New York Night Tours

This post lists and compares many New York City night tours available to you, including our pay-what-you-wish walking tours, but also bus, boat, and helicopter tours.   NYC is a skyscraper city and there is no better time to view Manhattan’s icons than after the sun sets and the lights turn on. 

 

If you are thinking about getting a tourist pass in order to save money on tours and attractions, keep in mind that the passes also include night bus, boat, and helicopter tours. Check out our blog posts comparing the different New York City tourist passes for more information.


NIGHT WALKING TOURS

There are a lot of different walking tours you can take at night in New York City. Some focus on seeing the sites in Manhattan, while others are all about spooky supernatural tales. During the winter, you can even take a holiday lights tour which will explore some of the most wonderful light displays in the city.

Most of these walks are very well priced, but there are a few that will cost a pretty penny. Each trip is typically available at least 2-3 times per week, running from 1-3 hours on average.


Free Tours by FootNew York Night Tours

We offer a variety of walking tours in the Big Apple, and many of them take place at night! All of these trips are pay-what-you-want, which means that you can choose how much you’d like to pay for the experience. 

Our evening tours include a Brooklyn Bridge and 9/11 Memorial tour, a Midtown Manhattan Lights Tour, walks along the High Line and another in Central Park.  We also offer a ghost tour.

Reservation is required and we do sometimes run out of space, so you’ll want to sign up for our tours ahead of time. Check the tour calendar for more information about availability or read about our tours below.


Brooklyn Bridge and 911 Memorial Night Tour 

A renaissance is taking place on the southern tip of Manhattan.  Since the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, a concerted effort has been undertaken to redevelop this part of the city, with the redevelopment of the World Trade Center and the construction of the National September 11th Memorial and Museum.  

As twilight leads into the night, this is the right time to explore this part of the city, when many buildings in Lower Manhattan light up the sky. The silvery Memorial and Museum, the golden lights of Woolworth Building, and the string of lights along the Brooklyn Bridge make for a special way to view New York City.

 

911 Memorial

 

Join Free Tours by Foot as we visit an illuminated 911 Memorial and get a unique perspective of this powerful testament to sacrifice and heroism. The tour also includes a look at the impressive City Hall building surrounded by historic City Hall Park.

You will learn about the iconic Woolworth Building, once the world’s largest skyscraper and nicknamed the Cathedral of Commerce, due to its Gothic design and the massive fortune of the Woolworth family.

Lastly, we will take a walk halfway across the Brooklyn Bridge and soak up the incredible views of Manhattan all while learning about one of mankind’s greatest achievements.

Sites we cover on the tour:

*Seen from a distance

Tour information

Zuccotti Park on a Free Tours by Foot Walking TourReservations: @7:30 pm on Tuesdays, Fridays & Sundays from March through November.

Where: Tour begins at Zuccotti Park on Broadway between Liberty Street and Cedar Street, at the Joie de Vivre sculpture. (map)

Duration: Approximately 2 hours. Tour distance is approximately 1.5 mile (2.5 km)

 


Midtown Manhattan Night Tour

New York is a skyscraper city and there is no better time to view Manhattan’s icons than after the sun sets and the lights go on. Fueled by competition and a dash of audacity, New York City is still producing one of mankind’s most remarkable skyline.

Join Free Tours by Foot on this ‘open-top’ walking (and subway) Manhattan night tour.   These monuments of stone, steel, and Manhattan Night Tourglass were meant to be viewed in the artificial glow of watts of electric light.   

This tour differs from our Midtown Manhattan Tour by taking in Madison Square Park to visit the Flatiron and the original Met-life Buildings and does not visit the Waldorf Astoria or Park Avenue.

Be sure to take a look at our other New York night tours.

SIGHTS WE COVER ON THE TOUR:

**covered from outside

We do utilize the subway on this tour so you will need $5.50 for subway tickets.  This tour also doubles as a subway introduction tour.  Your tour guide will assist those who need help purchasing the correct MetroCard or who want a tutorial on how to navigate the system, all while explaining the history of the New York City subway.

TIP: This tour ends at Rockefeller Center, where you could go to Top of the Rock observation deck.  Save $5 per ticket to Top of the Rock, with the code NYTO5, which makes an adult ticket $24.30, a child ticket $16.20 and a senior ticket $22.95. Top of the Rock is also available on all 3 major tourist discount passes.

