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Harlem Walking Tour

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Harlem

Discover the streets where Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, and other cutting-edge Harlem Renaissance players put American music on the world map.
Schedule: @9:45 Sundays, Tuesdays & Thursdays and @2pm Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays
Tour Language: English
Duration: 2 Hours
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Harlem Highlights

Free Tours by FootExcellentFree Tours by Foot4.9 Based on 2410 reviews fromSee all reviews review us onKerry S.Kerry S. ★★★★★ Our tour guide John, is the best tour guide in New York. He is articulate regarding the knowledge he robustly conveys to us … and most of all he enjoys answering the group’s many questions. Don’t miss out, book a free tour by foot.Claire O.Claire O. ★★★★★ We went on two tours - both led by John. One was the Brooklyn tour and the other was Soho, Little Italy etc. We loved them both. We found that John had a lovely way with everyone - he went out of his way to find out a bit about everyone and have short chats with everyone as we were on the move. The information was pitched at just the right level for us - very interesting. The pace was good too - not too slow but no one was left behind.Angela HAngela H ★★★★★ 5/5 tour experience. Our tour guide was John Gallagher and he was excellent, very engaged and funny and offered great tips for good restaurants to go to after the tour was done.Clare M.Clare M. ★★★★★ We joined the brooklyn Bridge, brooklyn heights/DUMBO at twilight tour with John and had the best time. John's knowledge was incredible, but far more, he entertained and brought us a truly unique experience.. highly, highly recommend. Many thanks John!!Elizabeth G.Elizabeth G. ★★★★★ My family and I did the Meatpacking/Little Island/Highline tour this weekend and had an amazing time. Even though I live in NYC, I learned so much during our tour! I am a big fan of the Gilded Age TV show and loved in particular learning about the Astors, Vanderbilts, etc and their influence on the neighborhoods and various famous buildings across NYC. The tour guide, Ron, was amazing. He was so knowledgeable and able to answer any question that was asked. He kept things fun and engaging. He has great energy and made us all laugh along the way. It was a great experience. Looking forward to going on another tour with Ron again in the future!Yasmin W.Yasmin W. ★★★★★ John Gallagher the guide was great. We took the Soho/Little Italy/China town tour. He had so many fascinating stories about NY's history, culture, art, and more. He was very patient and gave us a lot of extra time. The group was very friendly, also because John was so friendly and curious to know everyone. Me and my 10 year-old had a great experience, that will not be forgotten for a long time.John T.John T. ★★★★★ Did the Soho, Little Italy, Chinatown tour with Lori Pickhardt. Very interesting tour and Lori was an excellent tour guide. Would high recommend this tour and any tour that Lori does.Mo I.Mo I. ★★★★★ Fun and informative.ThanksUBALDO C.UBALDO C. ★★★★★ Marion D.Marion D. ★★★★★ I did a the DUMBO / Brooklyn tour today with John and it was just perfect. The right amount of History, facts, figures, fun stories. John is a natural speaker and makes us at ease very quickly and easily, talking with everyone. The atmosphere was just great. Thanks for this tour ! I highly recommendSofia Y.Sofia Y. ★★★★★ Great tour!! Wonderful tips!!John was a lovely host ! Definitely was the best tour we took at NYCAnita B.Anita B. ★★★★★ Great way to tour the city. Our group was a group of 6 so we payed At reservation but smaller groups pay at the end for what they think it is worth.ElliottElliott ★★★★★ We loved our tour of Grand Central Terminal with our guide John Gallagher! He was so informative and funny, I highly recommend taking a walking tour of NYC you won't regret it!Melissa R.Melissa R. ★★★★★ John was an excellent guide, so good I took 2 tours with him! Grand Central was full of hidden surprises I never would have known about. And the SoHo, Chinatown, Little Italy was filled with food and facts. Loved itGregory L.Gregory L. ★★★★★ My girlfriend and I did 3 walking tours this weekend with John Gallagher as our tour guide. We kept booking tour based on our wonderful experience with him as our guide. John is incredibly knowledgeable regarding all things New York!!! His humour and charm made the history of NYC come alive and he was incredibly passionate about making the tour enjoyable for everyone. He spend a lot of time chatting with you, getting to know you, and making the tour truly memorable. These tours with John were definitely the highlight of the trip. I will definitely book with Free Tours by Foot again and recommend the tour and John to all those I know travelling to New York. Again John, thank you so much for making our trip so memorable!!!!Sascha MSascha M ★★★★★ Tour à pieds le soir de Dumbo et pont de Brooklyn avec John.Très bonne expérience, très intéressant, je recommande.GaneshGanesh ★★★★★ Had a great time. Lovely walk with lots of info about the history of each placehenya S.henya S. ★★★★★ christine S.christine