How it Works

Have more questions about how a Big Onion Walking tour works?  Read on for pricing and booking options, before the tour, while on the tour and even after the tour information. And then there is the stuff our lawyers made us put here.

Pricing and Reservations

Most Tours



Seniors & Active Military*


Full Time Students

*Military means any members of the active military. Students means full-time between first grade and graduate school. Seniors means 65+ years. We reserve the right to ask for proof of full-time student, active military or 65+ years status.
Special Tours

Reservations required for these tours. Prices vary. Please see tour description pages for full details.

Multi Ethnic Eating Tour

America’s Museum: Art & History Of The Metropolitan

Brooklyn Distilled


The majority of our walking tours do not require reservations, but they are recommended. We try to give everyone the best experience possible. Prepayment helps us determine whether or not we might need an additional guide on a public walk. Tours that require reservations are the Multi-Ethnic Eating Tour, America’s Museum and Brooklyn Distilled.


We offer either secure on-line payment via credit card as well as the option of pay cash as the tours begin. Just use the secure  “Reserve Your Spot” button on each tour description page if you wish to pay via credit card. We do require advance reservations & prepayment for the Multi-Ethnic Eating Tour, America’s Museum and Brooklyn Distilled.


Our refund policy is the most liberal in the business! Full refunds when requested with more than 72 hour prior to a walking tour. Between 72 and 24 hours before a tour, we offer credit for a future booking. See details at the bottom of each tour description page for details.

Before The Tour

Our Guides

Big Onion has the finest group of tour guides in the city. We are not your traditional tour guides, most of us are full-time graduate students researching and writing doctoral dissertations in history. Big Onion guides have high school or college teaching experience and are quite often researching topics relevant to the tours they are leading. More about our guides.

Meeting and ending sites

Meeting sites and subway directions for tours can be found with the tour descriptions. All tours begin at or near subway stations. Most tours do not conclude where they began. Our guides will provide directions to subways, local sites, or back to the meeting point at the end of the tour. Check the MTA’s NYC Subway map, weekly service advisories and subway fares pages for more details.

Finding Your Guide

Finding your Big Onion guide is easy, all guides carry an 8×11 sign that says “Big Onion Walking Tours” and will be at the designated meeting location as specified in each tours description.

Time and Distance

All tours last approximately two hours and walk between one and two miles. We do start ON TIME. We maintain a moderate walking pace, stopping at various sites along the tour. Sorry, Big Onion Walking Tours cannot delay the start time of tours for late arrivals.


Big Onion generally presents tours rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather please visit our home page or call our hotline [(888) 606-WALK (9255) ext. 1], on the morning of the tour, after 9:30 a.m., to confirm our schedule. Big Onion reserves the right to cancel tours in the event of potentially dangerous weather. Check the local weather forecast for weather details.


Call (888) 606-WALK (9255) for questions or to reserve a private tour. Please note this is a voicemail system. Leave your name, number and message so we can get back to you – we will return your call!

While On The Tour


Children of all ages are welcome to join our tours. We do not charge for children younger than school-age on public tours. We do ask that if children get disruptive on a tour that a parent/guardian step away from the group with the child until settled down.

Some streets and sidewalks are narrow and may be difficult to navigate with a stroller.

Some tours, for example, “Satan’s Seat”, Greenwich Village, and The “Official” Gangs of New York tours have some adult content.

Video/Audio Recording & Note Taking

When taking still photographs please be considerate of others in group as well as those on the street you may be photographing. Big Onion does not permit video or audio taping of any kind and we strongly discourage note taking. Hey, we’re trying to make a living here! But feel free to ask our guides questions about the history and sights that you’ll see.

Cell Phones

We ask folks to put cell phone ringers on vibrate/silent for the duration of the walking tours.


Most of our tours are wheelchair accessible, however Big Onion does not provide wheelchairs for tour-takers. Big Onion cannot guarantee that all curbs will have ADA compliant ramps. The Brooklyn Bridge & Heights tour has a flight of stairs. Central Park has stairs and a steep climb.


We love dogs! Well-behaved and leashed dogs are welcome on our outdoor walking tours. However, if another tour-taker objects to the dog on the tour, the dog owner will not be permitted to bring them along. Dogs are not allowed inside any food establishments on the Multi-Ethnic Eating Tour or on the High Line.


Although most of our tours are outdoors, we request that smokers step far enough away from our groups so no one in the group is affected by smoking. Smoking is now illegal in New York City Parks and on city owned property.


We do not stop for bathroom breaks during our tours, but most of our tours do begin near public bathrooms or restaurants in which there are bathrooms.

After The Tour


Gratuities are always appreciated, but never expected.

Let us know how we did!

We thrive on word of mouth. Share your tour experience in your favorite social media channel, or even better, gives us a rave review on TripAdvisor. We hope it was an enoyable experience and to see you again soon!

Pesky Disclaimers

“Tour Operator” and its affiliated entities and its employees, shareholders, officers, directors, successors, agents, and assigns, neither own nor operate any person or entity which is to, or does, provide goods or services for these trips or tours. Because “Tour Operator” does not maintain any control over the personnel, equipment, or operations of these suppliers, “Tour Operator” assumes no responsibility for and cannot be held liable for any personal injury, death, property damage, or other loss, accident, delay, inconvenience, or irregularity which may be occasioned by reason of (1) any wrongful, negligent, willful, or unauthorized acts or omissions on the part of any of the tour suppliers, or other employees or agents, (2) any defect in or failure of any vehicle, equipment, instrument owned, operated or otherwise by any of these suppliers, or (3) any wrongful, willful, or negligent act or omissions on any part of any other party not under the supervision or control of the Operator.