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Things to Do and See on Wall Street

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This post is about things to do and see on Wall Street, including a list of the top sights, nearby attractions and places to eat.

 

Lower Manhattan tour

 

WHAT IS WALL STREET

Wall Street is a street in Lower Manhattan that is the heart of the Financial District.

It’s named Wall Street for the actual wall that was here during Dutch colonial times.

When New York City was New Amsterdam, its governor Peter Stuyvesant ordered that a defensive wall be built at the northern border of the colony.

 

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The wall was meant to keep out any hostile native Americans, but also invasions from the British who were attempting to take over the colony.

Eventually, the town outgrew its wall and the structure was torn down.

Today, the name Wall Street is synonymous with American financial capital.

The New York Stock Exchange is located on Wall Street and is one of the most significant financial institutions in the world.

Thus, Wall Street is so much more than a street - it is considered a hub of international business and it is part of both America’s history and is rich in tourist attractions.


How To Get Here

Wall Street is in the Financial District on the east side of Lower Manhattan. All hop-on-hop-off bus companies have stops at Wall Street.

You can use this link for directions to Wall Street from your departure point.

 

Where is Wall Street

 

By subway

  • 2, 3, 4, 5 to Wall Street
  • J or Z trains to the Broad Street
  • 1 or R trains to Rector Street
  • A or C trains to Fulton Street

You may find our posts on the subway helpful:

By bus  

  • M55, M15, M22

Let Us Take You Here

Many of our pay-what-you-wish guided walking tours of Lower Manhattan include Wall Street.

 

 

Also, Wall Street is a site in our GPS-led audio tour of Lower Manhattan, which is available in English, Spanish, and German.

Listen to a clip below.

For those looking for deeper insight into the role Wall Street has played in finance, consider taking a Wall Street walking tour.

Several guided Wall Street tours are included for free with some of the New York tourist discount passes.

Read our post comparing the different tourist passes.


Hotels Nearby

There are many nice - and affordable - hotels within the Financial District. Take a look at the options that have great reviews on TripAdvisor.

 

Hotels Near Wall Street

 


TOP THINGS TO SEE AND DO

Here are what we consider to be the top sights within the immediate area of Wall Street. 

We also list other activities that are within a 10-15 minute walk from Wall Street.

See our section on nearby attractions and our post on things to do in Lower Manhattan for even more ideas.


Take a Tour of Wall Street

There are a number of in-depth tours of Wall Street. For details on the many tours, see our full post on tours of Wall Street.

Here is a summary of what is available.

 

 

Free Tours by Foot

On our pay-what-you-like Lower Manhattan Walking TourWall Street is one of the locations we visit.

If you prefer to explore the area on your own you might like our GPS-enabled audio tour of Lower Manhattan. Listen to a clip below.

Another option is to use our self-guided tour of Wall Street that you can view on your smart device or print.


Wall Street Walks

This company offers a highly rated 90-minute tour of Wall Street on Mondays through Fridays at 11 am and 2 pm.

The ticket prices are $35 for Adults; $15 for Seniors/Students; $15 for teenagers; children under 10 tour for free.

Note: This tour is included for free in a number of tourist passes like the New York Pass and Explorer Pass.


Wall Street Experience (also called New York Tour 1)

This company's tours are so good that they have received praise by The New York Times, the BBC and The Guardian. 

They have two in-depth tours of Wall Street offered throughout the week. 

  • Wall Street Insider Tour (75 minutes long)
    • Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1:30 pm
    • $35 per person; children under 15 free
  • Financial Crisis Tour (2 hours long)
    • Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10 am (Tour lasts approximately 2 hours)
    • $50 per person; children under 15 free

Social Justice Tours

To learn about the darker side of Wall Street, you might like this tour. Tickets are just $16 and a portion of the proceeds go to a worthy non-profit organization. 


Visit Trinity Church

The magnificent Trinity Church is actually the third structure to house the Anglican parish established here in 1697 under charter by King William III.

Trinity Church contains some of America’s oldest and most beautiful stained glass.

