There’s no better way to get acquainted with the five boroughs than by seeing them at street level.
Each NYC borough lays claim to historic events, famous attractions and cuisine from all over the world, and visitors can get a crash course in those and more thanks to guided walking tours. Explore the site of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs in Queens; go behind the scenes at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx; sample Caribbean cuisine in Flatbush, Brooklyn—your tour guide will offer deep insight into these NYC stories.
In honor of National Travel and Tourism Week (May 1–7), we’re highlighting can’t-miss walking tours in each of the five boroughs. Read on to find one that fits your interests, and check out NYC’s full list of walking tours here.
Good for: Visiting Italy without a plane ticket
Price: $69 for adults; $49 for children; free for ages 12 and under
Length: 3 hours
The eponymous Susan Birnbaum is known for her food tours of Arthur and Belmont Avenues in the Bronx, NYC’s “real” Little Italy.
Birnbaum, who grew up in the Bronx, has been working as a tour guide since the early 2000s and is a local historian in the area. On this tour, participants will get to see old-world artisans making pasta and fresh mozzarella and nosh on some traditional Italian delicacies.
Good for: Families, sports enthusiasts
Price: Classic Tours: $25 per person ($20 for seniors, military and kids 14 and under); Pregame Tours: $50 per person; Hands on History Tours: $125 per person (currently not on sale)
Length: 60–90 minutes
This South Bronx stadium is not just any baseball venue; it’s the home of 27-time World Champions the New York Yankees.
Options to see it include the Classic Tour, which offers visits to the dugout, Monument Park and the New York Yankees Museum. Pregame Tours give fans front-row seats to batting practice, and the Hands on History experience lets guests hold baseball artifacts, including Babe Ruth’s bat (items on display are subject to change).
Good for: Those in search of a personalized, hyperlocal experience
Price: $68 plus the cost of food
Length: 2.5 hours
Organized by Caribbeing, a local collective promoting Caribbean culture and events in NYC and globally, this bespoke walking tour takes visitors through Little Caribbean in Flatbush, home to one of the world’s most diverse Caribbean populations.
Walk the neighborhood streets and get the chance to try authentic cuisine including jerk chicken, sweet pastries, salted fish cakes and Caribbean rum. Tours are available bi-monthly and by appointment.
Good for: Foodies, families
Length: 3 hours
This trendy, ever-changing neighborhood owes its diverse food scene to its multicultural communities. During this walking food tour, visitors might sample Polish desserts, Oklahoma-style barbecue, watermelon agua fresca and a slice from one the best pizzerias in Brooklyn (or is it the best?). Participants will also learn about the history of the neighborhood and its restaurants during the tour.
Good for: Jazz lovers, field trippers
Price: $30 per person; $25 per person for groups of 15 or more
Length: 2 hours (1 to 3pm)
Upper Manhattan was the launching pad for jazz legends like Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington, who were part of the neighborhood’s cultural heyday of the 1920s and ’30s, a period dubbed the Harlem Renaissance. On this tour, you’ll walk in their footsteps while listening to music of the era, and learn about American civil rights and the Black power movement of the 1950s and ’60s. Harlem Heritage tour guides were all born and raised in Harlem, and still live there today.
Good for: Students, history buffs
Length: 2 hours (offered daily at 9am)
This tour outfitter is staffed by knowledgeable, local guides. They offer multiple themed tours in various NYC neighborhoods, including this walking tour of Lower Manhattan. Stops include historic landmarks like Federal Hall and Trinity Church, as well as the 9/11 Memorial.
Good for: Those who don’t mind a long walk, World’s Fair fans
Price: $100 for 1–3 guests; $150 for 4–6 guests; group rates available for groups of 7 or more
Length: 2.5 hours
Led by Sam Grossman himself, this tour of Queens takes walkers to Flushing Meadows Corona Park and moves on to Main Street in Flushing, one of the City’s Chinatowns (visitors will take the subway once during the tour).
You’ll see landmarks like the famous Unisphere and other World’s Fair relics, the New York Hall of Science, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and Citi Field.
Good for: Curious palates
Price: Call to confirm
Length: 4.5 hours
Queens is known as the world’s borough, and it has the culinary options to match. On this tour—available at the moment only as a private tour by appointment—participants will meet at Grand Central Terminal and take the subway to various neighborhoods in the borough. They’ll get to try foods from a number of regions, with vegetarian and gluten-free options at most stops.
Good for: Those of legal drinking age, couples
Price: $225 for two people ($60 for additional people); must be 21+
Length: 3 hours
If you want to experience life like a Staten Islander, this tour is for you. Mingle with locals at their favorite haunts while enjoying a slice and sipping locally brewed beer or a glass of wine. All establishments are close to the St. George ferry terminal. This is a private tour.
Good for: First timers to Staten Island
Price: $50 per person
Length: 1.5 hours
Many NYC visitors ride the Staten Island Ferry from Manhattan to Staten Island but not all leave the terminal to explore further. This private tour introduces participants to the borough’s “new downtown,” which holds 19th-century homes, Borough Hall, the National Lighthouse Museum and St. George Theatre.
Visitors can find additional guides that specialize in a range of tours across New York City at ganyc.org.