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In this post, we cover bike tours of Central Park, including our pay-what-you-like option, other companies, bike rentals as well as tips on how to explore Central Park on your own.
With over 26 million visitors a year (and larger than Monaco!), Central Park is the jewel of Manhattan. And containing over two centuries of history, there’s a lot to cover. Whether it’s about the Irish laborers who built it, or of the multi-million dollar penthouses lining the park today, Central Park showcases the entire spectrum of the New York experience.
At 843 acres (340 ha) though, it can be a lot to take on by foot! In fact, we offer 2 walking tours of the park, and combined, they still leave out the very northern 3rd of the park.
With a bike tour of Central Park, you can cover over six miles of it without being too worn out. And not only is an experienced tour guide a wealth a knowledge, but he or she will show you the safest and quickest way to the most famous landmarks.
Our pay-what-you-wish tour operates on a limited schedule. Therefore, we have listed a few companies with daily schedules that we recommend.
Let Free Tours by ‘Bike’ tell you the story behind Olmstead and Vaux’s masterpiece. You’ll see The Mall and Literary Walk majestically lined with towering elms, the 3,500-year-old Egyptian obelisk Cleopatra’s Needle and the architectural splendor of Bethesda Terrace.
We’ll watch your bikes as we give you time to climb to the top of Belvedere Castle, where you’ll get a view of the Great Meadow, Shakespeare Garden, and Turtle Pond.
You’ll see the Dakota Apartments where John Lennon was tragically assassinated and Strawberry Fields where we honor his memory today.
*Please note that this tour is for experienced bike riders.
Sites we cover on the Central Park Bike Tour:
Don’t forget, some hotels, guest houses and bed, and breakfasts offer free or inexpensive bike rentals. Also, if you have the New York Pass, bike rentals are included for free, though you may only rent them at certain locations included in the pass (not our partner shop).
Like our other tours, our expert, licensed guides work just for your appreciation. Most bike tour companies will charge you $45/person and up for a 2-hour bike tour. With bike rentals as low as $16 for 2 hours, you could be paying $30/person and higher for a 2-hour bike tour (+tip!).
Additionally, if you want to rent your bike by the day, you usually won’t get a discount on the tour.
Please note that by NYC law, we cannot allow children under one year of age on this tour. We ask children to be at least 12+ years old and really comfortable with riding their bikes.
To participate in our bike tours, you need to feel comfortable riding a bike and be in reasonably good physical condition to do so.
Reservations: REQUIRED. Click here to reserve.
Have your own bike? The $16 is to pay for bike rental, if you are bringing your own bike, you do not need to pay this reservation fee. Please use the code: byobike in the Discount section to avoid paying this. YOU WILL NOT HAVE A BIKE RENTED FOR YOU, YOU MUST BRING YOUR OWN!
Where: Tour begins at the Bike Rental Shop at 56 West 56th Street (map) – Central Park Sightseeing – between 5th and 6th Avenue.
Duration: 2 hours. We ride roughly 6 miles (10k). Tour lasts 2 hours, but we request you arrive at the rental shop at 9:30 am to get fitted for your bike and walk down to Central Park.
When: Fridays @9:30 am through mid-October. View Our Full Tour Calendar.
Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it’s done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for every budget.
This is one of the highest rated bike tour companies in NYC. They offer tours in 5 different languages.
If you can’t make one of our pay-what-you-like tours, our guests are entitled to 20% off on all of our partner shop’s Central Park bike tour and their Brooklyn Bridge bike tour. Just use promo code FTBF for this discount.
Their Central Park Loop is 2 hours long and offered daily at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm.
Pros: Two departure times daily. Best price for a family with young children under 12 years old. For example, a family of 4 with young kids would cost $130 total.
Cons: Not the best price available for adults and teens. Other companies will cost less.
This tour is included for free with the New York Sightseeing Pass.
This Central Park tour is 3 hours long and offered daily at 10 am. If you’re looking for a slightly longer tour than usual, this is an excellent option.
Pros: The tours are 3 hours (rather than the standard 2-hour tour) AND you can keep the bike for the rest of the day after the tour and wander the city and explore! Included for free with a purchase of the NY PASS.
Cons: Tours offered only once a day. Only worth if you want to bike more after the tour.
Additional Central Park Bike Tours
There are several additional bike tours you can take in Central Park. Some tours focus specifically on the park, but others will also take you into downtown or uptown Manhattan. Most services are about 2 hours long, but some can last up to 4 hours.
Alternatively, you can also rent a bike and go on your own personal tour with our GPS enabled audio tours.
Many New York Tourist Passes provide discounts on some of the bike tour services we have listed above. This section will provide a breakdown of all the Central Park bike tours you can take with a discount pass.
This pass includes either a bike tour or rental from Central Park Sightseeing. Alternatively, you can also get a free bike rental from Blazing Saddles. Since this is an All-Inclusive pass, you will receive these benefits as part of the flat price for the service.
Much like their competitors, you can also take a bike tour or enjoy a bike rental with this service. The New York Sightseeing Pass offers the Bike and Roll Central Park tour as one of their attractions. They also provide free bike rentals from Bike Rent NYC, allowing you to head through the park on your own if you wish. This pass is available either as an All-Inclusive or a Flex pass.
The main difference between this pass and other options is that they only offer either the Central Park Sightseeing bike tour or the bike rental from the same company. You can’t do both things with one pass, so you will need to make up your mind about which service to choose. The Explorer Pass is like a flex pass, allowing you to pay one flat price for a set number of activities in New York City.
For more details about these opportunities, make sure to read our post about New York City Tourist Passes