Lower Manhattan Walking Tours

This post compares and reviews the various different tours of Lower Manhattan available to you, including our pay-what-you-like tours. 

 

 


FREE TOURS BY FOOT

We at Free Tours by Foot are very proud to offer several tours that include Lower Manhattan, including our anytime audio tour of the area. Here’s a sample.

Below the tour calendar, we detail our Lower Manhattan Walking Tour, but we also offer tours of the World Trade Center and 9/11 Memorial, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

For our general history tours, we offer 3 options:

  • 2-hour tour that focuses on just Lower Manhattan (details below the calendar)
  • Daily, 3-hour Downtown Manhattan Tour, which covers part of Lower Manhattan plus Chinatown, Little Italy, and SoHo.
  • 6 hour NYC in One Day Tour, which combines the 3 hour Downtown Tour and adds to it Greenwich Village and the High Line.  

 


Calendar of all Lower Manhattan Tours (including our pay-what-you-wish tours)

 


Lower Manhattan Walking Tour (Free Tours by Foot)

It is here, as much as anywhere, where American history started.

It’s where the first US Congress assembled and produced the Bill of Rights and where President George Washington took his first oath of office.

It’s here where the world’s most important stock exchange and one of the most famous bridges stand. And it is here where an unspeakable tragedy took place and where a rebirth is underway.

4K Walk of Wall Street Lower Manhattan Financial District Video

Join us as we stroll through the ancient streets of Manhattan’s Financial District and explain the rich history of New York City. From a Dutch trading post to a world financial capital, no stone is left unturned.  

This tour starts from the Charging Bull on Broadway, where you will see from a distance the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, then makes its way through Wall Street and the Financial District, ending up near City Hall and the World Trade Center area. 

At the end of the tour, you will be near the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. Why not take a walk over it?


Sites we cover on the tour:

 

*Seen from a distance.  For more information on the sites we will cover, take a look at our self-guided Lower Manhattan Tour.


Tour information

Reservations: REQUIRED. Click here to reserve. Groups of 6 or more traveling together should visit our groups page.

Where: At the Charging Bull statue, 26 Broadway. Click our Google map for directions to the tour or click here for detailed walking directions from nearby subway stations.  Look for your guide with the Free Tours by Foot logo. Tour ends at City Hall Park.

Duration: Approximately 2 hours. Tour distance is approximately 1 mile (1.6K)

When: @2pm Saturdays. Tours go out rain or shine. Dress appropriate for the weather. View Our Full Tour Calendar.

75% of this tour is covered on our @10 am daily Lower Manhattan, Chinatown, SoHo, and Little Italy Tour, as well as our Downtown Manhattan 6 hour Tour, which runs @10, am almost daily.  You could take our audio tour of Lower Manhattan anytime you like.

Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it’s done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for anyone’s budget.

 


Patriot Tours’ Revolutionary Era in Lower Manhattan

For those interested in Revolutionary War history, we highly recommend that you take a tour with Patriot Tours.

This highly-rated tour company uses a storytelling format and review of authentic documents, which will give you as close to a first-hand experience you can get of life as it was during Revolutionary Era New York.  

Their tours are not pay-what-you-wish, but group size is small – between 10 and 15 guests, and your guides are personable.

Patriot Tours has fantastic reviews on TripAdvisor. On their website, you can read 5-star reviews from over 250 guests. Highly recommended! Check out these two tours:

Alexander Hamilton Tour

Take a trip back in time to NYC before, during and after the American Revolution and enter the world of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.

Visit the sites that were part of Hamilton’s everyday life including St. Paul’s Chapel, Federal Hall, and Trinity Church Graveyard, some of the oldest remaining historic sites in New York City.

  • Tours are 2.5 hours and run on Wednesdays at 10 am, Saturdays at 11 am, and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12 pm.
  • $40 per person.
  • Book here.

 

 

Revolutionary Era Walking Tour

Follow your guide through what was once British-occupied precolonial New York.

Learn about what daily life was like in New York in the 1770s as well as learn about infamous spy rings, some of which met secretly at Fraunces Tavern, which you will visit.

Learn more about the famous historical figures you already know such as George Washington and Alexander Hamilton as well as lesser-known but just as important patriots like John Jay.

This tour also takes you to historic, tree-lined Brooklyn Heights. This tour is perfect for fans of the TV show Turn.

  • Tours run 10:00 am Wednesdays, Fridays, 11 am Saturdays, 12:00 pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays.
  • $40 per person.
  • Book here.

Wall Street Experience

This highly-regarded tour company offers two Lower Manhattan tours. Their Wall Street Insider Tour covers the development of Wall Street from the Dutch colonial era through to today.

Their two-hour Financial Crisis Tour covers the history of Lower Manhattan, from the Dutch era to post-Revolutionary War era.

The tour also discusses the Great Recession of 2008.

Wall Street Insider Tour

  • Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 1:30 pm.   (Tour lasts approximately 75 minutes)
    • $35 per person, Children under 15 tour for free with parent

Financial Crisis Tour

  • Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10 am (Tour lasts approximately 2 hours)
    • $50 per person, Children under 15 tour for free with parent

Note that the Wall Street Experience is also known as New York Tours 1. A full list of their tours can be found here.  


Social Justice Tours

To learn about the dark side of Wall Street, you might like to take this tour which looks at corruption on Wall Street throughout history.

Tickets are just $16 and a portion of the proceeds go to a worthy non-profit organization. Check their calendar for dates.


BIKE RENTALS AND TOURS IN LOWER MANHATTAN

Lower Manhattan has miles of waterfront bike lanes and is a great place to safely bike along, whether on your own or on a guided tour.  

There are several bike rental and tour outfits located in or near South Street Seaport.

Brooklyn Bridge Sightseeing

Pick up bikes and tour at 110 South Street near the South Street Seaport (map). Open daily from 9 am – 7 pm.

This company offers a 2-hour bike tour that rides over the Brooklyn Bridge and then rides through Lower Manhattan.

The prices are listed below, but if you use promo code FTFB you will get a 20% discount.

Bike Tour Prices (reflect discount)

Rental Prices (reflect discount)

  • 1 hour = $12
  • 2 hour = $16
  • 3 hour = $20
  • hour = $24.
  • Day Pass = $32  (9 am until 5 pm (17:00))
  • Book here.

This tour and rentals are included at no additional cost if you purchase the New York Pass, the Sightseeing Pass or the Explorer Pass (tourist attraction discount passes). 


Blazing Saddles 

Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport (South Street and Fulton Street) or Pier 84 at Hudson River Park at (12th Avenue and West 43rd Street).  Open 9 am daily.

Prices:

  • between $14-16 per hour
  • $44-$69 for 24 hours

Prices vary depending on the type of bike you choose.  Locks, helmets, and detailed map come included.  

Free 24-hour rental of a Beach Cruiser style-bike with a New York PASS.

 


BOAT AND HELICOPTER TOURS IN LOWER MANHATTAN

Lower Manhattan is the launching point for several boat tours and services, including several sightseeing cruises with stops in Lower Manhattan, including South Street Seaport and Battery Park.  

Be sure to read our post comparing all boat tour options that you have in NYC.

There are 2 budget options:

The area is also the location for the tourist heliport. Be sure to read our post on choosing the best helicopter tour for you.

 


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About the author

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers.

Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.