Whether you’re commuting to work, meeting with friends, or exercising, it’s no secret that New Yorkers see much of the city by foot. However, walking the same paths day after day may keep you from seeing some of the most unique parts of the city, and what fun is that? Though typically taken by tourists, walking tours in NYC can be one of the best ways to bust out of your usual routine and expose yourself to something new! Whether you’re looking for new hidden gems in your neighborhood, wanting to learn more about the city, or explore somewhere you’ve never been, we’ve got some guided tours that’ll do the trick.
Are you brave enough to explore the catacombs of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral by candlelight? In this walking tour, you can get an up close and personal look at the sealed off catacombs that are 200 years old and closed to the public. You’ll be able to walk through the chilling crypts by candlelight, all while learning about how the church served as a notable final resting place for many famous New Yorkers.
2. Inside Out Tours
This black woman-owned NYC tour operator offers some of the best walking tours in NYC, focused on hidden history, architecture, team-building, diversity and inclusion-themed experiences. This organization takes great pride in this outlook, and it reflects in their diverse subjects of tours! They too have both public and private tours available, and they truly dig deep into topics that made NYC what it is today. Check out just some of them below!
- Brooklyn Bridge & DUMBO Neighborhood Walking Tour, buy tickets here
- NYC Slavery & the Underground Railroad Walking Tour, buy tickets here
- Secrets of the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Walking Tour, buy tickets here
3. Viator Tours
You’ve probably heard of Viator, and that’s because they service different experiences across the world’s most famous cities. Here in NYC it’s no different and their range of of unique walking tour experiences are some you can not find anywhere else! Check out our favorites below and remember to keep them in mind if you travel to other cities!
- Cupcake Walking Tour in New York City, buy tickets here
- Gangsters and Ghosts Tour in NYC, buy tickets here
- New York City Ghost Hunt: Greenwich Ghost Hunt, buy tickets here
- Greenwich Village Small-Group Haunted Ghost Tour in NYC, buy tickets here
4. Take A Walk’s Chinatown Official Historic District Tour
In partnership with the Chinatown Little Italy Historic District and Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, this walking tour allows guests to explore one of the most exciting neighborhoods in downtown Manhattan! The 90 minute walking tour will lead you down Chinatown landmarks, like Doyers Street, Confucius Plaza, a Taoist Temple, and more. Don’t forget to try some of the neighborhood’s restaurants too while you’re there!
Learn more about this tour here!
5. Haunted Manhattan Walking Tours
Take a journey on a tour “where horror and history meet.” Haunted Manhattan Tours offers 4 different options, separated by neighborhood (East Village, West Village, Greenwich Village, Five Points). Have a drink with a troubled bartender in the East Village, or get to know the spooky souls of Manhattan artists in the West Village; each tour is riddled with crime scenes, ghosts past, and historical tales that will have you feeling spooked out.
Learn more about these tours here.
6. Broadway Up Close Tours
Get ready for a behind the scenes look at Broadway like you never have before! Broadway Up Close offers tours of different NYC Broadway theaters that you normally wouldn’t get access to. We’re talking everything from the Hudson Theatre to the Gershwin Theatre. They have three tours separated by street sections (41st-44th St, 44th-46th St, and 47-54th St), as well as variety tours too like a Haunted Broadway tour as well as a tour all about the play Hamilton.
Learn more these tours here.
7. New York Historical Tours
Our first walking tour recommendation is New York Historical Tours, whose unrivaled bundle of knowledge and fun is a great way to spend a day around NYC. With 15 signature tours covering every major district of the city, there’s sure to be one to enlighten and inspire you. Our favorite tours they offer include the Historic Lower Manhattan and Financial District Tour, the Downtown, Tribeca and SoHo Tour, the Alexander Hamilton and the Founding Fathers tour, The Gilded Age tour or The Jazz Age tour!
Learn more about the tours here.
