This tour first leads us through Mount Morris Park Historical District area. Here you will find a multitude of churches rich with history and also where our founding fathers made their homes. Some of the most well known musicians and entertainers started their journeys here. Much of the music that began here is now immortalized in American Pop Culture for future generations to enjoy.
Heading through uptown on a Sunday morning you will hear and enjoy the sights and sounds of Harlem at its best. Toe-clapping, foot-stomping, and the soulful rhythms of Black gospel music fill the air; participate in sermons and homilies given by Harlem's most prominent. Celebrate with the world famous congregational choirs of the Convent Avenue Baptist Church, United House of Prayer, Abyssinian Baptist Church and the Roman Catholic Church of the Resurrection, whose renowned singers will have you jumping in your seat.
Now that you have the feel of the spiritual energy flowing through you what about topping off your day with some of the area's best kept secrets? Fine dining at reasonable prices. Let Harlem's finest culinary masters delight and tempt you with their authentic ethnic delights - just for you!
The gospel and brunch tour is a day well spent both outdoors and indoors and will be an experience you will not soon forget!
Please Note: Tours do not operate on the following dates:
Tours departs from 2360 8th Avenue (Frederick Douglass Blvd.) Between 126th & 127th Street. A, B, C, or D, to 125th Street, exit near intersection of W 125th St and St Nicholas Ave., walk east one block on 125th street to 8th Avenue (Frederick Douglass Blvd.), turn left and walk to 126th & 127th Streets. You will see the sign for Welcome to Harlem. 2 or 3 trains to 125th Street, exit on the left side of the station and walk west two blocks to 8th Avenue (Frederick Douglass Blvd.), turn right and walk to 126th & 127th Streets. You will see the sign for Welcome to Harlem.
This tour must be booked at least 48 hours in advance
Please note that our website has a default setting which indicates a shipment will be made, however, tickets are not necessary and will not be mailed to you. Please ignore all emails regarding shipments.
Posted by Joel on 9th May 2011
Very good and pleasant visit, with a complete tour in Harlem (history, architecture, peoples, ...) of more than 1hour! Then, the mass in a Gospel ceremony... very changing compared to France. Finally the sool found with a great help from Carolyn to choose :-) Last ut not least, she even showed us what the appartments look like there, which you cannot guess from the street. I definitevely advise this tour, it will change your opinion on Harlem. Special thanks to Carolyn who made it so pleasant.
Posted by Maria Dybdal on 28th Apr 2011
Thank you Carolyn for a most memorable and personal guided walking tour around Harlem. The wole tour was another reminder of how many things there are in life to learn more about and how enrichening it is to get a closer look into the life of a community very much different from the one we come from. My whole family wishes you the best and sincer ely recommend others to contact Carolyn for a guided tour.
Posted by Maria João Duarte on 19th Apr 2011
I really enjoy the sunday morning I spent with Carolyn, knowing and feeling the Harlem's spirit, history and culture. The gospel celebration was amazing and we had brunch in a very pleasant place. Carolyn was always nice and friendly, answered all my questions and I saw how she loves Harlem and understands it.
Posted by claudia & peter on 17th Apr 2011
it was first time that we visited harlem and are still impressed. carolyn is a phantastic guide and showed us "her" harlem. we will definitely come back and looking forward to learn more of this amazing part of new york. including delicious soulfood and powerful gospel.
Posted by Katya A. on 17th Feb 2011
Thank you thank you. The tour exceeded our expectations! We were a group of three (one adult and two children) and Carolyn made the tour interesting and relevant for our group. Even though it was freezing outside, we managed to get warmed up with hot cocoa along the way (thank you) and learned a bunch of great history and culture about Harlem. The best part of the tour, of course, was the lovely gospel service. Wow! As one of the kids said afterward, "this would make me wanna come back to church!" Thanks Carolyn...you really provided a warm and intimate look at Harlem!
Posted by Unknown on 31st Dec 2010
My friend and I met Carolyn one Sunday morning for a tour of Harlem. After reviewing a number of tour options online, I chose Welcome to Harlem,Inc. as this was the only tour run by a local. Carolyn's knowledge and love for Harlem came through clearly on the tour. She shared lots of interesting information about the history, people, buildings, politics and more! The church we attended to listen to gospel singing was small and personal, and the singing was beautiful. Brunch at the Supreme cafe, which is a small place with delicious food. I strongly recommend joining Welcome to Harlem for a wonderful tour of a very interesting place
Posted by Annette & Ross on 21st Dec 2010
Just a quick note to say thanks for the wonderful tour of Harlem that you conducted on Sunday.
Your friendly manner and knowledge of the local area made the tour very interesting and informative.
We have travelled extensively and done many walking tours. Your Gospel Brunch Tour was fantastic!
The visit to the church was entertaining to say the least. The soul food restaurant that we had lunch at after the church service was an interesting food experience. Coming from Australia we don’t have access to food like that. While we normally enjoy only healthy food the soul food was an interesting social and food experience.
