Top New York City Tours

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With five boroughs, 304 square miles of land, and 8.5 million inhabitants, there’s no doubting New York City is a big place. It’s no wonder that tourists have so much trouble deciding what to do and see in the city—it’s hard to even know where to start! From the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty to cultural enclaves like Chinatown and Spanish Harlem, the sights are endless and as diverse as they can be.

One of the best ways to see the most of the city is to take a tour! New York tours are as diverse as the city itself, and there’s no shortage of options. Plus, tours offer a unique way to see the city, learn about it’s culture and history, and get to know your way around.

Bus Tours

One of the most popular bus tours in NYC is the CitySights All Around Town Tour. This hop on/hop off tour aboard a comfortable double-decker bus allows you 48 hours to go all around town, quite literally! Start with the Downtown Tour and see iconic New York attractions like Times Square, the Empire State Building, the United Nations and more. Then, use the rest of your time to see Uptown, Brooklyn, the Bronx, or the twinkling lights of the City that Never Sleeps by night. You won’t have to purchase these tours separately – all this is included in the All Around Town Tour.

A typical Harlem neighborhood.

A typical Harlem neighborhood.

However, if you’ve already seen some areas of the city and would prefer to focus your sightseeing on a just a few areas, you might try the Uptown/Harlem Tour or the Downtown Manhattan Hop on/Hop Off tour bus. Highlights of the former include Columbia University, Carnegie Hall, the Malcolm X Mosque, Lincoln Center and Yankee Stadium. Meanwhile, Downtown tours will hit Madison Square Garden, the Lower East Side, Rockefeller Center, and the Broadway Theater District.

On Foot

Because of the congestion and notorious traffic, walking is one of the most hassle-free ways to see the city. Moreover, walking among the locals gives you a chance to really get a feel for the city.

Some say that you really haven’t seen New York City until you’ve tasted it. We tend to agree, and that’s why we’re big fans of the Food on Foot Tours. As a global melting pot, the variety of authentic and delicious cuisine available is incredible, from Jewish delis to Ukrainian bakeries to Asian noodle houses to street food—which has cultivated a culture of its own! You can choose from a myriad of food tours, including the International Express, Food Fast, Midtown Mix, East Village Variety, NY Over Noodles and the World Famous Sweet Tooth tour.

Walk across the famous Brooklyn Bridge for amazing views of the skyline.

Walk across the famous Brooklyn Bridge for amazing views of the skyline.

The Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour is another example of a tour best done on foot. On your Brooklyn Bridge tour, an informative and entertaining tour guide will lead you over the world famous Bridge while pointing out the best views and narrating the fascinating history of this architectural landmark.

Movies & TV

Think about all the TV shows and movies you’ve seen that take place in the romantic and stunning City of New York. Ever wanted to explore the areas that serve as a backdrop for so many famous movie scenes and TV sets? You’re not the only one—of course, there are tours designed solely for this purpose!

In the Sex and the City Tour, see the hangouts made famous by Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte in a three and a half hour tour that includes Magnola Bakery, the art gallery in SoHo where Charlotte worked, the Plaza Hotel where Carrie said good-bye to Mr. Big, the boutiques on Bleecker Street, and dozens of other Sex and the City hot spots.

Meanwhile, the younger generation may prefer the Gossip Girl Tour of the Upper East Side, where you’ll experience a day in the life of Selena and Blair. Your tour guide will spill behind-the-scenes information on the show and cast while showing you the glamorous hotels, mansions, bars, and boutiques where your favorite prep school teens were “spotted.”

Bicycle Tours

Central Park is an escape from the fast-paced city life.

Central Park offers an escape from the fast-paced city life.

Whether you’re following a guide or setting off on your own to explore, cycling the city is a fun and fast way to make the rounds.

For instance, Central Park is best seen on two wheels because of its massive size! From Cedar Hill to Strawberry Fields, see the park’s stunning landscape with the Bike and Roll: Inside Central Park Guided Tour. A licensed tour guide will show you the spots most loved by the locals and fill you in on the history and design of the beautiful public green space.

These are just some of the many New York tours that you can choose from on your New York attractions pass. To see more attractions and calculate your savings, head to Smart Destinations and take a look!

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