New York on Foot
New York is a wonderful city to explore on foot. It is a city of neighbourhoods, and exploring on foot allows you to discover each distinctive area as it is meant to be seen: down among its street scene. Each neighbourhood has a unique character - you'll certainly know once you've travelled from Greenwich Village into Chinatown, for example.
To discover New York on foot, you need both a good idea of where you are going, and a willingness to wander as the mood takes you. Get hold of a good guide book and a map of Manhattan, and you should have the first bit sorted. Take some time to read through, getting a good idea of where the major sights and neighbourhoods are. Walking tours aren't just about seeing the big sights - soaking up the atmosphere at street-level is just as important.
Many of Manhattan's neighbourhoods are world famous, but you might not have much idea what each one is like if you haven't visited before. Here' s our quick guide to the best of each:
The oldest part of the city, home to seventeenth century Dutch fortifications, and the jumping off point for ferries to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
The Financial District
Wonderful architecture to be seen here, including the famous New York Stock Exchange Also visit the South Street Seaport - a living museum just off Wall Street.
Walk through the frenetic and colourful streets of Chinatown, and you'll see stalls selling all kinds of fashion and luxury goods; and restaurants serving steaming hot authentic Chinese food.
Italians were one of the first groups to make their home in New York and Little Italy is an enclave of traditional NY-Italian culture. Make sure you stop for food.
Lower East Side
When many people think of New York's immigrant heritage, they think of the Lower East Side. This area of vast tenements has given immigrants from all over the world their first NY home. Wander through and enjoy the atmosphere.
Home to a large Ukranian community, East Village was once home to poor immigrants, and later to a community of artists who have left their mark in its vibrant street cafe culture.
Walking the streets here, you may well bump into a celebrity or two, hanging out in the bars and cafes or doing a spot of shopping in the upmarket stores.
The Theatre District
Home to the world famous Broadway, great to wander around even if you don't have tickets for a show. The bright lights and busy streets give it an atmosphere of its own. Times Square is just around the corner too.
The Meatpacking District
Historically home to gritty industry, today it's an upmarket area with great nightlife. If that's not your scene, visit the traditional New York architecture.
A great place to start your tour - under the shadow of the Empire State Building. It's also a window-shopper's dream, home to Bloomingdales and Saks.
A walk through is a New York must: see Manhattan at play in this vast urban park which is the city's green lungs.