This post compares and reviews the various full day tours available in New York City, including our pay-what-you-wish option. It’s not possible to see all of NYC in just one day, but there are several companies that do their best to provide this type of experience. Each of these excursions will typically take you to several notable locations within the city, giving you the opportunity to get a feel for NYC in a relatively short amount of time. New-Yorkers walk everywhere, so you’ll want to make sure to wear comfortable shoes and plan on using public transportation from time to time. Many of these tours include admission to attractions such as the Empire State Building, One World Observatory or for the ferry to the Statue of Liberty.
FULL DAY WALKING/SUBWAY TOURS
If you want to see it all and you don’t mind walking, these day trips are going to be some of the most affordable on our list. Although some walking tours will run you more than $100, others are much more reasonably priced, particularly ours, where you pay whatever you like. Each trip runs for between 6-8 hours, giving you plenty of time to see sites such as Times Square, The Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street and Rockefeller Center. As you might expect, public transport will be required in order to get around town without too much trouble. Depending on which service you choose, you may be asked to pay for a Metro Card in addition to the cost of your tour ticket.
Free Tours By Foot
Our tour utilizes your feet and the New York City Subway to transport you from the Financial District (the birthplace of New York) through Wall St and the the World Trade Center and then on to Greenwich Village, SoHo, Chinatown, Little Italy, Chelsea Market and the Highline Park. There will be ample opportunities for memorable pictures. You’ll also get the chance to savor NY’s best pizza, cannoli and other treats. You may even have the time to learn how to play NY handball, bargain with a shopkeeper in Chinatown, observe a game of street chess in Greenwich Village, or people watch and window shop in SoHo. Along the way, you’ll master the subway and learn about New York’s Finest!
WE OFFER SO MANY PAY-WHAT-YOU-WISH TOURS, YOU COULD EASILY PUT TOGETHER YOUR OWN NYC IN A DAY TOUR
The All-in-One (AIO) Tour covers about 75% of the material covered in several of our separate walking tours, including Lower Manhattan, SoHo, Little Italy Chinatown, Greenwich Village and the High Line.
Sites we cover on the New York City One Day Tour:
*Guests will need to purchase an MTA Metro Card worth at least $8.25, though a card worth $12.50 would cover subway rides to and from the tour. Be sure to read our post on which MetroCard to buy as well as tips for navigating the subway system.
Where: Tour meets at the George Washington Statue at Federal Hall on the corner of Broad St. and Wall St. (map). Look for your guides with the Free Tour by Foot logo. Tour ends at the Highline Park in Chelsea.
Duration: Approximately 6 hours. There will be a break for lunch and a short refreshment break in the afternoon.
When: @10am Tuesdays & Fridays (year round) and Mondays & Saturdays (May -August). View our full Calendar for the most up to date availability.
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.
New York Tour 1
This company is well known for their tour services in NYC, and they actually offer three separate New York City One Day Tours. Their tours are geared more for those who want to visit the top must-see sights in NYC. Each outing includes different activities not included with other day trips. As a result, you may want to choose your tour based on which additional attraction interests you the most. Prices range from $60-$110, and tour length can vary between 6-7 hours. All three excursions include professionally narration and entrance fees to certain locations you will visit along the way.
Reviews for all three tours are very positive, with most guests giving each trip a 5 star rating on both TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide. Ratings on Viator are also quite excellent, indicating that a majority of visitors were very impressed with the service offered by this company. Many customers felt that these day trips were a great way to get a taste of several significant highlights in NYC. Families and couples were the most likely to leave a positive review of these outings.
Walks of New York
If you’re looking for an even longer jaunt through the streets of New York, this might be your best bet. Clocking in at a total of 8 hours, this walking tour includes a visit to the Empire State Building and a cruise past the Statue of Liberty. Much like their competitors, you can also expect a visit to locations such as Times Square, Wall Street, the 9/11 Memorial and other notable attractions in NYC. Although the price tag is a bit steep, this trip comes very close to covering most of the city in just one day.
Ratings for Walks of New York are incredibly high on both TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide. The only real complaint anyone had was about how long the tour was, and even then they left a positive review. A majority of guests mentioned their tour guides by name, indicating that they were very pleased with the amount of information provided given all of the ground that was covered. Couples and families were most likely to enjoy their experience with this tour company.
