1. Big Apple Greeter
Get a warm New York City welcome from Big Apple Greeter's team of volunteers (many of whom are multilingual) as they guide you through the City's diverse neighborhoods. The company's 300 greeters collectively boast an endless knowledge of the City and its best spots.
2. Central Park Conservancy
Central Park has 136 acres of woodland, 250 acres of lawns and 150 acres of water; trying to see it all without an expert tour guide can be overwhelming. The Central Park Conservancy's long lineup of free tours aims to cover it all. Escape the streets during the Amble Through the Ramble tour, which takes guests on a journey through the arches and man-made water features of these urban woods. The Castle and Its Kingdom tour explores the terrain surrounding Belvedere Castle and Vista Rock. Flora and fauna take center stage during tours of the 70-year-old Conservatory Garden, and Views from the Past takes participants back to the 19th century, when Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux were merely in the planning stages of creating Manhattan's grandest park.
3. Free Tours by Foot
Lace up those walking shoes and join Free Tours by Foot's expert guides for up-close views of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Taste the diverse edibles of the Lower East Side, Greenwich Village or Chinatown on a food tour; check out Harlem landmarks like the Apollo Theater and the Lenox Lounge; and explore Chelsea and the High Line to get those striking river views. All guides work solely for tips, so the value of each outing is up to you.
4. Grand Central PartnershipSee why the neighborhood surrounding Grand Central Terminal is so much more than a transportation hub. Every Friday at 12:30pm, the Grand Central Partnership conducts a 90-minute guided walking tour led by urban historians. Make stops at the station's Whispering Gallery, discover the secrets of the passageways, gaze at the architectural splendor of the Chrysler Building and visit Pershing Square and the original Lincoln Memorial, among other notable Midtown locales.
5. Opening the Way: A Woman's History Walk
Grab your cell phone and get ready to explore women's history in downtown Manhattan. Text-messaged challenges and recorded quotations help "players" imagine the lives of iconic female New Yorkers, among them writers, agitators, abolitionists, suffragists and September 11 heroes. Get a digital history lesson as you roam Lower Manhattan, with 21 stops including City Hall Park, Louise Nevelson Plaza, the Federal Hall Memorial and Trinity Church. The tour was created by the award-winning nonprofit Women's eNews and researched and written by former New York Times editor Betsy Wade and historian James Boylan, so you can expect an experience that's as smart and thorough as it is engaging.
6. Brooklyn Brewery and Chelsea Brewery
Choose your borough, and drink up at a complimentary beer tour! Brooklyn Brewery hosts free tours every Saturday that start on the hour between 1 and 5pm—learn about the past, present and future of the company. (Under 21s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.) Afterward, grab a seat at one of the indoor picnic tables and (if you're of age, of course) purchase beer tokens to sample some of the brewery's wildly popular creations, among them Brooklyn Lager, which can be found not just in bars throughout New York but in 25 states and 20 countries. Chelsea Brewing Company, Manhattan's largest microbrewery, offers a peek at today's modern brewing processes with a free tour of its site, which features multiple tanks, a fully automatic grain-handling system, automated bottling and a kegging setup. The tour includes free samples (naturally), along with tickets for discounted pints to savor later at the brewery's bar and restaurant. Tours are Saturdays only, on the hour from 2 till 6pm.
7. Village Alliance
As evidenced by literary icons of the past, like Mark Twain and Edgar Allan Poe, as well as the artists and students today who frequent the neighborhood's coffee shops, theaters and music clubs, Greenwich Village's bohemian vibe has stood the test of time. Discover the area's undeniable charm on a free walking tour sponsored by the Village Alliance. An emphasis is placed on the social, architectural and historic aspects of the Village, so you'll walk away well acquainted with its one-of-a-kind spirit.
8. Battery Park City Parks Conservancy
Battery Park City encompasses 36 acres of playgrounds, gardens and plazas. Every day, residents and visitors flock to the space for outdoor fun (the parks host more than 900 activities each year), but to get the most out of this cluster of green spaces, a free tour or two is in order. At Wagner Park, a horticulturist takes guests on an organic-gardening walk, while tours at Teardrop Park focus on the public art installation by Ann Hamilton and Michael Mercil. And when the weather cools down, drop into the Odes to Autumn Poetry Walk at Rockefeller Park.
So choose your free tour now and enjoy New York!
Source: NYC The Official Guide http://www.nycgo.com/slideshows/free-tours/1