Tour information

Reservations: REQUIRED. Click here to reserve. Groups of 6 or more should visit our groups’ page.

Where: Meet your guide inside Grand Central Terminal at the information booth on the main concourse.  The tour ends at Rockefeller Center.

Duration: Approximately 2 hours. Total distance is approximately 1.5 mile (2K)

When: @8pm on Thursdays & Saturdays, March through November.  Also @8pm Mondays May through August. 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.

Be sure to save more with a tourist discount card.

A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for anyone’s budget.


 

  • Sunset on the High Line – in addition to our Dark Side of the High Line tour, we offer a sunset tour of the park, which focuses more on the history of Chelsea.
  • Central Park – we have a number of different Central Park tours, including one just as the sun is setting. Don’t forget your camera as there are many photo ops!
  • Holiday Lights Tour – When it’s time to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and the New Year, Midtown Manhattan lights up like no other place in the world!  Mechanical window displays, synchronized light and sound shows, not to mention Santa Claus and toy soldiers surely await you in this winter wonderland.

For more information on New York Holiday Lights tours, visit our overview of these services.


Paid Walking Tours

Although these tours may come with a price tag, some of them provide opportunities that you wouldn’t otherwise experience. While some of these trips are as short as 1 ½ hours in length, others run for up to 3 ½ hours. These excursions are great for photographers, art lovers and just about anyone with a creative eye. Prices range from $75 – $175 per ticket, depending on the type and length of each outing. All paid walking tours are typically led by professional guides and received fairly positive reviews.

  • New York by Night Photo Tour – Follow a professional photographer to some of the most beautiful locations in the city. On your journey, you’ll learn how to properly set up your camera to take the perfect picture of NYC at night. Visit sites such as the Grand Central Terminal, the Chrysler Building, and Radio City Music Hall!
  • NYC After-Dark Photography Tour – Visit Times Square and learn about interesting photography techniques from your professional guide. Discover how flash and long exposure work and find out how to take great pictures at night in New York.
  • Central Park Night Time Photo Tour – Discover Central Park at night as a professional photographer guides you to several beautiful locations. See some of the most filmed sites in the entire park and take the opportunity to recreate some of those famous shots. Learn the best methods for taking pictures at night.
  • EmptyMet Tour – During the day, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is often buzzing with guests from around the world. At night, you can take a guided tour around this important museum while it’s completely empty! See another side of the Met as you uncover over 5,000 years of art history.
  • New York Pub Crawl – Join a professional guide and discover some of the most popular pubs in West Village, East Village or Hell’s Kitchen. Learn about the history of the Bohemian movement and see significant historical sites as you drink your way from one bar to the next.
  • Bar, Lounge and Pub Tours –  New York has a long history of excellent pubs and bars. With so many fine establishments, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are quite a few pubcrawls offered in the Big Apple. For more information on these night tours, please click here.

 


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NIGHT BUS TOURS

Below are some other bus tour companies that offer evening tours. Ticket prices typically range from $30-$55, making this one of the more affordable after dark adventures through NYC.  None offer hop-on-hop-off service at night, rather these are self-contained tours.

Several of the options below are offered as part of discount passes or combination tickets.  Be sure to check out our comparison of all the night bus tours for more info.

 

City Sightseeing night bus tour

 

Big Bus Tours 

This company offers a fully guided night tour of Manhattan that crosses the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn for some spectacular views. The tour is in English and there is no audio in any other language. The tours last 2 hours and depart from 48th Street and 7th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. This is on an open top bus. This trip is offered every half hour from 7 pm – 9 pm.  

This night tour is included as a part of the Big Bus Deluxe 2 Day Ticket (starting at $63/adult + $54/child), which includes 2 days of hop-on-hop-off bus service through all of Manhattan + plus a Brooklyn loop and a 1-hour boat cruise.

 


CitySights/Gray Line/City Sightseeing 

This outfit also offers a night bus tour which will take you to several significant sites in and around NYC. Although this is not a hop-on, hop-off service, a professional tour guide will provide commentary on all of the landmarks you will be passing. This 90-minute bus tour is offered daily at 6:30 pm.  

Alternatively, you can also take this night tour if you purchase either a 48-72 hour hop-on, hop-off ticket. This could be a great option if you plan on experiencing as much of the city as possible while you’re visiting. You can also save $5 per ticket on this night bus tour by using CitySights NY!

