Columbia University Tours

Columbia University is the oldest institution of higher learning in New York, and the fifth oldest in the USA. Fans of history and of architecture will be interested in the university’s historic buildings, which have been highlighted in many feature films. Most notable is Low Memorial Library, which appears in the New York City Register of Historic Places. Built in the Roman classical style, the former library now contains the university’s visitor center and its administration offices.

Just below the library is a large plaza – a popular gathering place for students. Past a promenade (called College Walk) is the south campus where Butler Library, Columbia’s main library, stands. South campus also contains the student center, student residences, classroom buildings, and the Graduate School of Journalism. North of Low Library is Pupin Hall, a national historic landmark due to the atomic research done there by Columbia's scientists. East of Low Library is St. Paul's Chapel, which also appears in New York City’s Register of Historic Places.

The university also has many modern buildings, and visitors can download an audio walking tour of the architecture to their audio devices. The tour is guided by Andrew Dolkart, an architectural historian and a professor of architectural history at Columbia. Starting at the visitors center in Low Library, the tour includes almost two dozen stops at the university’s architectural highlights.

Practical Info

Groups smaller than ten people may feel free to tour the campus on their own. Maps and other materials for self-guided tours are available online and at the university’s visitors center. Visitors with disabilities may request an accessible campus tour (three weeks advance notice is required). The visitors center is open Monday – Friday; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The only building visitors without a Columbia ID are allowed to enter is Low Library.
Location
Address: 16th St & Broadway, New York City, New York, USA 10027, USA
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Hours: Visitor Center open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
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5 Tours & Activities to Experience

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New York City Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour Uptown

Explore the best of Uptown New York City on this narrated, hop-on hop-off, double-decker bus tour. Visit many of Upper Manhattan’s top attractions and locations — like the historic neighborhood of Harlem, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Columbia University and the Apollo Theater, just to name a few. Select the day pass, then board at any of the stops and get to know the sights and sounds of Uptown Manhattan in customized fashion, with live onboard commentary from a professional tour conductor.
  • Duration: 2 hours
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US$40.00
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  • Duration: 2 hours
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US$40.00

New York Helicopter Tour: Ultimate Manhattan Sightseeing

See New York City’s breathtaking skyline and the many iconic sights of the city on this 17-20 minute helicopter flight. Soar over the Big Apple with an exclusive sightseeing tour of the Manhattan skyline and beyond, including the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, One World Trade Center and Central Park, to name just a few, plus Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and much more. Then continue up the Hudson River to see even more of Manhattan. A variety of departure times are available throughout the day to fit into almost any schedule.
  • Duration: 20 minutes
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US$299.00
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  • Duration: 20 minutes
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US$299.00

Complete New York, New York Helicopter Tour

Get a bird's-eye view of the Big Apple with this 20-minute helicopter tour. Soar over all five boroughs, passing the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, Brooklyn Bridge, and more.
  • Duration: 20 minutes
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US$309.00
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  • Duration: 20 minutes
From
US$309.00

New York Helicopter Tour: Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island

See New York City’s breathtaking skyline and the many iconic sights of the city on this 28-30 minute helicopter flight. Soar over the Big Apple with an exclusive sightseeing tour of the Manhattan skyline and beyond, including the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, One World Trade Center and Central Park, to name just a few, plus Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and much more. Then continue to see Brooklyn, Staten Island and more. A variety of departure times are available throughout the day to fit into almost any schedule.
  • Duration: 30 minutes
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US$389.00
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  • Duration: 30 minutes
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US$389.00

Harlem Gospel Sunday Tour

Experience the rich cultural legacy of Harlem and the soul-stilling rhythms of gospel on an immersive Sunday morning tour. Travel through the northern Manhattan neighborhood with a guide while learning about the history of the area and its landmarks like the Apollo Theater, Sugar Hill and Columbia University. Then, join a local Baptist congregation for a Sunday service featuring the exuberant vocals of a live gospel choir. 
  • Duration: 4 hours
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US$65.00
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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US$65.00


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