Hacker Tickets is happy to partner with the Manhattan community and to offer all who visit NYC a Free Broadway Guided Tour. Our New York travel guide will show you the finest tourist attractions and best places to visit in New York!
You can scroll down to reserve your spot by completing the booking form below.
Simply stop by, say hello, and join us for a stroll through the best places to visit in New York, including Times Square, the Theatre District, Hell’s Kitchen and learn about the amazing history of New York, the things to see in its neighborhoods, Broadway, and much more.
The travel guide is absolutely free and it is part of the efforts of the City of New York and the Informed Tourism Foundation to bring back the number of tourists to their pre-pandemic levels.
Although this is a free guided tour, you still need to reserve your spot as there is limited availability.
This English language tour continues for about 90 minutes and it is available every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
What are the things to see on our Free Broadway Guided Tour in New York?
The meeting point for the free guided Broadway tour is in the heart of Times Square in front of the George M. Cohan statue (corner of 46th street and 7th Ave). From then on you go on a leisurely guided walk through the midtown neighborhoods.
- The most iconic Broadway Theatres
- Times Square
- Hell’s Kitchen
- The Theatre District
- Famous Film and TV locations
- You will visit the best places in New York to buy discounted Broadway tickets
- Famous restaurants and other great places to eat
Who are your tour guides?
Your tour guides are volunteers and some of the finest people the city has to offer. All of them have diverse backgrounds and will share with you their unique experience and knowledge of one of the best places to visit and things to see in New York!
Can you walk around by yourself?
Absolutely! And we encourage you to do so! That way you’ll be able to experience some of the New York tourist attractions on your own!
But if you want to learn more about New York and its history from a knowledgeable travel guide, visit unique sites – then join the tour! It is free and you will have lots of fun with like-minded people. We are dying to meet you!
Do you sell anything on the tour?
No. We don’t sell anything on the tour. We just strive to bring you to the best things to see in New York.
Why is it free?
The free tour is proud to be a part of the City’s efforts to encourage and develop tourism. The more people know about the New York City tourist attractions, the more they will visit and spend time here.
What about the other paid tours?
The New York travel guide offers a lot of things to see, and we encourage you to join them! Please consider the services of all businesses in Midtown. Every provider has a unique experience to offer and they are all worthed.
But if you don’t know where to start – it is a safe bet to start with the Free Broadway Guided Tour.
Through the ages, Broadway has become synonymous with top-quality musical theater, spectacular events, and global stars.
Broadway is composed of 41 theaters, each more iconic than the others. However, several venues stand-out from the rest, mostly due to their gorgeous architecture and are major New York tourist attractions. Here are the top 5 Broadway theaters that are worth checking out! They are stepped in New York and are a thing that’s worth to see.
The Lyric It is actually one of the newest kids on the block, being opened only in 1998 on the sight of two older theaters. It has a seating capacity of 1,622 and has been the stage of some mainstream names like Spider-Man and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
A place with rich history, well-settled into that of New York’s. An opera house, a CBS-owned radio and TV studio, and an iconic nightclub, favored by celebrities, Studio 54 has seen it all. Literally.
Currently, Studio 54 operates as a Broadway theatre with a seating capacity of 1,006. The last show on its stage was Caroline, or Change, and now Studio 54 prepares for The Minutes.
The architecture of the Imperial Theatre teleports us back to the 1920s, the time when the venue was actually opened (1923). Its large sign and plain, white terracotta façade add to its charm.
The Imperial is a large venue, with a seating capacity of 1,457, currently hosting Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations.
Vivian Beaumont Theatre
The Vivian Beaumont Theatre is part of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, along with the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet, and the Juilliard School of Music.
Richard Rodgers Theatre
Named after one of the biggest names in Broadway’s history, the venue was officially opened in 1925. It has a seating capacity of 1,319.
Besides being part of New York’s landmarks, the Richard Rodgers is also home to a new, relatively unknown show called Hamilton.
Buying Broadway tickets
Visiting a Broadway show is a must! As Europeans say – it’s like going to Rome and not seeing the Pope. Broadway is a major attraction and there’s a play for every taste.
However, buying Broadway tickets is not always a child’s play. The top shows are sold-out in advance and prices of last-minute tickets can be sky-high. Yet, that’s not a “mission impossible”. You can purchase tickets from the box offices of the venues (the best option).
Choose from a wide array of Broadway and Off-Broadway musicals, plays, and dance productions on sale every day at 20% to 50% off regular prices. When you purchase your tickets from TKTS, you are supporting a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to sustaining and sharing the arts and developing the audiences of the future.
TKTS has a couple of huge cons – the queues can be very long, and tickets can be sold out pretty quickly. The solution can be the Secondary market resellers. There are several locations that sell tickets for Broadway shows scattered around Times Square. They will certainly sell you decent-priced tickets for the show you want to see, making your dream a “mission possible”!
Times Square is the beating heart of New York City and a major tourist attraction in every travel guide. Globally famous for a thousand reasons, it attracts millions of tourists every year. It is somewhat of a center point in New York, as there are a lot of things to see around it!
