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“Harlem, a better understanding of the neighbourhood”

Big Onion Walking Tours
Ranked #34 of 635 Tours in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Since 1991, Big Onion has been leading informative, award-winning, and innovative walking tours of New York's historic districts and ethnic neighborhoods. All tours are lead by PhD candidates in American history or a related field. Big Onion has been called "The Best Walking Tour in New York" by New York Magazine; "Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests" by The Village Voice; and "One of the best urban walking tours in the world" by Forbes. Big Onion is an approved educational vendor for the NYC Department of Education and a Programming Partner with both the Brooklyn Historical Society and the South Street Seaport Museum. We are proud to be a 2012, '13 & '14 winner of the TripAdvisor "Certificate of Excellence". We offer public "show up" tours year-round and an advance calendar, accurate tour descriptions, meeting sites, etc. Most of our walks do not require reservations.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed 22 January 2014

I had the great pleasure to be part of a Big Onion Tour in Harlem, on the Martin Luther King day. During two hours we went at different locations, each chosen carefully by the guide because of their historical importance in understanding the development of this neighbourhood. My previous experience of Harlem was going through in a Greyhound bus in 1986… At that time, the amount of garbage between houses and bad neighbourhood was what I recalled the most. After the walking tour, my understanding on the various eras and how Harlem was first developed in perspective of the whole New York history was fascinating and so interesting. Our guide, a phD student, was very knowledgeable, fun and dynamic. He started often by a general presentation of the political and historical situation to make us understand why and how Harlem became such a predominant African American neighbourhood, pointing out the cultural aspects and the business aspects this community put into its development. I'll go back in Harlem to explore more and I'll take for sure other Big Onion tours in the future.

Thank Michel D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bigonion, Owner at Big Onion Walking Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 25 January 2014

Thank you for your detailed and insightful review of our recent Historic Harlem tour. We are so glad that you joined us and came away with a new and powerful understanding of this vital neighborhood. We try very hard to weave together the diverse fabric of New York neighborhoods and communities and very much appreciate your insight.
We look forward to seeing you again soon!
Seth Kamil, President

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611 - 615 of 847 reviews

Reviewed 20 January 2014 via mobile

We've participated in multiple Big Onion tours. All have been interesting and informative. The Upper East Side "Clash of the Titans" was one of our favorites as was Alice, our guide.

Thank CatherineG506
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bigonion, Owner at Big Onion Walking Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 25 January 2014

Thank you for joining our Upper East Side walk. It is the newest tour for us and, speaking for Alice and myself, we are very happy you enjoyed the tour.
We look forward to seeing you again soon. Alice can be found leading a broad array of our walks, including Brooklyn Bridge & Height, the EATing tour; Historic Lower Manhattan; and others.
Seth Kamil, President

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Reviewed 11 January 2014

i went on the Multi-ethnic eating tour and i'm sorry to say i was disappointed. the food was interesting but it seemed kind of hobbled together…not very informative or organized in presentation as compared to other walking tours. it could have just been the tour guide was having an off day.

Thank Wendy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bigonion, Owner at Big Onion Walking Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 12 January 2014

Thank you for attending a recent Multi-Ethnic Eating Tour and braving the cold, rainy and downright miserable weather! Sorry you felt the tour fell short of expectations. We do take all comments seriously and are always striving to present the best possible walking tours.
Seth Kamil, President

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Reviewed 6 January 2014

I live in NYC but came away from the Greenwich Village walking tour feeling like I had learned an awful lot. Our guide, PhD student Gregory, was incedible - full of interesting and entertaining facts, passionate about the subject matter, very interactive with the group and great company. He brought thehistory of the area - and NYC in general - alive, mingling history with cultural, social, political and economic references, always lively, never dull. I highly recommend the tours and plan to do more myself.

Thank ADH70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bigonion, Owner at Big Onion Walking Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 12 January 2014

Thank you for joining our recent Greenwich Village walk with Gregory. I am very glad that, as a transplanted local, you found him so enjoyable and informative! We look forward to having you join more Big Onion walks!
Gregory can also be found leading tours in Chelsea, Gramercy Park & Union Square, Gangs of New York, Before Stonewall, We Built New York, and others!!
Seth Kamil, President

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Reviewed 3 January 2014

The guides are usually PhD candidates from Columbia or other uni. They are usually passionate, articulate, and always incredibly knowledgeable. You will see New York with new eyes. Particularly recommended is the food tour of the Lower East Side. Or the Highline, or Park Slope, or... And don't forget to tip!

Thank Kenvyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bigonion, Owner at Big Onion Walking Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 12 January 2014

Thank you for taking the time to review our walking tours! Speaking for all of us, I am very glad you find our walks so enjoyable and informative. You are correct - all of our guides are working towards advanced degrees in history, art history or a related field and the vast majority are PhD candidates. We feel these guides bring a different level of detail to our outings!
Look forward to seeing you again soon.
Seth Kamil, President

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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