The NYC skyline and Empire State Building sparkling during a purple-pink sunset

9 Best Night Tours in NYC

Have you been researching night tours in NYC? I’ve got you covered!

Are you ready to explore the city that never sleeps in a whole new light with an NYC Night Tour? From bustling streets and iconic landmarks to an energetic nightlife and delicious food – both upscale and cheap, New York City has something for everyone.

Whether you’re a first-time or seasoned visitor, you can explore all that the Big Apple has to offer after dark with a night tour. Plus, you can relax and enjoy the scenes by letting the tour guide take care of all the details – meaning less stress for you.

From night bus tours, to walking tours, to boat tours and even helicopter tours at night in NYC, there’s something for everyone.

These are 9 must-see night tours in NYC that will take your trip to the next level. Welcome to the city after dark – let’s go!

My Top 3 Picks: Night Tours NYC

#1 Top Pick
from inside the helicopter looking out at the NYC skyline at sunset

Helicopter Tour at Night

✅ Stunning views

✅ Romantic

✅ One-of-a-kind

#2 Pick
Statue of Liberty at dusk

Sunset Cruise

✅ Good for groups

✅ Photo opps

✅ Food & drinks available

#3 Pick
glowing catacomb entrance with candles

Catacombs by Candlelight

✅ Off-the-beaten-path

✅ Educational

✅ Mostly indoors

9 Best NYC Night Tours

New York City skyscrapers and buildings lit up at sunset with the POV of being on the water

1. boat tours nYC at Night: New York City Harbor Lights Cruise

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  2 hours 📍 LOCATION: 83 North River Piers | ✅ Book it!

In my opinion, every great NYC trip includes at least one experience on the water. So, a boat tour of NYC at night is a must-do.

Make yours extra sweet with a sunset cruise around the city that brings you amazing vantage points to some of our best sights. Enjoy narration during the cruise from expert guides as you take in over 130 of the city’s most famous landmarks.

The departure point for the cruise is conveniently located at Pier 83 in Midtown, just west of Times Square. Seats are first-come, first-serve so I suggest arriving with ample time to get in line and secure your choice of seats.

If you need something to settle your stomach, no worries – they offer a selection of sandwiches, salads and snacks. In addition, hot and cold beverages, including some cocktails. I suggest a glass of something bubbly to cheers to Lady Liberty!

New York City Harbor Lights Cruise Highlights:

  • See the sun set and the city light up!
  • Views of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center and more
  • Food, drink and souvenirs available to purchase on board

“Well worth the money! Excellent explanations by the tour guide. Navigation by captain allowed excellent views of all areas.” -Renee_F (Read more reviews)

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The NYC skyline and Empire State Building sparkling during a purple-pink sunset

2. The Empire State Building At Night

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  90 minutes 📍 LOCATION: 20 West 34th Street | ✅ Book it!

Live out your Sleepless in Seattle dreams with a visit to the Empire State Building at night.

The Empire State Building is open year-round and during the warmer summer months, you may be surprised to hear it’s open late night – sometimes until 2 am!

The final entry time is typically 45 minutes before closing and it’s best to purchase tickets in advance to guarantee entry.

You can expect larger crowds during sunset times, but if you stay awhile or arrive later in the evening you can take in the city all lit up and sparkling.

Empire State Building Highlights:

  • The highest open-air observatory in New York
  • Take in 360-degree views of New York City including Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square and more

“Ticket scanning, security and staff all worked smoothly and efficiently. Being able to free roam once at the top was very nice. Never felt rushed.” -Lindsey_N (Read more reviews)

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3. Night Bus Tours NYC: New York City at Night Bus Tour

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  4 hours📍 LOCATION: 1600 Broadway | ✅ Book it!

Your first visit to New York City can be especially overwhelming with just the magnitude of how big the city and all the places to see and things to do. In fact, taking a bus tour can help you get acquainted with New York City in a stress-free way.

The tour bus takes care of the transport so you can enjoy the commentary and take in the sights and get a lay of the land! See some of NYC’s best landmarks at night with several picture perfect opportunities to grab some great photos.

What I love most about this tour is that it’s a combination of being on the bus and some short guided walks. You’ll also enjoy a guided tour of the High Line and Grand Central Station on foot. And you get to relax while riding past other illuminated landmarks throughout the city through many neighborhoods including SoHo, Chinatown, Greenwich Village and more.

