25 AMAZING Tours in New York [August 2019!]

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New York City has long been known as the melting pot of the United States. It is a place where cultures, identities, history, and commerce meld together in a beautiful display of community. Stepping onto its busy streets will immediately make you feel a part of something bigger than yourself. Where the high-class and middle of the road traditions walk side by side in a symphony of sights, sounds, and tastes.

Throughout its many boroughs, the crisscrossing streets of old and new offer amazing opportunities to explore at your own pace. Your trip here is sure to entertain and excite you every day. Here are a few of the best tours offered you can find in New York City.

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#1 – NYC Explorer Pass

The best tour to get the most out of your money!

NYC Explorer Pass

  • 85 top tours to choose from
  • Additional discounts on other activities
  • Cost: $$
  • Duration of tour: valid up to 30 days

The NYC Explorer’s Pass is the perfect opportunity to get access to all of the sightseeing staples on your to-do list at a fraction of the cost. This pass allows you to choose from 85 different attractions within the city giving you the flexibility to explore at your own pace.

You can save up to 55% off of admission to museums, monuments, and galleries while receiving additional savings towards shopping and dining. If you are new to New York City and want to fit in all of the best attractions the Explorer’s Pass will help you achieve that.

 

#2 – Cruise Around Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Boat tours are great in New York!

Cruise Around Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

  • Incredible up-close views of iconic monuments
  • Cruise under the Brooklyn Bridge
  • Cost:$
  • Duration of tour: 1 hour

There is no structure more iconic in New York than the Statue of Liberty. Throughout the years this monument has welcomed millions of people searching for a better opportunity in the United States. During this tour, you will be taken for an up-close view of the lady herself as you sail within 100 feet.

You will also be treated to the amazing views of the skyline of lower Manhattan and admire the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge as you troll below its lanes. Here the stories behind these structure through the audioguide and take in all of the beauty and history this tour has to offer.

 

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#3 – Guided Wall Street, Little Italy and China Town Tour

We love this walking tour!

Guided Wall Street, Little Italy and China Town Tour

  • See over 20 sites in one day
  • Learn the history and culture of each district
  • Cost: $
  • Duration of tour: 3 hours

New York is one of the world’s most loved cities. During this 3-hour walking tour, you will be able to discover why. An expert guide will walk you through over 20 of New York City’s most famed attractions while regaling you with the history, culture, and legends that contribute to their status.

You will walk through Wall Street in one of the oldest districts in Manhattan, visit Ground Zero and hear about the heroism that saved so many lives. You will travel to places like Greenwich Village and Little Italy where you will understand how these districts came into fruition and how they have withstood the test of time.

 

#4 – 9/11 Memorial & Museum

A must-do tour in New York!

9/11 Memorial & Museum

  • Hear personal stories of remembrance and resilience
  • Discover artifacts from the terrifying attack
  • Cost: $
  • Duration of tour: 3 hours

The events of September 11, 2001, shook our nation and catapulted us into a war that has now gone on for decades. This attack still reverberates with every American that witnessed the tragedy, especially those at Ground Zero.

This must-do tour will give you a chance to reflect and honor the fallen as you explore the over 10,000 monumental artifacts and hear the first-person accounts of this devastating incident. Learn about the resilience of the people and get a chance to fully understand the devastation that occurred that fateful day.

 

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#5 – Museum of Modern Art Tour

The perfect tour for art lovers!

Museum of Modern Art Tour

  • Primary access to one of the best museum’s in New York
  • Discover amazing works by artist’s like Warhol and Matisse
  • Cost: $
  • Duration of tour: valid 1 day

The Museum of Modern Art or MoMA is a celebration of creativity, tolerance, and openness. Its goal is to bring together cutting edge modern art installations that inspire and challenge our status quo.

Besides housing the finest collection of modern and contemporary art in the world, MoMA is a staple for the up and coming artists of NYC. During your tour, you will hear audio commentary on the pieces as you browse six floors of artwork that can’t be seen anywhere else. If you are a lover of art, VIP access tour is a must.

 

#6 – Sex and the City Hotspots Tour

An awesome tour for Sex and the City fans!

