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This post compares the various different pub crawl, bar tours and nightclub packages available in NYC. With over 2,000 bars, pubs and cocktail lounges in New York City, where to dive in? One of the best ways to discover the best bars in NYC is to join a tour and have someone in the know take you to them. This post covers the different types of pub, bar and cocktail tours with prices, schedules and descriptions of what to expect from that tour.
There are tours galore — from nightclub-themed party bonanzas to those that specialize in the beer brews themselves. You’ve got tours of rooftop bars, secret bars and tours that focus on the extraordinary history of drinking in New York City. (FYI: The drinking age in New York City is 21, so bring I.D. such as a passport or drivers license with you). We do offer pub crawls periodically, be sure to check our tour calendar or take a look at our pay-what-you-wish Night Tours.
Here are our picks for the best pub crawls and bar tours in New York City.
Uncle Sam’s holds weekly tours in the New York City neighborhoods of Hell’s Kitchen, the East Village and Greenwich Village. The two Village tours visit some of Manhattan’s oldest and most storied drinking holes, while the Hell’s Kitchen tour will fill you in on how the neighborhood got its notorious name. These tours focus less on the history and more on the fun.
When: Every night of the week but Sundays. Check the website for time and days of the different tours.
Cost: $75 including three drinks
A night on the town just like Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte would enjoy on the show. Visit four locations from the show, sipping on your girly cocktails in chic spots. There is a dress code, but you were probably planning on dressing up anyway! You will be shuttled from bar to bar by a taxi (less wear and tear on your Manolo’s). If you are a SATC die-hard fan, check out our self-guided Sex and the City tour and see where Carrie’s apartment is!
When: Thursdays 7 pm
Cost: $79 including 2 drinks and a snack.
Since 1998, this is the oldest established Greenwich Village drinking tour. The focus is on the many famous authors that drank their way through the Village, such as William Faulkner, Eugene O’Neill, John Steinbeck, and Dylan Thomas.
When: Saturdays 1pm – 4pm
Cost: $20 per person ($15 for students/seniors) not including any drinks
If you’re interested in the craft beers of New York, this 4-hour bus tour is the perfect choice. It covers four breweries in four boroughs, and along the way passes the historical sites of old breweries and other sites important to New York’s beery past.
When: Saturdays and Sundays
Cost: $125 including beer and food tastings
Tour a working brewery, learn about the brewery’s history, including stories and details of how Brooklyn was once home to 48 breweries which dwindled to zero in the 1970’s and is now on the upswing once again!
When: Saturdays at 12 pm
Cost: $69 including beer tasting and lunch
Offering the opportunity to try ten different craft beers and local bar snacks from Williamsburg’s coolest bars and, this tour includes plenty of information about the craft beer industry and local area, and is all about the city’s obsession with craft beer. The tour goes for around three hours.
When: Saturdays at 12pm
Cost: $74 includes 10 craft beer samples and snacks.
Throughout New York in the 1920s, it was illegal to drink, but that didn’t stop the party! Secret illegal bars – known as ‘speakeasies’ – popped up all around NYC. The once necessity of hard to find entrances and secret passwords has a certain cache to it. Drinking establishment owners revived the Speakeasy style, though it is totally legal now. These 3-hour walking tour leads you straight to some of the finest ‘speakeasies’ with plenty of riveting stories about Prohibition to go with the tantalizing tipples. The tours are offered in four different neighborhoods: the West Village, East Village, Lower Manhattan, and Lower East Side.
When: 7 days a week. Check their calendar for which tours are offered.
Cost: $30 per person. Drinks are not included but you get priority service from the bartenders.
This 3-hour tour is ideal for a special occasion and perfect for those who have cash to spend and some smart clothes to wear. This really is a night out on the town at exclusive bars, including two rooftop bars and one speakeasy. You are accompanied by a professional host in your limousine that transports you between bars. A free cocktail is included in your limo ride.
When: Year-round, dates vary; see website for schedule
Cost: $159 priority entrance fees are included but drinks are not.
This craft cocktail tour of the trendy and lively East Village avoids the gimmicks and instead focuses on delivering some of the finest cocktails modern day New York has to offer. You’ll visit a bunch of bars and finish in a wine store, with plenty of information on the new and different types of spirits, how they are produced and the best way to mix them.
When: 6 pm. Check website for days.
Cost: $82 including 3 cocktails, a light snack.
Nearly as rude as not tipping your server would be producing a list of drinking tours without at least one for those that are goofy over the good grape. City Wine Tours offers two different tours, one in SoHo and one in the West Village. Tours visit two restaurants with food and wine pairings, and are led by a wine ambassador.
When: Every Saturday and Sunday
Cost: $75 price tag includes three food pairings and six wines. Sometimes they have promotional codes where you can save $10. See their website.
For those on a world-wide drinking adventure, here is a list of Pub Crawls, Brewery Visits and Bar Tours in cities around the world:
Be sure to check out our other posts about where to go for that perfect libation in NYC:
CHEERS! PROST! BOTTOMS UP! DOWN THE HATCH!