S. ★★★★★ We did the Soho, Little Italy China Town tour with John Gallagher back in March (it’s taken a while to get round to reviewing!) What a fantastic way to get under the skin of the city. John is a brilliant guide - really knowledgeable with great stories and a fantastic way of telling them. It was like being shown around by a very well informed friend. The walk was perfectly paced for a mixed group with delicious snack stops and a bathroom break. I can’t recommend highly enough and will be looking out for FTBF wherever I go.Alexis F.Alexis F. ★★★★★ Took a bunch of tours. Garrett was funny ;). John and Kathleen (cassie) were very nice ^^. I had a great time and learned cool stories about NY from engaging speakers! Please go to ftbf tours. You don't have to pay a lot of money.Piotr R.Piotr R. ★★★★★ Harlem walking tour with Ryan was an unforgettable experience. The sites at Harlem exemplified the complex, fascinating and mostly tragic history of Harlem immigrants. Ryan's narrative was interesting and enjoyable. It was definitely one of the most interesting walking tours we have ever joined.Mireya A.Mireya A. ★★★★★ These tours are amazing!! Jon & Garrett are super informative but also are great and keep you intrigued with the history of the city! My first time in the city was scary but being on these tours, it allowed me to become familiar with the areas and I enjoyed it!Jana K.Jana K. ★★★★★ I took the New York One Day tour on Tuesday at 10 am with guide Garrett, and it was fantastic! He was incredibly funny, engaging, and knowledgeable, sharing numerous stories about 9/11 and US history. I would definitely recommend the tour!Matt and Kim S.Matt and Kim S. ★★★★★ Jon was awesome! What a fun afternoon being guided through the lower east side history and tastes. Can’t recommend it enough!Gert-Jan van N.Gert-Jan van N. ★★★★★ We did a Brooklyn Bridge walking tour and it was very nice. The tourguide was very informative and could tell stories in a nice way. I would definitely recommend taking at least one tour with this organisation when in NYC!Jolynnae R.Jolynnae R. ★★★★★ Update April 2024: My daughter and I went on the Lower East Side food tour with Jon N last week. This is the best tour company, especially the food tours, because you get so much history and info about the neighborhood. Jon is polite, professional, and FUN! Pay attention, some of his dry subtle humor may slip by you. 😉 Take cash in small bills, wear comfortable shoes and clothes appropriate for the weather. AND tip your tour guide!This is the 3rd tour I have taken with the company and the first with Jon N as the tour guide. This was the Sunday night 9/11 Memorial and Brooklyn Bridge tour. Jon was outstanding in his knowledge of the events and construction of the new World Trade Center. I remember the day clearly and have been to the memorial site 3 times, but there were younger people on this tour that could have been hearing this information for the first time. Jon explained at the beginning of the tour that he would be very open and honest about what happened and he did an excellent job in dealing with a difficult series of events. At the end of the tour, Jon stayed to take pictures. I should have taken him up of his offer to help us get back to the proper subway station because I did get lost and wandered around before finding a station with an A or C train. My error, not Jon's!Chalece A.Chalece A. ★★★★★ Ciara M.Ciara M. ★★★★★ Great tour with John! We really enjoyed his stories!Pasquale S.Pasquale S. ★★★★★ My guide was John Gallagher, who toured us in Little Italy, Soho, Chinatown. We had a beautiful experience, John was interesting and entertaining, and also managed to deal with politeness and savoir faire with an annoying lady who disturbed us while we were visiting Soho. The only thing I would change is that I would have liked to walk longer (the tour has many short stops so you don't walk that much), but I guess it's very subjective.Very Recommended!Gucci G.Gucci G. ★★★★★ Great tour with a lovely guide. We had so much fun exploring Brooklyn Bridge and Dumbo!Robert S.Robert S. ★★★★★ John was an amazing guide in our Soho, Little Italy, Chinatown tour.Remington B.Remington B. ★★★★★ Cannot state enough good things about Ryan and the Harlem walking tour. Signed up for this one hoping to see a bit of Harlem, and learn a bit about the area, but we were blown away by how much history Ryan shared. His passion for the Harlem area is evident and infectious. Tour was very educational and very enjoyable!Rita P.Rita P. ★★★★★ Wir hatten in drei Tagen drei Touren gebucht: die erste ging mit Garett durch SoHo, China Town und Little Italy. Gerettet war unglaublich unterhaltsam, hatte Spaß an dem was er tut und uns sehr viel Geschichte aber auch Kurioses berichten können.Die beiden anderen Touren gingen mit Renee nach Brooklyn, DUMBO und Brooklyn Heights und am nächsten Tag furchtbar Greenwich Village.Renee hat ein unfassbares Wissen über historische Ereignisse und weiß diese mit Humor zu kombinieren. Man kann ihr sehr gut zuhören und es bleibt eine Menge (nicht alles) an Informationen hängen.Beide Tourguides haben neben ihren geschichtlichen Kenntnissen viele Geschichten über die besuchten Orte parat, ob es sich um Filmkulissen handelt oder auch, wo