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The best guided tours and free tours in New York

New York is one of the most amazing cities. It is vibrant, full of life, with many places to visit and endless activities that you can do during your trip to the city.

New York is not known in a week. Not in two, not in months... I've traveled several times and I always know new places every time I go.


If it is your first time in New York, I advise you to book some guided tours and free tours. It is the best way to get to know the city with the help of a guide and have a first contact. Especially the first two days, then you can let yourself go and investigate on your own.



In this post I detail the best guided tours and free tours to do in New York. Also, I add some travel tips and how to save money in the city that never sleeps.



THE BEST FREE TOURS TO DO IN NEW YORK


In New York there is not a very wide offer of Free tours. Unlike other much smaller cities (or Spanish cities where you can find a wide variety of free tours) in New York you only have two options.


FREE TOUR OF NEW YORK


New York is one of those cities that anyone who visits it tends to fall in love with. There are many places to visit and many activities.

You can do a free tour of New York in Spanish. And thus know some of the essential places to see in the city such as; Wall Street, the National Museum of the American Indians, the World Trade Center, the Stock Exchange building, the bull sculpture... In addition, this free tour takes you to see a beautiful area with Dutch-style buildings.

The free tour is done on foot and lasts about two and a half hours. It ends in the vicinity of the 9/11 Memorial, where the Twin Towers were located and which today functions as a tribute center for the victims of the attack.



FREE TOUR OF CHINATOWN AND LITTLE ITALY FROM NEW YORK


New York has so many contrasts and that is one of the main factors that attracts everyone so much. Here different immigrant populations mix, giving each neighborhood a different look and charm.

Two of the most iconic and characteristic neighborhoods in Manhattan are Chinatown and Little Italy.


You can take a free tour to see the most essential places in both neighborhoods. The tour begins in Foley Square and from there leads you to the former headquarters of the New York Times. In the courthouse area, you will learn how this area evolved over time to become a place of welcome for Irish and African-American immigrants.

When you resume walking, you will do so in the direction of Columbus Park. When you arrive in Chinatown, you will learn many details of the interesting Chinese culture and its ancient traditions. Crossing Canal Street, you will find the place that was the residence of the Jewish community before World War II: the first Diamond District.

The first immigrants to arrive in New York founded Little Italy, the next stop on the tour. It is one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city. It has a lot of charm! You will continue the march towards Soho, one of the most artistic neighborhoods in the city.

This enriching tour full of history has its last stop in Nolita, a neighborhood full of atmosphere where you will find clothing boutiques, jewelry stores, decoration shops, cafes, pubs... The tour lasts about two hours and ends in the old St. Patrick's Cathedral.





THE BEST GUIDED TOURS TO DO IN NEW YORK


Apart from the two previous free tours, in New York there are some highly recommended guided tours that are very well priced. These are some of the best, that you cannot miss:


CONTRAST TOUR IN NEW YORK


Undoubtedly, the tour of contrasts in New York is the essential guided tour, especially if it is your first time in the city. It is one of the most complete tours. It allows you to discover four of its most emblematic areas: Harlem, Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn.


This guided tour lasts about 4 hours. The starting point of the tour is West Manhattan. The tour continues to the Bronx. But to get there, you will first cross the beautiful neighborhood of Harlem, the cradle of jazz and Afro-American culture.

In the Bronx you will be able to appreciate the graffiti of the South Bronx, the Yankee Stadium, Grand Concord Avenue and Fort Apache. It's a very nice and dynamic way to get to know the Bronx.


The next stop is in Queens, one of the largest and most multicultural districts in the city. After visiting the Malba area and its sumptuous mansions, you will have free time to explore Flushing Meadows Corona Park or enter the Queens Museum.

Brooklyn is the next stop and you start by visiting the Jewish neighborhood of Williamsburg, the Brooklyn Bridge and some strategic places from which to take incredible panoramic photographs of Manhattan. The tour ends in the Chinatown neighborhood, which you will access by crossing the Manhattan Bridge.


There are two contrasting tours. The "normal" tour and the VIP contrasts tour that visits the same places with a minibus.



