Many New York City visitors rely on guided tours to help them get their bearings, organize their sightseeing, and set about exploring the numerous famous attractions, beloved landmarks, and lively neighborhoods of this special place. Now, a city as large and vibrant as New York is home to all kinds of different tours, but a perennial favorite is the guided walking tour. Guided walking tours here can last anywhere from approximately 60 minutes to several hours, and cater to a wide range of interests, activities, areas, and more.
Whether it’s your very first time in New York and you want to start things off right by seeing the headline attractions, or you’re a regular visitor to the city searching for something new and different or even unexpected, there’s a walking tour available on the market today that’s right for you. As a result, the first step toward selecting your perfect walking tour is determining just exactly what you want from your experience. Are you primarily focused on sightseeing, or are you hoping to learn more about the history of a particular subject? Do you want to visit the site where your favorite movie or TV show was filmed, or would you rather stroll through an entire neighborhood or two? Once you’ve figured out your answers to these sorts of questions, you can zero in on specific walking tours.
If you want to utilize a guided walking tour as a means for visiting some of New York City’s most popular attractions, those ventures certainly exist. Several different tour companies operate guided walking tours that take you to Times Square and Broadway, across the Brooklyn Bridge, along the High Line, and more. Many visitors love taking the 75-minute Rockefeller Center Tour, which provides guests the chance to witness this Midtown Manhattan destination’s murals, sculptures, and architecture before opting to go up to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck.
Guided walking tours can be a terrific means for discovering the richness of New York’s diverse neighborhoods. Well-regarded tour companies like ExperienceFirst Tours and Tommy’s New York offer walking tours that take guests through neighborhoods like Little Italy, Chinatown, SoHo, Chelsea, and more. Along the way, visitors encounter the people and places that make these neighborhoods unique while hearing from their expert guide all about the area’s history, culture, and more.
Many visitors to New York City choose to utilize guided walking tours as a way to learn about specific themes or topics. On Location Tours is best known for running tours that take individuals to New York City spots where acclaimed TV shows like The Sopranos, Seinfeld, and Sex and the City were filmed. Brooklyn Unplugged Tours offers a popular Graffiti & Street Art Walking Tour, while Inside Out Tours has won multiple awards for its educational tours that shed light on subjects like gospel music in Harlem, the history of the Underground Railroad in New York City, and Wall Street, just to name a few.
Keep reading for additional information regarding New York City’s most popular walking tour operators.
Brooklyn Unplugged Tours
Brooklyn Unplugged Tours is best known for its two popular guided programs: the Graffiti & Street Art Walking Tour in Brooklyn and the Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour in Williamsburg. Each one of these walking tours runs once daily and lasts two hours.
The New York City branch of ExperienceFirst Tours operates several well-regarded guided walking tours, including a Broadway and Times Square Insider tour, a SoHo, Little Italy, and Chinatown tour, and a High Line, Chelsea, and Meatpacking District neighborhood tour.
Inside Out Tours
Inside Out Tours specializes in guided walking tours that bring to life overlooked pieces of history and give voice to marginalized communities. Their most popular New York City tours include a Harlem Gospel Experience Walking Tour and the NYC Slavery & the Underground Railroad Walking Tour.
On Location Tours
On Location Tours operates bus and walking tours that take guests to the New York City locations where popular TV shows and movies were filmed. Favorites include the Central Park TV and Movie Sites Walking Tour, the NYC TV & Movie Tour, and the When Harry Met Seinfeld Tour.
Rockefeller Center Tour
The Rockefeller Center Tour provides visitors with a special opportunity to learn about the history of this New York City institution while exploring the famous buildings, acclaimed sculptures, large murals, and iconic landmarks that make it a unique destination.
Tommy’s New York
Tommy’s New York encourages you to come and “take a walk” with them. Their three guided walking tours include the Little Italy Official Neighborhood Tour, the Chinatown Official Neighborhood Tour, and the Catacombs by Candlelight Tour.
Top Dog Tours
Top Dog Tours operates a wide range of guided walking tours throughout New York City. Some of their most popular offerings include the Tastes of the Lower East Side tour, the Marvel & DC Superheroes of New York tour, and the Greenwich Village at Night tour.