man die besten Dumplings in China Town oder die beste Pizza, Schokolade und/oder Eis, Cupcakes in Greenwich bekommt.Wir haben uns nicht eine einzige Sekunde der jeweiligen Tour gelangweilt sondern alles Wissen und die Geschichten aufgesogen.Klar ist: bei unserem nächsten NY Besuch werden wir auf jeden Fall wieder free tours by foot machen😁VictorVictor ★★★★★ We had a fantastic time on John Gallagher's free tour, and it was a pleasant experience. He knows the area well and made exploring SoHo, Little Italy, and Chinatown a blast. From excellent shops in SoHo to tasty treats in Little Italy and the bustling vibe of Chinatown, John showed us all the best spots. Super friendly and full of fun facts, he made the tour feel like a walk with a friend who knows all the most incredible places. I recommend tagging along if you want to see NYC from a local's perspectiveGisele T.Gisele T. ★★★★★ John was our guide, April 13, 2024. I lived in New York and came with out of town friends. I learned so much during this visit on the town I thought I knew well! John is highly knowledgeable, a wealth of historical, architectural facts delivered with a plethora of anecdotes and good humor. Being on a budget this was an amazing option and John made that day one for my memories trunk!Holly N.Holly N. ★★★★★ I had an amazing Brooklyn Bridge tour with Lori! She was friendly and knowledgeable, the tour was a good pace and had a lot of information without being overwhelming. I will definitely be booking a different tour the next time I am in town and would throughly recommend to anyone. Hopefully I'll get Lori again!Cassie C.Cassie C. ★★★★★ Lori was an awesome guide!! The SOHO, Little Italy and Chinatown walking tour was fun and full of great information!!! I highly recommend this tour with Lori!!Susan O.Susan O. ★★★★★ This tour was great and Jon was a terrific guide. I highly recommended itAriela A.Ariela A. ★★★★★ The tour was informative educational clear and funny. Thanks to John Gallagher who made everything possible and giving us wonderful recommendations 👏👏👏Cathy S.Cathy S. ★★★★★ Went on the Lower East Side Food Tour with Jon. Very knowledgeable history buff. Enjoyed the tour, the food and the people on the tour were friendly!Anushree S.Anushree S. ★★★★★ The Brooklyn Bridge walking tour was so incredible! Learning the history behind how it was built, and New York’s architecture was so interesting to me. John was an incredible tour guide and he really made the whole experience engrossing. I would recommend the morning walking tour 🙂Julie W.Julie W. ★★★★★ We were on the Harlem and Grand Central Station tours. Both were excellent. Would highly recommend Free Tours by Foot.Nuno Tiago Pires dos Santos P.Nuno Tiago Pires dos Santos P. ★★★★★ Renée was a wonderful tour guide. Recommend the tour very muchU R.U R. ★★★★★ We had an absolutely fantastic morning with Lori walking from City Hall Park over Brooklyn Bridge into DUMBO and then Brooklyn Heights. Lori has so much historical knowledge and great storytelling ability so it was an absolutely lovely way to spend a few hours in New York. Highly recommend!Fergus D.Fergus D. ★★★★★ A very high quality tour with excellent levels of insight and an appropriate but entertaining delivery from the guide, who seemed to know every other person in the neighbourhood. One of the highlights of the ten busy tourist days I’ve spent in NYC.Jen B.Jen B. ★★★★★ We had a great walking tour of the Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Hts, DUMBO and the area. John Gallagher was funny and engaging, and his anecdotes enhanced the experience. My teenagers even had fun. His recommendations for dinner were also great.Melissa W.Melissa W. ★★★★★ Had a Brooklyn Bridge tour today with Katie. She was brilliant. Utterly miserable weather, raining and cold, but Katie was energetic, interesting and super informative.We went with a 9 and 13 year old and they didn’t complain at all (except about the rain, which Katie had no control over!)Highly recommend! Thanks so much Katie.Domenic S.Domenic S. ★★★★★ John was a fantastic tour guide - we had a great tour, learned so much and had a lot of fun. Thanks John, especially for making it so enjoyable for our kids too!Christian A.Christian A. ★★★★★ HiMy tour with Jon was exceptional.Jon is knowledgeable and picked fabulous eating establishments with a rich history and delicious tasting tidbits. The split pea soup at Cozis was to die for. I went back for dinner that night for a full bowl. The Ukrainian kitchen was quirky and fun and the Cabbage rolls were super delicious.The Brooklyn dumplings were delicious and the finale, a dessert cafe had the richest yummist Cannoli.Jons knowledge ie the history, culture and choice of venues in East Village was top notch.Jon was kind enough to share his mobile if we had and further queries (which I did) about places to see or eat and he answered my texts immediately.Jon was a sensational tour guide. 10/10.When I’m back in NY again from Australia I’ll be doing another of his tours!MarzenaMarzena ★★★★★ I had a tour (Chinatown, Little Italy etc.) with Jon - absolutely perfect! Jon's enthusiasm, fascinating stories and his sense of humour just made to me the NYC really "alive"! Hope to repeat a tour guided by Jon!js_loader

