One of the best ways to experience New York City’s unique neighborhoods is to get out there and explore them by foot. Even a tried and true New Yorker can discover new restaurants, shops and hidden gems one on a walking tour, and there’s no shortage of them. Here are the six best NYC walking tours, covering the sights, sounds and flavors from the top of Manhattan to the corners of Brooklyn. By Kelly Williams.
The Original Greenwich Village Food & Walking Tour
Near 6th and Bleecker St. NY, NY
For the foodies out there, The Original Greenwich Village Food and Walking Tour is for you. Experience the popular Greenwich Village neighborhood on a three hour culinary tour. Your tour guide will take you around the neighborhood’s winding streets, sharing the neighborhood’s history and foods. Taste and see all Greenwich Village has to offer throughout this tour. You’ll cover two miles of the Village with an extensive overview of the history, culture and restaurants of the area. Featured stops on the tour include: Rocco’s Pastry Shop and Espresso Café; Milk and Cookies bakery; Joe’s Pizza; Murray’s Cheese Shop; Faicco’s Italian Specialties; Centro Vinoteca. The popular tour sells out often so be sure to reserve your spot online. Tickets cost $47 and tour groups reach capacity at 16 to provide a personal experience.
The Shop Gotham Garment Center Tour
7th Ave. NY, NY
Overwhelmed by the plethora of shopping options in New York City? The Shop Gotham Garment Center tour will give you insider access to the best of NYC shopping. This 3-hour “shop ‘til you drop” walking tour takes you inside designer sample sales and navigates shoppers through off the radar discounts. If you’re a frequent New York fashionista or a first time visitor this tour will have you walking down 7th avenue like a pro. The tour is for women’s items only and participants are advised to bring both cash and credit card. The tour is offered Wednesday & Friday at 10:00 a.m. for $64 per person. Tours reach capacity at 12.
The Midtown & Grand Central Walking Tour
120 Park Avenue (At 42nd Street) New York, NY 10017
Grand Central Terminal is one of New York City’s landmarks and architectural assets. Five to six million commuters pass through Grand Central daily and many never know the history of the famous train station. Every Friday at 12:30 p.m., Justin Ferate’s free walking tour through Grand Central and the surrounding neighborhood is a great way to learn about the structure and get to know the area. The tour features One Grand Central Place (formerly the Lincoln Building), as well as Grand Central Terminal and is primarily focused on history and architecture. Meet on42nd Street in front of the Whitney Museum across the street from Grand Central at 12:30 on Friday afternoons. For more information call 212-697-1245.
New York Discovery Walking Tours
Meeting place disclosed at reservation time
Cost: disclosed at reservation time
Aren’t sure what part of New York City you’d like to see? No problem. New York City Discovery Walking Tours provide a wide array of options for the first time visitor to the seasoned city dweller. NYC Discovery Brooklyn Bridge and Tribeca Tour is a popular choice. This tour begins in Brooklyn Heights then crosses the famous bridge into Manhattan, ending in Tribeca. Perfect for memorable pictures! Once you’re in Manhattan, you’ll see Tribeca spots like No. 8 Hook and Ladder at 14 North Moore Street. The tour also covers the inception of the Tribeca Film Festival. For reservations, ticket prices and meeting place, call 212-465-3331.
Central Park Conservancy Tours
830 5th Avenue, New York, NY
Another free favorite, the Central Park Conservancy offers informative tours of Central Park for out-of-towners and Manhattanites alike. Learn the facts behind urban legends like the Central Park alligator. Tours spotlight iconic landmarks like the Bethesda Fountain as well as less-traveled areas on the Manhattan Adirondacks tour. Types of tours vary so be sure to plan ahead and discover the sights you’re most interested in. Tours typically run one hour.
Municipal Art Society of New York Tours
Meeting point varies by tour
Cost: $15 or $12 for MAS members
If you’re fascinated by the architecture New York City has to offer, look no further than the Municipal Art Society of New York’s walking tours. Noted architects, designers, and scholars lead groups to some of the city’s best landmarks. Many tours have tie-ins with exhibitions which have a complementary component at the Municipal Art Society. Tours typically run on weekends and last two hours. Call 212-935-3960 for private tours. Costs run around $15 or $12 for MAS members.