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The best walking tours for theater lovers in NYC

Can’t afford tickets to the hottest Broadway shows? Get your fix with these walking tours for theater lovers.

Photograph: Shutterstock/Andrey Bayda

Come on along and listen to the lullaby of Broadway on one of these walking tours for theater lovers in NYC. You’ll spy some of the city’s historic playhouses, hear the tricks of the trade from working actors and even get behind-the-scenes intel on some of the best Broadway shows, including a few that have even won Tony Awards. You might just spot a few iconic NYC attractions while you’re out, too. So what are you waiting for? Hurry up and book your tour before the curtain falls on these deals!

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to NYC tours

Best walking tours for theater lovers in NYC

Small Group Theater District Tour

Small Group Theater District Tour

You’ll pass more than a dozen Broadway theaters on this stroll through the Theater District. Let your guide regale you with the history of the neighborhood, from the first shows to open in the early 1900s to today’s mega-musicals like Phantom of the Opera and Chicago. You’ll feel like an expert on the Great White Way by the end of the tour. $35 per person

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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/MK Feeney

Disney on Broadway Behind-the-Scenes Walking Tour

Disney on Broadway Behind-the-Scenes Walking Tour

New York City might not have a theme park full of Mickey Mouse magic, but there’s no shortage of musicals inspired by Disney classics. The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Mary Poppins—the list goes on and on. After you walk through Times Square, you’ll go backstage at the New Amsterdam Theatre to visit the prop and costume studio. $72 per person

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Broadway Musical Theater Walking Tour

Broadway Musical Theater Walking Tour

Learn the history of Broadway from Vaudeville to today on this two-hour tour of Times Square. Your guide will share backstage stories and insider knowledge about New York City’s acting scene while you tour iconic playhouses like the Gershwin Theatre and beloved watering holes like Sardi’s Restaurant. $35 per person

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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/John Wisniewski

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Haunted Broadway Walking Tour

Haunted Broadway Walking Tour

There’s plenty of superstition woven into theater culture, from the ghost light left illuminated after everyone has left the stage to actors refusing to say the word “Macbeth” for fear of cursing the performance. Find out which former Vaudeville stars have been known to haunt the stage long after their passing and sing along to dark showtunes from Sweeney Todd and Little Shop of Horrors on this spooky tour. $40 per person

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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Ed Schipul

Inspiration of Rent: a Musical Theater Walking Tour

Inspiration of Rent: a Musical Theater Walking Tour

If you know all the words to “Seasons of Love” by heart, this one’s for you. On this tour of the East Village and Alphabet City, your guide will explain how playwright Jonathan Larson took inspiration from his own experiences living in a shared apartment here and turned it into Rent. You’ll not only gain a deeper understanding of the musical, but also get a peek into Larson's life as a young starving artist. $40 per person

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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Marcin Wichary

Gilbert and Sullivan to Hamilton Downtown Walking Tour

Gilbert and Sullivan to Hamilton Downtown Walking Tour

Discover how history and theater intersect in downtown Manhattan on this walking tour. The tour starts way back in 1750 with the first documented performance of a musical in New York City: John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera. You’ll also visit South Street Seaport, where your guide will explain the city's historical ties to classic nautical musicals like Showboat and South Pacific. $45 per person

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Off-Broadway Walking Tour

Off-Broadway Walking Tour

Know the difference between Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway shows? The easy answer is that it all comes down to the number of seats in the theater; the more correct answer is that it depends on both the actors’ contracts and the size of the theater. Get the lowdown on the New York theater industry on this two-hour tour of several Off-Broadway playhouses. $35 per person

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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Colin Knowles

NYC Walking Tour: Broadway History and Culture

NYC Walking Tour: Broadway History and Culture

Working Broadway performers lead these tours of Times Square and Hell’s Kitchen, so you know you’re getting the inside scoop on New York's acting community. Take a two-hour walk through the neighborhood to see the real-world setting of West Side Story and learn some fun facts, like the reason why theater flourished during the Great Depression. $35 per person

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