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For our full tour calendar, click here.

Although world-famous, Harlem may just be New York's best-kept secret with some of the city's most interesting architecture, food, music, and people..00

Harlem's history is also one of the city's most dramatic, having gone through many ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic changes over the past roughly 400 years.

This has resulted in a diverse array of places of worship, theaters, homes, and eating establishments.

Join Free Tours by Foot Uptown on this two-hour Harlem walking tour.

dizzie gillespie murals harlem

Discover the streets where Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, and other cutting-edge Harlem Renaissance players put American music on the world map.

And where Fidel Castro slept after being kicked out of a midtown hotel for having chickens in his room.

Come hungry, if you want to treat yourself to some great soul food after the tour!  

We'll also show you some places where you could visit to experience a live gospel service.


Sites we cover on our Harlem Walking Tours:

NOTE: We do not enter these buildings on the tour.

We also have a GPS-led audio tour of Harlem that you can whenever it fits your schedule.

Tour information

Harlem Food Tour Sept 10th

Reservations: Required. Click here to reserve. Groups of 6 or more traveling together should visit our group's page.

Duration: Approximately 2 hours 15 min. The tour distance is approximately 1.5 miles (2.7 km).

Start point: The tour starts from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (map). 

Endpoint: The tour ends near the Apollo Theater.

When: @9:45am Sundays, Tuesdays & Thursdays and @2pm Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays. Tours go out rain or shine. Dress appropriately for the weather. View Our Full Calendar.

*See the additional planning section below for future potential seasonal scheduling. 

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 anyone's budget.

Language: The public tour is in English or Spanish only (see our Spanish tour page for the calendar). Private tours for individual groups are also available in both languages upon request.

Additional planning information: Tour will not enter buildings. You will need to coordinate a gospel experience and Apollo Theater tour on your own.

Read our Gospel Music in Harlem and the Rest of New York City blog and our Tour the Apollo Theater in Harlem blog to assist you in your planning.


GPS-LED AUDIO TOURS OF HARLEM

We also offer a GPS-enabled audio tour as well as a self-guided tour.

The 1st option is our GPS-led audio tour.

This option is our full tour of Harlem and was researched and recorded by one of our tour guides from the neighborhood. Listen to a sample.

You'll need to download our free audio tour app. Downloads are only $2.99. We also offer 9 other NYC audio tours.


Here is how it works:

  1. Purchase an audio tour.
  2. Get a confirmation email with .mp3, .pdf, and embeddable Google Map.
  3. Enjoy the tour(s).

Even if you don't download any tours, you will still have access to valuable information on sightseeing, eating, and playing in the Big Apple.

Our second option is totally free (hence our name). You can take this tour by viewing or downloading this Google Map.

This version isn't as in-depth as the audio or public tours, but it will give you a good overview nonetheless.

Map of Harlem Attractions and Things to Do

Tip: To learn about the economic, political, and cultural changes in Harlem over time, check out Social Justice Tours

Tickets are just $16 and a portion of the proceeds goes to a worthy non-profit organization.


Lady Altoviese's Harlem Renaissance and Gospel Experience

We offer exceptional gospel tour experiences led by Harlem native, Lady Altoviese.

Unlike the church services listed below, there is no dress code for this tour and performance, and there is no waiting in line.

Cost: $25/person. Book this tour.

Note: This tour operates on Wednesdays at noon and pares with our 2-hour walking tour of Harlem.

Click here for more options to experience the gospel in NYC or to take a guided tour of Harlem churches.

We can show you where some of the churches we list below are located on our free New York tours.


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