New York City Excursions.
What excursions to visit on vacation in New York City and how much do they cost? 50 best tours in and around New York City with Russian speaking guides: 997 of the most interesting sights and attractions, 14 reliable tour operators and businesses with a guide price starting at $5!
PS: all the above prices are only valid at the time of writing this review.Enter your travel dates and get the hottest deals from Travelask!
Hi everyone, my name is Anya and I continue my exciting travels around the world. On my travels, I visit the most interesting places and try out exciting activities to share with you relevant information and real impressions about them. Today, along with the TravelAsk team, I’m going to help you choose the most-amazing excursions in New York City to make your trip unforgettable, too.
New York: what to do and see
I don’t think it’s necessary to tell at length why I decided to take a trip to New York: you can easily find more than a hundred reasons for doing so. I can’t say that I’ve always dreamt of New York, but I’ve always wanted to visit it. Thanks to the hundreds of movies in which it was the setting, New York City always seemed familiar and fabulous at the same time. Well, after a trip here, I can say that this is how it turned out in reality.
Excursions in the “Big Apple” offer a huge number of excursions. The most popular are sightseeing routes with visits to one or more areas of the city. The average cost – 25-50 dollars per person, depending on the size of the group. There are also interesting themed tours – by subway, Central Park, water on the Hudson River and helicopter tours. If you have time, you can also go to other cities and natural attractions – from Niagara Falls to Washington, DC. Prices for field trips range from $60 to several hundred dollars.
Top 5 best excursions in New York City
I offer my ranking of the best excursions in New York City.
Day One: Top Sights.
As you already understand without me, New York is so huge that even with the tightest schedule possible, you can’t see all of its sights in one day. On the other hand, if time is limited, a sightseeing tour will allow you to see more than you would on your own. In addition, this way you can get oriented at least in some areas of the city, get a better idea of its history, and be able to ask the guide all the questions about the leisure time in the next days.
There are many sightseeing itineraries for the same reason – the sheer number of places of interest. In general, they are geographically grouped by neighborhoods and attractions that are easy to get to on foot or are just a short drive away. For the first day, I suggest you choose a sightseeing itinerary that includes the most famous locations and landmarks of New York City. The Statue of Liberty, Manhattan, Midtown, Downtown, and the Financial District.
You can start the tour by taking a ferry cruise on Hudson Bay to the Statue of Liberty. The boat ride will give you pleasant emotions and allow you to see the famous landmark from the best angles. Moreover, it is from the water that you can see those very cinematic panoramas of New York with the skyscrapers of the Financial District. And from the South Seaport there are great views of the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges.
Then the tour moves to the mainland, to the very center of the city’s bustling life – Manhattan. Today, of course, it’s hard to believe it, looking at the skyscrapers, but this is the oldest part of New York City, which began to be settled by people in the first half of the 17th century. Now here you’ll see pictures you’ve seen hundreds of times on TV: Times Square and Fifth Avenue especially impressed me, of course. It’s just as you see it on TV and in the movies, just as noisy, just as bright, and just as wide awake even at night. By the way, separately, I advise to come back here in the dark to see these places in the light of illumination. Of the other famous streets you will walk are Park Avenue, Lexington Avenue, and of course Wall Street. As you walk through the financial district you will see the world’s largest New York Stock Exchange, the oldest building in the city the Federal Hall and the beautiful New York Custom House building. Not to forget the famous bull, the symbol of Wall Street.
Wall Street, a small and narrow street in the world is associated with wealth, gambling and the place where the most important business transactions in the world take place.
What is most associated with Manhattan is, of course, the skyscrapers. During your walk you’ll see the Trump Building, where the Devil’s Advocate had his office, and the legendary Empire State Building, the skyscraper that King Kong climbed. Some of the most beautiful are the Flatiron Building, the Chrysler Building, the Helmsley Building, the Woolworth Building, and the tallest skyscraper in America, 432 Park Avenue. Also note the Seagram Building where you can find the Four Seasons restaurant where President Kennedy celebrated his birthday and where Marilyn Monroe sang his now legendary Happy Birthday to Mr. President. And, of course, Rockefeller Center, where the Rockefeller family office is still located today.