NYC ONE DAY BUS TOURS
Walking around this city for more than a few hours can be very tiring. Thankfully, some bus tour companies offer day trips in New York City, making it easier to get around and see the sites. These types of bus tours combine combine bus and walking tours into one. There are also hop-on, hop-off bus tours, which allow you to set your own schedule and see all of the most significant landmarks at your own pace, but we do not include these in our analysis here. Ticket prices can vary, but you can generally expect a price between $80-$160 per person. These excursions typically last for between 5-9 hours, giving you plenty of time to explore NYC.
USA Guided Tours
If you’re looking for a less intense trek around New York City, this tour package might just do the trick. The bundle includes a bus ride around the city and a cruise past sites such as the Statue of Liberty. Professional tour guides will hop off at each stop with you and provide commentary about significant locations in NYC. At 5 ½ hours in length, this is definitely one of the shorter day trips through the city. Considering everything included, the cost of tickets is very reasonable.
All of the reviews for USA Guided Tours are positive. With a full 5 star rating on TripAdvisor, it’s safe to say that this is one of the highest rated tour companies in NYC. One happy customer went so far as to exclaim that this is a must for any first timers in New York. This seems to be a common sentiment, as several visitors left similarly positive comments. A majority of the reviews for this service were left by couples, indicating that this may be a great trip for anyone who wants to discover New York City with their significant other.
For more information on this tour and the ratings for this company, check out our comparison of New York bus tours.
If you’re looking for a longer outing in NYC, the Manhattan Experience is an excellent option. Each fully guided tour covers a lot of important ground, visiting sites such as Times Square, Central Park, the Empire State Building and more. Unlike their competitors, CitySights NY gives you the opportunity to choose between either a 6 or 8-hour trip. Each ticket also includes a cruise past the Statue of Liberty, giving you a good look at one of the most significant landmarks in American history.
The Manhattan Experience has received a lot of excellent reviews which indicate that the service is very reliable. Most customers agree that their tour guides were very helpful and provided a plethora of interesting information. Some guests suggest that this trip was worth every penny while others were impressed with how much they were able to see in just one day. One visitor even went on to state that their outing was very inspiring, which is definitely high praise.
New York Tour Shuttle
This company may offer one of the longest day trips in New York City. Clocking in at a total of 9 hours, you’ll have the opportunity to see a variety of important sites while riding around the city in comfort. This full day experience includes stops at Wall Street and the Empire State Building for guided walking tours around each location. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the Statue of Liberty and see it up close! Considering all of the activities included, ticket costs are definitely reasonable.
Ratings for this company are very good. If you’d like to learn more about how much customers enjoyed this service, please check out our comparison of NYC bus tours.
Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Tours
Although these aren’t technically all-day tours of New York City, in that they are not guided off the bus. In total, each tour takes about 2 hours to complete from start to finish. That being said, you can make these outings last as long as you wish simply by taking your time to explore each of the stops on these bus tours. This option is excellent for anyone who wants to have more control over how they spend their day in NYC. Ticket prices typically fall in the $35-$65 price range, making this a fairly affordable opportunity.
For more information, check out our comparison of New York Bus Tours!
BROOKLYN ONE DAY TOURS
There’s so much to see and do in New York City that you might not get a chance to fully experience Brooklyn. With that in mind, we’ve decided to compare some of the best available Brooklyn day trips. While some of these excursions explore the food and culture of this borough, others are more focused on its history. Each outing runs for between 4-5 hours on average, making them a bit more manageable than the typical NYC in a Day tour. Expect ticket prices to fall in the $75-$125 range.
Get Up and Ride
Take a ride around Brooklyn and discover the vibrant culture of neighborhoods such as Williamsburg, Dumbo, Greenpoint and Brooklyn Heights. Enjoy the stunning views of Manhattan that you’ll only experience along the East River. Needless to say, you’ll also have the opportunity to taste some of the most incredible food that this borough has to offer while exploring the area. Each half-day trip includes a bike rental and is limited to groups of only 10 people, making it easier to connect with your tour guide. Considering the length of this outing and everything included, tickets are reasonably priced.
Get Up and Ride has received an overall rating of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and . Several guests were very impressed with their tour guides, suggesting that they were both friendly and helpful. One customer even went so far as to say that this tour introduced them to the best guide they had ever encountered. Other visitors made mention of the delicious food and rich history discussed during their journey. Couples and families were the most likely to give this company a positive review.
