You cannot visit NYC without seeing the Brooklyn Bridge and it would be crazy to miss the Empire State Building... But there’s also Rockefeller Center, Statue of Liberty, the Grand Central, the Chrysler Building, the Flatiron, Wall Street, Times Square, Greenwich Village, Chinatown, and so much more. Come with me and meet Manhattan!
This tour covers the most important "must-see" places in New York and more!
At your hotel
10:00 AM Hotel pick-up
10:00-10:30 Basic orientation in Manhattan. We will look at the map and I'll explain how the city is laid out and how to understand its geography.
Please, note that this is just a sample itinerary. The order might change depending on the location of your hotel and we might see more or fewer places depending on you. We will discuss this before the tour.
You'll be able to see some of the POIs on the photos (I'll mark them accordingly). Please, choose if you want to see Greenwich Village or Flatiron District. Both are amazing and beautiful, but realistically we will have time for just one of the neighborhoods.
D1. Wall Street
The center of the New York Financial District and the home of the mighty New York Stock Exchange
D2. Trinity Church — on Wall Street since 17th century
The present-day Trinity Church—a glorious Neo-Gothic edifice—is the third church built on the same exact spot. The original Trinity Church, built in 1698, was the first Anglican Church in the city. His Majesty King William III granted Trinity a royal charter at the cost of 1 peppercorn a year, allowing it to function as a virtual Church of England in the British colony of New York.
D3. Federal Hall—over 300 years of American History
Imagine visiting the locations where America’s freedom of the press was born, the slogan that started the American revolution—”no taxation without representation”—was declared, the Bill of Rights was penned, and George Washington took the oath of office to become the first president of the United States. But you don’t have to visit different places: all of them happened in the same spot. Federal Hall, located on Wall Street, had been the site of government activity and momentous national historic events since early 1700s.
D4. The New York Stock Exchange
The New York Stock Exchange was founded in 1792 when 24 New York City stockbrokers and merchants signed the Buttonwood Agreement under a buttonwood tree. The New York Stock Exchange building opened in 1903 at a cost of $4 million. The trading floor was one of the largest volumes of space in the city at the time at 109 x 140 feet with a skylight set into a 72-foot (22 m) high ceiling. The main façade of the building features a sculpture by John Quincy Adams Ward in the pediment called “Integrity Protecting the Works of Man”.
D5. Charging Bull – One Giant Christmas Present
The Charging Bull, representing a rising market, is one of the most easily recognizable symbols of Wall Street.
The Charging Bull was created by sculptor Arturo Di Modica. Conceived by the sculptor as an antidote for the sour mood caused by the 1987 stock market crash known as Black Monday, the Bull was to represent resilience, hope, and strength and stand directly in front of the mighty New York Stock Exchange.
D6. The Brooklyn Bridge
This wondrous bridge was the first to span the East River and connect Manhattan and Brooklyn. Upon completion, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, with its towers standing taller than the rest of the country’s man-made structures! Designed by bridge-builder genius John Augustus Roebling, the Brooklyn Bridge was an astonishing feat of engineering.
D7. World Trade Center and 9/11 Memorial
The World Trade Center is a complex of buildings replacing the original seven buildings on the same site that were destroyed in the September 11 attacks. The site is being rebuilt with 5 new skyscrapers, a 9/11 Memorial and a museum, and a transportation hub. The 104-story One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, is the lead building for the new complex.
D8. Statue of Liberty
The idea of the statue was conceived by a group of French intellectuals, led by a renowned law professor, politician, poet, and activist Édouard René de Laboulaye, as a gift from the people of France to the people of United States. Symbolizing liberty, it had to be funded not by governments but by ordinary people.
Please, choose if you want to see Greenwich Village or Flatiron District. Both are amazing and beautiful, but realistically we will have time for just one of the neighborhoods.
G1. Washington Square Arch
Built to celebrate the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration as the nation’s first President, the triumphal Washington Square Arch was modeled on the Parisian Arc de Triomphe and decorated by two prominent male marble figures, both representing George Washington.
G2. Washington Square Park and Hangman’s Elm—the Oldest Living Tree in Manhattan
Washington Square Park was once a military parade ground and a potter’s field with 20,000 bodies lying underneath the park! The sprawling English elm, which has been standing at the northwest corner of Washington Square Park for the last 300 years, is the oldest living tree in Manhattan. It was planted in 1679, a mere 15 years after the English took over the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam and renamed it New York.
G3. 75½ Bedford Street: A Tiny House with a Huge History
This tiny, 9 1/2-foot-wide house used to be a carriage entranceway for the neighboring house, but in 1873 was turned into a small home—the narrowest in the city!
F1. The Flatiron
Designed by the Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, the Flatiron is one of the first New York City skyscrapers and has “a heart of steel.”
One of the few completely free-standing structures in New York, it looks different from every angle. Its flat sides make it seem perfectly traditional, but the view from the north creates a most spectacular vista.
F2. MetLife Tower – a Piece of Venice in New York
Where in the world does the prosaic practicality of an insurance company come in the shape of a Venetian campanile? In New York City, right around Madison Square Park! The building was erected to house the headquarters of the MetLife Insurance Company and serve as its advertisement. It was expected to be beautiful and tall — it stood the tallest in the world in 1909.
F3. A view to the Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is not located in the Flatiron District but here you can see the best views of the Empire State and take the best photos.
