19 Best New York City Tours of 2024: Food, Cruises & More

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned local, you’re guaranteed to learn something new on these guided tours of New York City. Tour options range from sightseeing outings to the city’s famous attractions to leisurely dinner cruises on the Hudson River.

Bike Rent NYC – Central Park Bike Tour

Price: From $49
Duration: 2 hours

Led by Bike Rent NYC, the Central Park Bike Tour covers roughly 5 miles of Central Park in two hours, and stops along the way include the Bethesda Fountain, Strawberry Fields and the Reservoir. Reviewers generally praise the guides’ knowledge of and enthusiasm for the park, and they note that the tours are not paricularly strenuous.

Tours are available multiple times daily, with the first departing at 9 a.m. Tickets cover the use of bicycles as well as helmets, which are mandatory for riders 14 and younger. Bikers can purchase insurance for an additional fee.

Prefer to explore on your own? The company also rents bikes for self-guided tours.

Ahoy NY Tours & Tasting – Chinatown and Little Italy Food Fest Walking Food Tour

Price: From $105
Duration: 3 hours

Eat your way through Chinatown and Little Italy on this three-hour walking tour of New York City. As you explore iconic neighborhoods with an expert guide, you’ll stop for seven samples of traditional dishes. Tastings may include Chinese dumplings, cannolis and homemade mozzarella, among other delicacies. Participants praise guides for their historical knowledge of the area and the amount of food served; many warn that you’ll want to arrive hungry to fully enjoy all of the tour’s offerings.

Tickets cover all food, and participants 21 and older have the option to add a glass of wine or beer at the seated tasting. If you’re still hungry, Ahoy NY Tours & Tasting also offers tours of Mulberry Street.

On Location Tours – “Sex and the City” Hotspots Tour

Price: From $66
Duration: 3.5 hours

New York City offers something for just about everyone, including fans of a certain television show starring four fashionable women. On Location Tours’ “Sex and the City” Hotspots Tour takes travelers via bus to more than 40 locations where Sarah Jessica Parker and her costars were filmed wining, dining and shopping. Travelers visit famed neighborhoods, such as midtown Manhattan, Greenwich Village, SoHo and the Meatpacking District, stopping for photo-ops along the way. Tourgoers rave about the experienced and amusing guides and assure you don’t have to be a fan to enjoy the tour.

The adults-only (18 and older) outings are generally offered Thursday through Sunday at 2 p.m., but the tour runs daily during the summer months. Availability may be more limited in the winter. The company also offers a variety of other TV- and movie-themed bus tours, including those that visit locations featured in “Gossip Girl.” If you’d rather walk, consider the company’s Central Park TV & Movie Sites Walking Tour.

Courtesy of ExperienceFirst

ExperienceFirst – Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Guided Tour

Price: Adults from $79; kids from $75
Duration: 5 hours

For an in-depth look at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, sign up for this excursion with ExperienceFirst. The five-hour tour includes access to the grounds of Liberty and Ellis islands, the Immigration Museum and the Statue of Liberty Museum, as well as round-trip ferry tickets. What’s more, you’ll enjoy priority line access to board the ferry. Guides win praise from reviewers for their expertise and engaging delivery, as well as their ability to navigate the crowds.

Tours depart daily at 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The 3.5-hour guided portion of the five-hour tour begins at Castle Clinton in Battery Park and ends at Ellis Island. From there, you can continue to explore on your own for as long as you wish or hop back on the ferry to return to Battery Park. ExperienceFirst also conducts three-hour “express” Statue of Liberty tours, in addition to walking tours of various New York City neighborhoods, including Little Italy and Chinatown.