Foods of New York
There are so many amazing restaurants in Brooklyn that this food tour shouldn’t be too surprising. Whether you’re a connoisseur of pizza or you prefer some juicy kielbasas, this day trip will give you the opportunity to experience a wide variety of tasty treats. Visit neighborhoods such as West Village, Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Dumbo as you discover the cuisine that residents get to eat on a daily basis. This trip is somewhat expensive, but it includes a lot of food tastings along the way which wouldn’t typically be incorporated into other tours.
This company currently has a full 5 out of 5 stars rating on TripAdvisor and Viator (read the reviews). Most guests were very impressed with the variety of dishes they discovered, and one customer even suggested that it wouldn’t be possible to experience all of these meals on a self-guided tour. Although the food is definitely the highlight of this outing, several visitors were quite pleased with their tour guides, suggesting that they were both enthusiastic and knowledgeable. A majority of positive reviews came from couples and those who brought a friend for the trip.
A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tour
As the name implies, the food is definitely a significant part of the tours offered by this company. That being said, this trip also focuses on the historic sites of Brooklyn, visiting several important landmarks throughout the borough. Stops are made at Barclays Center, the Promenade, Prospect Park, Green-Wood Cemetery and the former location of Ebbets Field. Whether you’re a sports nut, a foodie or just a student of history, there will be plenty to experience on this day trip. Considering that a full lunch is included with each tour, the price of admission is more than reasonable. Unfortunately, this outing is only offered twice a month, so you’ll want to reserve your tickets ahead of time.
This company has received an overall rating of 5 stars on TripAdvisor. Most customers were very impressed with not only the food but also the amount of history discussed on this tour. Some guests recommended the trip for both tourists and locals, indicating that this was an experience anyone could enjoy. One visitor referred to this trip as the best deal in town, suggesting that the ticket prices were very fair. Couples and clients who took the trek with a friend were most likely to leave a positive review.
Although this tour isn’t exclusively devoted to Brooklyn, they do visit the borough and uncover its history. Over the course of 4 hours, you’ll also have the opportunity to explore the Bronx and Queens as a tour guide provides a variety of information about New York City. This company prides themselves on taking you off the beaten path to show you a side of the city that most tourists don’t get to experience. Tickets are very affordable, but the trip is also a bit shorter than some of alternative options above.
Reviews for this company are great on both TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide (read reviews here). Opentours has received at least a 4 star rating from their customers across both platforms, indicating that they provide a pretty good service. Reviewers were generally very pleased with the amount of information covered in only 4 hours and there were several comments from guests praising their tour guides for being so easily accessible.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE ONE DAY TOURS
New York City gets a lot of visitors from all around the world, so it makes perfect sense to offer multi-lingual tours. Although most of the hop-on, hop-off bus tours include commentary in a variety of languages, there aren’t nearly as many fully guided trips which incorporate this option. With that in mind, we’ve decided to cover the choices that foreign visitors have when it comes to full and half day treks throughout the city.
In addition to their tour of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, this company also offers a more traditional day trip in several different languages. Live tour guides will provide commentary in English, German, Italian and Spanish. Over the course of 5 ½ hours, you’ll make 9 different stops at significant locations around the city. In addition to visiting sites such as the World Trade Center and Central Park, you’ll also discover neighborhoods such as Greenwich Village and Harlem. Believe it or not, tickets are actually more affordable than some of the other one day bus tours you’ll find in NYC.
Ratings for this day trip are very positive on both TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide (read reviews here). Visitors from around the world were very pleased with how fluently their tour guides spoke foreign languages, allowing them to discover New York with ease. Several customers were also pleasantly surprised with the amount of information provided on this one day tour, describing it as both relaxing and educational.
If you’re looking to save money on a variety of activities while you’re in New York, there are several tourist passes to consider. These options could be a good value, particularly for those who want to get the most out of each day. Not only will you gain admission to several notable locations, but you’ll also have access to certain tours at a discounted rate. Several of the passes offer sample itineraries for 1, 2, 3 even up to 10 days, so you could make your own daily tours of New York.
Here are a few landmarks and tours you can enjoy with a New York tourist pass. For more information, please visit our comparison of each service.