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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.

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.

Secrets and Scandals of New York

4. Secrets and Scandals of New York

Experience a great mix of murder, music, mayhem interesting architecture, and more. - 20+ New York Sights in one tour (including alternative ones) - Explore multiple true crime locations - Listen to some ghost stories - Tour some of New York’s oldest neighborhoods: the Financial District (including Wall Street), Greenwich Village, East Village and possibly midtown. There's more but, it's a secret

NYC: Midtown Manhattan Self-Guided Walking Tour

5. 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.

New York: Midtown Manhattan City Exploration Game

6. 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.

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

4.7 / 5

based on 280 reviews

We had a brilliant day with our guide Rachel. She had an amazing knowledge of the city and was very attentive to us all on the tour. On our departure she gave us all a card with her number and said if we had any trouble to call or text her. A fantastic guide and will defo recommend the tour especially if my friends & family were to have Rachel as a guide. We covered the whole of the city in just a matter of hours and even got to go on the Staten Island Ferry. Thanks so much Rachel!

Very thorough overview of the city. Our guide, I think her name was Dana, was awesome!! We have been on multiple other tours and this was definitely a favorite. Enjoyed the walking component with the guide. Also our driver Arlis did a magnificent job on a day the traffic was atrocious due to the UN General Assembly

This tour was so informative and Tyler was very well spoken and I felt very safe being led by her. Exceeded my expectations as I had apprehensions about taking a tour in a city I don’t know well. I have already recommended this tour to family and friends.

Get your tickets in advance. Be at the meeting point early. Get an open air convertible bus. Request Brooklyn Jim for your guide. Take lots of pictures. You won’t regret it!

The tour was great and our guide was fantastic! She was warm, friendly and very knowledgeable. I highly recommend!