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New York Public Library

New York Public Library

New York Public Library: Our most recommended tours and activities

New York City: The Ride Interactive Bus Tour

1. New York City: The Ride Interactive Bus Tour

When New York entrepreneurs and creative types join forces, ultramodern entertainment in the form of a 45-foot long bus with stadium seats, surround sound, and street performances ensues. Take this interactive 65-75 minute bus ride and see New York from an entirely unique perspective. It turns the streets of New York into a stage, bringing entertainment and tourism together to create a city experience that everyone, from tourists to native New Yorkers, can enjoy. The RIDE drives through New York and features performances in front of sights, such as Grand Central, 42nd Street, Bryant Park, and more. It’s Broadway without the limitations of a stationary theater, and a bus tour with a theatrical twist. Each of the mobile theaters hold 3 rows of stadium seats, plus the most modern audio and visual technology, including speakers that bring inside sounds out onto the street, enabling RIDErs to go “On Air” and interact with the city.

NYC: Sightseeing Night Tour by Open-Top Bus with Live Guide

2. NYC: Sightseeing Night Tour by Open-Top Bus with Live Guide

Experience a completely new perspective of "The City That Never Sleeps" as the sun sets over the beautiful skyline of New York City. This 2-hour panoramic night tour takes you past Times Square's famous lights before heading downtown to view the illuminated Empire State Building and the iconic Flatiron Building, with its art deco facade. Cross the Manhattan Bridge for eye-popping views of the stunning skyline, great for photo ops! Listen to an entertaining live guide as they take you to the past and present with fascinating stories and hidden gems waiting to be revealed. The tour finishes with a view up the Avenue of the Americas, where you can see Macy's Department Store and Radio City Music Hall, which hosts live performances and stage shows like the Rockettes. You haven't truly seen the Big Apple until you've seen it at night!

NYC: Guided Bus and Walking Tour with Staten Island Ferry

3. NYC: Guided Bus and Walking Tour with Staten Island Ferry

See the best of New York City on sightseeing tours by bus and boat. Enjoy guided walks through Midtown Manhattan, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue, 9/11 Memorial, and the Financial District. A live tour guide will enhance your experience with commentary on this 6-hour program. The Staten Island ferry ensures breathtaking views of the New York City and New Jersey skylines, including Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center, Governors Island, and more.

NYC: The Superhero Walking Tour of New York

4. NYC: The Superhero Walking Tour of New York

Discover New York City from the perspective of a superhero and find famous film locales from major blockbusters. Get a firsthand look at the prime hangouts of radioactive latex-loving spide heroes, vigilante bat-people, and delve deep into the benefits of wearing spandex briefs. Meet your guide and learn all about comic books and superheroes since their onset in New York in the 1930s. Explore how the city continues to cast its influence over the genre to this day in both comics and films. In the DC Universe, New York is the inspiration for both Gotham City and Metropolis. In Marvel, characters such as Spider-Man, the Avengers, Ironman, and the Fantastic Four inhabit the real New York. See it all on the Superhero Tour of New York. There's nowhere else in the world you can get more cape for your buck!

NYC: Downtown Tour & Optional One World Observatory Ticket

5. NYC: Downtown Tour & Optional One World Observatory Ticket

Welcome to New York, the city that never sleeps! Get a real feel for the city as you take to its streets and subways with a local guide and experience what Manhattan has to offer. Your full-day tour begins when you meet your guide in Times Square, at the statue of renowned lyricist and composer George M. Cohan. Hear about the history of Times Square and learn how a horse trading market became the most famous intersection in the world. Head out along New York’s Theater District, which for a hundred years has been the center of the world for actors, playwrights, and artists from around the globe. Visit 30 Rockefeller Center and continue east to Fifth Avenue, the world's most expensive street, lined with elegant storefronts such as Saks and Bergdorf Goodman. Stop to admire Patrick’s Cathedral, the New York Public Library, and the Chrysler Building before stepping beneath the arching dome of Grand Central, where there’s a stop to buy lunch with choices for most dietary restrictions.  After lunch you’ll hop on the subway like a true New Yorker and head downtown to Wall Street, where you can rub the nose of the Wall Street Bull for good luck! Walk through the financial capital of the world and head to Battery Park, where the ferry awaits to show you the Statue of Liberty. The Staten Island ferry will not stop on Liberty Island, but will sail past it for a view of Lady Liberty and the Manhattan Skyline. Upon returning, your guide will take you to visit the 9/11 Memorial. At the conclusion of your tour you will be admitted to The Observatory at the One World Trade Center Tower (also know as "Freedom Tower"). This panoramic observation deck is a marvel of engineering and architecture. The program begins in the lobby of the Freedom Tower with "Voices" - a film dedicated to the men and women of the World Trade Towers and the new One World Trade Center. You will then take the "Sky Pod" elevator, which rises 1,250 feet in the air in 60 seconds. The Observation Deck begins on the 102nd floor with the See Forever Theater and moves down to the 100th floor, where the main observation deck is situated. Immersive LED displays, interactive touch screen video, and dining options mean there's plenty to do, but the true draw is the view - hundreds of feet above even the impressive New York Skyline stretching across all of Manhattan. The Itinerary Times Square Broadway Theater District Rockefeller Center St. Patrick’s Cathedral Fifth Ave Shops New York Public Library Chrysler Building Grand Central Terminal New York City Subway Charging Bull Alexander Hamilton Customs House Canyon of Heroes/Ticker Tape Parade Route Brooklyn Bridge Statue of Liberty and NYC Skyline via Staten Island Ferry Trinity Church National 9/11 Memorial Wall Street New York Stock Exchange Federal Hall One World Observatory (ticket included)

