The best free tours in New York

free NYC tours

New York is one of the most exciting, mesmerizing, and enchanting cities you can visit in the US. However, just like the city itself, the prices are out-of-this-world.

Thankfully, to keep costs down, there are some fantastic free activities you can enjoy. These include free walking tours in New York which take you past some of the city’s most recognizable landmarks including parks and skyscrapers.

Not only will you be able to tick off many of the top sights from your list, you will also be given an expert insight into the New York’s history and culture. There are also a number of fantastic self-guided NYC walking tours which can be enjoyed at any time.

New Yorkers love to walk and it’s a great way to enjoy the city. However, driving in the USA with a foreign license is also possible if you want to rent a car in NY during your trip.

Remember to apply for ESTA before traveling to the States to avoid the risk of being refused entry. Here is a list of the best free tours in NYC you can join while you’re there…

Central Park

Central Park is one of the most iconic landmarks in the US and it’s vast. It has 80 acres of woodland, 250 acres of lawns, and 150 acres of water. Thankfully, to help you not get lost, the are various free tours you can join. Some of the park’s highlights include the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, Central Park Zoo, and Belvedere Hill. There are countless more, lesser-known, points of interest which you are sure to see.

Flatiron District

The free tour in New York around the historic, commercial neighborhood of Manhattan takes you past several of New York’s most famous skyscrapers and landmarks, such as the MetLife Clock Tower, the New York Life Insurance Building, and the famous Flatiron Building. Aside from buildings you can also visit Madison Square Park with its numerous monuments, statues, and green spaces. The tours actually start from the corner of the park on Sundays at 11AM.

Grand Central

The Grand Central Terminal, is much more than a train station. It has become a popular tourist attraction in the USA in its own right. The free walking tour shows you some of Grand Central’s most impressive features, such as the celestial ceiling, sculptures, and mythological figures. You can admire the Chrysler building, enjoy Pershing Square, and see other impressive and fascinating attractions dotted around the station’s surrounding area.

The Brooklyn Brewery

Learn about the traditional process of brewing beer and discover one of New York’s most famous districts, Brooklyn. The brewery itself is very old and impressive and the techniques are fascinating. The free tours run on Saturdays and Sundays and you need to be over-21 to join (or be accompanied by a parent or guardian). After the tour, you can buy beer tokens and enjoy the craft beers produced at the brewery (this is optional). You can also start here and enjoy a beer during the tour.

High Line

The High Line is a disused freight line which runs above Manhattan’s West Side streets. It is now a public park and one of the most popular free NYC tours. The 30-foot-high rail line runs 1.45 miles, offers stunning views of the Hudson and New Jersey, and is one of New York’s best places to witness a NY sunset. From May to October there are free guided-walks run by Friends of the High Line. The walks take just over an hour and start from Gansevoort Street.

Battery Park

Battery Park is a vast, outdoor green space which is used year-round for art exhibitions and countless other cultural events. In total, there are 36 acres of gardens, plazas, and playgrounds. There are a number of free tours on offer, including organic-gardening walks around Wagner Park and bird-watching guides. The free walks change seasonally but you’ll always find one of the best walking tours in NYC.

If you’re into shopping, there can’t be a better place than New York. Read this guide on the best things to buy in America before you go. Also, Remember to obtain your ESTA US visa before you set off!

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