Are you looking for the best Central Park tours to help you explore this gorgeous part of the city?
Central Park is one of the most famous parks in the world – and one of the best ways of exploring, is by finding the best Central Park tours and booking yourself a ticket!
I’ve spent years exploring Central Park, and I know that there are so many amazing ways to explore this incredible part of the city. But part of discovering the magic, is finding the perfect Central park tours for your interests and ability.
Whether you want to do a walking tour, a limo tour, a bike tour… You name it! Central Park has it all. Here are the best Central Park tours to help you explore this amazing landmark…
What is the best way to tour Central Park?
So, you’re wondering ‘what is the best way to tour Central Park?’ – the answer is, it depends! There are so many Central Park tours to choose from!
Every person is different when it comes to exploring Central Park. If you’re the kind of person who loves taking their time, you’re going to love the walking tours we’ve featured on this list.
However, there are plenty of other interesting ways to tour Central Park too. You can cycle, scooter, and see it via pedicab too! We’ll recommend a variety of Central Park tours in this list, so you can figure out which is the best fit for you.
Can you do all of Central Park in one day?
Can you do all of Central Park in one day? Probably not, to be honest! Even with the help of multiple Central Park tours, you won’t see everything.
Even with a full day of exploring the park, it’s unlikely you’ll get to see every pathway and every beautiful detail. But you can absolutely fit in a tour (or two) during this time, and that’ll help you see most of the park than most.
As most people visit New York City for only 3-5 days, we’d recommend setting aside at least half a day for Central Park. Ideally, a whole day if possible (and if you have the time to spare).
Here are the best Central Park tours that we recommend!
The Classic Central Park Walking Tour
First on my list of the best Central Park tours, it’s a classic walking tour!
A classic Central Park walking tour is always a good idea – especially if you just want someone to guide you around the main areas of the park. It’s generally considered one of the best ways to see Central Park!
In general booking a walking tour of Central Park is great because you remove any worry of getting lost (which is so easy, as the park is so huge!) and instead you can just enjoy meandering around and soaking in all the top sights and attractions Central Park has to offer.
I recommend this walking tour, you’ll be guided around by a former park employee and you’ll get a 2-hour tour of all the park highlights. This is one of the best Central Park tours!
Read more about Central Park: How big is Central Park?
A pedicab ride
Next on my list of the best Central Park tours, an alternative to horse carriage rides, the Pedicab!
If you’re allergic to horses, or you don’t fancy the horse and carriage ride, then a pedicab ride is a great choice. It’s a little more quirky and it’s definitely a lot of fun!
A pedicab is basically a small carriage attached to the back of a bike, and your tour guide will cycle around the park past all the must-see places in Central Park.
I love the Pedicab rides because they’re quick, easy and you get to see loads. Again, as with the carriage rides, I’d recommend booking the tour in advance.
It means your fee will be pre-agreed and just avoids any queuing or confusion. But overall, this is a great choice for Central Park tours.
Another one of the best ways to see Central Park, and great fun!
Movie and TV in Central Park (walking tour)
Next on our list of the best Central Park tours, it’s a movie and TV tour! For movie lovers… this might be the best way to see Central Park for you!
There have been soooo many movies and TV shows set in Central Park, so if you consider yourself a bit of a movie-buff or TV geek, taking a TV and film themed walking tour around the park is definitely going to be fun for you.
I recommend booking this specific tour, it has great reviews and a good itinerary – making sure you squeeze in as many movie and TV locations as possible!
You’ll see locations from films such as; Home Alone, When Harry Met Sally, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Date Night, The Avengers, Friends, Glee and so many more. Such a great choice for Central Park tours.
Read more about Central Park: 35 best things to do in Central Park, NYC
Boat tour on The Lake
Our next suggestion for Central Park tours, is by boat!
This is one of the cutest ways to see the park, and it’s so different from other ideas on this list.
Boat hire is about $20 per hour, and most people tend to take the boat out for about 2 hours.
Obviously, one disadvantage of a boat tour is that you’re a little bit limited in how much of the park you can see from a boat, but it’s a great way of seeing the park from a new perspective. And the tour isn’t guided – you’ll need to steer and row yourself!
Life jackets are provided, and up to 4 people can be in the boat (so it’s pretty affordable actually when split between all of you).
You can find all the info you need here (including the opening dates for summer season). But yes, this is such a great option for Central Park tours, and one of the best ways to see Central Park!
Helicopter tour over Central Park
Next up on my best Central Park tours list… A helicopter ride.
If you want to see Central Park from above (and in the context of the city around it) then there’s no better tour than a helicopter tour.
Helicopter tours are pretty incredible in NYC – you get to see so much, and the city looks so different from above.
For me, it’s still one of the MOST memorable things I’ve ever done, and I’ll never forget seeing the park emerge from behind the skyscrapers and seeing the sheer scale of it!
I recommend this helicopter tour – I always trust this company to get it right when it comes to super special Central Park tours.