NYC At Night Tour Highlights:

  • Stress-free tour of the city so you can get a lay of the land
  • Combo of short guided walking tours & time in the bus
  • See Times Square, Little Island, the High Line, Grand Central and more!

“This tour was delightful! We saw so many things we would never have had the time or means to do on our own. We went in late Dec so seeing the holiday lights was spectacular. Our guide, Nathan, was very knowledgeable, friendly and accommodating to the needs of the group. We covered a lot of sights and got to ride through neighborhoods and get a good feel of the city. The bus was comfortable and warm. Highly recommend this tour!” -Katie_A (Read more reviews)

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4. Ghosts of Greenwich Village Walking Tour

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  2 hours📍 LOCATION: 385 6th Ave | ✅ Book it!

Discover the dark and supernatural side of NYC with this 2-hour private evening guided walking tour through Greenwich Village. You can take this tour year-round, but it’s especially fun during the Halloween season.

Greenwich Village is actually one of the most haunted neighborhoods in the city so there’s no shortage of spooky stories and sights to take in as you visit the Brown Building at NYU, Washington Square Park, Cherry Lane Theatre and more. It’s not a night tours of NYC list without at least one haunted tour, right?!

Ghosts of Greenwich Village Walking Tour Highlights:

  • A private tour with dedicated attention
  • Visit several NYC landmarks
  • Explore one of NYC’s best neighborhoods (IMO!)

“We really enjoyed the ghost tour. Our guide Nicole was very informative and easygoing. She was a great storyteller and we learned a lot about the history of some colorful residents of the Village.” -Caye_S (Read more reviews)

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Behind a bar showing the rows of various colorful alcohol bottles

5. The Bar Crawl and History Experience

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  3 hours 📍 LOCATION: Midtown & Hell’s Kitchen | ✅ Book it!

I had to include at least one bar crawl on this list of night tours in NYC. Beyond just hopping to several bars you’ll also hear from a local guide who will share about the prohibition era in NYC and the rise of our famous speakeasies.

With a small group you’ll have a personalized experience, but also the opportunity to meet some new friends. In addition, take in the New York City skyline at a rooftop lounge and enjoy a variety of cocktails at multiple stops.

The Bar Crawl and History Experience Tour Highlights:

  • All bar entry fees included in ticket
  • Visit at least 3 of NYC’s most iconic and historic bars
  • Learn about the prohibition era in New York City

“So much fun! Highly recommend! The history of the bars was so interesting. Our tour guide was awesome and very knowledgeable.” -Adriana_M (Read more reviews)

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Best Night Tours in NYC

6. New York Night Photo Tour

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  3 hours📍 LOCATION: Throughout Manhattan | ✅ Book it!

I’ve shared about Aperture Tours before from an old trip to Paris. I was pleased to see they also offer private photography tours in NYC, including a night time tour.

What’s great about Aperture Photo tours is they are private and each tour will be tweaked to your skills, needs and interests! So you can ask as many questions as you have and even have input into where the tour will take place across the city.

In addition to taking photos you can also expect to learn:

  • Night photography techniques
  • How to use lines, frames and luminosity to enhance your photos
  • Long exposure light streaking – really cool for cars and boats
  • Camera-control tips: ƒ-stop, shutter speed, ISO and focusing

This is not just a tour of the city, but really great if you’re a hobby or amateur photographer who wants to level up their skill set and come home with amazing photos.

Night Helicopter Tours NYC

7. Helicopter Tours NYC at Night: NYC Lights Skyline Experience

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  📍 LOCATION: Linden, NJ | ✅ Book it!

Now this is a once-in-a-lifetime, so unique and special experience: seeing New York City from a helicopter!!

Experience New York City like never before on a captivating helicopter night tour above the dazzling city lights. You’ll take a helicopter ride with a small group and then be treated to breathtaking aerial views of all your favorite classic NYC landmarks.

Views include: the illuminated Statue of Liberty, the iconic Chrysler Building, the vibrant Rockefeller Center, glittering Times Square, Central Park and more.

Plus, you’ll cruise above the majestic George Washington Bridge, one of the busiest bridges in the world.

