Find out what makes the Big Apple’s Harlem so special on these fascinating walking tours of the neighborhood.
“Harlem is a stage. It’s like its own planet” according to the singer Teyana Taylor. This New York locale fizzes with creativity and has been immortalized in music and on the silver screen in countless movies and TV shows over the years. Today it is just as vibrant as ever, and a great place to tap into the soul of New York. Taking in a Harlem gospel tour or neighborhood walking tour with a local is a great way to learn all about the unique social fabric of Harlem and the history that made it this way.
Central Harlem Hub of African American Culture
A fantastic way to understand Harlem as a neighborhood today in the context of its past is on this two-hour walking tour. With your guide, you will explore the Central Harlem sites where jazz was allowed to explode into a full-blown scene, transforming the lives and fortunes of the area forever. You will pass by the area’s most storied stately homes and churches, along with other notable landmarks such as the Apollo Theater. Tours run on Saturday only at 10am. From $25 per person.
Harlem Hip-Hop Walking Tour
Hip-hop was born in New York City. While primarily emerging from The Bronx, nearby Harlem had a strong hand in the game as well, particularly given the area’s musical pedigree. This tour seeks out all things hip-hop, including backdrops to some of the early music videos, the Graffiti Wall of Fame, and the many venues where anyone who was anyone in hip-hop performed and hung out. Entry to the Museum of the City of New York is included in the price. Tours run from Thu-Tue. From $45 per person.
Harlem Renaissance Walking Tour with Lunch
The social history of Harlem is fascinating, with many memorable characters contributing to the neighborhood’s charm and atmosphere through the decades. This three-hour walking tour focusses primarily on what was known as the Harlem Renaissance, a period of intense creativity in the 1920s and 30s where music, dance, literature and fashion thrived. Expect plenty of enthralling stories about the likes of Duke Ellington, Pig Foot Mary, Langston Hughes and many more. Tours on Friday only. From $71 per person.
New York City’s Harlem Highlights and Gospel Concert
Harlem gospel choirs are the embodiment of uplifting and energetic Christian devotion. This side of Harlem is unlike any other, offering a unique experience during your stay. This tour begins with a guide through the history of the area, from its Dutch farming roots to the rich cultural terrain that it is today. Finally, you will stop at the ARC Gospel Choir, for a resounding concert. This tour runs only on Wednesday. From $80 per person.
Harlem Jazz Crawl Tour
If jazz is your jam, then this single-focus tour is the ultimate in Harlem’s musical stylings, both past and present. It combines a history tour of the neighborhood’s key jazz scene haunts with two separate sets of live music at different clubs, allowing you the chance to get a feel for the breadth of the genre. If you consider yourself an accomplished singer or instrumentalist, you can even join in with the band. This tour usually runs Wed-Mon each week, although schedules can vary in winter. From $139 per person.