Riverside Tower Tours

Experience the beauty and history of The Riverside Church – and enjoy the amazing views – during our awe-inspiring Tower Tours.


Opened in 1930 and modeled after the 13th Century gothic cathedral in Chartres, France, The Riverside Church overlooks the Hudson River, Grant’s Tomb, Columbia University, and West Harlem. As the tallest church tower in North America, Riverside features spectacular 360-degree views and the 74-bell Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Carillon, with one of the largest tuned bell in the world at 20-tons.  In contrast, the smallest bell weighs a mere 10 pounds.

Inside the Nave worship sanctuary, the strivings and aspirations of humanity, both religious and secular, shine through carvings, engravings, stained glass, and other iconography. Our pulpit has long been a forum for important civic and spiritual leaders, including Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, President Clinton, the Dalai Lama, and countless others.

Take Our Awe-Inspiring Tower Tour

Step inside the tallest steeple in North America and see New York City like never before. Our Tower Tour covers a brief Riverside history and the Nave sanctuary before embarking to the outdoor penthouse gallery at the top of the tower offering 360-degree views of the city, with viewings of the carillon and bells on the way up.

Attendees must be in good physical condition to climb up and down approximately six flights of stairs. Max of 10 attendees; children must be 12 or older. Signed waivers required of all attendees.

Schedule:  Twice daily Wednesday-Saturday at 11:00 AM, and 2:00 PM. A special Sunday tour at 3:00 PM is also available, oftentimes featuring a live carillon performance!

Duration:  Approximately 60 minutes

Cost: $20 per person Wednesday-Saturday / $25 per person on Sundays


Tower Tour Information & Rules:

• All Riverside COVID-19 mask mandates and safety protocols must be followed.
• Participants must be 12 years of age or older.
• Each participant must sign a tour waiver and is subject to a bag check.
• No luggage or other large bags allowed.
• There are exactly 145 steps to the top, and the stairs are narrow and winding. Participants affirm their physical fitness.
• No high heels or flip-flops.
• Riverside is not responsible for dropped phones or other items.
• Tours are subject to cancellation due to poor weather or fog. In the event of cancellation, ticket purchasers will be notified approximately 90 minutes before the scheduled tour’s start time and offered the choice to reschedule to future tour or have their tickets refunded.

Prepare For Your Tour

Space is limited on each tour and purchasing advance tickets is recommended. All tours begin and end at our Welcome Center / Gift Shop. Please plan to arrive at least 10 minutes before the tour is set to begin. To enhance your enjoyment and safety, please note:

• While we do our best to avoid cancellation, all tours may be cancelled or postponed due to weather or scheduling conflicts.
• Tours are scheduled year-round, but are closed on all major U.S. holidays.
• No food or drink allowed.
• There is no bag check. You are responsible for and must be able to carry all belongings on your person throughout the tour.
• Photography is welcome, but no tripods are allowed.

Virtual Tower Tour

Groups & Special Opportunities

Discounted Group Tours (minimum 6 attendees) are available at regularly scheduled dates/times (if enough slots are available) or by appointment. In addition, Riverside offers a wide variety of event and meeting spaces large and small, from classrooms to banquet halls, with multiple catering options, and personalized setup. Perfect for combining a tour with a lunch meeting or gathering! Contact Raymond Rodriguez at 212.870.6792 or via email for more information. Net rates and vouchers available.

Take a Survey

Thank you for joining us on one of our tours, and we hope you enjoyed your tour experience at The Riverside Church. Your feedback plays a crucial role in helping us improve our tour offerings.  Please take just a few minutes to complete this brief survey to let us know about your experience.