And there are many, many more sights that even those who have never been to New York before are included in this tour. In fact, the itinerary is not that large in size, but it is incredibly powerful in terms of the experience. Usually this tour lasts about 6-7 hours and sometimes includes a visit to Brooklyn. Get ready that by the end of it you will be very tired and very satisfied. You can choose from a variety of sightseeing tours of New York City on this page.
Day Two: The Most Interesting Neighborhoods
The so-called second day itinerary, which includes visits to many other interesting areas of the city except for Manhattan. I would call it a tour of contrasts, as in one day you will visit Russian Brighton Beach, African American Harlem, the beautiful Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, the “one-story America” neighborhood, and even the real ghettos.
The Bronx and Harlem are considered disadvantaged neighborhoods where African Americans have traditionally settled. Even today, tour guides advise against walking here alone in the evenings, but it’s safe as part of the tour. You can simply drive through the streets of these neighborhoods or choose a themed tour related to the hip-hop culture that originated here.
Brooklyn, a neighborhood of hipsters and other trendy youth, leaves a very different impression. Here you should definitely stroll through the Graffiti District, where street art, bright and juicy, is literally on every wall. In northwest Brooklyn is one of the most beautiful and prestigious neighborhoods in New York City, Brooklyn Heights. The houses here are made of dark sandstone, with tall porches leading up to them-just like in the movies.
I don’t think the Brighton neighborhood needs much introduction: it’s a small branch of the CIS on American soil. You can hear Russian speech here and there are signs in Russian. I also really liked the neighborhood with its cozy one-type houses, again just like in the movies. After them, the ghetto neighborhoods and Arab Street looked especially contrasting. During the tour you can also visit Coney Island, the Jewish Quarter and Chinatown, see the most informal church in the city, St. John’s Cathedral, Columbia University, the Verrazano and Queensboro Bridges.
Historic Districts of New York City
But that’s not the end of the tour of New York City neighborhoods. On the third day, I suggest you take an easy stroll through the beautiful places with beautiful architecture – the downtown but residential areas of the city. It’s just amazing that not too far from Fifth Avenue goes a very different, quiet and measured life. The cobblestone streets are lined with people who walk with their dogs, sit in sidewalk cafes, and take their time.
One of the most famous and yet popular among tourists is Soho district, where there is a huge number of boutiques and bohemian spirit. A similar, but more youthful atmosphere in the East Village, where coffee shops and hipster bars predominate. But Little Italy and Greenwich Village seemed to me the most pleasant to live in: the first one has a lot of cozy family restaurants, the second has an air of respectability. As a final tip, I recommend the Meatpacking District, as it is home to some of the city’s best nightclubs. Historical excursions are collected here.
Long Island and the Hamptons: Land of Millionaires.
Long Island is a very special suburb that is so unlike the heart of the Big Apple, but so closely connected to it that it’s impossible to imagine one without the other. To make it immediately clear – this is such a New York Rublevka, only on a larger scale. Top managers from Wall Street and supermodels tend to come here at least for the vacations.
The rich and famous – Steven Spielberg, David Letterman, Calvin Klein, Paul McCartney, Sarah Jessica Parker – have homes here. You’ll even see some of them from afar on the tour. On Long Island, and especially in the Hamptons, everything just screams wealth, luxury and a whole other world. Here you can stroll down the famous Ocean Drive, and afterwards in Sag Harbor to admire the huge yachts. You will also see part of the coast, the so-called “Gold Coast,” which Fitzgerald described in The Great Gatsby. By the way, the mansions from that era have also been preserved. You can also see the 18th century lighthouse and Roosevelt’s cottage, and visit the local winery.
Walk in Central Park
Central Park is another symbol of New York City. If you want to learn more about how these green “lungs” appeared in the heart of the city, who historically inhabited the area, and why the park has not yet been cut down for the sake of the most expensive land, I suggest you take a guided walk through it.
In addition to the history of the place, you will learn about the most interesting locations in the park. I especially remember the John Lennon memorial, the ancient Egyptian obelisk, the literary alley and the cast-iron bow bridge.
