This post is about guided tours of Harlem, including our free tours, our GPS-led audio tours, as well as other guided tour options.
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.
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.
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:
- Abyssinian Baptist Church
- Apollo Theater
- Sites related to Malcolm X
- Headquarters of William J. Clinton Foundation
- Schomberg Center
- Sylvia's Soul-food Restaurant
- Strivers Row
- and much more!
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.
Duration: Approximately 2 hours 15 min. Tour distance is approximately 1.5 miles (2.7 km).
Start point: Tour starts from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (map).
Endpoint: The tour ends near the Apollo Theater.
When: @9:45am Tuesdays & Thursdays and @2pm Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays. 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.
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.
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:
- Purchase an audio tour.
- Get a confirmation email with .mp3, .pdf, and embeddable Google Map.
- 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.
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 an 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 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.