Broadway Up Close Walking Tours – Broadway’s Beginnings

Price: Adults from $41; kids from $36
Duration: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Theater fans can’t miss the chance to tag along on the Broadway’s Beginnings tour. During the nearly two-hour, half-mile walking tour, you’ll pass by the theaters at the southern end of the Broadway theater district, from 41st Street to 44th Street. Along the way, your expert guide will share tales of Broadway’s early years and detail how Broadway shows evolve from the first rehearsal to opening night. Plus, guides regale you with stories of the ghosts that reportedly haunt the district’s theaters. Reviewers rave about the guides’ passion for theater and the behind-the-scenes scoop they share.

Tours are generally available Sunday, Wednesday and Friday at 11 a.m. A maximum of 15 participants are allowed to tour. Can’t get enough of Broadway? The company offers a variety of other themed tours, including one that focuses on “Hamilton: An American Musical” and another one all about the Shubert brothers (best known for their theater empire in the 1900s).

Top Dog Tours New York City – Ghosts of Greenwich Village Tour

Price: From $35
Duration: 2 hours

Hear all about the ghosts that purportedly haunt Greenwich Village on this two-hour stroll. Among the sites you’ll pass by are the Anne Charlotte Lynch House, where Edgar Allan Poe debuted some of his most famous works, the Hangman’s Elm, a more than 300-year-old tree in Washington Square Park that is believed to be the site of many hangings during the American Revolution, and the Jefferson Market Library, a former courthouse. Travelers recommend this tour if you’re a fan of the paranormal and are interested in the history of Greenwich Village. Reviewers give kudos to the guides, who they describe as friendly and captivating.

Tours operate nightly at 8 p.m. and are offered in English and Spanish. Note that Top Dog Tours says this experience is not suitable for kids younger than 12.

9/11 Memorial Plaza

Getty Images

You’ll visit the 9/11 Memorial, a plaza at the former site of the twin towers, during the 9/11 Ground Zero Tour.

9/11 Ground Zero Tour

Price: Adults from $39; kids from $35
Duration: 1.5 hours

Go beyond the 9/11 Memorial with this 90-minute walking tour, led by New Yorkers with personal connections to 9/11. Tours begin at St. Paul’s Chapel, which served as an impromptu rescue center during the attacks, and then move to the 9/11 Memorial, a plaza at the former site of the twin towers. From there, your tour may also stop at the FDNY Memorial Wall, the “Survivor Tree” or the Oculus at the World Trade Center transit hub, depending on your tour guide. Tour-takers find the guides to be insightful, respectful and passionate.

Tours take place daily at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Packages that combine the 9/11 Ground Zero Tour with a visit to the 9/11 Museum or to the One World Observatory are also available.

New York Media Boat – Adventure Sightseeing Tour

Price: Adults from $99; kids from $75
Duration: 1 hour

If you’re looking for a unique (and thrilling) tour of NYC’s top sights, consider this 60-minute speed boat ride aboard a vessel originally reserved for photographers and news crews. After departing from North Cove Marina in lower Manhattan, you’ll zip across the Hudson River for views of downtown, midtown and the Empire State and Chrysler buildings. You’ll also sail under the Brooklyn Bridge, along the Brooklyn waterfront and around Governors Island. Plus, the tour offers up-close views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Reviewers say this is a fun and memorable way to see the sights and applaud the captain for their interesting commentary and handling of the boat.

Boats depart several times daily, but availability is limited in the winter months. New York Media Boat also operates private tours.

Nice Guy Tours – Lower East Side Tour

Price: From $89
Duration: 3 hours

You’ll want to come hungry for this New York City food tour, which visits a minimum of seven eateries for samples of pickles, pastrami and doughnuts, among other dishes. During the three-hour walking tour, you’ll stop at famous restaurants like Katz’s Deli and Russ & Daughters as your guide regales you with stories about the Lower East Side’s history and culture. Reviewers are particularly fond of the guides, who they describe as friendly, informative and entertaining. Travelers are also complimentary of the generous amount of food offered.

Tours are available Sunday, Wednesday and Friday at 10:30 a.m. A maximum of 12 people are allowed on each tour. The company also offers food tours of Greenwich Village.

Two women taking a selfie on a tour boat in New York City in front of the Statue of Liberty.