Thanks again for a great tour and for opening our eyes to the true Harlem rather than that reinforced by Hollywood and the media. We spent two hours walking along 125th Street after we parted ways and bought some great stuff from the locals.
Have a safe and happy festive season.
Posted by Christine on 15th Dec 2010
My friend and I met Carolyn one Sunday morning for a tour of Harlem. After reviewing a number of tour options online, I chose Welcome to Harlem,Inc. as this was the only tour run by a local. Carolyn's knowledge and love for Harlem came through clearly on the tour. She shared lots of interesting information about the history, people, buildings, politics and more! The church we attended to listen to gospel singing was small and personal, and the singing was beautiful. Brunch at the Supreme cafe, which is a small place with delicious food. I strongly recommend joining Welcome to Harlem for a wonderful tour of a very interesting place.
Posted by Rob van den Hurk on 13th Dec 2010
Carolyn Johnson is a nice lady. She knows a lot about the neighbourhood, gave us a lot of details and listened to us. My father (for he is 74 years old) needed some extra caring and slow walking. She did all that. Besides she stopped providing us with infomation we said we did not want. Very professional !
Posted by Kim & Dirk on 19th Nov 2010
we did the Gospel & Brunch Tour on Sunday with Carolyn and it was really amazing ! She made us all fall in love with Harlem !!!
Posted by Kim on 19th Nov 2010
Carolyn was amazing. She had such great stories and insight into the area. She is very passionate about what she is doing and we benefited tremendously from that passion. My 20 year old daughter and I had an amazing time and realized how little we knew. I am looking forward to reading Carolyn's book.
Posted by Jim & Linda, Minnesota on 19th Nov 2010
Planning for our first visit to New York City, we made plane reservations, theater reservations and a couple of tour reservations including the “Gospel and Brunch Tour” offered by Welcome to Harlem Tours. Through the years we had often heard of Harlem, for us an exotic sounding place, so it was natural to want to see it. And we both like gospel music, so signing up for this tour was an easy decision, but we had no idea what to expect. The tour we got was amazing. We experienced, “Harlem up Close and Personal.” Our guide, Carolyn Johnson, walked us around the neighborhoods, pointing out landmarks relating to the struggle for racial equality, relating to social and political history, and relating to economic development (including the building where Clinton has his offices). She explained exactly what a “brownstone” is and she invited us into hers! And, true to our tour’s name, we attended a church service and listened to real gospel music. Carolyn Johnson is made up of three parts; she is a thorough and well-informed historian, she is an enthusiastic promoter of her community, and she is a female version of Chris Rock—when we photographed her she said, “Tell your children I’m their long-lost sister.” If we had to recommend just one of the things we did in New York City it would be a Welcome to Harlem Tour. An awesome experience! Jim & Linda, Minnesota ...
Posted by Wolfram Koehler on 19th Nov 2010
A very personal and passionate guidance through streets where you otherwise would not realize the important things to see. Highly informative about historical and present-day meanings and the stories the houses, streets and names of this famous as well as underestimated borough can tell. Gives interesting and colourful insider facts about current problems and projects in Harlem.As pivot of the tour the visit of a gospel service in a nearby Baptist Church,quite authentic, really fascinating and filling with enthusiasm.If you want you can feel as part of the choir there.- Brunch in a very nice and friendly restaurant to round everything off.- This is a highly recommendable tour,also to start with and go further.
Posted by Claudio Buzzi on 19th Nov 2010
Abbiamo avuto la fortuna di passare alcune splendide ore insieme a Carolyn alla scoperta di Harlem e nonostante i nostri limiti con la lingua inglese, il tour è stato molto interessante; una diversa prospettiva su uhn quartiere diverso nell'aspetto e nelle aspettative. Indimenticabile e coinvolgente poi la funzione religiosa a cui abbiamo assistito. Veramente un diverso modo di pregare rispetto al nostro modo così tetro. Atmosfera familiare e rilassata a pranzo con Carolyn; diversi dai soliti tour con guida. Insomma un bel ricordo. ... MoreLess
Posted by Georgina on 19th Nov 2010
Hi! my name is Georgina I am an Irish travel agent. I would really recommend Welcome to Harlem Tours to anyone who wants to see harlem properly and in depth. The tours are conducted by fully licensed tour guides who actually live in Harlem so they know best and the tours they offer are very very comprehensive and last for more than 5 hours and do include your lunch.so totally recommended!
