Best Walking Tours in New York City

Discover New York City's best offbeat attractions by foot

New York City is laid out in a grid, making it the perfect town to walk in as a tourist without getting lost. Some of the best walking tours of New York City take you deep into classic locations like Central Park and Greenwich Village, or to places a bit more touristy but just as exciting as Rockefeller Center. Get your nose out of the guidebook and immerse yourself in the city's bustling pulse as you take one of these walking tours in New York City.

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Original Greenwich Village Food and Culture Walking Tour

Rocco's Pastry Shop, Blecker Street, NYC
Simon @traveleden Creative Commons License

Learn about Greenwich Village's rich history while you taste your way around the neighborhood's many delicious stores and restaurants. Walk along the tree-lined streets of New York City's historic Village, which dates back to the 16th century, and discover the mom-and-pop specialty food shops and neighborhood restaurants. Saunter through old Italian neighborhoods. the narrowest house in New York City, hidden gardens, and more. 

As you discover the delicious food that once-Bohemian Greenwich Village has to offer, you'll also learn about all of the history, culture, architecture, and entertainment that makes this neighborhood different from the rest of New York City. The  Landmark Preservation Society has helped homes and businesses maintain their historical look, and most specialty stores still provide the same delicious food they have for the past 100 years.

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On Location Central Park Movie Sites Walking Tour

Many people ice skating with tall New York buildings in the background
Hudzilla / Getty Images

Movie and TV lovers flock to this two-hour walking tour in New York City because they get to scout out where their favorite films and TV series were shot in Central Park. This walking tour takes you to more than 30 locations, including the Wollman Skating Rink, the Gapstow Bridge, the Carousel, the Naumberg Bandshell, and Strawberry Fields, to name only a few.

Movie buffs get to see where "Love Story," "Breakfast at Tiffany’s," "Home Alone 2," "The Avengers," "Kramer vs. Kramer," "Crocodile Dundee," "Ghostbusters," and "Sex and the City," among others, were shot in Central Park.  Visit the Victorian building known as the Central Park Dairy, where "Independence Day" was filmed. Then stroll through the Promenade (also known as the Mall), where "Vanilla Sky" was filmed.

Along with your professional guide, stroll leisurely by Central Park favorites such as the Bandshell, the Bethesda Terrace/Fountain, and Loeb Central Park Boathouse. Also, a fun note here: Your guide will be an actor or actress with expertise in film or TV!

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Rockefeller Center Walking Tour

Flags at Rockefeller Center, Manhattan, New York City, USA
Cultura Exclusive/Karen Fox / Getty Images

The Rockefeller Center Walking Tour showcases the fantastic artwork the center has amassed since its opening in 1933 and the architecture that comprises the center today. An expert historian takes you through the Center’s most significant buildings, gardens, and spaces.

See Barry Faulkner’s “Intelligence Awakening Mankind” (1938), constructed of over 1 million glass tiles. View Hildreth Meiere’s “Dance, Drama, and Song” (1932), an Art Deco piece made of copper, steel, aluminum, and nickel alloy enameled in bright colors.

See also Paul Manship’s “Prometheus” (1934), Rock Center's de facto mascot. You might just recognize Prometheus, also known as the most photographed statue in New York City, from the opening credits of "30 Rock" or "Judge Judy."

Take the Top of the Rock tour to the Observation Deck for unobstructed views of Central Park and Manhattan's midtown and downtown skyscrapers. Make sure to see the Joie Chandelier in the Grand Atrium Lobby. The chandelier, crafted by Swarovski specifically for Top of the Rock and made of 14,000 crystals, looks like 30 Rock if you view it upside down!

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Greenwich Village Literary Walking Tour and Pub Crawl

White Horse Tavern.
Huw Jones / Getty Images

Greenwich Village Literary Walking Tour and Pub Crawl is the oldest continuously operated walking tour in the Village. The tour begins at the White Horse Tavern, itself once a hub of literary greatness. Hunter S. Thompson and Jack Kerouac imbibed here—Kerouac even scribbled poetry on the toilet walls. A few other writers who hung out in Greenwich Village and helped make it the epicenter of the literary movement in America include Edgar Allan Poe, Washington Irving, and Mark Twain.

Local actors lead patrons to pubs where influential writers once revealed. Crawl at your leisure as you hear the stories, poetry, and prose of the literary giants who impacted the neighborhood and its history.

Your guide, probably well-versed in Dylan Thomas and just as likely to recite him in the middle of the street, leads you through a neighborhood once home to revolutionaries, women’s rights movements, jazz and blues, and a great bit of debauchery.

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