New York is a paradise for walkers. Whether it is a guided walking tour or a walking tour of your own it is important to know the layout and the basic geography of the City.
Possible the most unique aspect of New York is that it exists as a series of five boroughs - Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Each borough has its own specific set of cultural and social attractions, as well as its own history and conglomeration of diverse peoples, neighborhoods, and events.
Fifth Avenue divides the City between East and West. Street numbers begin at Fifth Avenue, as Two W. 57th Street is just a few steps to the west of Fifth Avenue while Two E.57th Street is just to the east.
Most streets in Manhattan are one-way. With a few exceptions, traffic on even-numbered streets travels east, and traffic on odd-numbered streets travel west. Traffic on major crosstown streets, including Canal, Houston, 14th, 23rd, 34th,42nd, 57th, 72nd, 79th and 86th streets travels in both directions.
To New Yorkers, "downtown" does not connote to the city center. Rather, "downtown" simply means "south" and "uptown" means "north".
One more word in favor of walking in New York is that streets are jammed and parking is scarce and astronomically expensive. So, if you have an idea to rent a car in New York City leave it. Otherwise, you have a wish to find yourself in a trap in one of the Streets and Avenues of the City.
I guess I have convinced you to give your preference to walking tour in New York City whether it is organized and guided or not. Among guided tours you may as paid ones as well as free.
Big Apple Greeter offers a two-to-four hour visit (group of six or less) with a real New Yorker. Greeters are real New Yorkers who provide an informal, exciting walking tour of New York as a free public service to travelers. You will learn ins and outs of the five boroughs. Travelers with disabilities and all languages welcome.
You may take the Grand Tour. Explore the architecture and social history of East 42nd Street with urban detective and historian Justin Ferate. Find out why Pershing Square is not a square; why The Chrysler Building is spiked; where Mercury, Hercules, and Minerva hang out; and where you can circle the globe in seconds. Discover the Bowery Savings Bank's bronze doors, the Chanin Building's Art Deco grilles, and the Mobil building's self-scouring skin. See familiar places through new eyes. Join in often; no two tours are exactly alike. Free walking tours leave from the Whitney Museum at Phillip Morris, 42nd Street at Park Avenue, on Fridays' afternoons.
Take a walk through history. Learn Stories behind the buildings and the buildings behind the stories. Discover why the Empire State Building is the perfect symbol for New Architecture and why luxury hotel was sacrificed for its construction. Learn the alleged military significance behind Mary Murray's tea party, and see McKim, Mead and White's designs helped define turn of the century New York. Learn the connection between Andy Warhol and Con Edison substation, and hear how the owner of the world's largest department store drowned on the Titanic.
Architectural historian, Francis Morrone and Architect Alan Neumann alternate as guided on free 90 minute tours of the 34th Street area. Meet at the 5th Avenue entrance of the Empire state Building, every Thursday. Repeaters are welcome as no two tours are alike.
Every Sunday there is a Walking Tour of Hasidic Crown Heights. Four hour round-trip bus and walking tour affords you the opportunity to experience the sounds of a Hasidic synagogue, see an actual Torah scroll being written, explore the history of a Hasidic library, savor a delectable kosher deli lunch, and enjoy other seasonal highlights.
Gangland Tours. Manhattan and Brooklyn on 2 separate tours. You will be offered a full city tour. Come and see the very places where the mob's history occurred. Join Gangland Tours on an incredible journey through New York's crime history. This tour is one of the ways to see the city that never sleeps.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden: on any weekend wander over to New York City's premier plant kingdom. Free guided tours featuring seasonal highlights on the grounds or in the Conservatory are offered every Saturday and Sunday (except major holiday weekends).
Walk through The Bronx Zoo. It is operated by the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Zoo offers 265 wooded acres, 560 different species (including those endangered or threatened), and over 6000 animals. As the largest metropolitan wildlife park in the U.S., the Zoo has continued to combine nature, recreation, and education like no other city cultural institution.
Be sure being in New York City you will find a walking tour that will give your pleasure and zest. Or choose a walking tour of your own, go and enjoy!