Getty Images

Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises – Landmarks Cruise

Price: Prices vary
Duration: 1.5 hours

The Landmarks Cruise offered by Circle Line allows you to soak in dramatic views of the New York City skyline from the water surrounding Manhattan. The 90-minute boat ride sails beneath New York’s famous bridges, including the Brooklyn Bridge, cruises past the Statue of Liberty and glides by other famous structures. English-speaking guides, who are characterized by reviewers as informed and entertaining, provide a running commentary about the various sights. Food and drinks, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic, are available for purchase.

Prices may vary based on the time and date of the cruise. Passengers also have the option of purchasing premier seating. Cruises depart at multiple times daily between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. from Pier 83 at Hudson River Park. Specialized cruises to the Statue of Liberty and evening cruises are also available.

Foods of NY Tours – Heart and Soul of Greenwich Village

Price: Adults from $75; kids from $50
Duration: 3 hours

The Heart and Soul of Greenwich Village tour highlights the diverse culinary offerings of one of the city’s most eclectic neighborhoods. Reviewers enthusiastically praise the varied array of food sampled during the three-hour walking tour, which stops at various cafes and specialty shops for seven tastings – two seated, the rest on the go. Specific tastings vary by day and time, but may include artichoke pizza, fresh pasta, empanadas or kati rolls.

Tours are offered Thursday through Monday year-round. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, tours depart at noon (with a possible additional tour at 12:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday); on Thursday and Monday, tours start at 2 p.m. The tickets cover the food and one bottle of water. Excursions are limited to 16 people. Foods of NY Tours also conducts tours of other neighborhoods, such as Chinatown and Little Italy, as well as Brooklyn.

Tommy’s New York – The Catacombs by Candlelight

Price: Adults from $36; kids from $30
Duration: 1.5 hours

Explore the crypts beneath the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral and enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour with Tommy’s New York. On the 90-minute tour, participants will learn the history of the catacombs, which date back to 1815, and the histories of the people buried here, including bishops, priests and families. Unlike the catacombs in Paris and Rome, there are no visible bones. Tourgoers will also walk through the cathedral and see its Erben pipe organ. Reviewers applaud guides for their engaging and educational delivery and vast knowledge of New York history.

Tours are available Thursday through Monday at multiple times between 10:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m.

Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise

Getty Images

Learn all about Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo with Free Tours by Foot.

Free Tours by Foot – Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO Tour

Price: Free
Duration: 3 hours

For a local’s perspective on Brooklyn history, consider this three-hour walking tour. You’ll start your tour by walking a mile over the Brooklyn Bridge. Then, you’ll explore America’s first suburb, Brooklyn Heights, before stopping to admire the views of Manhattan and New York Harbor. You’ll end the tour in Dumbo. Participants compliment guides for their expertise and friendly personalities, as well as their willingness to answer questions. Because it’s a name-your-own-price tour, participants choose if they want to compensate the guide at the tour’s conclusion.

Tours, which meet at City Hall Park, are offered daily at 9:30 a.m. Though the tour is free, reservations must be made on the company’s website. The company offers a variety of other themed tours, including walks through Harlem, Chinatown and Little Italy.

Zip Aviation – Big City Helicopter Tour

Price: From $279
Duration: 20 minutes

Escape the crowds and enjoy panoramic vistas of the Big Apple on Zip Aviation’s Big City Helicopter Tour. The route extends from Liberty Harbor up to the Bronx with views of landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Yankee Stadium and New York’s various rivers and iconic bridges, along the way. Reviewers repeatedly laud the exceptional views, the one-of-a-kind flight experience and the professional staff. Plus, prerecorded commentary is provided in multiple languages.

Zip Aviation limits tours to six passengers, depending on the aircraft. The tour, which is available Monday to Saturday at a variety of times between 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., lasts 20 minutes. The company also offers 15-minute flights concentrating on the Liberty Harbor area and nighttime skyline tours.

