Harlem is the center of African American history and culture not only in New York City but in the entire United States. Our historic Harlem walking 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 century. We 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 Harlem guided tour emphasizes the artistic, literary, and musical flowerings of the 1920s Harlem Renaissance. 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.
PLEASE NOTE: During February our Historic Harlem tour is listed on our website as “Historic Harlem: Celebrating Black History Month”.
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.
Northwest corner of 135th Street & Lenox (Malcolm X) Avenue – in front of the Schomburg Center.
2/3 to 135th 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
Wearing of masks is required on our in-person walking tours, unless it is medically unsafe to do so. Our guides wear, and we are offering for sale, reusable gray cloth masks with the Big Onion logo (distributed in individual factory-sealed bags) that come with a behind-head “ear saver” available for purchase for $12. They can be ordered, with your booking, in advance, or at the start of tours via contactless payment.
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.
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