On itself, Times Square is an intersection between 42nd Street and Broadway. What makes it special are the famous buildings located on this even more famous intersection and the very close proximity to important places and landmarks. Times Square was also an arena for famous events through the years.
The space received the name Times Square after Adolph S. Ochs moved the headquarters of his newspaper – The New York Times in the area.
Times Square established itself as a theatre hub by World War I when most of the important theatres that were not initially in the area moved in. They were closely followed by bars, restaurants, and pubs. Many iconic places like the Astor and the Knickerbocker were established by that time.
Times Square fell into a period of decline during the Great Depression and World War II that continued well into the ’80s. Everything changed after a redevelopment plan revitalized 42nd street as a theater and entertainment center. It took a huge amount of time, money, and effort to bring back Times Square to its glory.
Historic landmarks surrounding Times Square
One Times Square
The namesake of the area, One Times Square carried a few other names. It is a 25-story, 363-foot-high (111 m) skyscraper, officially opened in January 1904. It was erected by request of Adolph S. Ochs as headquarters for the New York Times.
You’re probably familiar with the massive building of the Paramount Hotel because it appeared in many high-profile Hollywood productions throughout the years. It was officially opened in 1928 and has approximately 22 floors.
The “Brill” name comes from a haberdasher who operated a store at street level and subsequently bought the building.
Despite that, the Brill Building was the center of US music in the 1960s, associated with many famous names like Carole King and Paul Simon.
Another mighty Broadway theatre and one of the New York tourist attractions, the Palace is one of the largest venues on the block, with a capacity of 1,743. The Palace Theatre went through many incarnations since its opening in 1913 – a vaudeville theatre, a cinema house, and since 1965 – a Broadway theatre.
There’s nothing hellish in Hell’s Kitchen. However, Hell’s Kitchen walked a turbulent and rough road in its past and was considered not the best place to be after dark, only to turn into one of the best places to visit in New York.
Etymology of Hell’s Kitchen
There are several sources (or legends?) on how Clinton (or Midtown West) received this horrifying nickname.
One of them links the name with a tenement on 54th street, billing it the original Hell’s Kitchen. Other historians related the name not the tenement, but to several murder cases that happened there in the 1880s.
Davy Crockett is probably the most popular name, related to naming the area. When speaking about a 19-century slum, he defined its inhabitants as.
Things to see in Hell’s Kitchen, New York?
There’s a lot to see in Hell’s Kitchen. It Irish background means that there are a lot of churches in the area. Check out Sts. Cyril & Methodius & St. Raphael, or the Holy Cross Church.
Hell’s Kitchen’s close proximity to Broadway led to many actors moving in. This gave the neighborhood an artsy vibe and brought in numerous art institutions, like The Actors Studio, Elecktra Theater, and Irish Arts Center.
But probably the most-recognizable building is the Time Warner Center.
Famous TV locations
This is a hard one. If we have to visit every movie or TV location in Manhattan, then the tour would last a week – literally, every corner in the borough has been featured in an award-winning production. We’ll try to visit at least a handful of these New York tourist attractions that we all know and love!
- Friends Apartment Building
- Washington Square Park
- Tom’s Restaurant
- Flatiron Building
- Hook & Ladder 8
- The Dakota Building
- Carrie’s Brownstone
- And many, many more!
Places to eat
As a global business, financial and entertainment center, Manhattan has gathered some of the finest chefs from all over the world. You can literally have any type of cuisine, served on the highest possible level!
What are people saying about the tour?
“Great job! One of the best New York tours I have been on. I was in New York on business and only had a day available. It was my first time in the city. I wanted to go on a tour but I didn’t know where to start (buses, bikes, boats, etc.). This seemed like a good starting point and I went for it. And it was great. The tour took about 90 minutes. Our travel guide Andres was great – funny, knowledgeable, and respectful and was aware of the best places to visit in New York! In the end, he recommended a couple of restaurants which were the highlight of my visit.“
Andrew Lo, San Francisco
Frequently asked questions on the Free Broadway Guided Tour
- Do you know what a Broadway theater actually means.
- Broadway theaters need to have at least 500 seats. This was established with the 1949 Actors’ Equity agreement with smaller theaters in New York to allow union members to perform, dividing theater spaces in the city into the system of Broadway and Off-Broadway seen today.
- Which Broadway theatre has the largest seating capacity?
- The Gershwin Theatre has a seating capacity of 1,933, making the largest one on Broadway. It currently performs Wicked, the story of Elphaba, the Wicked witch of the East!
- Which Broadway theatre is the oldest?
- The New Amsterdam Theatre, Hudson Theatre, and the Lyceum Theatre were all opened in 1903, but the majority of the theatres are more than a century old!
The Free Broadway Guided Tour is an excellent way to discover some of the best places to visit in New York, as well as the beauty of Midtown Manhattan and Theatre District – both global attractions and hidden New York tourist attractions. The Tour is perfect for every tourist with basic knowledge of English that is interested in taking a travel guide in the beating heart of New York City!