New York in a Half-Day Tour with the Empire State Building

Your comprehensive guide to New York City
From US$638 privately
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Tour Details
4 hours
Product Type
  • The Empire State Building
  • Radio City Music Hall
  • Grand Central Terminal
  • Central Park
  • Rockefeller Center
  • Times Square
Photos & Highlights
  • Dive into New York’s main sites, history, and neighborhoods
  • Led by a historian or PhD-level scholar
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Tour Description
On this half-day tour with a local scholar, we’ll explore the most exemplary streets and landmarks in New York City. From the grassy lawns of Central Park to modern skyscrapers of Midtown, this comprehensive orientation will consider the profound transformation of America’s largest city. 

Sites Visited 

  • Central Park
  • Rockefeller Center
  • Radio City Music Hall
  • Time Square
  • Empire State Building 


  • 4 hours with a Ph.D. or MA-level guide
  • Optional Empire State Building tickets 
  • Optional Car Service and hotel pick-up

Itinerary Detail

Our tour begins on the grassy knolls of Central Park. Beloved by New Yorker and visitors alike, we’ll stroll through the urban oasis as we discuss the life and times of the city’s favorite park. We'll emerge from the park in the heart of Midtown. We’ll stand at the base of the world’s tallest residential buildings, and pass such establishments as The Plaza Hotel, 5th Avenue, and The St. Regis. 

While tracing the history of residents in Midtown, our guide will show us the last remaining 5th avenue mansions from the Gilded era. Located squarely between these mansions, the area’s best known residents, John D. Rockefeller Jr., built his sprawling deco monument: Rockefeller Center. Rockefeller Center continues to thrive nearly 100 years later - institutions such as NBC Studios and Radio City Music Hall have the pleasure of calling this plaza home. 

Continuing south we may pass through Time Square or Bryant Park before making out way to Grand Central Station. Gazing up at the beautifully decorated concourse, we’ll discuss the evolution of transportation in New York before hopping onto a train ourselves. Climbing aboard the New York City Subway, we’ll shuttle down to our final stop - The Empire State Building. 

A cultural icon, The Empire State Building is among one of the most recognizable buildings in the world. A testament of novel engineering, the building is still among the top 10 tallest buildings in New York to this day. We’ll conclude our tour at the entrance, where you’ll have the option of entering the buildings newly redesigned observation deck and get a bird's eye view of the vast history we discussed.

Optional: Empire State Building Tickets
We can purchase tickets for the Empire State Building for an independent visit at the end of the tour. If you wish to purchase these tickets, please add them to your order at check-out. Your guide will have the tickets and will give them to you at the end of the tour, but will not enter the Empire State Building with you. The tickets include access to the 82nd floor, the museum, and the new 102nd floor panoramic viewing deck.  


Where do we meet? Where does it end?
We will meet near Central Park South and end near the Empire State Building. Your confirmation email will have the exact meeting point details along with a map.

Do we go inside the venues or just see them from the outside?
You will go inside the lobbies of several of the buildings we discuss on the walk. You also have the option of entering into the Empire State Building's newly re-designed observation deck. Our tickets include access to the 82nd floor, the museum, and the new 102nd floor panoramic viewing deck. 

What if it’s raining?
Tours operate rain or shine, but in the case of inclement weather, your expert will modify the tour so more time is spent indoors. It never hurts to be prepared; we encourage keeping an eye on the weather and bringing along an umbrella, sunscreen, water, or a hat as needed. 

Is this suitable for children and / or travelers with mobility challenges? 
Yes. We can adapt the route of our private tours based on the ages, needs, and interests of travelers in your party. Please share any specifics about your group’s needs in the notes section of your order and we’ll adjust the itinerary accordingly.
Where You'll Start
(5.0) 12 Reviews

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Sam was exceptional as to how he planned the guiding, orientated us in Manhatten from a central park setting, expert on the history, architecture, history, plants and things to do and see I could not have asked for more Wally McDonald
Benjamin was wonderful. We had a very complicated travel schedule and he made our tour happen! Very knowledgeable about the city and accommodating for occasional stops at places of particular interest to us. This really was a private tour geared to our interests and pace. I cannot recommend him highly enough. This is our fourth Context tour and we look forward to many more.
Outstanding half day tour with Ben, taking in Central Park, the subway, Grand Central, the Rockefeller Center and Empire State. Highly informative, and ready to answer our many questions. Highly recommended.