CENTRAL PARK BIKE TOUR, NEW YORK


Central Park is one of the essential places to see in New York. Despite what you may imagine, it is huge and with many things to see and do. One of the best ways to get to know the Park is with a bicycle tour. You can rent a bike and ride the route yourself or you can book a guided tour.

You do not have to be a professional cyclist to complete the journey, since the pace proposed by the tour is moderate and easy to follow. We did it with a 4-year-old child, so it is an activity that you can also do with the little ones in the house. During its two hours, there will be moments to rest and contemplate the landscape.



I have some articles on how to visit Central Park, essential places to see and tips to visit it for free, in case you may be interested:





NEW YORK NIGHT TOUR


I love cities illuminated at night. And New York at night is beautiful.

This specific tour lasts 3-3.5 hours and they pick you up at your hotel and from there you will go to the place where the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier is located, to follow the course of the Hudson River to the south of Manhattan. You will get on a ferry and they will take you to Staten Island and the Statue of Liberty. You will be able to take a lot of panoramic photographs of the illuminated Manhattan skyline.

Once the ferry ride is over, you will go to the Brooklyn Bridge to reach the district where you will get one of the best views of Manhattan. From there, you will take Atlantic Avenue until you reach Times Square, one of the liveliest places in New York. You will walk along Broadway Avenue, where you will be able to feel the energy of the theatrical night of this wonderful city.

The tour ends next to the most famous building in the world: the Empire State. If you want, you can go up to its viewpoint at 320 meters high.

You will visit the famous Imagine mosaic in Strawberry Fields, the picturesque Belvedere Castle and Shakespeare Garden.


It is one of the best tours to do in New York!



UPPER AND LOWER MANHATTAN TOUR


This tour is the best way to get to know Manhattan and the history of the city better.

It lasts about 3 hours and a half, and starts in the western part of Central Park. The first stops will be at Columbus Circle, the Lincoln Center auditorium, The Dakota (the building where John Lennon lived and where he was assassinated) and the Strawberry Fields monument.

At all times the Spanish-speaking guide will tell you the history and anecdotes of all the places you will visit.

You will continue passing by Saint John the Divine (the largest cathedral in New York) and by the University of Harmen, located in one of the most enchanted neighborhoods of the city.

Skirting Central Park you will head towards the Metropolitan Museum, passing by the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis lake.

Once you arrive at 5th Avenue, you will make a series of stops to visit some of the most representative buildings on this street, such as; the Apple store, the Plaza hotel, the Donald Trump building, the Tiffany's jewelry store, among others.

Although it may seem like a long journey, it is very enjoyable.

The tour continues passing through Rockefeller Center, the church of San Patricio, the Flat Iron Building, through the neighborhoods of Greenwich, SoHo and NoHo, until arriving at Washington Square where you will find the replica of the Arc de Triomphe and the University of New York.

In the last section of the tour, it crosses Little India, Chinatown, Wall Street and ends in Battery Park, at the southern end of Manhattan, where you can see the Statue of Liberty from there and take the ferry if you want to visit it.





BROOKLYN BRIDGE AND DUMBO NEIGHBORHOOD TOUR


The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most emblematic and essential points to see in New York.

This tour allows you to learn all the secrets and history of the Brooklyn Bridge. In addition, from the same bridge you will have the opportunity to take endless photographs of Manhattan, from here there are spectacular views of the skyline.

Once you cross it, you will arrive in Brooklyn and you will begin to explore DUMBO, one of its most famous and beautiful neighborhoods. You will walk through its streets to observe the shops and cafes that combine the modern and traditional in a unique way.

This neighborhood is characterized by having buildings that were formerly department stores and have now been converted into homes, shops, office buildings, etc...

During the journey you will also visit the Manhattan Bridge from a strategic street to have the "famous Instagram photo".

The tour ends at one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Brooklyn for incredible views of Manhattan.




MORE NEW YORK TOURS THAT MAY INTEREST YOU



PLAN YOUR TRIP STEP BY STEP



I hope you enjoy your trip to New York a lot and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.


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A hug and see you soon!

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