In addition you can expect:

  • A shared helicopter flight (unless you’re purchasing enough seats for a private group)
  • Live commentary on board
  • Floor to ceiling windows so everyone has a great view
  • A climate controlled cabin so you’re comfortable on cold nights or hot summer days
  • 25 to 30 minutes of the actual helicopter tour

“The flight tour and pilot were amazing, the booking process, communications and service was excellent from start to finish. We were running behind due to a road traffic incident and traffic, but the team did all they could so we didn’t miss out on this opportunity of a life time for us… We would also recommend the train from and to Penn station (NY) if you can get there as it’s is cheap and quicker than a cab.” – Tony_W (Read more reviews)

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Candle lit path in the NYC catacombs | Best Night Tours in NYC

8. New York Catacombs by Candlelight

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  90 minutes 📍 LOCATION: 266 Mulberry St | ✅ Book it!

Explore the hidden wonders of the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in this 90-minute candlelit tour. You’ll gain exclusive access to the catacombs lying beneath the cathedral, the two walled cemeteries and so much more. All while learning about the history of the generations of bishops and influential New Yorkers whose lives have shaped Catholic, New York and national history.

What to expect:

  • Explore the catacombs and other areas most visitors miss or can’t access
  • Learn all about the history of the church from your knowledgable guide
  • Choose from many departure times, including a 5 or 5:45 pm start time on the first Friday of each month

Even if you’re not Catholic, this is such a one-of-a-kind experience. Keep in mind this IS NOT the St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Ave. Instead, you’ll be heading to Nolita, and the church is conveniently accessibly by subway.

“I recently experienced this candle light tour at St. Patrick’s in NYC, led by an outstanding guide, Marlene. The combination of historical insights and the unique atmosphere created by candlelight made this tour truly memorable. The guide’s knowledge and engaging storytelling added a fascinating layer to the experience. Highly recommended for those seeking a captivating and immersive journey through history. I highly recommend this to all visitors of NYC!” – Patricia W (Read more reviews)

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9. Harlem Jazz Crawl Tour

⭐️ RATING: 4.7/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  4.5 hours 📍 LOCATION: 300 W 116th St | ✅ Book it!

Enjoy the wonders of the jazz scene in Harlem with this jazz listening crawl. You’ll get to discover New York’s music history with the help of a knowledgable guide and have a really fun night. In fact, not enough visitors make it far enough uptown to visit Harlem. You’ll be so glad you did and may even switch your trip itinerary around so you can spend even more time up here afterwards!

What to expect:

  • Visiting and listening to at least 2 sets of live jazz music in a range of styles and atmospheres
  • Learn all about the Harlem jazz scene and its history
  • Hear the history of Harlem as you walk along it’s historic streets
  • The option to enjoy authentic soul food at the first venue of the tour

This tour starts at 6:30 pm so you’re setting yourself for a fun evening out in Harlem with an outstanding music scene. Groups are intimate with a max of 10 people so there’s time and attention available for any questions you may have about the jazz scene and Harlem.

The tour will take place at various venues so be prepared to walk up to 10 blocks between them and wear comfortable shoes and appropriate outerwear. Cover charges for clubs is included, but bring cash for tips!

“The tour with Gordon is fantastic! He’s so knowledgeable about both Jazz and the history of Harlem. This tour is great for both jazz enthusiasts and novices. Gordon is passionate and insightful. I would definitely take the tour again just to continue learning from him.” – Mmamotsa (Read more reviews)

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FAQs About Night Tours in NYC

What is good to do in New York City late at night?

Go on a guided tour in New York City – choose any of the ones listed above. Or consider a self-guided walking tour, bar crawl, walk the Brooklyn Bridge or head to a 24-hour diner.

What’s the best bus tour in New York?

The Big Bus Tours are the most popular bus tours in New York. They also offer hop-on hop-off and night tour options.

Are there tour guides in New York?

Absolutely, yes! There are guides for all the tours I’ve listed above.

Final Thoughts: NYC Night Tours

New York City is a vibrant and exciting city that offers endless opportunities for adventure and exploration. For visitors and locals the city’s nightlife scene is one of the main attractions, and taking a night tour is a must-do activity to get off-the-beaten path and also see the city in all its evening glory.

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