You can also choose a more entertaining tour format: a film walk. A huge number of movies have been shot in Central Park. Our guide reported that she was able to find more than 150. It is very interesting that during the tour the guide shows the scenes from the movies on a tablet, in the places where they were filmed. Some of the most famous are “Home Alone 2,” “The Avengers,” “Vanilla Sky” and “Sex and the City.”
If you like museums.
Of museums, of course, I’d like to mention the Metropolitan. It’s one of the most visited museums in the world and has some of the most important cultural and art exhibits in the world. The collections are devoted to Ancient Egypt, European and American painting, African and Oriental cultures. It is simply huge, so it is best to go here with a guided tour in the company of a professional art historian. He will guide you through the optimal route, covering the most significant exhibits. By the way, the museum ticket is valid for two days. Therefore, you can go here with the art historian on the first day, and on the second day you can go on your own, using his recommendations. Find a guide to tour the museums here.
If you’re in New York with kids
The easiest recreational option is to visit the playgrounds, such as those in Central Park, Madison Square and Union Square. The most fun for kids is, of course, going trick-or-treating. For that, I recommend the fabulous sweet kingdom, the largest M&M’S World brand store in Times Square. Another is the FAO Schwarz toy store in NYC, where “Home Alone” was filmed. Of museums, of course, I would recommend the American Museum of Natural History, where Night at the Museum was filmed. Even without that, though, the collections are terrific and kids will love it. Another great place to visit is the Bronx Zoo, the city’s largest zoo with 4,000 animals. For cultural entertainment, there’s nothing better than Broadway shows. I recommend The Lion King and Spider-Man.
New York City Unusual Excursions
Unusual excursions in New York City are countless. Let’s start with unusual transportation. You can go on a cruise on the Hudson River, I especially liked the evening version with dinner. The cost is about $90. To see the city from another angle, again very cinematic, you can take a helicopter ride over downtown. This entertainment is already more expensive: about 220-320 dollars for 15 minutes.
Another unusual option is to take a ride on the New York subway. Movies usually show it dirty, full of homeless people and criminals. Yes, that’s here too, but you can find aesthetics in the subway. That’s what the guide shows during the tour. All the unusual tours are here.
If you want to get out of town.
The main out-of-town excursion is Niagara Falls, located on the U.S.-Canada border. The tour takes two days, but it is definitely worth it. In real life, the falls look even larger and even scarier than the videos and photos. In addition, the road will pass through several states, which will allow at least from afar to get acquainted with the life of not such touristy places like New York. So if time permits, I recommend making a trip here for sure.
If you want to see other cities
From New York City, you can visit other cities as part of a day trip. I liked Princeton in New Jersey, just an hour from New York City. It’s very small and cozy, yet it’s repeatedly ranked as one of the best in the country. Here, the cobblestone streets and old buildings are in amazing harmony with the lively student atmosphere, as Princeton is home to one of America’s most famous universities. You can also go to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Atlantic City, Boston, and Newport.
If you want to see the city at night
New York City offers sightseeing tours in the evening, during which you can see all the most iconic places, which in the light of illumination look especially spectacular. I will share some of the locations. Of course, it’s worth seeing the Empire State Building and going to Times Square. It is the main and most recognizable square in the city, which is no darker at night than it is during the day because of the lights of the illumination. Be sure to check out the world’s largest advertising screen as tall as a 12-story building on the facade of the city’s largest hotel. And, of course, the Skyline – that’s where you get the best views of New York City from the observation deck. Click here for a selection of evening and night tours.
If you’re interested in shopping
Of course, the main shopping streets and boutiques are on Fifth Avenue and SoHo. But if you want something special, head to the second-hand and vintage stores of the Lower East Side and East Village. Here you can find unique pieces that were fashionable in the last 70-80 years. I especially liked the accessories and home decor items. There are also modern boutiques and stores by local designers with affordable prices. To visit the really interesting places, I suggest taking a guide for company. Also offer and classic shopping tours of the main shopping complexes of the city. Shopping tours can be found here.
How to choose the right tour: tips and tricks
I tell you the tips and tricks, and just share observations that will help you to organize your leisure time more comfortably and save a little money.
