Walk 5th Ave. and Pass Empire State Building, Museums & Central Park
New York ranks as a top city to explore on foot. Take a Manhattan walking tour along Fifth Avenue for relaxed sightseeing during a budget NYC summer vacation.
Lower Manhattan packs history, culture, food, and architecture into a tiny geographic area. A Fifth Avenue walking tour slices through multiple districts and tours visitors past some of the city’s most notable sights such as the Empire State Building, the New York Public Library, the Flat Iron Building, and Central Park. Best of all, keeping to Fifth Avenue makes navigation easy as numbered streets keep first-time visitors on-route.
For a cheap NYC summer vacation heading out in a comfy pair of walking shoes and take a self-guided Manhattan walking tour along this 5 miles (8 km) stretch of bustling Fifth Avenue.
Fifth Avenue Walking Tours, Manhattan
Fifth Avenue is a fascinating street to walk as it runs from Washington Square Park in the south to the Museum mile and beyond in the north. Start this Manhattan walking tour in the south at the intersection of Washington Square North and Fifth Avenue. Nearby subway stations include West 4th Street (A, B, C, D, E, F, V) and NYU (R, W).
Washington Square Park makes an ideal spot to begin a walking tour along Fifth Avenue with an impressive arch and a wide, open fountain that draws visitors year-round. From the Greenwich Village park, begin a slow meander heading north along residential than commercial stretches of Fifth Avenue. The route reveals some of New York’s most recognizable landmarks, shops, parks, and museums including:
- Church of the Ascension, Fifth Avenue at 10th St.
- Flat Iron Building, 175 Fifth Ave., the well-known “wedge” building
- Madison Square Park, 1 Madison Ave., where summertime concerts draw families and locals
- Empire State Building, 350 Fifth Ave.
- New York Public Library and Bryant Park, 8 West 40th St.
- Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Ave.
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Fifth Avenue at 50th Street
- Saint Thomas Church, 1 West 53rd St.
- Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 St.
- Trump Tower, 725 Fifth Ave.
- FAO Schwarz, 767 Fifth Ave.
- Central Park, Central Park Street South (59th) and Fifth Avenue
At 59th Street, the Fifth Avenue walking tour begins to follow the eastern boundary of Central Park. The park is home to a famous zoo, skating rinks, and ample green space. But rather than ducking in here, continue on to walk the length of the park and the Museum Mile
Things to See on Manhattan’s Museum Mile
Eleven museums comprise the Museum Mile, which runs along Fifth Avenue from 82nd to 104th streets. A walk along the Museum Mile offers more than a small dose of culture with both well-established museums and lesser-known gems, such as:
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Ave.
- Guggenheim Museum, 1071 5th Ave.
- The Jewish Museum, 1109 5th Ave.
- Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave.
- El Museo del Barrio, 1230 5th Ave.
To end this Manhattan walking tour, take some time to explore one of the museums, and enjoy refreshments at one of the museum cafés or even a hot dog from the inevitable vendors.
Planning a Cheap NYC Vacation
Although often thought of as one of the world’s most expensive cities, New York offers vacationers some excellent, cheap deals. New York self-guided walking tours mean travelers can explore the city in a relaxed place. Best of all, walking the easily navigable streets of Manhattan is a fantastic low-budget option.
In addition to self-guided walking tours, there are multiple free things to do in New York during summer, as well as year-round options for free Manhattan activities.