Explore New York City

Music-Themed Tours of NYC

Get set for a tour of the city with its own soundtrack.

Big Apple Jazz Tours

This tour takes you into active “juke joints” to listen to jam sessions, quartets and more. Founder and tour guide Gordon Polatnick points out launchpads of greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday. On his “Harlem Juke Joint Tour” ($99/four+ hours, food and drink available), catch live combos at spots like Showmans, and maybe even see a legend or two at a secret spot in Harlem featuring one of two Hammond B3 organs in use in the city. BigAppleJazz.com

Rock Junket NYC

Bobby Pinn (aka Ron Colinear) grew up in Pittsburgh dreaming of the Big Apple and devouring rock music. He moved to NYC and worked as a music exec with bands like Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana. Now he offers several different tours weekly, along with tours customized around the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Madonna, etc. The East Village Punk Tour (think: Ramones, Talking Heads and Velvet Underground) is $35 for two hours. Rockjunket.com

Hush Hip-Hop Tours

Hush Tours founder Debra Harris was born and raised in the Bronx and grew up connected to the world of hip-hop and rap. Guests ride in comfort on a bus, experiencing a chronological retelling of the story of rap and the larger hip-hop culture from guides who are actual DJs, MCs, B-Boys and graffiti artists. Notables like Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster Caz (of the Cold Crush Brothers) and others serve as the actual tour guides and entertain customers with tales of the old days. Tours include “Birthplace of Hip-Hop” ($75/four hours) in the Bronx, “Where Brooklyn At?” ($55/three hours) and a “Harlem Gospel, Jazz and Hip Hop” ($45/two hours), which links the history of the musical genres. Hushtours.com

Lincoln Center Tours

At what is arguably the greatest cultural complex in the world, take this tour on which you will visit venues where operatic and classical music artists such as Luciano Pavarotti and Leonard Bernstein have performed, and see the homes of the New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet and Metropolitan Opera House among others. Tours last approximately 75 minutes; ticket $18. lincolncenter.org