- If you don’t want to take a classic tour, but want to quickly see the main sights, choose a double-decker. In New York City they call double-decker buses with a single ticket, which is valid from one to several days. You can get off and on as many times as you want during the validity period of the ticket. Very convenient for independent travelers and a great time saver.
- You can save a lot of money on museum tickets, because they have regular (once a week to once a month) free days. Also there is often an option to pay what you wish, or “pay what you want,” that is, you can buy a ticket for as much as you can spare. So before you visit museums, check their websites.
- It is possible to find free guided tours of the city. It is more exact – conditionally free: it is desirable to leave a tip for the guide, usually about 10-20 dollars. Most of these proposals in English, but sometimes such tours and conduct Russian-speaking guides.
- If you want a free boat ride, there’s a free ferry to Staten Island from Whitehall Terminal.
- Near the Gershwin Theater, there are raffles to see musicals. Not for free admission, but for a discount, but a very good one: from the original $130 to the real $30. To do this a couple of hours in advance, come to the theater and throw a piece of paper with your name in the hat of the raffle organizer.
- If you plan not just to walk around the city, but first of all to actively visit museums and attractions with paid admission, I advise you to buy NY City Pass.
- It is advisable to book tours of New York City on booking services. Because there are so many proposals – from travel companies and private guides – it is possible to compare prices and routes, and read the real reviews at such services. There is such a service on our website, on this page.
What can I say, New York is definitely worth all the money and time spent on it. This is one of those cities that is worth a visit for sure.
New York City Excursions.
We were very lucky to be introduced to New York City by Svetlana! We were so engrossed in the tour that we remembered our agreement to have coffee and take a break already after the tour ! Svetlana also provided us with a program for the next day! A very informative and interesting tour! Svetlana is a wonderful, delightful person! And yes, we met at 9am and parted after 5pm! And it was 32 degrees in New York that day! But who’s going to notice that when you’re having an interesting time !
Highly qualified guide: responsive, engaging, keenly aware of his subject and generous in sharing his in-depth knowledge. I confess – rarely have I enjoyed a tour this much!
An excellent walking route through downtown Manhattan. It will be interesting both for those who are new to New York and want to get to know the city, and for more experienced tourists. Andrew not only showed us the most beautiful and popular places, but also told us about the peculiarities of life in the city and its historical and modern sides. I definitely recommend it! It was a relaxing and dynamic walk with a person for whom New York was his home town.
Excellent tour. Svetlana is a wonderful narrator and organizer. I received an incredible amount of information and immersion in history. Thank you so much!
Svetlana is a historian herself and knows the history of the United States, New York. Although I have been to these places several times, I wanted to study history more deeply, and it succeeded. Thanks to Svetlana for the excellent organization.
We had a wonderful and fulfilling day with Svetlana! Svetlana is a very nice and accommodating person. She was able to quickly find a common language with the children and did not let them get bored, involving them during the tour. We visited the main sights and learned a lot of interesting things. If I were to come to New York City again, I would not hesitate to book this tour.
We enjoyed it very much, we plunged into a world specific to us, enjoyed looking at the local store, learned a lot of traditions, looked at clothes and looked at books and at the end we rode on a local bus where only people of that ethnicity ride! Thank you!
Svetlana is a wonderful person, guide, and organizer. It became clear that we went to the right guide, even by correspondence before the tour. Despite the cold, windy weather and the fact that we were with a 2-year “restless”, spent time very easily, cordially, received a lot of interesting information. I am writing a review and warmly remember Svetlana, our day with her!
This is the best trip on Tripster I have ever taken. Anastasia has a very keen sense of art and can easily and casually convey the very essence. The history, the styles, the MET collection – it was a wonderful dialogue and beautiful. Four and a half hours flew by unnoticed. I recommend it to everybody. Anastasia, thank you very much.
Great tour. Svetlana is a wonderful narrator. We received an incredible amount of information about the city and its history, as well as recommendations “what else to see, where to go. Excursion was not limited to the declared frameworks. Have spent with Svetlana virtually the entire day. Thanks a lot and our recommendations!
Dmitry, a very competent guide, careful driver, received a lot of interesting information, a lot of impressions))). I recommend everyone who wants to see NY.
