Between 1892 and 1924, 12 million passed through Ellis Island; two-thirds of them went immediately to Manhattan's Lower East Side. Some stayed just a few weeks before moving on; others settled and became a part of the fabric of New York City. This tour explores historic patterns of immigration in the city, from the Germans and Irish in the mid-19th century through the waves of Eastern European and Jewish immigrants and the peak years of Ellis Island.
Most days, this tour focuses on the heart of the old Jewish section. On Friday afternoons and on Saturday, when Jewish shops are closed, we generally alter the route to include stops in Chinatown and Little Italy.However, we are also happy to include some of Chinatown and Little Italy any day of the week—please just let us know when you reserve.
While food isn't included in the price of this tour, what many clients opt to do is visit many of the various ethnic eating spots along the route (for instance for bialys and pickles on the Lower East Side) and purchase food a la carte as they go.
This tour lasts approximately two hours and costs a flat fee of $100 for groups of 1-4 people. For parties larger than 4 people, the cost is $25 per person. Please inquire about discounts for student groups or parties larger than 10 people.
To contact us about booking this tour please use our online booking form (preferred) or call (toll-free) 1-877-572-9719
For an additional $12.50 per person (or a flat fee of $150 for groups of 1-4 people), you can add an hour to the length of your tour and spend some time exploring one of the neighborhoods that borders the Lower East Side, such as Soho or Five Points. To book a 3-hour tour, please mention it on our online booking form.
Typical tenement housing
The last operating pickle shop on the Lower East Side
Traditional Jewish bakeries (and their modern successor)
The Henry Street Settlement
The original Jewish Daily Forward building
Seward Park and the Seward Park Library
Eldridge Street synagogue
The Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges
The Kletzker Brotherly Aid Association
Other synagogues, such as the Bialystoker Synagogue or Kahila Kedosha Janina can, on request, also be a part of this tour.
This heavily illustrated tour uses historic photographs from the mid-19th century onward to show tenement life, street markets, sweat shops, labor rallies, and the great mix of people that jammed Manhattan's most crowded neighborhood.
* all walking tour itineraries are subject to change