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Behind the Wall – 400 Years of Downtown History & Intrigue

NY's famous Charging Bull near Wall Street

Tour Highlights:

• Enjoy spectacular views of the NY Harbor while learning about the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the American immigrant experience
• Explore the “heart” of Wall Street and learn about the New York Stock Exchange, the former “House of Morgan”, the site where George Washington became America’s first president, and where a deadly explosion temporarily shut down Wall Street in 1920
• Explore the early history of Manhattan, from the “island of many hills” to New Amsterdam to New York and learn about some of the most important individuals and rivalries that shaped the city
• Visit Saint Paul’s Chapel, NY’s oldest public building, which survived two great fires and the attacks on 9/11; learn about the redevelopment of the World Trade Center while admiring the beautiful new “Freedom Tower” and the 9/11 Memorial (tour ends near 9/11 Museum)
• Discover important NY architecture, including the beautiful Alexander Hamilton Custom House and the pivotal Equitable Building, which led to Manhattan’s “Wedding Cake” skyline


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Tour type: Public Tour

 Exploring Downtown Manhattan on CityRover's Behind the Wall Tour

Tour Summary:

On this fun and informative 3.5 hour Downtown & Wall Street walking tour, we’ll start off where it all began — near the southern tip of the island of Manhattan.  During our time together, we will time-travel through four centuries of growth, conquests, rebellions, fires, market crashes, tragedies, rebirths, and bitter rivalries.  Along the way, we will see some of the most important and famous Downtown landmarks, including the Alexander Hamilton Custom House, Trinity Church, the New York Stock Exchange, 40 Wall Street (once the world’s tallest skyscraper), Saint Paul’s Chapel, Federal Reserve Bank of NY, and much more. We will also explore Battery Park and enjoy fine views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in the harbor, while learning about what the “tired, poor, huddled masses” had to go through to get here.

Within a square mile, we will cover a lot of historical and cultural ground, from Dutch roots to modern finance.  We will also speak about Wall Street’s humble beginnings and about some of its famous figures, rivalries, and sites. We will explore the Financial District’s nooks and crannies, presenting you with stories about the buildings, places, and personalities you won’t find in a guide book.

The tour ends conveniently near the 9/11 Museum (tickets can be purchased at 911Memorial.org).


Book Your Tour
Tour type: Public Tour

Basic Tour Info:

• Schedule: Tuesdays at 10am, starting April 1
Length and Distance: 3.5 hours; 2 miles on foot (3 kilometers)
Cost: $45 for adults, $25 for kids 12 and under
Size: Maximum group size is 12 adults
Break: There will be 1 bathroom break
Language: Our tours are currently offered only in English
Private Option: This tour is also offered privately
Location: Starts near Bowling Green Park (you will receive detailed info after booking), ends near the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in case you are planning a visit.

Group next to Washington on steps of Federal Hall Memorial

Group stands near site where George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States

Recent Reviews For This Tour:

“Walk with Max: a highlight of our visit to NYC” Reviewed June 6, 2014 on TripAdvisor

“Just returned from another fab trip to NYC with three first time visitors, including two teens, and we all agree: our walking tour with Max was definitely a highlight! We did the 3-1/2 hour BEHIND THE WALL – 400 YEARS OF DOWNTOWN HISTORY & INTRIGUE walk covering the Dutch settlement of the Native Americans’ Manna-hata, George Washington’s swearing in as the first US president, Wall Street, Ground Zero and so much more. This tour lays out the historical underpinnings of New York City that are often overshadowed by Times Square’s neon and Fifth Avenue’s glam. Boring? Not for a minute! Max is a talented raconteur, and his knowledge and passion for the city shine through every explanation of the significance of each point of interest. As an added bonus, Max is a genuinely nice person and has an upbeat, easy-going personality that makes spending time with him a delightful experience.

I’ve taken many city tours around the world. This one ranks among the best.”

“The best way to see New York” Reviewed April 17, 2014 on TripAdvisor

“We took two walking tours with Max from CityRover Walks: the first was of Central Park, on a glorious Fall afternoon, and the second was of the Downtown area (the tour was called “Behind the Wall”) on a rainy, windy day. Regardless of the weather, the tours were well run, highly informative, interesting and entertaining. Each tour lasted around 3.5 hours, and there was a “comfort stop” mid-way. We have enjoyed guided walks in many towns and cities in Britain and Australia, and the City Rover Walks were every bit as good as we those we have experienced elsewhere. As a guide, Max was helpful, considerate, knowledgeable and passionate about New York. We highly recommend these tours, no matter what the weather. Group sizes are limited, so no problems seeing and hearing everything. As with all really good walking tours, Max has unearthed some hidden gems of history that even most New Yorkers wouldn’t know about.”

Additional Tour Info:

9/11 Museum: The end point of this walking tour is near the entrance to the 9/11 Museum.  On this tour, we will talk about the World Trade Center redevelopment and see the Memorial, but will not visit the Museum.  Tickets to the Museum can be purchase at 911Memorial.org.

Are gratuities included? Guide gratuities are not included in the tour price, so if you enjoy your tour, tips are very much appreciated.

Stops: We normally make one bathroom break on this tour.  And in case of bad weather, we normally take a short break at a local cafe for optional refreshments (not included in tour price)

The Financial District on CityRover's Walk Street Walking TourBowling Green Park-NY's oldest park

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