NYC: Highlights of Manhattan Tour in a Classic Car

6. NYC: Highlights of Manhattan Tour in a Classic Car

Our incredible vintage car tour takes you on a unique journey through the iconic streets of Manhattan. Learn about the rich history of New York’s Roaring Twenties, the Prohibition Era as well as the rise of speakeasies in the city. This experience will unlock a stimulating and unprecedented journey through the original roots of Manhattan that you will never forget. As you ride in your vintage vehicle, you'll witness the recognizable landmarks and skyscrapers of Midtown Manhattan, such as the Empire State Building, Times Square, Chrysler Building, and Rockefeller Center. Your personal tour chauffeur will regale you with stories and anecdotes about the city's colorful past.

NYC Pedicab Tours: Central Park, Times Square, 5th Avenue

7. NYC Pedicab Tours: Central Park, Times Square, 5th Avenue

Travel the exhilarating streets of Midtown Manhattan on a private pedicab tour, and see some of the landmark attractions and skyscrapers of New York City from the unique perspective of a 3-wheeled rickshaw. Your friendly driver/guide will personalize your tour, providing you with facts, history, and information about popular culture, news, and events in the city. There will be 3 or 4 short stops along the way to stretch your legs a little and take some souvenir pictures. See where all the action takes place in the Broadway Theater District, with stunning views of the lights of Times Square. Ride along 42nd Street, and explore the new 8th Avenue. Discover the 46th Street Restaurants of Hell's kitchen, and see where popular TV broadcasts take place at the Fox News Channel building and site of ABC’s Good Morning America. Continue, pedaling past MTV Studios, Radio City, and the Rockefeller Center. Marvel at the luxury stores of 5th Avenue and the Diamond District. See the skinniest building in Midtown Manhattan, and the historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Pass some landmark buildings of New York’s glamorous lifestyle, such as the NYC Yacht Club, Plaza Hotel, and Waldorf Astoria. Continue along 44th Street to the Algonquin and Royalton hotels, and Ivy League clubs of Yale and Harvard. Art Deco and Beaux-Arts highlights include the Chrysler Building and Grand Central Terminal, while Bryant Park will offer a leafy retreat from the hectic streets.

NYC Tour: One Vanderbilt Tickets, Times Square, Rockefeller

8. NYC Tour: One Vanderbilt Tickets, Times Square, Rockefeller

Is New York City the greatest city in the world? Let's find out if this is true on a walking tour of Central Manhattan, its top attractions, popular entertainment venues, churches and larger-than-life skyscrapers. Our Expert Guide will show you the best of NYC from the ground to the sky, as this original tour includes skip-the-line tickets to the One Vaderbilt observation deck! Come and find out why this city never sleeps! Join us on a 3-hour New York City tour! We begin our exciting adventure at 5th Avenue, known as the most expensive street in America. Here, our Local Guide will show us the magnificent St. Patrick's Cathedral and Rockefeller Center, a business complex known for its Art-Deco architecture, Top of the Rock, Comcast, NBC, and the Radio City Music Hall. We'll explore the streets of Midtown Manhattan listening to amazing stories about this city's history, culture and people. We'll pass Broadway, a famous street known for its theaters, and we’ll take in the sights and sounds of Times Square with its dazzling billboards, skilled human performers and excited crowds. We’ll pause in front of the One Times Square, which is where New Yorkers celebrate on New Year's Eve with the famous “ball drop”. Surely you’ll recognize this sight from the TV! This tour is also a chance to discover some of NYC’s most popular public spaces, such as the tranquil Bryant Park, the New York Public Library and Grand Central Terminal with its majestic Beaux-Arts facade. Last but not least, the guide we’ll take us to Summit One Vanderbilt, the newly opened observation deck located in the city's 4th-tallest building. We provide fast-track tickets, so you will skip the ticket line and enjoy this unique and interactive sky-high experience. Come, marvel at the breathtaking views of NYC's dense forest of skyscrapers and enjoy the “infinity room”, the interactive art exhibit, the world's highest urban ""alpine meadow"", and other attractions of One Vanderbilt!