Sex and the City Hotspots Tour

  • See the spots where iconic scenes from the show were filmed
  • Invoke your inner Carrie Bradshaw while exploring Manhattan
  • Cost: $
  • Duration of tour: 3.5 hours

Many people can equate their desire to visit New York with their love for the characters from Sex and the City. It made you want to sip cosmopolitans, bash on guys with your besties and improve your style game almost every episode.

Luckily, this tour will allow you to let out your inner Carrie Bradshaw as you walk a few miles in her shoes (don’t worry, heels are not mandatory). You will visit Aiden’s furniture store, get some retail therapy at the Greenwich Village Boutiques and see where Carrie and Big’s wedding rehearsal took place.

 

#7 – Half-Day Pizza Tasting Bus Tour

Our favorite bus tour in New York!

Half-Day Pizza Tasting Bus Tour

  • Visit 4 of the best pizzerias across the boroughs
  • A fun ride on a yellow school bus throughout the city
  • Cost: $$
  • Duration of tour: 4.5 hours

The pizza battle has waged for years. Do you prefer the deep dish deliciousness of Chicago style or the thin, lightly sauced cheesy goodness of the New York style? This tour may be able to make your final decision. Here you will get to sample four different slices from the city’s top pizza vendors as you make your way through the city on a classic yellow school bus.

You will hear about the pizza culture and New York and get to see some of the oldest Pizza ovens in all of New York City. This tour is any pizza lovers dream!

 

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#8 – Rock n’ Roll Tour NYC

One of the coolest walking tours in New York!

Rock n' Roll Tour NYC

  • Explore the influence of rock n’ roll in the East Village
  • Access to icons like CBGBs and Electric Circus
  • Cost: $
  • Duration of tour: 2 hours

New York City has a long history of music talents. Specifically, during the late ’70s and early ’80s, NYC was the scene for the punk rock explosion that ensued. This tour through the east village will give you the history behind this as well as the rock and glam eras of music within the city.

You will be able to pay tribute to NYC’s birthplace of punk, rock and folk scenes at the iconic CBGB’s. See where artists like Joey Ramone and Iggy Pop once lived and how all of these locations helped shaped the style and culture surrounding each era.

 

#9 – Around Manhattan: Official NYC Architecture Tour

The perfect tour for architecture lovers!

Around Manhattan: Official NYC Architecture Tour

  • A ride on a 1920’s style yacht
  • An expert architect guide to give the history behind main points of interest
  • Cost: $$
  • Duration of tour: 2.75 hours

New York City’s skyline is one of the most memorable skylines on the planet. The buildings that make up its sharp pitches and spires are just as beautiful individually as they are together. This tour aboard a classic 1920’s yacht will provide you with everything you need to know about these structures, why they were created and who played a hand in their construction.

Joined by a team of acutal architects, you will travel through the Hudson, East and Harlem rivers passing under all 18 bridges. Learn about the icons and the lesser known structures throughout. There is no other tour that gives you a more comprehensive guide to the magnificent architecture that calls this city home.

 

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#10 – Philly and Amish Country Day Trip

We love this full-day tour!

Philly and Amish Country Day Trip

  • Take a buggy ride to a traditional Amish market
  • Run up the Rocky steps in Philadelphia
  • Cost: $$$
  • Duration of tour: 14 hours

Visiting New York City throws you into the everyday hustle and bustle of its neverstopping lifestyle. However, sometimes it is nice to take a step back and explore the natural beauty that is just a short distance from the concrete jungle. This tour offers you just that.

Here you will get a chance to experience the history and culture that lies in Philadelphia, from the Liberty Bell, the Rocky Steps, then deep into Lancaster County which is home to Philadelphia’s Amish community. You will be able to relax on a traditional Amish buggy ride before exploring an Amish market and chowing down on home-cooked delicassies.

 

#11 – Hell’s Kitchen Walking Tour

The best tour release your inner foodie!

