Historic Harlem

Emphasizing the Harlem Renaissance, this tour looks at the history, architecture & people of this remarkable neighborhood.

Harlem is the center of African-American history and culture not only in New York City but in the entire United States. Our tour explores the history of Harlem, from its origins as a Dutch Village in the 17th century through its transformation into the “Capital of Black America” in the early 20th. We will place the evolution of Harlem into the context of American history by learning about how the Great Migration drove the neighborhood’s ethnic transformation through several incarnations before Harlem finally became the Black metropolis we think of today. Our tour emphasizes the artistic, literary, and musical flowerings of the 1920s Harlem Renaissance. We will learn how this period laid the intellectual foundation for the early Civil Rights movement. Stops could include the Abyssinian Baptist Church, Striver’s Row, the Apollo Theater, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Hotel Theresa, and sites associated with W.E.B. DuBois, Madame C.J. Walker, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Carl van Vechten, and many others.

Prepayment Optional

Big Onion happily accepts walk up participants. However, many Big Onion customers prefer to pay in advance. Prepayment also helps us determine group size and appropriate guide numbers.

To preregister and pay for your tour, click the “Book Now” button above. You will receive an e-mail confirmation and receipt once your order has been processed.

We regard a senior as 65+ years and a student anyone enrolled in full-time study. Please bring ID indicating senior status (i.e. age) and/or full-time active enrollment.

Refund Policy: Tour refunds (minus a $1 processing charge per person) are available by request up until 48 hours prior to the scheduled tour. Cancellations less than 48 hours prior to the tour or no shows will not be refunded. If Big Onion cancels a walk for any reason a full refund will be provided (please see our rain/inclement weather policy on the FAQ page for more information about tour cancellations).

Between mid-May and early September the Historic Lower Manhattan tour is one of a variety of walks offered as public “twilight” tours. Summer public “twilight” tours are lead Thursday and Friday evenings & Saturday’s at 6 p.m. We rotate a variety of tours in these time slots. Please see our Schedule page for details for specific dates and times.

Tour Highlights:

Architecture
Culture
History
Uptown

Schedule:

August 1, 12:00 pm
August 5, 6:00 pm
August 8, 1:00 pm
August 13, 12:00 pm
More Schedule

Meet:

Northwest corner of 135th Street & Lenox (Malcolm X) Avenue – in front of the Schomburg Center.

Subway Trains:

2/3 to 135th Street.
NYC Subway Map

FAQ:

Tours last approximately two hours. We generally present tours rain or shine.
Check the local weather forecast.
More FAQs

Cost:

Adults: $20
Students/Seniors/BHS Members: $15

We do not require pre-payment for most public tours. Just show up and join us at the meeting site. Exceptions: Multi-Ethnic Eating Tour requires reservations; America’s Museum Tour requires reservations & advance payment.

Group Tours

All tours are available for private walks and group bookings.

Call (212) 439-1090 ext. 5 or Email us for more information.

As Featured In:

"For most of my life, I believed independent travel was the only route to the real unfiltered stuff. I eschewed group experiences like the plague, most of all, anything incorporating the word tour. My mistake. I’ve gained some of my best travel memories from being herded around with a bunch of strangers on a Big Onion Walking Tour."

Peter Jon Lindberg, Travel + Leisure's editor-at-large, January 2009.