High Line Tours | Chelsea and the Meatpacking District

This post reviews and compares the various different tours of the High Line, the Meatpacking District and Chelsea, including self-guided and audio tours.  The area around the High Line Park was a vital business district of New York City, supplying fresh fruits, French cheeses and Russian caviar as well as fresh meats to city markets. The hustle and bustle of the streets induced the city to elevate the railroad trains delivering goods to the commercial buildings. When interstate truck traffic made the railway outdated, it fell into ruin, only to be regenerated as an innovative park that is begging for you to explore it.

NOTE: We now have an audio tour of the High Line narrated by one of our professional guides where you can hear some of the same great stories and historical facts you would on our live tour.


Other Guided Tours

Self-Guided Tour

Private Tours

Free Tours by Foot

Bus Tours

Chelsea Market



 


FREE TOURS BY FOOT 

We offer several pay-what-you-wish tours plus a self-guided option.  We have listed the main details of our High Line and Meatpacking District Tour just below, but we also cover the High Line on the following tours:

  • High Line and Greenwich Village Tour
  • All-in-One Downtown Manhattan Tour
  • For a grimmer history of this park, check out our Dark Side of the High Line Tour.

NOTE: We now have an audio tour of the High Line narrated by one of our professional guides where you can hear some of the same great stories and historical facts you would on our live tour.

Join Free Tours by Foot on our High Line Tours and discover New York’s most exciting new park and learn about the history of the Meatpacking District as well as Chelsea and it’s wonderful market. We’ll show you the unique architecture and cutting edge art that is a part of and surrounds the High Line, but you really should come for the awesome views!

Sights and topics we cover on our High Line Tours:

  • High Line TourMeatpacking District
  • Gansevoort Market Historic District
  • Death Avenue and West Side Cowboys
  • Chelsea Hotel
  • Chelsea Piers
  • 100th Anniversary of Titanic Sinking
  • Chelsea Market
  • High Line Art Project
  • New Jersey!!
  • and much more…

Check out the companion self-guided tour with a downloadable map.

Tour information

Reservations: REQUIRED. Click here to reserve. Groups of 5 or more should visit our groups page.

Where: Jackson Square Park, W.13th Street and 8th Avenue (map). Look for your guide with the Free Tours by Foot logo.  Tour ends at near the intersection of the High Line and 23rd street (map).

Duration: Approximately 2 hours. Approximately 1 mile in length.

When: @2pm Wednesdays @6 pm on Mondays (or anytime with our audio tour app)

  • Runs as a part of our All-in-One Downtown Tour @10 am on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
  • Runs as half of our Greenwich Village and High Line Tour @2 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays @9:30 am on Sundays.
  • We now have an audio tour of the High Line to go along with our free self-guided tour.

Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it’s done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for anyone’s budget.

If you can’t take one of our High Line tours and you are considering purchasing a tourist pass, keep in mind that a daily tour of the High Line are included with both the Explorer Pass and New York Pass.   Read our post on whether a tourist pass is for you.   If you are considering the Big Bus hop-on, hop-off service, they have a stop at the High Line.  Check out our guide to New York bus tour options.

 


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OTHER GUIDED TOURS

There are several options to take a guided tour of the High Line.  All of the options are well reviewed.  The official Friends of the High Line tour runs similar to our pay-what-you-like model, with their system based on donations for the organization.  Other, for-fee companies offer daily tours that include the High Line as the focus or a part of the tour itinerary.  We have also listed each tour in the calendar below.

 

 


New York Tour 1

The High Line, Chelsea and Meatpacking District Tour offered by New York Tour 1 brings you into the heart of one of New York’s trendiest areas. During this 2 hour tour, you will hear stories of the Meatpacking District’s gory history, as well as Chelsea’s dramatic reinvention. The tour begins at the Chelsea Marketplace and then ends 1 mile down the High Line. As with the other tours of this area, the views of the Hudson along the way are absolutely stunning. This tour is included in both the New York Pass and the Sightseeing Pass, making it a very affordable option if you’re planning on visiting several sites and attractions with a tourist pass.  Children under 12 go for free.  Be sure to check out this highly rated company’s other tours.

  • Daily @ 9:30 am
  • Meeting Point: The corner of 15th Street and 9th Avenue near the Chelsea Market entrance. The closest subway station is at 14th Street/8th Avenue (lines A, C, E, and L)
  • Cost: $35/person.  Free for children under 12.
  • More information and to book.

Reviews:

Though all of their tours are highly rated, their High Line, Chelsea, and Meatpacking District Tour receives particularly excellent reviews, averaging 5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide (read the reviews). In fact, there are no reviews that fall below 4 stars and all guests seem united in thinking that the guides were outstanding. Several commentators also mention that they attended this tour with the New York Pass or Sightseeing Pass and that this proved a great way to save money without sacrificing quality.

