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Photograph: Raydene Salinas

The 6 coolest walking tours in NYC

Immerse yourself in the city’s best attractions, art and architecture with the top walking tours NYC has to offer


If you're feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of trying to see as much of New York as possible in a short time, the solution might be one of Gotham's best walking tours. NYC is one of the easiest cities to navigate on foot, and there's certainly no shortage of interesting sights around every corner, from awesome street art and graffiti to the most haunted places in NYC to beautiful NYC buildings to the most awe-inspiring New York attractions. New York natives and first-time tourists alike will discover parts of the city they’ve never seen before on the best walking tours in NYC.

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Best NYC walking tours

Manhattan to Brooklyn NYC Walking Tour
Photograph: Shutterstock

1. Manhattan to Brooklyn NYC Walking Tour

As a tourist (and even a Manhattanite), it can sometimes be hard to leave the comforts of the island. But to do so would be ignoring some of New York's greatest attractions and hidden gems. During this tour, you won't go too deep into Brooklyn, but you'll still get a good taste of New York's most populous borough. Start in front of the Tweed Courthouse in Manhattan before making the journey across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, catching views of landmarks like the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty along the way. Once on the other side, you'll explore the neighborhood known as Dumbo (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), stopping by art galleries and capping the trip off on a sweet note at the Torres Chocolate Factory and hot chocolate shop.

The Superhero Walking Tour of New York
Photograph: Shutterstock

2. The Superhero Walking Tour of New York

Be the sightseer that Gotham deserves during this family-friendly trek that covers NYC landmarks through the lens of its hometown superheroes. Whether you're a fan of Batman, Spiderman or the Fantastic Four, discover the inspiration behind those comics with stops at the Empire State Building, a pivotal location in countless superhero adventures; the Flatiron Building, which served as Peter Parker's workplace the Daily Bugle; and the Chrysler Building, where his spidery alter-ego would perch to look out for the bad guys. You'll also stop at the Marvel Enterprises Headquarters and a clandestine bar where comic book artists have been drawing cartoons on the walls for more than 50 years.

Iconic Sights Photography Walking Tour of NYC
Photograph: Shutterstock

3. Iconic Sights Photography Walking Tour of NYC

You didn't come all the way to New York for subpar photos, did you? With so little to see in so little time, leave the Kodak moments to the professionals. During this group tour, the city becomes both your canvas as well as your classroom. A professional photography instructor will take you to a unique destination of your choosing – options include Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Times Square at night – and provide hands-on instructions on how to best capture lasting memories of your trip. If you've ever been curious about how to shoot sharp images in low-light conditions or how to scout out the perfect angle, this is the tour for you.

Chinatown and Little Italy Food Tour
Photograph: Shutterstock

4. Chinatown and Little Italy Food Tour

Much of New York's culture (and the city itself) is built upon the legacy of its diverse immigrant groups. In this exploration of Manhattan's southernmost tip, you'll hear about two major ones: the Chinese and the Italians. Start in New York's sprawling Chinatown, which is home to plenty of hole-in-the-walls Chinese restaurants, as well as Vietnamese, Thai, and Malaysian eateries. From here, head down towards Mulberry Street, where you'll come into Little Italy to taste all of the delectable offerings. You'll also see the World Trade Center, the Fraunces Tavern Historic District (Manhattan's oldest neighborhood), and the beautiful Trinity Church.

Small Group Ghost Tour of Greenwich Village
Wendy Connett

5. Small Group Ghost Tour of Greenwich Village

Don’t be distracted by Washington Square Park’s cherry blossoms and pretty landscaping: It has quite a dark past. The 310-year-old Hangman’s Elm in the northwest corner of the park is rumored to have been the site of several historic executions, and some believe the ghosts of those killed still haunt the area. Discover the supernatural history of the park and other spine-chilling spots in Greenwich Village on this evening ghost tour. You’re not afraid of the dark, are you?

Street Art Tour of Bushwick
Photograph: Raydene Salinas

6. Street Art Tour of Bushwick

The murals, graffiti, and stencils hidden all over New York give this city character, but they’re pretty damn hard to google. Hunt down these (often illegal) masterpieces with this tour of The Bushwick Collective's outdoor art gallery. A local artist will take you around and point out examples of work from early graffers like Blek Le Rat and Jef Aérosol as well as new school artists like Eelco Virus and Icy and Sot.

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