*Featured image credit: Alina Zamogilnykh / Shutterstock.com
Each New York City neighborhood has its own distinct vibe, and exploring the area on foot is the best way to experience this. From historic Harlem to the gory past of Little Italy, these are some of New York City’s best walking tours.Gangster Walking Tour, Little Italy
Little Italy is known for having quite the gory past, with everything from bloody feuds to the rise and fall of the New York mafia. While the streets today may be lined with Italian eateries and small boutiques, the Gangster Walking Tour of New York will reveal all of the neighborhood’s deepest and darkest secrets.
Harlem Renaissance Tour, Harlem
With its elegant architecture and lively ambiance, Harlem is the perfect area to explore on foot. The Harlem Renaissance, which lasted from the 1920’s to the 1930’s, was a hugely important time in this neighborhood, and is believed to be the point at which African-American culture experienced quite the rebirth. The three hour Harlem Renaissance Tour will teach you all about this, while showcasing a few of the individuals that really made this time period so influential.
Tenements, Tales and Tastes, Lower East Side
New York City’s Lower East Side is home to some truly diverse neighborhoods, from Chinatown to Loisaida to Little Italy. The Tenements, Tales and Tastes tour focuses on these tenement-lined neighborhoods, and features stories that depict the distinct culture of each. In addition to using your feet to explore everything from historic synagogues to an African burial ground, you will also be touring the area with your mouth, stopping off at various eateries to taste the local, authentic flavors from each neighborhood.
Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour, Williamsburg
Known for being one of the hipster capitals of the world, Brooklyn is packed with history, culture and creativity. The Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour is a relaxed neighborhood stroll that encompasses some of Brooklyn’s highlights, from its street art to its architecture to its innovative small businesses. You will also learn about Brooklyn’s past, and how it used to be known for immigration, beer brewing, and manufacturing, while discovering how the recent gentrification has helped the neighborhood to evolve.
High Line and Chelsea Walking Tour, Chelsea
The High Line has now become an iconic part of New York, as has the neighborhood that it runs through, Chelsea. Once an area of rural farmland, Chelsea is now known for its cutting-edge art galleries, as well as its thriving gay scene, and this two hour walking tour gives you the low down on how this change happened. The tour includes a walk along the High Line, where you will be able to take in the creative way in which this abandoned train track was turned into a beautiful landscaped park.
Each of New York’s neighborhoods are truly fascinating, and while you may enjoy a few glimpses of them as you pass by on a tour bus, taking a stroll around their streets is the best way to soak up their individuality. From touring and tasting the Lower East Side, to discovering Little Italy’s deep, dark secrets, these walking tours will give you such a unique insight into different parts of the city.