 


Friends of the High Line

Friends of the High Line is the official, not-for-profit, organization that cares for and maintains the High Line. In addition to running several events and family programs throughout the year, they also run tours every Tuesday at 6:30 pm and Saturday at 10 am, May through October. Their tours last approximately 75 minutes and are completely free, though reservations are required and donations are requested. The docents are volunteer guides who are extremely passionate about the High Line’s history and renovation. If you’re interested in booking a private tour, they can accommodate you with that as well.

  • Availability: Tuesdays @ 6:30 PM and Saturdays @ 10 AM, between May 3 and October 29
  • Meeting Point: Gansevoort Street entrance, on the High Line at Gansevoort Street
  • Cost: FREE!
  • No RSVPs are necessary, but space is limited.  Be there by 15 minutes ahead of time to be guaranteed a spot.
  • More information.

Reviews of the High Line Tour:

Though there are several thousand reviews complimenting the High Line itself, there are no reviews for Friends of the High Line — the organization that actually maintain that area. However, this not for lack of praise for them and their tours. Rather, it is simply because all their reviews are included in general reviews of the High Line… of which there are so many, that most get lost! However, we think it’s safe to say that the people who run these tours are incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about the High Line considering that they are the one that keeps it looking so beautiful!

 


The High Line and Greenwich Village Food Tour – Manhattan Walking Tour –

The High Line and Greenwich Village Food Tour offered through Manhattan Walking Tour is a popular option for those hoping to blend a bit of history with food. At 3.5 hours, this tour is significantly longer than most of the others listed. Additionally, the price is higher than their competitors. However, as this tour combines the High Line with a classic Greenwich Village Food Tour, you’re really getting a 2 for 1 deal! Also, food tastings and water are included in the price, which saves you from buying lunch later on. Though this is a small group tour that is capped at 8 people, you need at least 2 people to book this tour, so be sure to find a foodie friend who also wants to enjoy the beauty of the High Line!

  • Daily @ 11 am (except Sundays) from May through December
  • Meeting Point: High Line Park
  • Cost: From $92 per person

Reviews:

Like all their other tours, the High Line and Greenwich Village Food Tour has really positive reviews, averaging 5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor. People seem especially impressed with the food samples in Greenwich, which several described as delicious and amazing. Many reviewers also comment that all the shops visited seem like local, hidden gems, which makes the tour feel all the more worthwhile. As with New York Tour1, this company also only boasts 4+ star reviews on TripAdvisor for this particular tour.

 


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BUS TOURS WITH HIGH LINE STOPS

Since the High Line is an elevated structure that only allows pedestrian traffic, there really are no true bus tours of the High Line.  However, there are several hop-on, hop-off bus companies that offer stops at the High Line or nearby (read our these bus tours here).  Armed with our self-guided tour, you could use these services to get you to the park.  One company, USA Guided Tours (details listed below) offer a guided bus tour with a guided walking tour of both the High Line and Chelsea Market.

 


USA Guided Tours 

Though not necessarily a High Line tour, per se, the Night Bus Tour offered by USA Guided Tours features the High Line and Chelsea Market along the way. Additionally, you will also visit Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge, Chinatown, Soho, and Greenwich Village, among other areas. This is a great tour if you’re short on time and want to see as much as possible, including the High Line. Considering the tour’s length and the fact that it takes place via bus, this tour may be an extremely good value for you.

Reviews:

USA Guided Tours are one of the most highly rated tour companies in New York City. In fact, they have yet to receive anything but a 5 star rating on TripAdvisor. Their guides are praised for being extremely knowledgeable yet entertaining, and the route itself is similarly complimented for being different from their day tour. Though this tour does not spend nearly as much time around the High Line as some of the High Line-focused tours listed above, reviewers seem to think it offers an adequate amount of information and photo taking time there regardless.

If you can’t take one of our High Line tours and you are considering purchasing a tourist pass, keep in mind that a daily tour of the High Line are included with both the Explorer Pass and New York Pass.   Read our post on whether a tourist pass is for you.   If you are considering the Big Bus hop-on, hop-off service, they have a stop at the High Line.  Check out our guide to New York bus tour options.

 


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PRIVATE AND GROUP TOURS OF THE HIGH LINE

If you are looking for a private tour for you, your family or organization, you have come to the best place.  We have a large team of tour guides who lead daily tours of the High Line and the surrounding areas.  We could customize the tour to your specifications.  We may even be able to offer you a discount on our normal private tour rates, if you are flexible with your start time.  Learn more about our private tour options.


Or, if you are interested in booking a tour with us, please submit the Private Tour Booking Form


 


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