Explore the contrasting spaces of peaceful Gramercy Park and bustling Union Square, two of NYC’s most iconic small parks for almost two centuries! Constructed together as residential districts in the decades before the American Civil War, both were designed after London’s fashionable “garden squares.” These two neighboring areas, however, quickly developed in two very different directions. Our walk traces how one of these squares remained an exclusive enclave, home to the affluent and then artists, while the other grew into a communal urban gathering space, a site of commerce, entertainment, and public demonstrations. Stops could include: the Players Club, Block Beautiful, and the former Tammany Hall headquarters, along with sites associated with the Civil War Draft Riots, Emma Goldman, Stanford White, Peter Cooper, and Andy Warhol.
Health & Safety Guidelines
For our in-person walking tours, see our FAQs below for information regarding our Stay Well NYC Pledge.
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Whether you are looking to integrate a tour into your academic curriculm or entertaining out-of-towners, a Big Onion walking tour is a great way to experience the city.
For more information, or to arrange, please call (718) 499-3001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where Lexington Avenue starts at Gramercy Park North/East 21st Street
6/Q/R to 23rd Street.
Health & Safety Guidelines
Due to Covid-19, Big Onion has proudly signed the Stay Well NYC Pledge and we ask that all of our customers follow these guidelines as well.
Masks Are Required
Big Onion Walking Tours adheres to all New York City and State mask and social distancing requirements.
On in-person tours, Big Onion will follow the recommended outdoor social distancing protocols and will be using audio technology to aid with hearing. Details will be provided in your booking confirmation.
Big Onion will securely retain client contact information for one month, for contact tracing purposes, if necessary.
The finest group of tour guides anywhere. Most of us are full-time graduate students researching and writing doctoral dissertations in history passionate about the history, architecture and people of New York.
More about our guides.
Finding Your Guides
All guides carry an 8×11 sign that says “Big Onion Walking Tours”.
Time & Distance
All tours last approximately two hours. We start on time and walk between one and two miles at a moderate walking pace, stopping at various sites along the tour.
Big Onion generally presents tours rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather please check our home page for notifications or call our hotline [(888) 606-WALK (9255) ext. 1], to confirm our schedule.
Gratuities are always appreciated, but never expected.
With 24+ hours prior to a walking tour, Big Onion offers a full credit for the value of the booking. Credits will be given as Gift Cards in dollar amounts. Gift Cards are good for two years and can be used on any Big Onion outing. Cancellations with less than 24 hours prior to the tour or no shows cannot be credited.
Walks are held rain or shine, but may be cancelled for severe weather or if museum is closed. In the event of a Big Onion cancellation or museum closure, full refunds or rescheduled tickets will be offered.
More Questions? Check out How it Works for more details.