This post explains the range of affordable private New York City tour options that we offer and explains what we can and can’t offer you. We also provide tips on alternative private tour options.
We’re among the highest-rated tour companies on Tripadvisor for a reason — we’re great at what we do! Read the reviews for yourself.
Below is our 3 step procedure for choosing a private tour. Please note that we do not arrange customized itineraries, but we can make minor changes within a particular tour.
Step 1 – Decide on a Neighborhood or Area.
NOTE: Click the links to see the tour descriptions. You can also see the neighborhood guides located on these pages to get an even sense of what can be on the tour.
Step 2 – Choose a Time.
Please let us know the exact day and time frame that you would like your tour. If you are flexible, please let us know your preferred date/time and alternatives.
Our tour guides are independent contractors and they control their own schedules. Therefore, we can’t guarantee that late time changes can be accommodated.
Step 3 – Email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that we cannot arrange private tours over the phone. The best (and quickest) way to reach is us via email.
We offer roughly a dozen GPS-enabled audio tours of many of NYC’s most interesting neighborhoods, including most of the guided tour options mentioned above.
These tours cost just $1.99-$2.99 per download and are an affordable and flexible alternative to booking a private tour with a tour guide. And the best part is, you don’t need to decide when you want the tour. You can download each tour only when you are ready.
Each tour is researched, written and recorded by our team of experienced NYC tour guides, so you can be assured that the quality is at the highest level. Learn more and hear a free sample.
Do you offer name your own price private tours?
A: In order to book a private tour at a specific date and time to suit your availability, we cannot offer name your own price private tours. Guides are hired to work especially for your group. There is an organization called Big Apple Greeters that works on donations.
Do we get a refund if it’s raining or can we reschedule if it’s raining?
A: Your tour request is for a specific date and time, so we must respect the guide’s time and other commitments. The show must go on. We will make any necessary adjustments to a tour to limit outside exposure. Our tours go out rain or shine. Please dress appropriately for the weather. Of course, extreme weather, such as heavy sustained rains, blizzards, etc, would justify a cancellation and refund, but this is a decision that would need to be made at least 2 days before the scheduled tour, so be sure to check the weather forecast.
Is gratuity included on private tour quotes?
A: Gratuity is not included in the quote for private tours. It is optional but appreciated. If you wish to prepay gratuity we can add it to the invoice and pass it on to the tour guide but this must be requested in advance.
Can we pay on the day of the tour?
A: Unfortunately no. Tours must be prepaid at least 3 weeks prior to the tour date to secure a guide. Unpaid tours are subject to guide availability.
Our guides are independent contractors. Until your invoice is paid, we cannot keep your guide from taking other paying work. When we book a tour guide, we financially commit to them. We cannot hold a guide to a tour without a financial commitment from you. Unpaid tours are subject to guide availability within 3 weeks of the tour date.
What is your cancellation policy?
A: Tours canceled up to 14 days prior to the scheduled start date are fully refundable. Tours canceled up to 48 hours before a tour are subject to a 50% cancellation fee. Tours canceled with less than 48 hours are nonrefundable.
Our guides are independent contractors and they might have declined other job offers to be available for your tour. We’ve made a financial commitment to them when booking their time. Last minute cancellation refunds are therefore not possible.
Can we pay by credit card over the phone?
A: We can’t take payments over the phone. We accept payments through PayPal, a secure payment system. We will send you an invoice via email.
You do not need a PayPal account to make a payment. You could use any credit or debit card.
Can we add more people to our group after payment?
A: Some of our tours have strict limits to group size, others do not. However, for the overall comfort of the group and the guide, we do limit group size, generally 25 participants (20 for food tours).
This allows the group to ask questions and dig deeper into the history of the neighborhoods. It allows for the group to move comfortably through neighborhoods while respecting those who live and work there.
Can we start the tour from our hotel?
A: We certainly can for hotels in Midtown and Lower Manhattan. For other hotels, it depends on how long it would take your tour guide to arrive.
Keep in mind that the booked tour time (2 hours) begins when your tour guide arrives at the hotel, so sometimes it makes more economic sense to meet your guide in the neighborhood of choice.
Can we customize our tour?
A: Our private tour prices are priced for set itineraries. We certainly can make some minor changes or mix parts of two separate tours to make one unique tour, but only if these are neighboring areas.
Will my children like these tours?
A: That really depends on your children. But generally, all of our tours are suitable for children. Our tours are designed to be suitable for people of all ages. This is one of the biggest reasons that guests opt for a private tour.
For private food tours, is food included in the price?
A: No. Food costs are extra. All recommended items are less than $4. Suggested amount to bring for snacks is $7-$10, depending on your appetite! Vegetarian and vegan options available at several shops
Can we pay and order food ahead of time?
A: Our restaurant stops have a wide variety of items to choose from. Paying as you go allows you the freedom to pick and chose what you want to eat, if you want to eat, and allows you the freedom to stop in nearby stores to try anything that catches your eye (or craving).
Can we sit down at restaurants to eat on a private food tour?
A: It depends greatly on the size of your group. We have great relationships with our food vendors, which are mainly small establishments with ties to the community. Some do not have seating, while others welcome us inside. Although they welcome our tours to come through, most cannot accommodate large groups inside their establishments.
If your group is 6 or smaller, or you are looking for a foreign language tour guide, you might then consider booking a private tour with Get Your Guide. They offer a great deal that is very well-reviewed.
You can choose any length of a tour, from 2 to 8 hours. Prices start at $60 for a 2-hour tour and depend on the number of people in the group and the length of the tour.
In addition to English, they also offer Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian
They also offer a 24-hour cancellation with a full refund, so there is very little risk to you.