Hell's Kitchen Walking Tour

  • Discover the history behind this iconic food district
  • Sample five different examples of exotic foods from around the world
  • Cost: $$
  • Duration of tour: 2 hours

One of the biggest staples of New York is its variety of perfected cuisines from around the world. The hub of this deliciousness lies inside the district known as Hell’s Kitchen. This tour will give you the chance to eat around the world in one afternoon.

You will hear the tales of how Hell’s Kitchen became such a foodie icon while sampling exotic dishes from 5 different restaurants. Learn about this areas tense history from its working-class irish roots, through extreme ethnic tensions and gang violence, to one of the best food locations in the world.

 

#12 – Broadway Up Close Walking Tour

A great tour for theater lovers!

Broadway Up Close Walking Tour

  • Get behind the scenes knowledge from working theater professionals
  • Learn about Broadway’s secrets before you see a show
  • Cost: $
  • Duration of tour: 1.75 hours

For a performance to be held on Broadway is a mark of success that is considered to be the highest attainable for the commercial theater. During your choice of 4 different tours you will hear about what it means for a show to be on Broadway and how this area accomplished its success in the theater industry.

Choose from tours ranging from how Broadway began, what made it popular, the stages it has gone through throughout the years, and the ghosts that still haunt its theaters. These tours are the perfect way to get the inside scoop about some of your favorite plays and theater companies.

 

#13 – Prospect Park Adventure

An amazing family-friendly tour!

Prospect Park Adventure

  • Enjoy an interactive scavenger hunt for all ages
  • Ride on the historic carousel
  • Cost: $
  • Duration of tour: 2 hours

Prospect Park offers the reprieve of nature amidst the concrete jungle that is New York City. During this fun interactive guided tour you will take part in a scavenger hunt through the meadows, woodlands and waterways that call the park home.

You will be entertained with stories about the parks history, its animal inhabitants and the ongoing conservation efforts of the Prospect Park Alliance. Finish off this exciting jaunt in nature with a ride on the enormous and iconic carousel that was built in 1912 and a stroll through the Prospect Park Zoo.

 

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#14 – Empire State Building Tour

A tour with some of the best views in New York!

Empire State Building Tour

  • Premium access to the 86th floor with panoramic views of the city
  • Discover the art deco murals in the newly renovated lobby
  • Cost: $
  • Duration of tour: 1 hour

The massive steel structure of the Empire State Building is one of the United States’ most known and loved skyscraper. So of course no visit to New York City would be complete without a trip through its many levels. During this tour you will get the chance to take in panoramic views of the city from the 86th floor.

You will also be treated to the art deco murals in the buildings newly renovated lobby and get access to the Dare to Dream and Sustainability exhibits. This exciting look into the Empire State Building will not disappoint.

 

#15 – South Brooklyn and Coney Island Bike Tour

Our favorite bike tour in New York City!

South Brooklyn and Coney Island Bike Tour

  • An all-inclusive tour with food, bike, ferry, and guide
  • Travel the oldest bike path in the U.S.
  • Cost: $$$
  • Duration of tour: 6 hours

New York is a sprawling Metropolis with many sections to explore. This tour will let you visit many of these neighborhoods like a local by hopping onto your provided bike and whizzing through the streets. During this tour you will cycle down the oldest bike path in the U.S., visit the brownstones and here about the neighborhoods key role in the Revolutionary War.

You will get a chance to travel to Coney Island and sample one of its world famous hot dogs. You will be able to avoid traffic while taking in the amazing views and stories around all the key districts of the city.

 

#16 – Cupcake Tour of Greenwich Village

A great tour to indulge your sweet tooth!

Cupcake Tour of Greenwich Village

  • Discover the recent craze of Greenwich Village
  • Sample colorful cupcakes from multiple boutique bakeries
  • Cost: $
  • Duration of tour: 2 hours

Indulge your sweet tooth and walk off the calories at the same time during this 2-hour cupcake walking tour. Cupcakes have become the new food trend in Greenwich Village with small bakeries popping up everywhere throughout the area.

Here you will be able to sample the best of these sweet treats during your six different tastings with the chance to even build your own at Molly’s Cupcakes. You will also get the chance to learn the history of the perfectly formed cupcake. This tour is perfect for those that want to appease their sweet tooth without having to regret every bite!

