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 Foot
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.
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.
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
Reservations: @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 glass 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
See our New York Bus Tour Overview for more information on all of these services.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For more information on Dinner Cruises and night boat tours in New York, check out our comparison of these services.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!