New York Public Library

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New York Public Library: Our most recommended tours and activities

New York City: Midtown Manhattan Interactive Bus Tour

1. New York City: Midtown Manhattan Interactive Bus Tour

See the sights of famous movies and TV shows aboard a cool bus equipped with 3,000 LED lights, 40 TV monitors and 3 rows of stadium-style seats facing floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Relax on board as a live tour narrator and co-host get to know you and interesting facts are provided by the audio and on-screen guides. Travel through more than 10 neighborhoods and see over 50 iconic landmarks, such as Broadway, Times Square and the Empire State Building. Learn about the past, present and future of Midtown Manhattan and the Upper West Side via interactive simulations like the "King Kong" takeover of the bus! Listen to an upbeat live soundtrack as you journey back to Times Square.  

New York City Bus, Boat and Walking Tour

2. New York City Bus, Boat and Walking Tour

See the best of New York City on sightseeing tours by bus and boat. In addition, enjoy a walk through the Financial Center to Wall Street and The New York Stock Exchange. 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. Take in views of world-famous landmarks, including the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center, Brooklyn Bridge, Governors Island and more. This tour gives you two options for tour buses - a luxury climate-controlled closed-top bus or a unique small-capacity glass-top or open-top convertible bus that can open when the weather is nice or retract and turn into a glass-top to protect you from the weather elements.

Lower Manhattan + Midtown Manhattan Tour - Guided Combo Tour

3. Lower Manhattan + Midtown Manhattan Tour - Guided Combo Tour

Your  guide will start by showing you the historical sites that most visitors overlook in Lower Manhattan, including Bowling Green and Castile Clinton in Battery Park. Learn about Alexander Hamilton at Trinity Church before fast-forwarding to the last century, when the Charging Bull took up residence among the NYSE and Federal Hall. Modern architecture soars overhead, once in the shadows of the World Trade Center. Discuss the tragedy of 9/11 while visiting the official memorial as well as the firefighters’ memorial. Then learn how Lower Manhattan has evolved since, including the Occupy Wall Street movement that took over Zuccotti Park. By the end of the tour, you’ll understand more clearly how New York City has become one of the most important and inspiring metropolises in the world. Then after a break for lunch, travel north to Midtown and learn why it's the "City That Never Sleeps". Find out about the 19th and 20th century additions to Manhattan that helped shape the urban landscape. Explore the lesser-known Marble Collegiate Church and then visit icons like the New York Public Library and the Morgan Library. From Madison Square Park to the quirky Flatiron building, you’ll discover the earlier innovations that helped build New York up, quite literally. Your guide will discuss the skyscraper boom of the early 1900s, including the Met Life Tower and the New York Life Building. You’ll walk by the world-famous Empire State Building to learn about the last of the early 20th century giants. It doesn’t get much more beautiful than the main terminal of Grand Central Station, where you’ll learn about the landmark laws that preserve many of these historic buildings for generations to come.

5-Hour NYC Private Skyline Walking Tour

4. 5-Hour NYC Private Skyline Walking Tour

The perfect tour for couples and small groups who like to walk, be outdoors, and want to take their time to really connect with New York City, its people, and their passions with this ‘local’s look’ of the city. This five-hour hike begins in the hipsterville neighborhood of Willamsburg. We pass through Domino Park, named after the now defunct Domino Sugar Refinery, for a brief stroll through the waterfront area. Cross the Williamsburg Bridge and meet the faces behind the produce at New York’s Essex Market, the flagship of public indoor food markets in the city, for more than a century. Enjoy lunch in an industrial-chic underground market. Then it’s off to Chinatown where we visit the Mahayana Buddhist Temple containing NYC’s largest Buddha sculpture, before trekking across the Manhattan Bridge to DUMBO, known for its galleries, shops and unique views of the Empire State Building and the East River. The last challenge is to hike the 1.1-mile-long wooden walkway of the Brooklyn Bridge for a close-up view of its most distinctive features, the 276-foot-tall masonry towers that hold up the suspension bridge.

New York: 7 Wonders of Midtown Exploration Game

5. New York: 7 Wonders of Midtown 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: Guided Instagram Tour With Professional Photographer

6. NYC: Guided Instagram Tour With Professional Photographer

Start your tour in the morning at the famous Grand Central clock where you will meet your tour guide. Discover the surprising gems and hidden secrets of this splendid building. Explore the largest train terminal in the world at Grand Central, most of which is hidden underground; as well as a shopping mall, a transit museum, multiple dining options, and even tennis courts. Next, discover the beloved Bryant Park. Once a cemetery, a reservoir, and a military camp, it is now famous for its lush seasonal gardens, free activities, and famed surrounding skyscrapers. The tour will continue with views of the New York Public Library, the third-largest book collection in the world, and a visit to the Rockefeller Center. Conceived by John D. Rockefeller as a city within a city, the Rockefeller Center is home to a remarkable collection of art deco motifs and sculptures, as well as a hub of entertainment and business options. After that, you will go to Radio City Music Hall, this theater has hosted some of the greatest singers like BB King, Stevie Wonder, and more. To end the tour, head to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, known for its Neo-Gothic architecture. In each one of those spots, get photos taken by the photographer and receive them all in digital format. Bring on your full potential, let yourself be advised, and feel like a real Instagrammer. Have a fun time while you enjoy NYC and grow the likes on your social networks or simply get a nice memory of your vacation.

Other Sightseeing Options in New York Public Library

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What people are saying about New York Public Library

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 56 reviews

WOW!!! Great tour. You walk a lot so be ready. This tour is a great way to get to see the Willamsburg and DUMBO neighborhoods of Brooklyn with part of Chinatown and the Lower East Side of Manhattan. You do walk across the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Willamsburg bridges. It's a challenge but a lot of fun. It's a great highlights tour.

This encounter was a very good way for me, first time to NYC, to get oriented. The price was VERY reasonable. After the tour I felt confident to tackle the subways myself and just walk the street of NYC--this coming from a guy who swore "I will NEVER go to New York!" I am now planning when I'm going to return.

This was the perfect tour for a rainy day in NYC! Our guide, Tyler, had the best information to share with us. This is a great way to see a lot of the city for first time guests, and you can decide where you want to go back and spend more time!

Enjoyed the combination of walking, bus tour and ferry ride. Our tour guide Joe was excellent. Restroom stops and lunch stop was timed perfectly. Group was a small size which allowed for questions. Great tour!

Our guide, Tyler, was entertaining and knowledgable! So glad we did this tour - we learned so much about New York!