When we were in Copenhagen in October, we booked one of Sandeman’s free walking tours there and enjoyed it very much. At least in Europe the company is quite known for its free tours. They always take about 2.5 hours and you tip the guide at the end. The guides are locals.
When we were back home, we decided to also try their free New York tour. Even though I had been on sightseeing tours in Manhattan before, I always love being reminded or getting to know a little more, especially when it concerns the history of a place. A walking tour is also fun because you have time to properly look at one site plus you move yourself. The night before we went on Sandeman’s website and registered for their 11 a.m. tour. While they offer tours in all kinds of languages in other cities, there are only tours in English (always at 11 a.m.) and Spanish (on most days, at 2 p.m.) available. The next morning we took the subway downtown and went to the starting point at the National Museum of the American Indian.
The tour started right at the point where the white settlers had landed and eventually founded the settlement that is now known as one of the world’s most famous cities (maybe even the most famous?!). We also like these tours because the audience is so mixed. All kinds of people of all kinds of ages attend. That time we were the only ones actually living in the City. Well, besides the guide.
He gave us a great overview of New York City’s history and linked events. We also passed by many famous sites like Castle Clinton in Battery Park, the Charging Bull, the New York stock exchange, the One World Trade building and the Oculus. In the middle there was a break and a little group (including my boyfriend) went to have a quick pint in the City’s oldest pub, “Fraunces Tavern”. In the end we had walked quite a bit, but also seen pretty much all Downtown sights.
As with the tour in Copenhagen, we had an excellent experience and can only recommend Sandeman’s free walking tours. What I also like about them is that you get to ask the local guide for personal favorites like restaurants or pubs. Or you can find out more about what it is really like to live in a certain place these days. Our guide told us at the end of the tour at the Oculus that most New Yorkers actually didn’t like the building and the shopping center inside. That was total news to me, but I can comprehend the reasons he gave. I for instance hadn’t been aware of how much the construction actually cost.
Have you been on Sandeman’s walking tours before or can you recommend other tours?