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New York Public Library

New York Public Library: Our most recommended tours and activities

New York City Bus, Boat and Walking Tour

1. 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.

New York City: Statue of Liberty and Top Sights Walking Tour

2. New York City: Statue of Liberty and Top Sights Walking Tour

Start your 5-hour walking bright and early, heading down to Wall Street, the oldest part of Manhattan. Admire the iconic buildings, from modern skyscrapers to Arc Deco towers. Pass Ground Zero, and see the famous Charging Bull statue outside the New York Stock Exchange. Continue to Greenwich Village through Five Points, Chinatown, and Little Italy, all the while picking up history and local insight from your expert guide. Head to the Rockefeller Center, past The Flatiron Building, Madison Square Garden, the Empire State Building, 5th Avenue, Times Square, New York Public Library, and the Chrysler Building. The urban oasis of Central Park is your next destination. Sights along the way include the NBC Studios, Radio City Music Hall, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Grand Central Station, Carnegie Hall, and more. Stroll through the most famous park in America, then finish your tour at the Guggenheim.  Then, visit the Statue of Liberty on your schedule — with your voucher, feel free to go before or after the tour.

Secrets of New York Alternate Sights

3. Secrets of New York Alternate Sights

On this full day tour, we cover a lot! Stroll through some of New York’s oldest neighborhoods: the Financial District (including Wall Street), Tribeca, Midtown Manhattan, and more. Discover the origins of New York with a visit to the National Museum of the American Indian. Walk through hidden alleys and secret passageways. See the hidden tennis court of Grand Central Terminal. The tennis court can be reserved if you want to play. Journey high above Manhattan and visit an elevated park with rooftop views of the New York harbor and the Brooklyn Bridge. Admire a miniature rainforest growing inside of an office building. There is more but it's a secret. Join us and see why people have said this tour is a "must do" when exploring the city.

Lower Manhattan + Midtown Manhattan Tour - Guided Combo Tour

4. 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.

New York: Midtown Manhattan City Exploration Game

5. 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

6. NYC: Midtown Manhattan Self-Guided Walking Tour

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. Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. 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.

NYC: Guided Instagram Tour With Professional Photographer

7. 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

Want to discover all there is to do in New York Public Library? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about New York Public Library

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 94 reviews

Friendly guide that showed us tons of places that we never would have found on our own. Great thing about her was that she was very flexible and able to adjust the tour according to what different people wanted to see. There was a ton of walking and with seeing so many sites in a group there were places that we liked that we had to rush through for the sake of time. Sandy, our guide, did her best to give us breaks which we appreciated. Also I would add that though the guide told us things about every place we didn't really go into great depth at any one location, but with but the amount of places we visited that would have been hard. Overall we had a good time and appreciated that Sandy really does go out of her way to show everybody what they want to see. If you are up for some walking we recommend this tour.

Everything right on time, efficient to the nth degree.. Play attention to the instructions when he says stick together and don’t wander off, because we will leave you, that will happen! It really packs in a lot of sites in the time allowed and it take you to a great spot with many choices for lunch thoroughly enjoyed it

Good, compact day. Qualified guide and stops for a reasonable amount of time, as well as for lunch. The guide gave many good tips for getting around Manhattan. You should take this excursion right at the beginning of your holiday.

My guide Steve knew lots of interesting stories about NY. Open roof bus is a great choice. Very convenient way to know most important sightseeing spots in NY.

Very knowledgeable guide & good fun. Great driver. A good way to see part of Manhattan & learn some history.