Harlem Meet the locals

Our most recommended Harlem Meet the locals

Harlem: History and Gospel Bus Tour

1. Harlem: History and Gospel Bus Tour

Fill your heart with joy on an incredible tour of Harlem and discover New York City's most exciting neighborhood. Learn about its origins as a rural Dutch farming community to its transformation into a summer retreat for the city's most prominent families.  Get an insight into how urban black culture developed following the Great Migration of the early 20th century by African Americans from the southern states. Hear how artists and writers flocked to the area to create the rich cultural landscape of the Harlem Renaissance.  See iconic sights, such as the Apollo Theatre, the legendary Cotton Club, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and Duke Ellington's former apartment. Visit some of Manhattan's oldest homes such as the Morris-Jumel Mansion.  Part of this tour is listening to a gospel choir singing at a church service or practicing by themselves. Listen to their beautiful singing and be inspired by their powerful songs of praise.

Harlem: Sunday Gospel Service with Locals

2. Harlem: Sunday Gospel Service with Locals

Discover an iconic scene often captured in film and photographs, beautifully dressed women with impressive hats in Harlem heading to church for Sunday worship. Go beyond the pictures and see how worship and family from an integral part of life and a source of weekly spiritual sustenance. Sunday Gospel in Harlem invites you to be a part of this custom by respectfully joining a local church family for an hour of worship including gospel. Learn neighborhood history and importance of houses of worship. Visit a local church and participate in gospel worship with parishioners. Enjoy a sense of community and camaraderie. See former residences of some of Harlem's notable residents associated with the Harlem Renaissance.

New York City: Harlem Bike Rentals

3. New York City: Harlem Bike Rentals

Come explore upper Manhattan on two wheels. Visit areas such as Manhattan’s Harlem region, climb uphill from the many iconic churches near the Columbia University campus up to the Croton Aqueduct Gate House, then on toward Strivers Row, where many iconic personalities still live. From some of the higher elevation points, many of the most famous New York buildings are visible. Along the way, you’ll also get to see the historic Hamilton Heights district, including the Hamilton Grange House, which was physically moved and relocated three separate times.   Travel past the famous Schomburg Library, see the Harriet Tubman statue and, finally, the Malcolm X Mosque. Then, we return to Central Park North. Remember to bring your camera: there will be fantastic views of Central Park from these higher locations and the historic architecture is beautiful. Store Hours: November- March: Closed April-October: 9AM to 7PM

New York City: Central Park and Harlem Full-Day Bike Tour

4. New York City: Central Park and Harlem Full-Day Bike Tour

Your tour begins near the extravagant Plaza Hotel, which has hosted New York’s elite visitors for over 100 years. A short jaunt away is magnificent Central Park, a green oasis within the concrete jungle of New York. Travel through the park and visit the Strawberry Fields for a Beatles sing-along. Explore a few off-the-beaten-path sites, rarely seen by tourists, including the only beach in Manhattan, a 3500-year-old obelisk, and an $18-million lawn. From Central Park, you’ll ride up to Harlem, one of the most important places for black history in America. You’ll attend a Sunday morning gospel service, replete with lush choral music, before heading to a poetry reading outside of what was once Langston Hughes’ home. After a lunch of delicious soul food, you’ll learn about Harlem's important contributions to black history.

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What people are saying about Harlem

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 52 reviews

Very great tour. The tour starts with a walking tour of Harlem. Run by a person who lives in Harlem. After that we go to church. The mood there is very good. However, our group made up a majority of the people in the church. Still very authentic. After the singing, the church is left and the tour is over. I would have liked to have stayed in the church. I then had soul food in a restaurant with our tour guide.

Nice to have seen. I thought the Gospel service was very over the top, but I think that's how it is. The guide, a lady who grew up in Harlem, did a very good job. She knew a lot to tell and had good interaction with the group. In short, no regrets about this tour

Our guide Doris is sensational... She made the tour an experience for us! The gospel service was very nice... However, I would have liked the other participants in the service to listen respectfully instead of talking constantly!

Everything was great, both the tour of Harlem and the service. The voices were a bit weird, but the mood was great. If you get involved, you will be happy to be integrated.

Very nice but you have to speak English to understand the first part of the tour..