This is one of the most expensive ways to see it, but also one of the best ways to see Central Park too.
Central Park’s hidden gems walking tour
Next on our list of the best ways to see Central Park, it’s another walking tour option. For people reading this list of the best Central Park tours, who already know and love the park – this might be the tour for you.
If you already know the park quite well, or if you want to discover some new areas of Central Park then this Hidden Gems tour of Central Park is a fantastic choice.
You’ll explore off the tourist path and be taken to some secret places in Central Park that tourists don’t usually discover.
From hidden bird sanctuaries historic gun emplacements, you’ll feel like you’re an NYC local when this tour finishes.
Central Park guided bike tour
If you enjoying riding your bike and cycling, then taking a cycling tour of Central Park is such a nice way to see the park.
You can get around quicker on your bike, which also means you’ll be able to see more of the park than you would during a walking tour.
Also, Central Park is an amazing park for cycling – there are lovely bike paths and cycling roads – so it’s great.
I recommend this specific tour… it has great reviews, and means you won’t miss anything! They’ll take you to all the key historical monuments, statues, fountains and hidden gems.
How could I write a list of the best Central Park tours and not include a bike tour? Another great option for the best ways to see Central Park.
Self-guided Central Park bike hire
If you want to explore the park by bike, but you’d rather do it at your own pace and on your own terms, you can rent a bike in Central Park super easily!
This is a great option for people who want to tour the park more flexibly and don’t mind finding their own way around.
You can rent bikes in Central Park by clicking here. Maybe it’s not a traditional ‘tour’ – but it’s so affordable, so I wanted to include it in my best Central Park tours list.
2 Hour Electric Scooter Tour
Our next suggestion for the best Central Park tours, is a 2 Hour Electric Scooter Tour.
I love electric scooters, they’re relatively low-effort physically, so they might be preferred by many people over cycling or rollerblading.
But you still get to whizz around, and see the park at a quicker pace than walking – which is great!
I love this particular tour because it’s guided too, so you know you’ll get to all the great spots. Some of these include Bethesda Fountain, Cleopatra’s Needle, and various film locations too.
NYC Rollerblade rental
Another great option for people who want to explore the park on their own terms and by their own timings…
Renting rollerblades is SUCH a fun way to explore the park. This is ideal for spring or summer time, and on a sunny day, you’ll see loads of people exploring the park on rollerblades.
It’s fun, and it’s also a great workout too!
Food tour and Central Park tour combo
Next up on my list of best Central Park tours, a food and park combo tour. Because combining Central Park with food is (obviously) a perfect pairing!
If you want to combine a tour of Central Park with a food tour… then this tour is a great choice!
Food tours are always an amazing idea in NYC (there’s so much amazing food here) and having a food tour paired with a Central Park tour is such a perfect way to spend the day.
We all know that NYC is famous for it’s amazing food, so combining a stroll around Central Park with some food discoveries is a win/win situation!
Home Alone 2 Tour in Stretch Limousine
Next up on our list of the best ways to see Central Park, it’s the Home Alone 2 Tour in Stretch Limousine.
This is such a quirky and unique tour in NYC, and whilst the focus isn’t 100% on Central Park, Central Park makes up a huge part of it!
The tour is 3 hours long, and it’s a tour through all the filming locations of the iconic Home Alone 2 movie!
So, if you’re a fan of that movie and love Central Park and want to see more of it, this tour might be an incredible way to explore it. This is one of the most fun and best ways to see Central Park.
Fantastic Beasts Walking Tour & Central Park Zoo Ticket
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you might really enjoy this Fantastic Beasts Walking Tour & Central Park Zoo Ticket. It’s such a fun option for Central Park tours.
You’ll explore amazing parts of the park (seen in the movie) and uncover the magical world of Newt too!
There’s loads of facts and information to learn along the way too, about all the Fantastic Beasts movies and characters.
5K running tour of Central Park
Last up on this list of the best Central Park tours, a running tour! This is one for the gym-bunnies or the runners!
It might be some people’s worst nightmare, but for others, combining a 5K run with a tour of Central Park’s best sights is an ideal combination!
This non-competitive 5K running tour that takes you along some of the parks most scenic and beautiful running paths. You’ll make brief stops along the way to explore, take photos and just enjoy the view.
This is a super different choice for Central Park tours, and we love it!
Why didn’t we include horse and carriage rides on our list of the best Central Park tours?
You probably came to this list thinking you’d find an option for horse and carriage rides somewhere in our suggestions.
And I’ll admit, when we first visited the city way back in 2011, my husband and I did a horse and carriage ourselves, without asking many questions about it.
While many sources point to the good treatment of these horses, there are other sources that question their welfare. So for that reason, and controversy surrounding the debate, I’ve decided to leave them off my list.
If you want to do your own research, I highly encourage that!
How long do you need to tour Central Park?
I hope this list of the best Central Park tours is helpful!
Based on this list, have you chosen the best Central Park tours for you? I’d love to know which you chose in the comments.