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Central Park Carriage Rides | Which One is Best?

Updated: September 13, 2023

This post is a comparison of three top Central Park horse and carriage rides.

We list what sights are included in a ride, and compare the top two providers, including prices and bonus services. 

Every day, we take visitors to NYC on walking tours in Central Park, where we are always asked for carriage ride recommendations.

Luckily for you, some of our tour guides have been carriage drivers and helped put together this post.

This is also a frequently asked question in our popular NYC Travel Tips Facebook group.

Central Park Carriage Ride Recommendations

Our group consists of locals, like our tour guides, veteran visitors, as well as newbies to NYC.

You don't need to be a member to read the posts, comments, and recommendations.

Check us out once you finish reading this post.


HOW MUCH DOES A CARRIAGE RIDE IN CENTRAL PARK COST?  

  • All of the prices we list include all processing fees.
  • Prices are per carriage and not per person.
  • Carriages can fit 4 adults, or 1 adult and six children, or 2 adults and 4 children, or 3 adults and 2 children.
  • All carriages are private, and all companies offer blankets for cold weather days.
  • A tip is not included. A standard tip is between 15% to 20%

Good to know  

When planning your trip, keep in mind that horses do not go out if the temperature is above 89 or below 19 degrees Fahrenheit (31 or -7 Celsius), during severe weather conditions, and if special events are occurring in the park.

Always check the weather.  This could be important for night carriage rides in colder weather.

Key sights that are included in most rides (check each ride for exact sights).

For details on some of the sights you may see on a carriage ride, take a look at our self-guided tour of Central Park.


COMPARISON OF ROUTES

Here are the routes for the 45-minute rides offered by the two companies discussed below: NYC Adventures (blue line) and NYC Fancy Rides (red line).

Click on the map for a larger version.


NYC Adventures

This company currently offers several carriage rides in and around Central Park, including short loops, standard/basic outings, and specialty services.

They also have carriage rides that will take you to Rockefeller Center and Times Square!

Hours of Operation

Daily from 10:00 am until 11:00 pm.

Tours

Short Loop Carriage Ride in Central Park

  • $109 per group of up to 4 people.
  • Availability: Every hour on the hour.
  • Duration: 20 minutes.

Standard Central Park Horse Carriage Ride

  • $230 per group of up to 4 people.
  • Availability: Every hour on the hour.
  • Duration: 45 minutes.

Central Park, Rockefeller Center, and Times Square Carriage Ride

  • $320 per group of up to 4 people.
  • Availability: Nightly at 10:30 pm and 11:00 pm.
  • Duration: 55 minutes.

Romantic Central Park Carriage Ride w/ Free Champagne

  • $430 per group of up to 4 people.
  • Availability: Every hour on the hour.
  • Duration: 50 minutes.

Reviews

NYC Adventures has ratings that range anywhere from 4.6 to 4.8 stars out of 5, so you can rest assured that they offer a pretty reliable service (read reviews here).

Guests report that their carriage drivers are very professional and friendly, indicating they are willing to answer questions about Central Park and New York City along the way.


NYC Fancy Rides

This is another company offering horse carriage rides in Central Park, and they currently have several different lengths of service which cover a lot of notable ground in and around the area.

Hours of Operation

  • Mon - Fri | 10:00 am - 12:00 am
  • Weekends | 8:00 am - 12:00 am

Tours

Central Park Carriage Ride w/ 2 Photo Stops

  • $149 per group of up to 4 people.
  • Availability: Every half hour.
  • Duration: 45 minutes.

Private Central Park Carriage Ride

  • $159 per group of up to 4 people from Monday - Friday.
  • Availability: Every half hour.
  • Duration: 55 minutes.

Central Park, Rockefeller Center, and Times Square Carriage Ride

  • $185 per group of up to 4 people (Tuesdays only)
  • $205 per group of up to 4 people on Monday, Wednesday - Friday
  • $215 per group of up to 4 people on Saturday and Sunday
  • Availability: Every half hour from 8:00 pm to 12:00 am.
  • Duration: 1 hour.

Reviews

NYC Fancy Rides has ratings ranging from 4.5 to 5 stars out of 5, and most of their guests have suggested that they offer excellent service (read reviews here).

While some customers report their drivers weren't very friendly or informative, others mention their driver by name and indicate that this company offers excellent carriage rides.


ECO CENTRAL PARK TOURS

Eco Tours carriage logo

With over ten years of experience in the horse and carriage business, ECO promises customer satisfaction, and guides that are licensed, genuine, personable, and very flexible.

Every tour ends with a photo taken with the carriage.

Additionally, they are the only of the three services to offer a price match guarantee. They will match the price of all of their competitors.


Hours of Operation

Daily from 10 am until midnight. 

Tours

  • Long Ride (45 minutes) for $140.14
  • Short Ride (15-20 minutes) for $71.38
    • Not currently available as of December 2022.
  • Christmas Lights Ride (50-60 minutes) for $225

Reviews

This company is rated 5 stars on TripAdvisor.

Reviews speak of how comfortable the ride was, as well as how knowledgeable the guides were.

One guest wrote of how wise it is to book the tours at night time.

Eco Carriage Rides

An additional company is NYC Horse Carriage Rides.


We hope you found this post useful in choosing which horse and carriage company is right for you. 

Remember, that horse and carriage is not the only way to experience Central Park.

Free Tours By Foot offers free walking tours through multiple parts of Central Park which you can find here.  

Please feel free to enjoy our self-guided tour with a map.

In addition, we offer private Central Park Tours on foot or bike which you can request here.  

About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: September 13th, 2023
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