The Wall Street Experience – Wall Street Insider Tour

Price: Adults from $39; kids from $35
Duration: 75 minutes

The Wall Street Experience’s Wall Street Insider Tour traverses some of the oldest streets of New York City. The 75-minute walking tour goes past (but not inside) the New York Stock Exchange, which is closed to the public, and the Federal Reserve. As you meander the streets of lower Manhattan, guides – many of whom are traders, investment bankers and stockbrokers – discuss the Financial District’s history, architecture and related trivia. Travelers describe guides as funny and extremely well-versed in both finance and New York history.

Outings start at Broad Street, just around the corner from Wall Street, at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The company also offers tours that focus on the 2008 financial crisis.

Best New York City Tours

Courtesy of Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises

Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises – Harbor Lights Sunset Cruise

Price: Prices vary
Duration: 2 hours

The Big Apple shines at night, and a great way to take in the glistening skyline is from the water. The Harbor Lights Sunset Cruise allows you to do just that, admiring some of the city’s most recognizable landmarks, including the Empire State Building and the High Line, during the two-hour evening sail. Cruisers relish the expansive views, photo-ops and engaging commentary, and describe the tour as relaxing.

The tours, which depart nightly at 7 p.m. from Pier 83, feature narration by guides. Prices vary based on time and date of cruise. Cruisers also have the option of purchasing premier seating. Circle Line offers daytime cruises, as well as specialized cruises to the Statue of Liberty.

USA Guided Tours – Discover NY Bus Tour

Price: Adults from $99; kids from $89
Duration: 6 hours

For an immersive exploration of New York City, hop on the Discover NY Bus Tour. The six-hour tour departs from Times Square at 9 and 10 a.m. daily and takes tourists to top spots like Madison Square Park, Rockefeller Center and Central Park. At each stop, guides will exit the vehicle with the group for short walks and provide detailed information regarding sights, such as the Dakota building (where John Lennon once lived), the Flatiron Building and the 9/11 Memorial. The informative and friendly guides routinely win praise from tourgoers. Reviewers also say the tour is well organized and a great option if you’re hoping to see the top sights in one day.

All tickets include a boat ride on the Staten Island Ferry. If you’re hoping to admire the city at night, consider the company’s evening bus tour.

Intrepid Urban Adventures – New York Tenements, Tales, and Tastes Discovery

Price: From $79
Duration: 3 hours

This walking tour of the Lower East Side, Little Italy and Chinatown illustrates how immigration shaped New York’s culture and culinary history. Throughout the three-hour tour, you’ll sample four ethnic foods (such as knishes, prosciutto and dumplings) with a knowledgeable guide providing information about the cuisine and culture of the area. Stops include restaurants, bakeries, churches and historic sites. Reviewers heap praise on the attentive guides and recommend pairing this tour with a trip to Ellis Island to gain a better understanding of the early immigrant story.

Tours are generally offered daily at 10 a.m. Groups are limited to 14 people. Intrepid Urban Adventures also leads tours all about Alexander Hamilton, in addition to private outings.

HeliNY – The New Yorker Tour

Price: From $199
Duration: 12 to 15 minutes

Soar above the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, Chelsea Piers, Times Square and more on this approximately 15-minute helicopter flight. As you marvel at the sights below, your pilot will point out landmarks and answer any questions. Previous passengers describe the flight as magical and an amazing way to see NYC. Reviewers also praise the staff for their friendliness and professionalism.

Ticket prices start at approximately $199 per person and do not include the additional $40 facility and fuel fees. Prices may fluctuate depending on the time and date of your booking. There is a 275-pound weight limit per passenger. If you’re looking for a longer flight, consider booking HeliNY’s Deluxe Tour, which lasts up to 30 minutes.

You may also be interested in:

Previous Story

Fall in love with animation at Disneyland’s Pixar Place Hotel

Next Story

Fake Story Spreads on Twitter

Latest from Blog

0 $0.00