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Best Ways to Get Around Central Park: Vital Tips from Locals

Exploring Central Park should be on your NYC bucket list. At 843 acres, it’s New York City’s largest urban park.

There is SO much to explore and so many fun and romantic things to do in Central Park!

In this article, we’ll simplify the best ways to get around this sprawling urban oasis so you can efficiently see all the sights.

Here’s what we will cover:

Alright, let’s break down each of the best ways to explore Central Park below.

Note: This article was written by a real live human being, not artificial intelligence. 🥸

Best Ways to Get Around Central Park Podcast

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Pedicabs/Horse-Drawn Carriage in Central Park

3 Tourist Traps in NYC to Avoid at All Costs + Alternatives | Better Together Here

In our opinion, pedicabs and horse-drawn carriage rides are major NYC tourist traps.

They are quite overpriced and don’t fully allow you to explore the actual park. You will mostly just see parts of the park from a distance as you ride by on the road/bike loop that goes around the park.

Either way, here’s some basic info about the pedicabs and horse-drawn carriage rides in Central Park.


Pedicab tours are anywhere from $100-$200 per hour, and this is the discounted price.

They usually cost $3-7 per minute, but we’ve seen them cost as high as $10/min.

You’ll miss most of the most famous spots just because the pedicabs can’t go to the best places, but they are a good option if you can’t comfortably walk or bike.

Learn more about booking a pedicab here.

Horse-Drawn Carriage

Horse-drawn carriage rides cost $120 for a 30-minute ride to $160 for a 45-minute ride, and this does not include tips!

Walk-up prices will be much more expensive.

Let us also say that the condition of the horses is questionable at best.

Should horses really be living in NYC and working on the crowded, car-plagued streets of New York? We don’t think so, and personally have never done one of the carriage rides.

To be an informed consumer, google ‘NYC horse death’ before you take a ride.

If you’d like, you can learn more about horse-drawn carriage rides here.

Bike/Scooter Rental

a row of citi bikes in new york | Better Together Here

One of the best ways to get around Central Park, especially if you want to see lots of the sights, is to rent a bike or scooter.

There is a small road that goes around Central Park, roughly 6 miles. Only park-related vehicles and cops are allowed, so you don’t have to worry about dealing with traffic!

Biking or a scooter are great ways to more quickly get to your next sight you want to see, while also being able to park your ride and explore that area.

A couple of notes on safety while biking or scootering in Central Park. 👇

  1. It is a good idea to wear a helmet
  2. Obey traffic lights throughout the park, including yielding to pedestrians in walkways
  3. Do NOT bike or scooter on the sidewalks
  4. Do NOT trust the hardcore bicyclists to yield, slow down, or stop at lights

Best Central Park Scooter Rental Options

You can book scooter rentals beforehand to secure your ride. You’ll then pick up at a location, typically within a couple of blocks of Central Park.

Prices start at around $25 an hour per scooter.

Book a scooter rental for Central Park here!

Best Central Park Bike Rentals Options

When it comes to biking in Central Park, you have two options.

  1. Rent a Citi bike via the Citi Bike or Lyft app
  2. Rent via a bike rental shop

There are pros and cons to both options.

With Citi Bike, the main advantage is that you can park the bike at any of the dozens of stations around the edges of Central Park to end your ride. So, if you get to Strawberry Fields on the west side of the park and decide you want to go grab lunch nearby, you can park at a station and be done!

On the other hand, if you rent from a bike rental shop, you do not have that flexibility and freedom. You must return your bike to the same pickup location.

And let me tell you, you will often be hard-pressed to find reliable places to park the bike in the city.

On the flip side of all that…

Citi Bike is typically more expensive than a bike rental shop if you plan on biking for more than 30-45 minutes!

Maximize your time in NYC by demystifying the art of navigating the subway, taxis, walking, and biking around the Big Apple!

Free Guide to Getting Around NYC 🗽

Citi Bike Pricing

row of citi bikes which are great for getting around central park | Better Together Here

Citi Bike offers a Day Pass for $19/day. It gives you free bike unlocks and 30 minutes of free rides on a standard bike. After 30 minutes, you pay $4 per extra 15 minutes. If you use an Ebike, you pay $0.30/minute from the start.

The Day Pass is also active for 24 hours, so you can do multiple rides, of 30 minutes or less, for “free” after the initial $19 payment.

Without a day pass, your normal price is $4.79 to unlock the bike and 30 minutes for free on a standard bike or $0.30/minute on an eBike.

Quick math on a 60-minute ride:

  • Day pass = $19 + free 30 minutes + $4 per 15 minutes extra = $27
  • Non-day pass = $4.79 to unlock + free 30 minutes + $0.30 per minute (30 minutes) = $13.79

Again, your main advantage of the day pass is if you plan to do multiple rides within a 24-hour period. You can see a full overview of Citi Bike pricing here.

NOTE #1: If you have Lyft Pink, Citi Bike unlocks are included with 45 minutes for free on a standard bike or $0.20 per minute on an Ebike.

