These audio tours, available on CD or as MP3 downloads, cater to the curious -- and tech-savvy â trekker who prefers a solo wander to the more traditional group tour.
They cut paths through buildings, cafes and all sorts of little-known nooks. The walks are narrated by long-time residents, and each is packed with historical and cultural tidbits to bring the lore of the neighborhood to life. Soundwalk currently offers 13 hour-long tours.
They include the Lower East Side, a Bronx graffiti tour, and the latest offering, two walks through the Hasidic areas of Williamsburg. (CD, $19.95 - $24.95; MP3 download, $12; Call 212-674-7407 for more information; www.soundwalk.com) On Broadway
Walkin' Broadway offers two narrated tours with musical interludes on MP3 players. The recordings are about an hour, though you can go at your own pace and take breaks. (Colony Records, 1619 Broadway at 49th St.; $12 per tour; Call 212-997-5004 or 1-866-692-2929 for more details or group rates.
Scheduling tours in advance is recommended for groups.) Gray Line
Comprehensive and convenient tours on double decker buses. More than 40 hop-on/hop-off stops. Includes Down, Uptown, Brooklyn Loop, or the Night or Holiday Lights tours. Tours take 2-3 hours per loop. (For rates call 800-669-0051; www.graylinenewyork.com) Adventure on a Shoestring
Walking tours that focus on history and culture of New York City. (300 West 53rd Street; 212-265-2663; $5 per tour) Big Apple Greeter
Free customized walking tours for various parts of the city; Guides are knowledgeable New Yorkers who volunteer their time. (1 Centre Street; 212-669-8159; www.bigapplegreeter.org) Big Onion Walking Tours
Walking tours of New York's ethnic neighborhoods and historic districts. (212-439-1090; $10-$15; www.bigonion.com) Municipal Art Society
Architectural walking tours. (212-935-3960; $12-$15; tour hotline: 212-439-1049; www.mas.org) Circle Line Tours
See the city from the water. (Pier 83 at West 42nd Street; 212-563-3200; Full island cruise: $18-$31. Call or see Web for rates on other tours; www.circleline42.com) Hip-Hop Tour
This tour takes you through the scenes associated with hip hop culture; the music pioneers are aboard the bus and lend insight into the development of hip hop. (212-714-3527; $55, adults; $48 for 17 and under. www.hushhiphoptours.com) On Location Tours
Take a tour that follows your favorite TV series - like 'Sopranos' or 'Sex in the City' - or movie characters. Fiction meets reality when you shop, eat, drink, and dance at sites you've seen on both the big and small screens. (www.screentours.com; $17-$40 per person) New York City's Original Rock 'n' Roll Walking Tour
Visit the East Village, the epicenter of rock 'n' roll in the city.
Check out the sites made famous by the Ramones, the New York Dolls, Madonna, and more. The two-hour East Village Rock n Punk tour starts at 11 a.m. ($29 per person; 212-696-6578; www.rockjunket.com) Big Apple Jazz Tours
Custumized four-hour tours for jazz aficianados -- choose between the 4-hour 'Hidden Jazz Haunts' tour or the 1-hour 'Harlem Jazz District' walking tour -- which scour the city's well-known jazz landmarks and also some hidden nooks ($75 to $300; 212-283-5299; www.bigapplejazz.com)