M1. Rockefeller Center – a City Within a City
The Rockefeller Center is a complex of 19 interconnected buildings — 14 of them being the original Art Deco office buildings from the 1930s. The focal point of the complex is 30 Rockefeller Plaza (formerly the GE and RCA building), a stunning Art Deco masterpiece. Narrow, simple, and elegant, it appears taller than its actual height and is crowned by a three-tiered observation deck.
M2. St. Patrick’s Cathedral
The St. Patrick’s was unapologetically spectacular. Built as a Gothic Cathedral, it’s light and graceful. The structure is the crowning achievement of New Yorks' own architect James Renwick Jr. St. Patrick Cathedral is named after the patron saint of the Irish. It’s the seat of the Archbishop and the Mother Church of the Archdiocese of New York.
M3. Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal was built to house Cornelius Vanderbilt’s railroad network and was envisioned as a gateway to the city. It’s hard to underestimate its grandeur: every day, more than 750,000 people pass through the Grand Central, which is more than the entire population of Alaska, or roughly the population of San Francisco. An estimated 10,000 people come into Grand Central every day to have lunch or dinner or meet for a drink. In 1947 alone, over 65 million people (40% of the US population!) traveled through Grand Central.
M4. The Empire State Building – the Eighth Wonder of the World
The first in the world to rise over 100 stories, and constructed in mere 14 months, the Empire State Building stood as the tallest in the world for 41 years.
Stunning in both its height and Art Deco simplicity, the building rises in a series of setbacks ending with a bold tower. Billed as the Eighth Wonder of the World at its opening, the Empire State Building broke records as the tallest in the world, the first to have more than 100 stories, and the one to be constructed in a record time of one year and forty-five days.
In 1955 The American Society of Civil Engineers selected the Empire State Building as one of the seven greatest engineering achievements in the world.
M5. The Chrysler Building
With its glistening spire and glorious triangle-shaped crown, the Chrysler Building is considered by many to be one of the finest buildings in the world. An iconic part of the New York City skyline, it was built as the headquarters of the Chrysler Corporation as well as the company’s main advertisement. Carrying the automobile theme, it shines like a newly bought auto and features winged Chrysler radiator caps on the 31st-floor, and copies of the 1929 Chrysler eagle hood ornaments on the 61st floor.
M6. Cartier Building—A Pearl of Fifth Avenue
Built as a private home of Mr. and Mrs. Morton Plant, the beautiful mansion was acquired by a French jeweler named Pierre Cartier to house his flagship store. The mansion was bartered to Cartier for a million-dollar string of pearls. To be fair, it was not just a string, but a double-string made of the most perfect, exquisite Cartier pearls.
The name Tiffany represents glamour, luxury, and the most exquisite gifts. The store was created in 1837 by Charles Lewis Tiffany and made world-famous by his son Louis Comfort Tiffany - one of the most renown artists of the day, best known for his unique stain glass work.
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” a 1961 movie based on a novella by Truman Capote, added a soft glow of romance to the store’s dazzling reputation. The delicate figure of Audrey Hepburn in a little black dress peering through Tiffany’s window while eating a croissant to the sounds of Henry Mancini’s “Moon River” forever linked the name Tiffany with the beauty and longing for love.
T. Times Square
With typical modesty, the New Yorkers call Times Square 'The Crossroads of the World'. If it's not central to the whole world, it is pretty central to the island of Manhattan. Times Square got its present name in 1904 when the New York Times moved its headquarters to One Time Square. The newly opened subway station was also named 'Times Square'. How many people pass through Times Square each day? According to New York Times*, the numbers overwhelm the machines. During the last count, it was established that about half a million people passed through Times Square in a single day!
guide fee, guide transportation (subway), guide lunch
transportation (subway or taxi), lunch, possible entrance fees
This is a small group tour and it will be paced according to you.
The itinerary I provided is just a sample. The order might change depending on the location of your hotel and the selection of sights could also be modified. You'll be able to see some of the POIs on the photos (I'll mark them accordingly). Please, choose if you want to see Greenwich Village or Flatiron District. Both are amazing and beautiful, but realistically we will have time for just one of the neighborhoods.
We will be using the subway. The price of a ride is $2.75 and we will have 2 or 3 rides. If you decide to use a taxi instead, the price will depend on the number of people and the time of day but should be within $15.
A lot! We will be covering a lot of ground on foot, be prepared to walk a lot and, please, wear comfortable shoes.
Please, contact me to see if we could re-schedule for a better weather day. Otherwise, we will have to brave the elements.
Iren was friendly, on-time, knowledgeable, enthusiastic, well-prepared, and just a joy to spend time with. By the end of our time with her we felt like we were seeing the city with a good friend. We had told her what we were interested in seeing, and she set it all up in a very logical order. We has such a good time with her.
Dear John and Elaine, thank you! It was a joy exploring the city with you, and - you took the words right out of my mouth - it did feel like spending time with friends. I'm very happy you had a good time in New York and hope you'll come back to visit again, there are just too many stories left to tell!
Our tour with Iren was absolutely awesome! She was very friendly and accommodating, and extremely knowledgeable of all the sites we visited. She made our experience most enjoyable, and gave us an appreciation of the city that we otherwise may not have had. I highly recommend Iren for any tour when you are in New York. We will definitely be looking her up again and will recommend her to everyone! Thank you Iren for an unforgettable day! ❤️
Dear Christie, thank you so much for your warm words, for choosing my tour and for being such a fun group! You made it a pleasure to share my enthusiasm for New York with you. We did have a wonderful day! There is so much more to see and do in the city; I hope you will come again and hope I can be a part of your next visit!