NOTE #2: Citi bike rentals do not come with a helmet.

Central Park Bike Rental Price

Most bike rental shops charge per hour, per bike. Most are located less than a 5-minute bike ride from Central Park.

Again, the main disadvantage of the bike rental shops is that you lose the flexibility to park anywhere to end your ride and the expense of that ride. You are locked into the same location where you picked up the bike.

But if your goal is to bike around the Central Park loop as an activity, then return the bike and go on your way, it can be a great option.

Bike rentals can start as low as $7 per hour per bike. We recommend booking in advance to ensure bike availability.

Book a bike rental for Central Park here!

Bottom Line: Renting from a bike shop is usually cheaper than Citi Bike if you plan to bike for more than 30-45 minutes. The main drawback is the lack of flexibility in being able to park and end your ride anywhere like you can with a Citi bike.

Rollerblading or Skateboarding

If you’re looking for a more unique way to get around Central Park, try rollerblading or skateboarding.

We would not recommend either of these options unless you are skilled at the method. Central Park isn’t the place to learn how to rollerblade!

Skating or rollerblading in Central Park would be fun if you are good but could easily be miserable if you are a novice.

You can rent rollerblades for about $25 for a 24-hour rental. The rental comes with a helmet and pads.

Check out rollerblade rentals here.

While there aren’t places (that we know of) that offer skateboard rentals, this can be a fun option if you bring your own board or know a local who can lend you one!

Maximize your time in NYC by demystifying the art of navigating the subway, taxis, walking, and biking around the Big Apple!

Free Guide to Getting Around NYC 🗽

This Episode’s You’ll Have to Check It Out Segment – Turnstyle Underground Market

Turnstyle Underground Market offers a variety of shops, eateries, and things to do, all right near Central Park.

turnstyle underground market near central park | Better Together Here

It is located in the Columbus Circle subway station, right under the Shops at Columbus Circle.

Hours vary by store, but most are from 11 am – 7 pm.

This market has a wide variety of food spots, shops, and dessert/drink places. Some include:

  • Doughnuttery – Small, unique donuts
  • Criollas – Empanadas
  • Down Under Coffee – Coffee shops
  • Lisa’s Dumplings – Dumplings
  • Panda Bubble Tea – Bubble teas and drinks
  • Dog shop, barbershop, clothing boutiques

Check out Turnstyle Underground Market here.

Bike or Scooter Tours of Central Park

electric scooters are a good way to get around central park | Better Together Here

Bike and scooter tours are a great way to get around AND learn about Central Park!

Most tour guides are knowledgeable about the park and New York City and can offer unique insights into the monuments and sights.

One challenge of these tours is that they’re crowded and involve a large group of people trying to navigate the busy Central Park loop.

There are a variety of bike & scooter tour options in Central Park, but here are a few you can check out:

See all the tour options, including walking tours, here!


walking is the best way to get around central park | Better Together Here

Walking is our favorite way to get around Central Park. It allows you the freedom to navigate sidewalks, trails, and wooded areas, which you CANNOT do on a bike or scooter!

Plus, it’s 100% free!

Our recommendation is to use the free Central Park audio guide and build your own adventure.

And be sure you check out our 3 Central Park hidden gems during your explorations!

Subway + Walking

interior view of an nyc subway car | Better Together Here

If you want to explore a lot of the park or parts that are spread out, the subway is your friend!

You can explore parts of the park, take the subway to a different part, and then return to exploring.

A subway ride costs only $2.90, so it’s a cost-effective way to tour Central Park on your own!

As a note, the west side of the park has better access to the subway than the east side.

The B/C subway runs along Central Park West on the west side of the park. The 72nd Street stop drops you off by The Lake, Bethesda Terrace, Bow Bridge, Strawberry Fields, and The Ramble. It is a 10-minute walk to Bethesda Terrace.

The 81st St Museum of Natural History stop on the B/C line drops you off by Belvedere Castle, the Great Lawn, Turtle Pond, and The Ramble.

Best Ways to Get Around Central Park Recap

riding citi bikes on the central park loop | Better Together Here

No matter how you choose to get around Central Park, make sure exploring this sprawling park is on your list of things to do in New York City!

For more info on Central Park, check out all of our Central Park resources here.

And don’t miss out on our Ultimate Guide to Getting Around New York City! It’s full of step-by-step instructions for using the subway, getting to/from the NYC airports, and learning how to navigate the busy NYC streets.

Download it for free here!

Maximize your time in NYC by demystifying the art of navigating the subway, taxis, walking, and biking around the Big Apple!

Free Guide to Getting Around NYC 🗽

*This post may contain affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.

As long-time lovers of New York City we made the plunge to move across the country to NYC in early 2021... with our 3 dogs at the time (RIP Buddy). We consider ourself experts in exploring new restaurants, finding the best-rated bars, and activities actually worth doing. Plus, my Google Maps organizational skills are 2nd to none. 😜

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