Updated: May 21, 2015

Best New York Tours

For first time visitors to New York City and Manhattan, this giant city can be overwhelming. Many tourists on vacation in NYC choose to take a New York tour to get acquainted, see special sites, or just feel more comfortable being on an accompanied tour (especially for foreign tourists). There are a number of tours available in New York - aerial tours (helicopter and plane), water (harbor and rivers), walking, and bus. Lets start with the water tours of Manhattan (New York Harbor, the East River, and the Hudson River are the main waterways encircling Manhattan island).



New York Boat Tours -- seeing Manhattan from the water!

You can choose from a number of New York boat tours. The most popular is the Circle Line tours. These sightseeing boat tours give you a unique view of the towering New York skyline. They have boats departing from the 42nd street pier on the west side of Manhattan, and from downtown. They offer a 3 hour full island cruise, that completely circumnavigates Manhattan, including passing by the Statue of Liberty and going under the Brooklyn Bridge. They have a nighttime harbor lights tour of New York Harbor, and a 75 minute Liberty Cruise. Tickets range from $15-$28 depending on the trip. The downtown dock is located at South Street Seaport. Check out the new Shark speedboat ride - quite a thrill as you zip around the harbor. Also check out AllNewYorkTours.com - they offer a 2 hour comprehensive New York tour: see the awesome NYC skyline, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Empire State Building. Cost is $25, and cruises depart from Pier 78 at West 38th St.

New York City Walking Tours

There's no better way to see and experience New York than by foot. And New York is made for walking, with plenty of interesting history, architecture, and neighborhoods to keep you busy along the way. One popular group of tours is FoodsOfNY.com -- for $40-$65, you'll go on a group walking tour of certain areas, sampling local foods and discovering restaurants along the way. Beyond guided walking tours, you can also see the city on your own by taking one of our self-guided walking tours:

New York City Bus Tours

Just like in London, there are red double-decker open air buses that will take you around NYC, letting you get on and off at various tourist stops. Check out NewYorkSightSeeing.com for details. For $50, you get a 48 hour (All Loops Tour) ticket that gives you on/off privileges and 4 included New York tours: Uptown, Downtown, Brooklyn Loops and Night Tour. You can get on and off at over 50 stops. You'll see all the top New York sights - Central Park, Time Square, Fifth Avenue, Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge. They also have more comprehensive tours that include going to the top of the Empire State Building and ferry rides out to the Statue of Liberty. AllNewYorkTours.com also offers a number of interesting bus and van tours in New York City and Brooklyn, with themes ranging from Discovery Tour of the Bronx, to Sopranos Tour of NYC, to the New York Showbiz Insiders Tour. Prices range from $35-$100.

New York City Helicopter Tours

AllNewYorkTours.com also offers helicopter tours of New York - keep in mind helicopter time in NYC is expensive, and these are quick rides! A 5-7 minute flight of midtown will set you back $52 on a 6-7 person bird, while a 15 minute Romance Over Manhattan exclusive tour for up to 4 people will set you back a cool $800. Another company is NewYorkHelicopter.com - same kind of rates, but if this is your big trip to New York, this might be the sightseeing trip of a lifetime - indulge!