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Columbia University Tours and Activities

Columbia University
One of the most esteemed institutes of higher learning in the United States, Columbia was established in 1754 as King’s College. Today, the Ivy League university continues to be celebrated for its academic reputation and striking architecture. And if the campus looks familiar, you may have seen it in a Hollywood blockbuster or two.

The Basics
Located amid the skyscrapers and bustle of Manhattan, Columbia University is home to a surprisingly sheltered and classic college campus complete with green quads and eye-catching architecture, including several National Historic Landmarks. Highlights include Low Memorial Library (recognizable by its neoclassical dome), Butler Library (inscribed with the names of luminaries such as Aristotle and Shakespeare), and Pupin Hall (associated with the Manhattan Project). And be sure to look out for filming locations—the campus has appeared in dozens of movies, from Ghostbusters to Spider-Man.

Wander around campus on your own, or go with a guide for additional insight. Columbia is featured on numerous New York City tours, from Harlem and Upper West Side neighborhood excursions to bike jaunts and architecture-themed itineraries.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Thanks to ramps and elevators, the bulk of Columbia’s campus is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
  • The visitors center is located in Low Memorial Library.
  • Daniel Chester French’s Alma Mater statue—located on the steps of Low Library—is an important symbol of the university; for good luck, see if you can find the owl hidden in her robes.

How to Get There

Take subway line 1 to 116th and Broadway station. Columbia is also served by numerous bus lines (including the M60, which connects the university to LaGuardia Airport).

When to Get There

Columbia’s campus is free and open to visitors throughout the year, though entry to student buildings is generally prohibited unless you’re on a tour. In early winter, don’t miss the university’s festive tree lighting ceremony on College Walk.

Nearby Attractions

Following your campus tour, take the opportunity to explore a few other highlights in the surrounding neighborhood of Morningside Heights. Visit the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, one of the world’s largest Anglican churches; take a walk in scenic Morningside Park or Riverside Park; grab a bite at Tom’s Diner, of Seinfeld fame. Or, head to nearby Harlem to see the Apollo Theater and other neighborhood attractions.
Address: 116th St & Broadway, New York City, New York 10027, USA
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4 Tours and Activities to Experience Columbia University

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Free Cancellation:Get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance on most experiences.See Details
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New York Helicopter Tour: Ultimate Manhattan Sightseeing

Special Offer

New York Helicopter Tour: Ultimate Manhattan Sightseeing

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See New York City’s breathtaking skyline and the many iconic sights of the city on this 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.
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  • 17 to 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$244.24
$284.00
$39.76 savings
From
$244.24
$284.00
$39.76 savings
Taking safety measures

New York Helicopter Tour: Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island

Special Offer

New York Helicopter Tour: Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island

star-5
123
See New York City’s breathtaking skyline and the many iconic sights of the city on this 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.
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  • 25 to 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$336.60
$374.00
$37.40 savings
From
$336.60
$374.00
$37.40 savings
Taking safety measures

NYC Harlem and Gospel Tour by Bus

NYC Harlem and Gospel Tour by Bus

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Get an in-depth look at the thriving culture of Harlem during this 4-hour sightseeing excursion including the chance to attend a Gospel mass at a local church. Learn about Harlem’s religious side by attending a Gospel mass and touring the famous St. John the Divine church. You’ll also explore Harlem landmarks like the Apollo Theater, Sylvia’s restaurant, and much more.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$59.00
From
$59.00

Harlem-Bronx Small Group Bike Tour

Harlem-Bronx Small Group Bike Tour

Experience some of New York City’s less touristy corners with this two-wheeled excursion in Harlem and the Bronx. Embark on a 25 mile journey from 129th Street and enjoy activities that include exploring Manhattan’s historic black neighborhood, cruising by the Bronx Zoo, marveling at Alexander Hamilton’s home, capturing memorable photos of the Apollo Theater, and checking out the Edgar Allan Poe Cottage.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$136.54
From
$136.54

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Columbia University?