Harlem
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Neighborhood covering the north section of Manhattan Island.
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Admission tickets
from C$35.00
All you need to step foot in the door.
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Top ways to experience Harlem

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles1,194 reviews
Excellent
506
Very good
470
Average
154
Poor
37
Terrible
27

Donna E
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Friends
A fabulous tour by Jojo's Ventures guide Joseph. He is remarkable in his grasp and description of the culture, the history, the politics and times of the different eras of Harlem. It was a fantastic tour and Joseph is a great person as well as guide. Visitors should not miss going on one of his tours of New York. We loved his Harlem tour!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Written October 5, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sheryldapearl
Cincinnati, OH76 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023
Went to Harlem to eat and it was Harlem weekend and it was great! Street party was great, people were nice and party was great.
Written August 14, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TWB
Cincinnati, OH2,502 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022
This was my fifth visit to NYC, first time on foot in Harlem. Rented an Airbnb on West 131st. Parking was insane, but that was because we were there during the African American Day Parade unbeknownst to us and the neighborhood was packed. What a lucky time to visit - the parade was fantastic and the energy was unforgettable. We walked miles and were not ready to leave. Very pretty place.
Written June 8, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jeffry b
Essendon, Australia13,419 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Couples
Harlem is one of the world's best-known black-majority neighborhoods. We stayed in an Airbnb residence, which was very comfortable. When we walked around, no-one even gave us a second glance. We went on a walking tour with a local guide, it was fascinating, especially visiting Harlem's stately churches. Striver's Row is an up-market area for those wealthy enough to live there. Harlem had a bad reputation during the crack epidemic, but it's been cleaned up. We would definitely recommend staying over in Harlem.
Written April 2, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brian T
London, UK8,052 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Friends
If you mention you are going to visit Harlem in Manhattan, you are certain to get the raised eyebrows and the head shaking, usually form people who have never been. It’s probably one of the most maligned, poorly-represented and incorrectly-portrayed areas in New York, yet is is a great part of the city to visit. It’s certainly had its rough decades, but the neighbourhood is experiencing a new renaissance. And like in many parts of the world, this area is as safe, if not safer, than any other neighbourhood if you use the same "street smart" mentality and common sense you would use where you come from.

Harlem was originally a Dutch village, formally organised in 1658; it is named after the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands. Harlem's history has been defined by a series of economic boom-and-bust cycles, with significant population shifts accompanying each cycle. Today Harlem is the centre of African American culture in New York City and a vibrant part of the city; it’s a hotbed of black music, art and culture. But Harlem has been home to many races and ethnic groups including the Dutch, Irish, German, Italian, and Jewish, and as well as being a predominantly black neighbourhood, it present a fabulous diversity and thus offers the the visitor a diverse and eclectic area to explore.

There is lots to see and experience in this neighbourhood. I spent almost a full day walking its streets, taking in its sights, and visiting a couple of cafes and restaurants. I visited with a New Yorker. It was a successful exploration for sure. One of the keys to our success was carefully planning. We had quite a list of local things to see, so mapped out a walking route so that we could see all we wanted to see, and get the feel for this vibrant community city.

Here’s our four favourite spots:

Striver’s Row: It’s a delightful historic district located on both sides of West 138th and West 139th Streets between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Frederick Douglass Boulevard. The distinct architectural styles with a mix of red brick, yellow brick and brownstone are beautifully maintained, adorned with a tangle of wrought iron. It’s a visual treat.

The Apollo Theatre: This legendary theatre which opened in 1914, has launched careers and popularised genres through its devotion to showcasing black talent. The likes of James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis Jr, Billie Holiday and Lauryn Hill found their starting point here.

Harlem’s “Walk of Fame”: On W125th Street by the Apollo Theatre, the “Walk of Fame” is an uptown Manhattan take on Hollywood's "Walk of Stars" that commemorates African-American musical icons with plaques embedded into the sidewalk.

The Cathedral Church of St John the Divine: This massive cathedral has been under construction since 1892, and is not yet finished. One of its chapels contains a bronze three-paneled altar with gold-leaf decoration, designed by Keith Haring just before his death.

But don’t limit yourself to those. Wander, and take in some wonderful street murals, local markets and businesses, little museums and art galleries, and an abundance of cafes and restaurants. We had coffee at a delightful coffee shop in the Hamilton Grange area, and an excellent lunch at the iconic Harlem restaurant that is Sylvia’s.

Many streets and avenues in Harlem are co-named for its famous leaders and residents like Lenox Avenue co-named Malcolm X Boulevard., 125th Street co-named Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevaqrd., and Eighth Avenue co-named Frederick Douglass Boulevard.

It’s a wonderful place to explore; we learnt a lot, and found the locals informative and welcoming. Stay safe, stay aware, and enjoy your visit.
Written October 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BrakiWorldTraveler
Belgrade, Serbia18,626 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
We were arriving by car from Boston, so made Harlem our first stop in NYC. This was our third time in NYC, but the very first one in this northern part of Manhattan.
Seeing so many movies and listening to stereotypes about Harlem, I wanted to get my own impressions.
Honestly, it's an average neighborhood with very few things to see, rather to experience the local atmosphere. We drove around, then parked at various places and did some walking.
I'd point out the Striver's Row as the most beautiful street in Harlem, the Abyssinian Baptist Church - very nice outside, but was closed, the Apollo theater and the lively 125th St - pleasant to walk, felt safe, but unusual seeing many street cardboard stands selling used clothes and fake items in front of regular stores.
To conclude, far from a must see for first time visitors - include it if you've seen all other attractions or you have a lot of time in NYC.
Written June 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bfltd0
London, UK632 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
We stayed for a week in an AirBnb in Harlem on West 122nd St. We used the A train from 125th St quite a lot and also used a couple of buses.

We walked down Fred Douglass Boulevard and shopped at the Lidl down there, as well as at local delis. We ate and drank in the evening at a couple of the restaurants there around 116th St.

On the Sunday we walked down to Redeemer East Harlem on East 116th St and were welcomed warmly, followed by a lunch at a great Senegalese restaurant not too far from there.

Although there were a slightly higher number of obviously homeless persons on the street, we felt perfectly safe, never threatened.

Like any big city, just keep a good amount of situation awareness.

This was our first visit but I am sure it won't be the last.
Written May 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Patricia L
14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
I took the one-hr. walking tour described in Frommer's. Although it was a rainy day, I got to "see the sights" which I reached on the subway. Highly recommended! Although I was a little hesitant, a resident assured me I'd be perfectly safe and I was. The people on the street were kind and pleasant. I was reluctant to visit any of the many churches on a Sunday mornning since I had read parishioners resented intrusive tourists which I opted not to be.
Written April 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jeffry b
Essendon, Australia13,419 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020
Harlem is a neighborhood in the upper section of Manhattan Island, At least since the 1920s, it's been a majority black area, since most whites left. It's been a Mecca for America's blacks, and cultural hub. as far as public safety for visitors is concerned, it is a lot better than it was. We stayed at an Air BandB and had no trouble. By the way, we took a walking tour of Harlem, it was wonderful, we saw the neighborhood from the ground up.

Written January 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

B. Parks
180 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
Improved from years gone by but not a fan and not impressed. Seen it, been there, done, that won't go back.
Written August 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Harlem - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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