 

#17 – Brooklyn Graffiti Lesson

An awesome tour to release your inner artist!

Brooklyn Graffiti Lesson

  • Create a unique souvenir to take home
  • Learn techniques from a professional graffiti artist
  • Cost: $
  • Duration of tour: 1 hour

Graffiti is a form of artistic expression borrowed from our European cousins. Previously, it was a way for the disenfranchised to have their voices heard, often carrying political and social themes. Now graffiti is a great way to liven up the beauty of a city through your unique artistic abilities.

This tour will bring out those abilities as you learn technique from a professional graffiti artist that will guide you through how to make the perfect piece. This workshop will take place at the Brooklyn art studio where you will build your own unique graffiti souvenir while hearing more about the history of this artform.

 

#18 – Phantom of the Opera on Broadway

A phenomenal way to experience Broadway!

Phantom of the Opera on Broadway

  • Get to see an award-winning musical on historic Broadway
  • Choose the tickets that best suit your schedule
  • Cost: $$
  • Duration of tour: 2.5 hours

Broadway is the epicenter of theater. To make it to this iconic district is defined as having had “made it” in the creative world. Here you will be able to experience Broadway in all of its glory through one of the most well known plays in the world.

Learn the romantic and tragic story of Christine and Erik as you travel through the mind of the award winning music of Andrew Lloyd Weber. This play will leave you emotional and breathless and give you the insight on why it is the longest running play on Broadway.

 

#19 – Liberty Harbor Helicopter Adventure

A unique tour highlighting the city!

Liberty Harbor Helicopter Adventure

  • Bird’s eye view of New York City  
  • Come face to face with the Statue of Liberty
  • Cost: $$$$
  • Duration of tour: 15 minutes

The only way to truly understand the magnitude of New York City and its structures is from the skies. This tour offers you the chance to get a bird’s eye view of this massive city and come face to face with the beautiful Lady Liberty.

You can wave to the tourists has you hover around the Empire State Building, see the lights of Broadway in the most unique way, and get up close and personal with the Brooklyn Bridge. This exciting tour is not one you are likely to forget as you look down at one of the world’s most iconic cities from your own personal helicopter.

 

#20 – New York City by Night Tour

Night tours are great in New York!

New York City by Night Tour

  • See the city in full color through its millions of twinkling lights
  • Discover the history behind NYC’s main highlights
  • Cost: $$
  • Duration of tour: 2.5 hours

There is a reason that New York is known as the city that never sleeps. With its massive amount of twinkling lights from the billboards, office buildings and entertainment spots it excites the senses and makes you never want to stop going.

This night tour will provide you with this experience as you drive around the city taking in the best evening views of New York’s main highlights. See the Empire State Building come to life, the Brooklyn Bridge twinkle and Rockefeller Center glow as you stare comfortably from your seats on the double decker bus.

 

#21 – Woodbury Commons Shopping Tour

The perfect tour for shopping fanatics!

Woodbury Commons Shopping Tour

  • Check out more than 200 designer outlets
  • Receive up to 65% off of leading brands
  • Cost: $
  • Duration of tour: 1 day

Woodbury Commons is the largest outlet shopping mall in the world. With over 200 stores to choose from this tour with help you build the perfect shopping trip for those in need of serious retail therapy. An air conditioned coach will transport you to the commons and you will be provided a coupon book that will arm you with the potential of hundreds of dollars in savings.

Once you arrive you will be set loose to explore the high end retailers on your own. There are no reservations required and the multiple departure times let you set your own schedule.

 

#22 – Group Night Out Experience

The best tour for the perfect night out!

Group Night Out Experience

  • Visit 4 unique downtown venues
  • Free admission and skip-the-line access
  • Cost: $
  • Duration of tour: 4 hours

New York City is famous for its nightlife with trendy bars and clubs frequented by celebrities and locals alike. This tour will give you a taste of what it is like to spend a night out on the town in the city that never sleeps.

