To get to the heart and soul of a city, you need to explore it on foot. Immerse yourself in the history, the culture, and the fashion of New York on these totally awesome walking tours. From the street art of Bushwick, Brooklyn, to the architecture of Midtown and the cocktail bars of Manhattan, there’s so much to see and do in this city. Whether you’re looking to get reacquainted or exploring it for the first time, check out these top New York City walking tours!
See for yourself why this area is becoming a world-renowned center for street art, while visiting some of the most visually stunning murals in New York City and Brooklyn. This walking tour will take you through the streets of Bushwick, Brooklyn, where you can expect to see incredible murals and learn all about street art styles, from stencils to tags, murals, and wheatpaste posters. Enjoy the vibrant energy of this place and learn about the innovators and international artists who have come here to make their mark. Run by boutique Brooklyn sightseeing company, Brooklyn Unplugged, this walking tour covers about 1.5 miles and includes the world-famous Bushwick Collective.
#2 – Soul Foods of Harlem
See—and taste—Harlem on this Historical Food Tour of Upper Manhattan. Learn about Harlem’s rich history and treasured architecture while sampling the very best of its flavors. From soul foods, of course, to African and Caribbean cuisine, this tour will leave you feeling full. Tastings are subject to change but in the past have included chicken and waffles, oxtails, peanut butter stew, candied yams, collard greens and more. All servings on this walking tour are generous—and included in the ticket price!
No matter how many gangster movies you’ve seen, nothing quite compares to the experience of actually being there. On the Little Italy & Chinatown Gangsters walking tour, you’ll visit Mulberry Street, once home to New York’s most notorious gangsters, and see the former Five Points, once New York’s most infamous slum. This immersive storytelling experience will teach you how the hard-scrabble immigrant gangs of the nineteenth century turned into the corporate-style American syndicates of the twentieth, with plenty of stops at the buildings where it all went down.
Get to know the real Alexander Hamilton on this walking tour of Lower Manhattan. You’ll learn all about Hamilton’s New York, a city torn apart by the American Revolution and rebuilt as a new nation on its way to becoming the greatest financial center in the world. Visit the site of Kings College and the room where it all happened, as well as some of the oldest remaining historic sites in New York City, St. Paul’s Chapel, Federal Hall, and Trinity Street Graveyard. Learn the real story of Hamilton’s life and his fated relationship with Aaron Burr—and discover for yourself what really lead to their infamous duel.
#5 – Sex and the City and Gossip Girl Tours of Manhattan
New York City has been the location for some of the most iconic television series of the twenty-first century—including Sex and the City and Gossip Girl. Visit the sites and experience the flavors of these beloved TV shows with On Location Tours. Sit on the steps of The Met where Queen B reigned for years and get a sneak peak of the Empire Hotel, the legendary residence of the one and only Chuck Bass. Or see the brownstone where Carrie Bradshaw lived and check out designer boutiques along Bleecker Street where the girls shopped regularly.
Note, these are both bus tours, not walking tours, so you can dress accordingly! What Sex and the City tour is complete without a Sex and the City–style wardrobe?
This small group walking tour of the Flatiron District includes enough food for brunch and plenty of fascinating tales along the way. You’ll learn all about the area and stop at some of the more iconic locations including the Flatiron Building, Madison Square Park, and Union Square. Reacquaint yourself with the history of this culinary mecca while also availing yourself of some truly choice samples. The tour includes 6 full-portion gourmet tastings, including breakfast focaccia at Mario Batali’s, a classic New York sandwich at Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop, an out-of-this-world grilled cheese sandwich at Beecher’s Cheese, and savory delights at Bread’s Bakery. You’ll walk just about a mile—and there are excellent veggie substitutes available.
Explore the most famous Jewish neighborhood in America on this unique tour of the Jewish Lower East Side. Hear about the first Jewish settlers who arrived in New York in the mid-1600s and visit the Shearith Israel, America’s first congregation, which they established there. Explore the architecture of Eldridge Street Synagogue, check out the city’s last public baths, and learn about the role of Jewish men and women in modern American history. But of course—what Jewish walking tour would be complete without noshes? Stop by for some unique LES flavors. But note that noshes cost extra!
Note this company only provides private tours so gather a group of four or more for this one. You can also choose if you want to do the tour on foot or private vehicle.
#8 – Beers of Brooklyn
If you think we’re experiencing a craft brewing boom today, you should have been around in the 19th century! Brooklyn was once home to 48 brewers. Today, this ancient art has returned and with a vengeance and this walking tour will take you to all the very best spots. Sample the finest beers Brooklyn has to offer, including Brooklyn Brewery, and try some classic NYC pizza along the way. All samples and food included in the price of the tour!
If you love architecture, nothing quite compares to the scale and the scope of New York’s Midtown. This walking tour will take you to the must-see sights, from the hidden residential enclave Tudor City, the United Nations Building, Grand Central Terminal, Grand Central Library, and the interior of the Chrysler building. Learn all about the architectural styles of the 20th century and stop to appreciate these behemoths of living history that you would normally just walk by. Tours last three hours and cover roughly one mile.
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