Posted by Kim Ortlepp on 19th Nov 2010
Wir haben zu zweit eine Tour durch Harlem gebucht. Da wir überpünktlich da waren, mussten wir etwas vor dem Büro warten. Dabei hatten wir schon ein mulmiges Gefühl, da alle um uns herum einen dunklen Hauttyp hatten und wir die einzigen Weißen waren. Carolyn hat uns herzlich begrüßt und kurz ins Büro mitgenommen. Danach sind wir dann quer durch das Viertel gelaufen und sie hat uns viele interessante Geschichten über Harlem erzählt. Schon bald haben wir auch den Künstler Frank kennen gelernt. Er macht diese tollen Bilder auf den Rolläden der Geschäfte. Da es März war und recht frisch sind wir nach einigen umherlaufen zum Aufwärmen in ein Cafe gegangen - lecker!!! Es muss nicht immer Starbucks in NYC sein. Von dort haben wir uns auf den Weg zur Kirche gemacht. Ich wollte schon immer an einem Gospelgottesdienst teilnehmen und ich bereue es nicht. Es war noch besser als ich es mir vorgestellt habe. Manchmal etwas laut, aber die reinste Party und nicht so altmodisch wie bei uns. Ich kann es nur jedem empfehlen mal mitgemacht zu haben! Nach dem Gottesdienst sind wir dann noch kurz zu Carolyn gegangen und sie hat uns Ihre Wohnung gezeigt. Sie wohnt mitten im Viertel in diesen typischen braunen Häusern, aber die Wohnungen sind wirklich toll. Vielleicht mitunter ein wenig schmal, aber mit sehr hohen Decken. Da sie im Erdgeschoss wohnt, hat sie auch einen Garten mit einer Terasse und das mitten in Harlem! Carolyn hat uns ihr Harlem gezeigt, wie sie es kennt und liebt. Jeder denkt zuerst an ein Gangsterviertel, aber das ist es gar nicht. Wahrscheinlich ist man es als Deutscher nur nicht gewohnt als einziger Weißer durch ein Stadtviertel zu schlendern. Ich kann jedem diese Tour empfehlen. Man sieht Harlem danach mit anderen Augen und Carolyn macht ihren Job großartig!... MoreLess
Posted by Amy Lamica on 19th Nov 2010
Carolyn, Thank you so much for such a great day! The brownstones were beautiful, the music was fabulous, & the lunch was delicious! (Not to mention the cupcakes.) Your vast amount of knowledge is truly amazing and we can't wait until we can come back for the Soul Food & Jazz Tour! Please let us know when the Harlem Travel Guide becomes available so we can purchase one. Blessings!
Posted by Erik and Gerda on 19th Nov 2010
In spite of the bad weather, we had a great time in Harlem. And that is because of the great Carolyn. She knows "everything" about her Harlem and want to share this info. For us it was very impressive and emotional to be part of the servive in the Baptist Church. The brunch was lovely in a nice eatery. All in all: a great time thanks to Carolyn.... MoreLess
Posted by Marei Breuss on 19th Nov 2010
"Totally different!" That was my thought after our tour with Carolyn from Welcome to Harlem Inc. She took my old dusty and dangerous image from Harlem and changed it into a friendly, caring and open image of a great neighbourhood. It was a cold day at the end of March and me and my friend waited at a corner to meet Carolyn. We had the feeling that everybody was watching us and we didn’t feel comfortable. Then came Carolyn and took us on a great tour through Harlem. In three hours we learned about the past, present and future of this part of New York. And not only numbers but feelings and emotional stories about fights, loss and victory. Carolyn introduced Franco to us, the painter who is famous for his drawings on shop blinds. He welcomes everybody if tourist or local, chats and poses for pictures. And he is not the only one Carolyn knows. She greeted so many people on our way through the district and everybody had some warm words and a smile for us. In a nice little café we took a little rest and drank a hot coffee to warm us up before we went to church. It was such a great experience to be part of this Sunday mass. In my home country Germany there is a way less people. Everybody is quiet and listens to the prayers, the songs lack of emotion and it is so boring. Totally different in a church in Harlem. Great music, lively and confident people. You can sing along, shout your prayer and praise the Lord in your very own way. And everybody is happy for and with you, supportive and compassionate. Unfortunately there were some tourists who just watched and listened but didn’t participate. They sat there and ogled the people like animals in the zoo. Me and my friend clapped along and were so grateful to be there. We never ever had such a great mass. The last highlight on the tour for me was Carolyns own house. She invited us to have a look at the interior of her brownstone house and we were totally impressed. Brick stone walls and high ceilings, a metal spiral staircase combined with much colour and African statues. I and my friend had a wonderful Sunday morning and we not only recommend but beg you to take this tour with Welcome to Harlem Inc. You learn so much interesting things about Harlem and meet many friendly and welcoming people in church and on the street. Thank you very much Carolyn!... MoreLess
Posted by Vita Teichler on 19th Nov 2010
we had the chance to meet Carolyn,she was al lovely guide with a lot of intersting things to explain of the history and the problems of nowadays about Harlem.She showed us small nice invidual coffeeshop and a good restaurant where we had after the gospel service a lovely lunch.The most exiting was that she invited us to her home to see a real brown stone house form the inside!The Gospel service was a high light of this day.I was very pleased to sit among the black people and not at the side where all the other tourists sat.So it was more exciting to watch the people near by. Harlem is really a nice and secure place to go to,I wish that all Americans will visit it!