The interior of the church is on par with many of Europe’s historic churches.

 

 

The first Trinity Church was built in 1698, in the style of the surrounding colonial architecture. It was made of wood and was burned down by the Great Fire of 1776.

The church is truly a gem of NYC. You can visit the church during opening hours. They ask that you be quiet and respectful, especially when worship is occurring.

Learn more about this historic site, visiting hours, and their service schedule by reading our post on Trinity Church.


See the New York Stock Exchange

Located at the corner of Wall Street and Broad Street, you can find the iconic New York building that houses the NYSE.

It was completed in 1903 and has since been home to the NYSE ever since.

The NYSE predates the building, however. The Exchange grew out of a 1792 agreement between 24 stockbrokers that would regulate their trading.

Twenty-five years later, this agreement was codified with the creation of the New York Stock & Exchange Board. 

In 1863, the name was shortened to the New York Stock Exchange.

 

 

The building is one of the most photographed in the world. Though public tours are no longer permitted, you can take a "virtual tour”.

Take a look at our full post on the New York Stock Exchange, for the virtual tour as well as a video of the trading floors.

TIP: For those interested in finance and history, we recommend that you take a finance-focused tour of wall street. You can see what tours are available here.


Go to the Federal Hall National Memorial

Located at the corner of Wall Street and Broad Street, this impressive neo-classical building is built on the site where New York City’s first City Hall stood.

The statue of George Washington depicts his swearing-in in 1789 as the first president of the United States.

The site was also the first home to the U.S. Congress before it moved one year later temporarily to Philadelphia and then to its permanent home in Washington, DC.

 

 

It is totally free to go inside the memorial where there is a small museum. Though there is not a lot to see, it’s quality over quantity that counts!

If you are looking for other free attractions and museums, click here.

Find out about what you will see inside, as well as open hours, from our detailed post on Federal Hall National Memorial.


See the Fearless Girl Statue

On March 8, 2017, International Women’s Day, “Fearless Girl” appeared in Lower Manhattan staring down the “Charging Bull” Statue (See below).

The statue was conceived as part of an ongoing push for corporate boards to include more women. "Fearless Girl” symbolizes the fight for gender equality in the workforce.

 

 

Considered a piece of art illegally left on a city street, the NYC government originally agreed to let her stay only for 7 days.

Nevertheless, she persisted and she was moved to a more permanent location across the New York Stock Exchange.

On 2019, replicas of Fearless Girl have appeared in London, Melbourne, and Oslo.

Read more about her in our post on the Fearless Girl.


40 Wall Street (The Trump Building)

40 Wall Street is one of the most famous and oldest skyscrapers in NYC. It was constructed in 1929, it was designed to be the tallest building in the world.

Unfortunately, at the same time, some other buildings were fighting for the same title.

In the 1929 ‘race to the top’, 40 Wall Street lost out to the Chrysler Building, which then was itself topped by the Empire State Building.

Today, 40 Wall Street is owned by a quite famous New Yorker – Donald Trump. It is totally free to visit Trump Tower. Read our post to find out all about it. 

You can also take a free ‘presidential’ tour of all his buildings in NYC. Just click here.


Additional Sites

Morgan Guaranty Trust - corner of Wall Street and Broad Street. This was J.P. Morgan’s bank.

In 1920 it was the site of a bomb blast believed to be caused by ‘anarchists’. No one was ever arrested.

Bank of New York - 1 Wall Street. This Art Deco style building was constructed between 1929-32 for the Irving Trust Co.

Bankers Trust Company - 14 Wall Street.  Erected in 1912, the stepped pyramid at the top is so iconic that Bankers Trust adopted it as the company logo.

68 Wall Street - Site of the 1792 creation of the Buttonwood Agreement, a precursor of sorts to the New York Stock Exchange.

You can find more information on the sites above from our self-guided tour of Wall Street.

 


THINGS TO DO NEARBY

9/11 Memorial 

One of the most significant memorials in NYC, the 9/11 Memorial is just a 10-minute walk from Wall Street and well-worth seeing. The Memorial is free to visit.


