you can book them depending on your preferences, as well as available dates.
Cost: $23 per person.
Duration: 2.5 hours.
Highlights: See popular New York attractions and landmarks and learn their history, guided by an experienced tour guide, enjoy a small group tour.
Join NYC Tourist for one of their spectacular historic Manhattan walking tours. See strategic parts of Manhattan during the Revolutionary War, and gain information from your knowledgeable tour guide. Visit historic landmarks such as St. Paul’s Chapel and Trinity Church.
Cost: $64 per person – 10% discount for groups of 6 or more
Duration: 3 hours
Highlights: Grab your new group travel friends and head out for a day of shopping!
This tour is perfect for some bonding with your roommates and other travel buddies! Join Shop Gotham for a 3-hour tour of fabulous boutiques and other treasure troves for shopping. Get access to exclusive showrooms, and take advantage of wholesale shopping prices.
Cost: Free, except for what you buy. You pay your guide whatever you feel they are worth at the end,
Duration: 2 – 3 hours
Highlights: Shop New York with your own personal shopper, and find some vintage treasures.
A dream come true for shopping enthusiasts. This tour is a pay-what-you-wish outing, complete with a personal shopper who will take you to some of New York City’s best-kept secrets!
The Big Apple is a living canvas. Home to some of America’s foremost graffiti artists and muralists, the city is literally covered in beautiful street art. Sure, you will probably stumble upon some gorgeous pieces if you set out on your own, but if you really want to see the goods, it’s a great idea to get professional guidance.
Cost: $25 per person
Duration: 2 hours
Highlights: Expect to see a diverse collection of street art, done in various mediums.
This popular street art walking tour of New York City is a great way to see some of New York’s finest street artists’ work. You’ll be led by a local guide, who will know the best spots and will take you to some incredible photo-worthy murals.
Note: These tours are only available on Saturdays and Sundays.
Cost: $20 per adult; $15 for kids
Duration: 2 hours
Highlights: Enjoy a tour of Brooklyn’s or Manhattan’s street art, and then take a street art class right after!
For those interested in Graffiti, Graff Tours offers the ultimate experience. First, take a walking tour where expert guides will show you the gorgeous wall mural paintings of either the Brooklyn or Manhattan neighbourhoods. Once the walk is done, you can sign up to learn some graffiti yourself!
New York’s neighbourhoods are full of unique and distinct architecture. Have a look at these fascinating NYC architecture walking tours.
Cost: $58 per person
Duration: 3 hours.
Highlights: Be guided by a local and learn details about New York’s most stunning buildings and designs.
On this tour, you can expect an in-depth look at 150 years of New York architecture. Led by an expert guide, groups move from the East River to Bryant Park and learn the history of the buildings and neighbourhoods.
Cost: $25 – $35 per person.
Duration: 2 – 2.5 hours
Highlights: Enjoy walking tours of NYC neighbourhoods and view the intricate designs of the buildings around you.
The center for architecture in New York offers regular walking tours. They have a variety of tours to choose from, each targeting a different NY district and each with its own knowledgeable guide. Check their website to see which tours are running during your time in the city.
Final Thoughts on Walking Tours, NY
These are just a few of the best NYC walking tours available in New York. More are being tailored each day. No matter what your interests are, you are sure to find a tour that suits your taste. Our Expat Explore Travel tours of NY leave lots of free time to explore by yourself. This is because we like our travelers to tailor their experience to their own preferences. On these days our guests can partake in optional excursions, or set out by themselves. These walking tours of New York are a great way to spend your valuable free time in the Big Apple.
Our 15-day tour, Eastern USA & Canada Escape (incl. New York), includes two full days to explore New York City. Check it out here!