Gospel Tours in New York

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Gospel Singer New York

Take one of the gospel tours in New York to experience gospel music and the atmosphere, live in a church in Harlem or Brooklyn. 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.

Book the Harlem Gospel Tour here

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 life, racial inequalities, politics, the diverse 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 at how varied the Harlem landscape is. During the tour, you will see the Apollo Theater and the house where Alexander Hamilton used to live.

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, and 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 an extremely long queue to get in. Therefore, taking one of the gospel tours in New York 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 the gospel is incredible but not as glamorous 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 and you are not allowed to take any photos.

Gospel Tours in New York - Show at lunch  Gospel Tours in New York Harlem

Revisiting Harlem’s History

Harlem had a bad reputation for being one of the most crime-ridden neighbourhoods in New York. But, Harlem is much more than its stigma. On this tour, you will revisit Harlem’s history and for example, learn about the Harlem Renaissance, a time when Harlem was a vibrant place to be for young artists, writers and poets. You’ll pass by landmarks like the Apollo Theatre, the Hamilton Grange National Memorial and the City College of New York, among others.

Soul Food

Gospel Tours in New York - Soulfood in HarlemAfter the gospel, there is the option to have brunch at a local  Harlem restaurant. Note that this option needs to be booked beforehand. 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 have visited on my own were it not for the tour. It had a rich history and live music. The food was good – you can expect cornbread, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and much much more.

Eric’s Tip: “You don’t need to dress up in your finest but please don’t wear shorts or flip-flops. Also, the church might ask for a small donation which isn’t an obligation but good to have a few dollars on you if you’d like to give something.”

Practical Information

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 hours
  • Departure Point: Near Times Square on 8th Avenue
  • Departure Time: 09:00

Book the Harlem Gospel Tour on Sunday here

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 and more on the community. As such you will visit a community centre and experience how the gospel impacts the daily lives of people from the community.

Book the Harlem Gospel Tour on Wednesday here

Harlem Walking Gospel Tour

If you would rather walk through Harlem then perhaps this walking tour is for you. The tour departs on Sundays and is a great introduction to Harlem and its gospel, you will also visit a gospel church. You will end this guided tour with a delicious brunch in a local restaurant.

Book the Harlem Gospel Walking tour on Sunday here

Gospel Tour New York Harlem Gospel Choir

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