Before you scoff at bus tours, consider that they offer a great overview of the city for a first-timer. Companies like Big Bus provide a Classic Ticket tour that allows you to hop on and off all day long, and their buses can handle up to two wheelchairs each. New York City Sightseeing Bus and Boat Tours uses open-topped double-decker buses and offers a variety of bundled packages for a full day of sightseeing.
Also check out Viator or Airbnb Experiences, which offer highly rated tours focused on everything from the city’s crime and mafia history to its best doughnut shops.
If you need extra assistance, Turnstile Tours serves those with special mobility, hearing or sight needs, and On Location Tours accommodates wheelchair users. New York is thrilling to see from the water, and Circle-Line Sightseeing Cruises are wheelchair accessible.
Ways to save: You can take a free tour with a Big Apple Greeter, volunteer guides who show off the city to no more than six guests at a time. Tours are informal and can be customized for travelers with physical disabilities. Request a greeter three to four weeks before your trip.
This is a walking city, and walking’s free! It’s nothing for a New Yorker to walk 25 or 30 blocks at a pop, the equivalent of a mile and a half. Walk with care, however: Wait for walk signals and use crosswalks, even though quick-footed jaywalking New Yorkers often don’t.
Wander through colorful neighborhoods like Greenwich Village, Soho or Chinatown. And follow in the footsteps of New Yorkers, who run, stroll and breathe in the 843-acre green oasis known as Central Park — a mélange of woods, fields and gardens boasting free concerts, a zoo and striking views of the Midtown Manhattan skyline. Amble along the renowned High Line, which runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to 34th Street in the Hudson Yards neighborhood. Once an abandoned elevated railway structure, it’s a groundbreaking 1.45-mile-long park with sustainable plantings, benches (grab a seat while you can) and a bird’s-eye view of New York architecture. Free docent-led tours are available.