Why is New York City so tall, so expensive and so fast-moving? Why does it attract so many bankers, gangsters, models and celebrity chefs? The answers are all here, hiding in plain sight at some of the most famous places in the world, and you'll get to learn all about them during this two-hour walking tour. Some of the sites we'll see are:
- The New York Stock Exchange: Founded by men who sold investments from the street, it now occupies a marble palace that ranks among the world's most important buildings.
- The Federal Reserve Bank of New York: Housed in an over-sized imitation of a Florentine fortress, this institution polices New York’s bankers and guards the world’s largest gold reserve.
- The World Trade Center: The rising buildings now tower over Ground Zero, but they have not erased the memory of the Twin Towers or those who perished in them.
- City Hall: This small marble structure ranks among the most elegant government buildings anywhere, but its good looks belie its sordid history of corruption and scandal.
What Is Not Included?
- Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?
- Tickets must be purchased in advance and tours often sell out quickly. To maximize your chances of getting the day and time you prefer, please book well in advance. Tickets can be purchased with a Visa, Mastercard or American Express.
- Does this tour run in all weather?
- Yes, tours run in all weather including rain, snow and extreme temperatures. Of course in the case of any extreme weather events that could shut down public transit, we may need to cancel.
- How long do tours last?
- Tours are approximately two hours long.
- Do I need to purchase tickets for young children?
- Children 6 years old and under do not need a ticket as they are too young to really understand the subject matter. However, if you are bringing young children, please let us know when purchasing your tickets.
- How much walking is involved?
- On this tour we cover about 1.5 miles over mostly flat ground.
- Where does the tour end?
- The tour ends near City Hall Park which is a little under a mile from the starting location. Your tour guide will gladly help direct you back to the meeting location or wherever your trip takes you next.
- Does the entire tour take place outside or do we enter any buildings?
- Most of the tour is outdoors, but we do go inside a couple of locations. On all tours we do enter the World Financial Center to get a great view of the Ground Zero site. We also go inside Federal Hall, but only on weekdays, as it is not open on the weekends.
- Do we visit the Ground Zero Memorial site on this tour?
- No, on this tour we walk around the Ground Zero area and get to view it from the World Financial Center, but this tour does not include admission to the Ground Zero Memorial site. Reserved tickets for the memorial must be booked months in advance through the memorial foundation.
- Is the tour accessible by wheelchair or stroller?
- Not reliably. There are several points where climbing stairs is necessary as the nearby elevators are often out of service, which can make the tour difficult for wheelchairs. For those with strollers, we suggest bringing a small umbrella stroller that folds easily and can be carried when needed.
- Are there bathrooms along the way?
- There are no scheduled restroom stops on the tour, but we can generally find facilities if the need arises.
- Will I be able to shop and buy souvenirs along the way?
- No, unfortunately there is no time for shopping on this tour as we'll need to keep on schedule.
- Are cameras allowed on the tour?
- Yes, cameras are allowed and encouraged as there will be multiple photo opportunities.
- Is there parking available near the meeting spot?
- Parking can be difficult in New York City and therefore we encourage people to use mass transportation. If you are driving, we suggest parking in a nearby parking garage. Several parking options will be provided after purchasing your tickets. Please keep in mind that the tour ends a little less than a mile away from the meeting spot.
- Are tours offered in any language but English?
- No. Being Americans, we are all monolingual, but we are cosmopolitan enough to be embarrassed by this shortcoming.
- Do you offer gift certificates?
- Yes. If you are interested in purchasing a gift certificate, please click on the "Contact MetroWalks" link on the left side of the page for more information.
- Are private tours available?
- Certainly. We can do private versions of any tour we offer — or entirely customized tours — at any time on any day of the week. Please click on the "Contact MetroWalks" link to email us with your request.
When designing tours, he tries to use quirky individual stories to illustrate broad and important points about how the City operates. Walkers spend most of their time laughing at improbable tales and only later realize that they've been tricked into learning stuff.
His tour repertoire covers everything from Dutch history to today's headlines, touching on architecture, city politics, pop culture, financial shenanigans, and much more. He combines all these individually interesting topics to leave walkers with a sum that is greater than its parts: a sense of what makes New York unique and how it got to be this way.