National September 11 Museum

The Museum is next to the Memorial and is an excellent collection of artifacts from the events of September 11, 2001.

There is an entry fee but on Tuesday nights they offer free admission. See our post on free museums in NYC.


One World Observatory (“Freedom Tower”)

The views from the observatory atop this 1,776-foot (541 m) skyscraper are jaw-dropping.

It is one of the three observatories you can visit in NYC, the other two being the Empire State Building and Top of The Rock.

Consider going to the Freedom Tower before or after your trip to Wall Street.


Brooklyn Bridge

Walking across this historic and beautiful bridge is one of the top 10 things to do for free in NYC.

 

 

 

You can walk the bridge on your own, or join one of our pay-what-you-wish guided tours.

No matter what you decide, the Brooklyn Bridge is a must-see sight!


Battery Park

This large park at the tip of Manhattan has incredible views of the New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty.

This is also where the ferries to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island depart from.

You can also catch the free Staten Island Ferry just a block away from Battery Park.


South Street Seaport

This is a historic district at the eastern end of Wall Street. Its cobblestone streets and restored 19th-century two-story buildings are charming.

There is also a small museum which is well-suited for children. See our post on things to do with kids in NYC for more ideas.


Federal Reserve Bank

This is one of the 12 regional Reserve Banks of the Federal Reserve System. In other words, its where the gold is kept! Literally!

You can take a tour which is completely free, but getting tickets requires advance planning. We explain how to go about getting tickets here.


City Hall

Erected in 1811, New York’s City Hall is the country’s oldest city hall that is still used for its original purpose: housing local government.

You can take a free tour of the impressive building and see many historic works of art and original furnishings. Find out about tours here.


Charging Bull

This 7,000 lb. (3175 kg) bronze bull statue was ‘dropped off’ in front of the New York Stock Exchange on December 15, 1989.

Similar to the “Fearless Girl” statue listed above, this sculpture was an illegal piece of art placed on an NYC sidewalk.

The culprit was an Italian sculptor Arturo DiModica.

He created the sculpture and left it by the NYSE as a sign of encouragement that the American economy could fight the recent recession.

The Bull was so loved by the workers in the Financial District that the city decided to allow the Bull to stay.

Drop by to take your picture with one of the most photographed sculptures in NYC

 


PLACES TO EAT

Fraunces Tavern Pub and Restaurant

Within walking distance of Wall Street, this restaurant is beneath the landmarked Fraunces Tavern Museum.

Just prior to the American Revolution, this pub served as a low-profile meeting place for revolutionaries.

At a dinner here in 1789, General George Washington bid farewell to his officers as he left the military to become America’s first president.

Stone Street Restaurants

A few blocks south of Wall Street is this lovely pedestrian mall with restaurants that have outdoor dining in good weather. 

South Street Seaport Restaurants

At the east end of Wall Street is the Southstreet Seaport which has many options for dining.

Try the Cowgirl Seahorse, casual Mexican, Ambrose Beer for a beer and a lobster roll, or the Paris Cafe, one of NYC’s oldest pubs (1873).

Westfield World Trade Center Restaurants

You can find many familiar food shops, like Shake Shack, Pret a Manger, Starbucks, and more as well as semi-upscale cuisines like Eataly and Epicerie Boulud.

Brookfield Place Restaurants

Located about a 15-minute walk from Wall Street, west of the World Trade Center, you can find the wonderful Hudson Eats Food Hall with 14 restaurants including Blue Ribbon Sushi, Chop’t, Dos Toros Taqueria, and more.

 


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About The Author

Courtney

Courtney is a lifelong New Yorker fascinated with the city’s history, culture and cuisine. She loves exploring the world, as well as sharing her travel expertise with others. She joined the Free Tours by Foot team in 2011, first as a guide and then as a writer. She has a law degree, a teaching degree and a worn-out passport. Her motto is “Have backpack, will travel”.
Updated: October 3rd, 2021
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