The Charging Bull

Behind the Wall – 400 Years of Downtown History & Intrigue

The double-decker buses and the giant walking tour groups (picture flags and microphones) converge Downtown, because this is where it all began.  Join us and explore the oldest and most historic part of the city in an intimate, interactive group environment (12 adults maximum), while avoiding the crowds and tour herds.


Together we’ll travel through time from New Amsterdam to New York, discover the history of Wall Street, discuss the redevelopment of the World Trade Center, see the 9/11 Memorial, and learn about the immigrant experience at Ellis Island.  This and much more on a 3+ hour enlightening walk through Downtown.

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 the attacks on 9/11; learn about the redevelopment of the World Trade Center while admiring the new “Freedom Tower” and the 9/11 Memorial (tour ends near 9/11 Museum)
We arrived in NYC on a rainy and overcast morning, and the Wall St tour was due to start at 10am... it might have been challenging engaging a bunch of wet, cold tourists, but Max was superb at giving us just enough detail to interest and excite us about the history of the city, and his passion was contagious. I really enjoyed the pace of the tour as well, which was brisk and covered a lot within 3.5 hrs or so.
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.”

About 3.5 hours; 3 miles on foot (5 kilometers)
$45 for adults, $25 for kids 12 and under
Select Tuesdays at 10am
Maximum group size is 12 adults
Our tours are currently offered only in English
There will be 1 bathroom/optional coffee break
Private Option:
This tour is also available for private booking
Starts near Bowling Green (exact meeting point will be emailed after booking) and ends near the 9/11 Memorial

Additional Tour Info

How strenuous is this walk? This walk covers about 3 miles on foot in a little over 3 hours.  The terrain is flat.  You’ll be on your feet most of the time, though we will take a break at a coffee shop in the middle of the tour for a bathroom break and optional snacks/refreshments (not included).  However, we try to maintain a steady walking pace to cover all the areas of interest.  So if you think you might find it difficult to keep up at a moderate walking speed with the rest of the group, please consider a private tour with us, which can be tailored to suit your pace and fitness level.

What About Kids? Our public tours may not be appropriate for young children, as they involve a lot of walking and cover topics geared to adults.  Further, some of our tours reference adult content some parents may deem inappropriate for children.  On this particular tour, references may be made to duels, death, and terrorism.   That said, there are 2 “child” tickets available for each public tour for children aged 12 and under.

Meeting Point: Detailed meeting point instructions will be emailed to you once your reservation has been processed.   The tour starts downtown near Bowling Green and ends near the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

Stops: There will be at least 1 restroom break during our walk.  Each participant will also be offered a complimentary bottle of water on the walk.  A meal prior to the tour is recommended.  During cold or inclement weather, we may visit historic buildings like Federal Hall Memorial Museum, Trinity Church, or Saint Paul’s Chapel.

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