New York: Midtown Manhattan City Exploration Game

9. New York: Midtown Manhattan City Exploration Game

Imagine you’re a young reporter who has just moved to New York City in hopes to make your “big break.” You’ve recently received a lead that suggests magic is here in Midtown! Your lead instructs you to meet him in Grand Central, where he’ll provide you with everything you need to discover a Secret Society of Magical Persons. As you solve challenges, the story unfolds and exact directions on your phone will guide you to the next location. Ready for an adventure? The city game starts at the Grand Central Station. It will take you around 1.5 hours to complete and you can also explore at your own pace: pause the game and resume anytime from the location where you paused it. You will finish at The Plaza Hotel. After your booking. you will receive an email on how to download the game to your phone. You can play on your own, in a large group or in several smaller groups that compete against each other and meet at the final stop of the game. For larger groups, one person can purchase access for the entire group by selecting the number of people in the group. All group members will be able to download and play the city game on their phones. Alternatively, each person can make their own purchase.

NYC: Midtown Manhattan Self-Guided Walking Tour

10. NYC: Midtown Manhattan Self-Guided Walking Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Note: This 3+ mile-long tour covers the essentials of Midtown Manhattan in 1 hour. Explore New York City’s Midtown Manhattan on a self-guided walking tour via an app that functions as a guide, narrator, and GPS map. See New York’s most iconic landmarks and learn their history, from the Empire State Building to Times Square. Enjoy animated videos to visualize parts of the tour. Begin your tour at Columbus Circle, then head to Carnegie Hall, where music legends have performed for over a century. Get the story behind the hall and its founder before moving on to the ornate Russian Tea Room, a Manhattan staple since 1927. Next, visit the city’s most famous hotels, the Ritz and the Plaza. These five-star digs aren’t just landmarks, they’re also packed with Manhattan history that you’ll get to uncover. After that, get a chance to see the famous Pulitzer Fountain. Snap a few photos to save the memory before heading down Fifth Avenue, where New Yorkers come to get their high-end apparel from stores like Saks, Bergdorf, and Louis Vuitton. Then, head to the Saint Regis hotel and learn of the fierce legal dueling between the Astors and the Vanderbilts surrounding this gorgeous landmark. The route continues to the iconic Rockefeller Center. From the ice rink to the NBC studios seen in “30 Rock,” this is a must-see New York landmark. Afterward, it’s time to say hello to Broadway and get a glimpse at the city’s thriving theater scene. A tour of New York City wouldn’t be complete without Times Square, so that’s up next. Explore this memorable square and learn about its transformation from a criminal haven to a tourism hub. If you’re ready to take a break from walking, enjoy a stop at Bryant Park, a perfect oasis that has also seen plenty of Hollywood magic over the years. When you’re ready, head to the city’s most astonishing architectural marvels: the Chrysler Building and Grand Central Terminal. Take in the stunning designs while learning about how they both came to be. Then it’s on to the vast New York Public Library, which houses a staggering 125 miles of shelving and is used to transport books from floor to floor using pneumatic tubes! Finish off your tour learning the full, fascinating history behind the Empire State Building as you walk to New York’s most iconic skyscraper.

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What people are saying about New York Public Library

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 329 reviews

Brendan was a fantastic guide who really knew his onions. He knew so much about every landmark and everywhere in between. It was brilliant being driven on a warm, glass topped bus especially as it was -8 outside. Would highly recommend this trip, great value for money.

It was fun on the bus. Our guides were not only informative they were funny and got everyone involved. A really relaxing 75 minutes of fun travelling through the centre of New York. Very clever interactions with the people outside on the streets.

It was a lot of fun - was late to leave, but the traffic was horrific and really held everyone up. Loved the motion of the Subway feel, would have liked more. Very enjoyable tour - saw lots of New York City and the information was helpful.

Great tour and tour guide. He’s a lifelong New Yorker and offered more than just the highlights. He added his personal experience to the tour which gave it a different perspective.

Great tour with a great guide will definitely recommend.