My second tour with the guide Anastasia was through the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The tour is well organized, logical and very interesting. I also liked that the guide had a clipboard with him to show additional material to the paintings for better understanding. Thank you Anastasia for the interesting tour.
Thank you very much Svetlana for the tour! It was very interesting and informative. The time with her flew quickly. During the tour we looked even more than we had planned. Thanks for the help with personal questions. And also Svetlana recommended that we should visit on our own. I recommend her as a sincere person and an excellent guide! THANK YOU!
Svetlana is an amazing guide, the 7 hour tour went very quickly! This is not an ordinary person who not only loves what he does, but also strives to help you in every way. Thank you so much and maybe see you soon.
Artem was the perfect guide for our family with adult children, we were on the same page. The itinerary was perfect, top locations for instafoto , a brief story about Brooklyn, nothing extra. I was very impressed with the Manhattan at sunset during the river walk, and the panorama of New York at night. Special thanks for the recommendations of must-see places to visit!
Private Guides in NYC
Art is a whole world to me, and I love discovering that world for others. I am an economic engineer by first degree and an art historian by second degree, so I can talk about art both artistically and logically. My tours are more like a walk and an interesting conversation with friends. I invite you to join me and have a great time!
My name is Svetlana, I have lived in New York for 16 years and I teach history, cultural studies and art history at the university. I will show you New York both as a local and as a professional historian. In addition to the main sights, I will share the secret corners of the capital of the New World. See you soon!
My name is Dmitri, and I am a guide who is infinitely in love with the city of New York. I am fortunate that my job is my favorite thing to do, which brings me real pleasure and joy. I believe that a guide is not just a person who has to tell you about the city and show you the main sights, but above all a person who shapes your idea of the city, conveys its mood, rhythm and energy, and your impressions of the city in particular and of the trip in general depend on him. It is a very demanding job because once you ruin it, it’s very hard to improve it. I approach my work creatively and creatively. I love this city and my job is to make every guest understand and love it as I do.
Greetings everyone! My name is Vitaly. I have been living in New York City for more than eight years, and every year I fall in love with this metropolis more and more. We have a large team of guides. Everyone is happy to take you on a bike rickshaw ride through Central Park. It is important that you have a pleasant experience not only in Central Park, but also with us. See you in the Big Apple!
And here’s a little bit about me: I was born in Samara, then I moved to Moscow, and then I decided to move to the best city on earth. New York became my new home. We are having an affair with it. I am a professional sommelier, I love wine and everything connected with it. I love to talk a lot, laugh and enjoy walking around!
New York City Excursions.
The Big Apple, The New Amsterdam, The Capital of the World – what names do tourists and locals give to this city? But they all agree on one thing: New York is worth a trip at least once in a lifetime and make every effort to make the trip as colorful as possible. But even experienced travelers have trouble planning a trip to New York City – the city is huge, the attractions are countless, and how to plan and manage to get the most out of it? There is no better way than a sightseeing tour in New York City in Russian from the locals yet. Tours in New York offered by locals always have a special charm and love for the city. Unlike professional tourist guides who are trained to give out dry facts and dates, locals are willing to offer really interesting excursions in New York that you will remember for a long time.
What are their special features? Perhaps first and foremost, the uniqueness. Each walk is individual and shows the city from a special side. You have the opportunity to choose both standard and unusual excursions in New York. In addition to the tourist attractions that every self-respecting tourist should see, you can visit places where only the locals themselves look, go to interesting stores, dine in traditional restaurants, drink coffee in a cozy coffee house, visit art galleries and exhibitions, and climb into remote corners of the city that have special charm. Tours in New York help you “live” the city a little, see it not only from the outside as a tourist, but also from the inside as a person living here. It’s always nice to forget about your trip for a while and imagine going to a traditional Sunday brunch with friends and then deciding to walk around the city. This is exactly the kind of feeling you’ll get if you prefer guidebooks and boring guides to excursions in New York from locals.
You can choose a tour in New York depending on your preferences. There are suggestions for tastemakers, art aficionados, lovers of authentic places, and of course, for those who are in New York for the first time and are just starting to get to know the city. After booking a tour, you can say that your journey has already begun.