8. Free Tours by Foot
For some casual, and costless fun, check out Free Tours by Foot whose 5 featured tours all run under a pay-as-you-wish system. To start your journey with them, you could try the SoHo, Little Italy, and Chinatown Tour, or their Brooklyn Bridge, Heights and DUMBO Tour. A few other of our favorites are the Harlem Tour and the Lower Manhattan Tour, and the Lower East Side Food Tour. Since these tours are free, they’re the perfect way to have a fun day at a low cost. They also have bike and audio tours too if you’re interested in that.
Learn more about Free Tours by Foot here.
9. NYC Gangsters & Ghosts Tour
This 2 hour and 1.2 mile walking tour takes you through the gangsters and ghosts of NYC’s past! Walk through the most famous neighborhoods of Downtown Manhattan (The Five Points, Chinatown, Little Italy and The West Village) and learn about the shady partying, speakeasy saloons, secret underground tunnels used by bootleggers throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. The haunted locations and old crime scenes will leave you feeling chilled, as a historian guides you through the city, telling old stories along the way.
Learn more about these tours here.
10. Like a Local Tours
Get ready to literally feel “like a local” with Like a Local Tours! With the help of their guides, they connect locals and tourists alike to discover NYC through food, fashion, art, history and immersive experiences. They offer both public and private tours, and even social impact tours that offer tourists a chance to make a difference in the NYC community while they’re on it. Be sure to check out our favorite ones below, and keep an eye on their calendar for even more:
- Flatiron Food, History, & Architecture Tour, buy tickets here
11. On Location Tours
Ready to feel like you’re on a movie set? On Location Tours in NYC specializes in entertainment, film, and TV-based walking tours that will take you around the most seen places of NYC on the big screen! If you don’t feel like the main character after one of these tours, we don’t know what will! Check out our favorite below and their website for even more:
- Central Park TV & Movie Sites Walking Tour, buy tickets here
12. Real New York Tours
For real people, real stories, and the real New York you know and love, Real New York Tours shows the city as it is. The founders of the company, Luke and Amber, are NYC locals that show you how the city should be admired. Their tour styles vary in location and size, so you’ll have to inquire online to see what’s available. For example, they have a classic Midtown tour or even a three-hour Downtown tour that will take you through a foot and subway trek through the Big Apple. We love the charisma these two bring to their guided tours!
For more details on tours, visit here.
13. Foods of NY Tours
If you’re looking for a walking tour in NYC that’s actually less walking, and more eating, Foods of NY Tours has a flavor for you! With seven mouth-watering tours in New York’s most historic neighborhoods, you’ll mingle with fellow New Yorkers over warm meals and even warmer conversations. The tour styles here combine food, history, culture, and storytelling to create an experience that will feed your mind just as much as your stomach! Some of our favorites include the Heart and Soul of Greenwich Village tour, the Flavors of Chinatown tour and the Secrets of Little Italy tour!
Learn more about Foods of NY Tours here.
14. Manhattan Walking Tour
If you’re looking for a casual, personable experience that feels like a friend is showing you around, Manhattan Walking Tours will happily be your guide. The tours here are kept small, with only eight people max per group! Manhattan Walking Tours gives you the chance to make friends, find new scrumptious foods, and just savor a day on your streets. With tours ranging from tasty eateries to architectural discovery, there’s a tour everyone can enjoy. Plus, we love the fact that they offer combo tours into a two, four, or even full six-hour package deal.
Find more information on tours here.
15. True Tales of NYC Walking Tours
The True Tales of NYC Walking Tours have a sweetly irresistible range of tours just for you. Most of their tours are around the East Village area, like their delicious East Village Food and East Village Dessert Tours. But they do have some good historical tours too! The True Tales of the East Village tour and the True Tales of Greenwich Village tour are both history-focused walking tours that will tell the tales of artists, oddballs, and provocateurs in those neighborhoods since the 1950s!
Learn more about these tours here.