 


USA Guided Tours 

This might actually be the longest night tour in NYC. Over the course of 4 ½ hours, you’ll see all of the most significant sites in New York and you will get out for a few short guided walks as well.  

Starting at 5:30 PM, this trip includes stops and walks at the Brooklyn Waterfront (for skyline views) as well as in Greenwich Village and Grand Central Terminal.  Considering the length and depth of this bus tour, the price of admission is more than reasonable. 

  • Ticket Prices: $59 for Adults | $49 for Children | Purchase tickets here.

See our New York Bus Tour Overview for more information on all of these services.

 


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NIGHT BOAT TOURS

The New York City skyline is beautiful at all hours, but it’s especially nice when lit up at night. Remember, this is the city that never sleeps, so a night cruise is a great way to see New York really come alive after dark! Most night cruises run for 60-90 minutes at most, offering a plethora of amazing photo ops.

Prices typically range from $30-$40 for an average trip, but dinner cruises can cost quite a bit more. If you plan on dining while you take in the views, expect to pay between $100-$150 per ticket.  Be sure to read our comparison post on New York boat tours for more information on the following services.

 

 

There are both evening and dinner cruises available.


City SightSeeing

Experience a 90-minute twilight cruise around some of the most notable neighborhoods in New York City. This trip is all about the photo ops, so get ready to break out your smartphone when the landmarks come into view! These tours depart at 6 PM during the winter and 7:30 PM during the summer, giving you plenty of time to see the skyline of NYC from the water.

Included for free with the Explorer Pass and the Sightseeing Pass


Water Taxi 

Although shorter than services offered by their competitors, this 60 min Statue by Night Tour is perfect for anyone who wants to see Lady Liberty after dark.  This is a fully narrated cruise which incorporates several excellent photo ops. Cruises depart at 7:30 pm (19:30) from Pier 16/South Street Seaport (map).

Included for free with the Explorer Pass.  It is not available with the other tourist passes.

 


Circle Line 

This company offers a Harbor Lights Cruise which departs just before sunset so you can enjoy the skyline while the sun goes down. Although the focus isn’t exclusively on seeing the Statue of Liberty, you will experience excellent views of the monument.

This cruise will take you under both the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge, giving you plenty of excellent photo opportunities. The narration is provided during your trip to provide information about each of the sites you will see. This boat tour departs at 7 pm and runs for a total of 90 minutes.

Included for free with New York Pass and Explorer Pass


Hornblower Cruises 

Departs from Pier 40 in the West Village and Pier 15 at the South Street Seaport. Their main dinner cruise provides photo ops of Lady Liberty, Ellis Island, The Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Skyline. Rather than a buffet, you’ll be given a 3-course meal with access to coffee, herbal tea, and a full bar. A live DJ will play music for after-dinner dancing. They also offer special holiday cruises during the 4th of July for viewing the fireworks.

  • Thursday/Friday Prices: $135 for Adults | $121.50 for Seniors/Military | $81 for Children
  • Saturday Prices: $145 for Adults | $130.50 for Seniors/Military | $87 for Children
  • Cruise runs from 7 PM – 10 PM
  • Spirit Cruises — Offers both New York and New Jersey evening cruises with a buffet dinner and music. This definitely isn’t a boat tour, as the intent is to dine and enjoy the NYC skyline from the water. These excursions are particularly popular with couples, but they can also be great for business trips. Ticket prices vary depending on which service you choose, but you can expect an average cost of $100-$120 per passenger. Although there may be photo ops, that definitely isn’t the focus of this cruise.
  • World Yacht — Departs from Pier 81. This dinner cruise serves a 4-course meal, and also offers brunch and holiday cruises. Their open-air top deck is 3,000 sq ft, providing plenty of room to spread out and see the sites as you drift along the water. They accommodate group sizes of just about every size. Ticket prices vary depending on how many people will be attending and which cruise you are going to take.

For more information on Dinner Cruises and night boat tours in New York, check out our comparison of these services.

 


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NIGHT HELICOPTER TOURS

There are a few night helicopter tours that you can take in New York City. These trips are pretty expensive, but the experience is one of a kind. If you thought the NYC skyline was incredible from the water, wait until you see it from the air! What better way to see the spire of the Empire State Building all lit up than while floating above it?