You will be treated as a VIP as you skip the lines and gain free access to four different venues within the city. Your nightlife insider will give you tips on where the best spots are and will guide you to rooftop bars, lounges, music and dance clubs.

 

#23 – Central Harlem African American Culture Tour

A fantastic cultural tour!

Central Harlem African American Culture Tour

  • Learn about the Harlem Renaissance and Central Harlem’s significance
  • Visit famous sites such as the Apollo Theater and Speaker’s Corner
  • Cost: $
  • Duration of tour: 2 hours

During the first World War many of the immigrants in Harlem left to return to their homelands leaving economic opportunities on the table. From here a massive migration of African Americans flooded the area from the south and set up residence within the city.

After the war the area flourished and it was the perfect storm for the cultural and artistic expression that became known as the Harlem Renaissance. This tour will let you hear the stories of this era, its biggest influencers and its effect on the city throughout the years.  

 

#24 – Superheroes of New York Tour

The #1 tour for comic book fanatics!

Superheroes of New York Tour

  • See where writers and artists created your favorite characters
  • Visit some of the most iconic superhero movie sites
  • Cost: $
  • Duration of tour: 2 hours

New York City plays a large role in the superhero/comic universe. It has been used as the backdrop for Batman’s Gotham City. It is where the avengers left a keepsake and also where Superman first flew. During this tour you will be able visit some of these movie sites while getting an unforgettable view into the comic book industry and the characters that make it amazing.

Not only will you see where the comics came to life but also where they were created as you walk along Publisher’s Row where some of the first comics were written.

 

#25 – 2-Day Niagara Falls and Shopping Tour

A fantastic tour to relax outside the city!

2-Day Niagara Falls and Shopping Tour

  • A ride on the famous Maid of the Mist under the falls
  • See the falls from the U.S. and Canadian sides
  • Cost: $$$$
  • Duration of tour: 2 days

This tour allows you to dive deep into the majestic beauty of Niagara Falls. During this 2 day excursion from the city you will get to experience Niagara from both the New York and Canada sides to give you a full comprehension of their magnitude.

You will be able to travel under the falls while aboard the Maid of the Mist, explore the scenic tunnels and travel through the beautiful Watkins Glen State Park. Your hotel and transportation will be provided while you explore the natural beauty of the falls and its surrounding areas.

 

FAQ

How do I book a tour in New York?

Booking a tour is easy. You can either wait in line, call ahead, or book your tour online through a variety of websites. Our favorite website to book on is getyourguide.com. They make it extremely simple with electronic vouchers and keep you from having to wait in lines.

How much do tours in New York cost?

Most tours in New York are reasonable with most in city tours costing less than $50. Excursions that take you outside of the city for a full or half day run a bit more with an average cost of around $100. Extreme tours like the helicopter and 2 days to Niagara will be more.  

How long do tours in New York last?

Most tours throughout the city last around 1-2 hours. These are usually walking, bicycling or bus tours. Most museum tours take longer and give you a full day of access. Any tour outside of the city is likely going to take you 8-12 hours depending on the destination.

What should I pack?

What you pack is going to be directly related to the season you choose to visit in. Be aware that in the winter it does get very cold and has the potential to snow. Must bring items for any season though are comfortable walking shoes (you will be putting in a lot of miles), and a camera to catch the perfect shot.

Conclusion

Millions of people from around the world travel to New York City every year. This is what makes it such a magical melting pot of cultures, foods, creativity and architecture. It is a place where the richest of rich walk side by side next to the working class and everyone is proud of where they come from. To visit New York is to visit the entire world represented in one city.

It has the best of the best in all aspects of its character. From the food to the art, from the architecture to the entertainment, there is something new and beautiful to discover around every corner. It is the place where dreams come true and lives are changed forever.

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About the Author Nicola Smart

Gin lover. Coffee addict. Nicola has traveled the world for 7 years and is a staff writer for Hotel Jules. Born in London, Nicola first got the taste of travel studying abroad in Barcelona. Since then she's been hooked - traveling the world non-stop. Passionate about green travel and vegan lifestyle, Nicola spends more of her free time staring at maps wondering where she will head to next!