Gospel Tours New YorkBuy tickets now
Visiting a gospel church in Harlem is very popular. The gospel music and the atmosphere in the Harlem church is truly incredible. To avoid disappointment, long queues and bad etiquette you should take a gospel tour so you can experience authentic gospel music in Harlem. Accompanied by a guide you will experience Harlem and gospel music up close and understand why it is so popular.
Experience Harlem Gospel
The tour starts in Midtown Manhattan. You can sit on either side of the bus as there is plenty to see on both sides. The guide will talk about the diverse ethnical culture of Harlem and its history as you drive from Midtown to 110th Street – Harlem’s Gate. You will have ample photo opportunities and surely be surprised how varied the Harlem landscape is.
Visiting a church on your own as a tourist is not done. Firstly, there are strict unwritten rules to adhere to, then the problem of joining and leaving the ceremony, lastly a lot of churches simply do not welcome tourists. If you are lucky enough to find a hospitable church on a Sunday morning on your own, you’ll probably have to stand in a extremely long queue to get in. Therefore, taking a tour is the best option. Not only that, it’s cultural, fun and educational!
In Harlem there are more than 400 churches! In one of these churches you will be able to swing and dance, and maybe even sing, to the powerful gospel music. Participating in gospel is incredible but not as glamorous perhaps as movies such as Sister Act would have us believe. These are real people singing their worship and praise, something important to remember. In some churches the choir wears gowns, in some they don’t. It’s not a show.
Revisiting Harlem’s History
Harlem had a bad reputation of being one of the most crime-ridden neighbourhoods in New York. True, its history includes crime, drugs and destruction. So why would you want to visit such a neighbourhood? Because Harlem is much more than its stigma. On this tour you will revisit Harlem’s history and learn about for example the Harlem Renaissance, when Harlem was vibrant and the place to be for young artists, writers and poets.
After gospel, there is the option to have lunch in a local Harlem restaurant. Note that this option needs to be booked beforehand here. I would highly recommend this as not only does it offer the perfect end to the tour, but it allows you to sample the local cuisine – soul food.
I was welcomed at a local restaurant, a place that I would never had visited on my own were it not for the tour. It had a rich history and live music. The food was good – expect corn bread, fried chicken and macaroni and cheese and much much more.
After purchasing you will receive a voucher that you can print and exchange for a ticket at the bus stop, or show as a mobile voucher on your phone.
- Duration: 4.5 hours
- Departure Point: Near Times Square on 8th Avenue
- Departure Time: 09:30 a.m.
Harlem Gospel Tour on Wednesdays
There is also the option to take a Gospel Tour on Wednesday. This tour is pretty much the same but it focuses less on the church but more on the community. As such you will visit a community centre and experience how gospel plays a role in the daily lives of people from the community.
Harlem Walking Gospel Tour
If you would rather walk through Harlem then join this walking tour that will also take you to a gospel church. The tour departs on Sundays and is a great introduction to Harlem and it’s gospel. You will end this guided tour with a delicious brunch in a local restaurant.
Brooklyn Gospel Tour
You can also take a gospel music walking tour in Brooklyn. This tour includes a fair amount of walking but is at the same time a nice way to discover more of Brooklyn. The guide is very informative and interacts with the crowd in a fun way. The tour finishes with a 2-hour gospel church service. You’ll be amazed by the Grammy Award-winning choir. (Please note that it’s not possible to visit the Brooklyn Tabernacle on your own.)
After purchasing you will receive a voucher that you can print and use as your ticket, or show as a mobile ticket on your phone.
- Duration: 4.5 hours
- Departure Point: Trinity Church, Lower Manhattan
- Departure Time: 09:00 a.m.
- MetroCard not included