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Big Onion Walking Tours

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: New York City, NY 11215
Phone Number:
+1 212-439-1090
09:00 - 18:00
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 09:00 - 18:00
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours

Since 1991, Big Onion has been leading informative, award-winning, and...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 772 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 649
  • 71
    Very good
  • 14
  • 18
  • 9
Brooklyn Heights

Nicks' tour of Brooklyn Heights was excellent. A great reminder and lesson of how housing opportunity shapes our cities.

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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772 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 761: English reviews
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Nicks' tour of Brooklyn Heights was excellent. A great reminder and lesson of how housing opportunity shapes our cities.

Thank deb7213
2 reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Alice's enthusiasm and pride in her Brooklyn neighborhood was infectious!! I take many NYC neighborhood tours each year but this was by far the most engaging and informative one yet. I have about 10 Big Onion tours yet to take and although all Big Onion guides are friendly and smart, Alice provided a Revolutionary war prospective that really made you... More 

Thank Kim G
Moncton, Canada
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Big Onion Walking tours are a great way to learn more about specific neighbourhoods in Manhattan. I just went on the Chelsea tour with an art history student and it was so interesting. They are two hours and you do stand alot - so maybe they should be called walking and standing tours. so wear comfortable shoes!

Thank LauraMcCMoncton
Winter Park, FL
Level Contributor
136 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We did the Historic Harlem walking tour with Damien, a thoughtful and knowledgeable PhD student in African American history. The route and the pace were excellent. Damien provided just the right amount of information and answered all our questions. We were delighted we started our visit to the city this way, and look forward to scheduling more Big Onion tours.

Thank artichokeannie
Watertown, Massachusetts
1 review
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I recently went on the Historic Lower Manhattan tour and highly recommend it for fellow history buffs and anyone curious about what came before the steel and glass of Manhattan. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and presented many interesting and little-known facts in an animated, humorous fashion. So many things we walk right by and never think to explore!... More 

Thank lisacarlosc
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

My husband and I did a Big Onion tour of the Met recently and thought it was one of the very best walking tours we had ever done. Our guide, Caroline, was a Ph.D. student in art history and knew the museum inside and out. We learned about the history of the museum, and she gave us really interesting information... More 

Thank sarawNorthampton_MA
bigonion, Owner at Big Onion Walking Tours, responded to this review

Thank you for joining us on our "America's Museum" outing. We very much appreciate your recommendation! Hope to see you again soon - you could very well see Caroline again. She leads many of our walks - Lower Manhattan to Harlem and many neighborhoods in between. Seth Kamil, President More 

Ridley Park, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
54 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We went on the Irish New York tour on March 18 because it was St. Patrick's weekend. I had been on a tour that included sites associated with Irish immigration in the past, so I didn't expect much new. I was wrong. Our tour guide, Elizabeth, was from County Kerry and doing her dissertation on Irish immigration. She told us... More 

Thank maryc93_10
bigonion, Owner at Big Onion Walking Tours, responded to this review

Thank you for returning to Big Onion and joining last weekend's Irish New York tour! We very much appreciate your glowing review of the tour. We look forward to seeing you again soon and don't be surprised if you see Elizabeth again....she also leads our Upper East Side, Immigrant New York & Gramercy Park/Union Square tours. Best Seth Kamil, President More 

Houston, Texas
1 review
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Tanya was amazing. She was extremely knowledgeable and receptive to our many questions and needs. She showed us TONS of interesting things and explained everything. The group was small and friendly. I would definitely take another Big Onion tour. I was impressed!

Thank texasmom166
bigonion, Owner at Big Onion Walking Tours, responded to this review

Thank you very much for walking with Big Onion. We are very glad that you enjoyed the tour and hope to see you again soon. Best Seth Kamil, President More 

Englewood, New Jersey
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

This multi ethnic food tasting winds throughout the lower East side, chock full of interesting history, not to mention the tastes. Guide Laura very knowledgeable of this important piece of our American history, especially in our current climate... Highly recommend!!!

Thank Georgie P
bigonion, Owner at Big Onion Walking Tours, responded to this review

Georgie Thank you so much for your kind words! We very much appreciate you returning to Big Onion. Look forward to seeing you on your next visit! Seth Kamil, President More 

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I was in NY with my daughter for a week and during that time we booked the Central Park and the Gramercy Park/Union Square walks. Both were excellent and the guides were extremely informative and detailed in their descriptions of everything around us but also the history leading to that point. There were photographs shown to explain sites in history... More 

Thank cathydunford
bigonion, Owner at Big Onion Walking Tours, responded to this review

Cathy Thank you for making Big Onion a part of your recent New York visit. I am glad you enjoyed both tours, despite the shockingly cold weather we had last week. We look forward to seeing you again! Seth Kamil, President More 

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?