Although you won’t find many nighttime helicopter rides in the city, they’re definitely worth considering if you have the money. Expect to pay at least $200-$250 for a 15-30 minute helicopter flight.

 

 


City Lights Skyline Experience 

If you’re only interested in taking a helicopter tour of New York at night, this might be your best option. You can choose a departure time between 7 pm – 10 pm at night, allowing you to dictate the kind of trip you’ll have over the skies of NYC.

While floating above the city, you’ll see sites such as the Statue of Liberty, Times Square and Rockefeller Center. The ticket price may seem high for a relatively short helicopter ride, but you may just find that the views are priceless. Reviews for this service are quite excellent.

  • Ticket Price: $244 per person
  • Duration: 20 minutes

The best way to purchase discounted helicopter tour tickets at any other time of the day is through a third party site such as Travel Zoo, or Living Social. There are almost daily deals for significantly lower prices. Also, if you are considering getting the New York Pass you can save 15% with Liberty Helicopter Tours when taking their “Big Apple” or “NY, NY” tour.

 


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Night Bike Tours

Though there are not many bike tours available after dark, Bike and Roll offer a night bike tour through Central Park. Alternatively, you can also rent a bike from this service and many others in New York. With a bike rental, you can easily visit a lot of the locations you’ll find on one of our self-guided tours.

This won’t be as nice as having a professional guide show you around town, but you will have the freedom to explore at your own pace. Renting a bike can cost as little as $12 per hour or $32 for an entire day. For more information on New York Bike Tours and rentals, make sure to check out our overview of all the services.

 


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Deals and Discounts

Several of the services we have listed here are actually available at a discount. Alternatively, you’ll also find several tour packages which include excursions after dark. Here’s a general rundown of the many deals and discounts available on New York night tours.
Is the New York Pass Worth It?

  • Big Bus Tours – If you purchase either a 48 hour or 72-hour ticket, their night tour is included. These tickets are also included with several of their tour packages.
  • City Sightseeing – If all you want is a night bus tour, you can save $5 per ticket by using CitySights NY. This company also offers both their bus tour and Statue by Night cruise in a few combo packages.
  • New York Pass – This tourist pass includes access to a variety of the services we’ve already listed, including Circle Line cruises and Big Bus tours. They also offer discounts for Spirit Cruises, helicopter rides, and other sightseeing tours.
  • Explorer Pass – The Explorer Pass includes access to such services as Big Bus Tours, Circle Line cruises, and New York Water Taxi. You’ll also gain admittance to attractions like Top of the Rock, Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall. The Big Bus night tour and Circle Line night cruise are both included with this tourist pass.
  • Sightseeing Pass – City Sightseeing offers their very own tourist pass including quite a few attractions and tours. Their night bus tour is included with this pass, as is their sunset cruise. You’ll also enjoy access to locations such as One World Observatory, Madame Tussaud’s and the 9/11 Tribute Center.

Make sure to check sites like Groupon, Living Social and Goldstar for additional discounts on NYC night tours. For more information on these discounts, check out our guide to New York on a budget. You’ll also find more information about various tourist pass options on our overview of New York attraction passes.

 


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Audio Tours and Self-Guided Tours

Locations such as Times Square and Midtown Manhattan are absolutely beautiful at night, and you can explore the area without too much trouble simply by using our audio tours or printable self-guided tours.  Both formats are suited for the evening or daytime. We do recommend bringing along a friend or partner if you plan on going after dark, especially if you do an audio tour.

Audio Tours

We now offer several pay-what-you-want anytime audio tours of several neighborhoods. You can hear our most popular tours narrated by Free Tours by Foot tour guides.  These audio tours go deeper than our self-guided tours and allow you to enjoy our guided tours whenever they fit your schedule. The audio tours can be used anytime, night or day and allow you to explore the city at your own pace without spending too much money. You’ll be able to download the app on your smartphone and access a variety of audio tours whenever you wish.

Self-guided Tours

Our free self-guided tours can be viewed directly on your device or printed in advance. These tours contain maps, significant or interesting sites to see in the neighborhood and a detailed history of each site. Many of our self-guided tours include recommendations of where to eat in the area and other things to do nearby. They are a great way to enjoy an evening with a flexible schedule.

 

 For other ideas for night or day, check out our extensive list of Things to Do in NYC!

 

 


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