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Get your Free Frommer's Audio Tour of New York's Greenwich Village

By The Frommer's Staff

Adapted from our new guide, Frommer's New York City Day by Day , our audio tour of Greenwich Village contains over 25 minutes of dialogue and guides you through an hour-long walking tour of some of the most interesting historical and cultural landmarks. If you've got your iPod or MP3 player in tow, you can put on your headphones and enjoy this free walking tour as you tour the city. Just visit www.frommers.com/daybydayaudio .

Frommer's Day by Day guides are the perfect source for self-guided tours and sights to see when you've only got a day or two to explore. Day by Day guides are available for New York City, London, Paris, Rome, Venice, San Francisco and Amsterdam and can be found wherever books are sold.

To listen this episode, click the "play" button on the MP3 player below.

To download this episode to your hard drive, click here . To listen to previous episodes or to subscribe, visit www.frommers.com/podcast/ .

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The New Amsterdam Trail

Download the audio and map guide   (54 mb) or the  map guide only

Before the Bill of Rights, before the War for Independence, before even the British, another great story unfolded in New York. It is the story of a Dutch settlement on the southern tip of Manhattan where citizens from different countries, speaking different languages and worshiping different gods, banded together to tame a wilderness and reshaped history in the process.

This free, one-hour audio walking tour features commentary from Russell Shorto, author of the bestselling book  The Island at the Center of the World  and Eric Sanderson, landscape ecologist and author of  Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City .  The tour begins at Castle Clinton and ends at Federal Hall, across from the New York Stock Exchange. Stops include the sites of Peter Stuyvesant’s house, Fort Amsterdam and more.

Walking Tour Cover - New Amsterdam Trail

This Hallowed Ground

Download the audio and map  (58mb).

By the early 18th century, New York City was second only to Charleston, South Carolina as an urban center of slavery. Four in 10 households owned at least one enslaved person. Kidnapped, sold and put to work in the most objectionable jobs, hear their stories of struggle and triumph — from New Amsterdam where freedom could be earned to colonial New York, where subversive retention of culture was a rare victory in the face of oppression.

Written and narrated by Sam Roberts, Urban Affairs Correspondent,  The New York Times , this audio walking tour features commentary from noted historians including Mike Wallace, author of  Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898  and Christopher Moore, historian, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The tour begins at Castle Clinton and ends at the African Burial Ground. Stops include the sites of the Wall Street slave market, African Pinkster celebration and more.

Walking Tour Cover - This Hallowed Ground

The New York Freedom Trail

Download the audio and map  (93 mb).

Unlike Boston and Philadelphia, New York’s Revolutionary War history is often hidden from view. Hear about the people and visit the places that shaped the city and fueled a legacy of resilience that saw it through the darkest of days of 1776 and more recently 2001. From a seven-year British occupation to short-lived glory as the republic’s first capital; from the disastrous fire that razed a quarter of its structures to a reemergence as a global metropolis.

This free, one-hour audio walking tour is written and narrated by Sam Roberts, Urban Affairs Correspondent,  The New York Times , and features commentary from Mike Wallace, author of  Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 . The tour begins at Castle Clinton and ends at St. Paul’s Chapel. Stops include the sites of Fort George, the tavern of spy Samuel Fraunces and more.

Walking Tour Cover - New York Freedom Trail

George Washington’s New York

Download the map guide .

For a brief moment in August of 1776, the success of the American quest for independence hinged on a daring midnight retreat by a defeated General George Washington and the Continental Army across the East River to Manhattan. Vanquished by the British in the battle of Brooklyn, they would survive to fight another day. In fact, Washington would liberate New York City seven years later and become the first President, in this the nation’s first capital.

The tour begins at Castle Clinton and ends at Federal Hall. Stops include the chapel where Washington worshiped, the site where he was inaugurated and more.

Walking Tour Cover - George Washington's New York

Ranger Stories about the Parks

Getting wild in the city.

It doesn’t require a cross-country trip to get to one of the crown jewels of America’s national park system. Let National Park Service Ranger Dave Taft introduce you to New York Harbor’s answer to Yellowstone — Gateway National Recreation Area.

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Hawking on the Harbor

What makes hawks such amazing predators — and where are the best places in New York City to see them? Let National Park Service Ranger Dave Taft share his insights and expertise with you — and hear about his memorable experience watching a peregrine falcon make a kill.

Falcon hunting

Journey Through Ellis Island

Over 40 percent of Americans can trace their ancestry through Ellis Island. What did their forebears feel, a century ago, as they sat in the Great Hall of the storied immigration station, waiting to learn their fate? National Park Service Ranger Charles Walker recreates the experience for you.

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The First Roosevelt

Big-game hunter or big-time conservationist? Cowboy or member of the New York elite? War hero or peacemaker? The first President Roosevelt was all this and more. Learn about his life and times from National Park Service Ranger Mike Amato.

Portrait of a young Theodore Roosevelt

Alexander Hamilton’s Unlikely Rise

In this episode of Ranger Stories, park historian Steve Laise recounts the rise of founding father Alexander Hamilton from humble beginnings on the island of Nevis in the Caribbean to Washington’s right-hand man and, ultimately, Secretary of the Treasury. Co-author of The Federalist Papers, which argued for adoption of the Constitution, Hamilton was instrumental in establishing a strong central government and sound financial footing for the new nation.

Portrait of Alexander Hamilton

Nieuw Amsterdam to New York

Listen to the story of how the mighty metropolis of New York arose, as told by park historian Steve Laise. You’ll start your journey on the other side of the world with the Dutch East India Company, join Henry Hudson in his quest for a Northwest Passage and end up on the southern tip of Manhattan with Peter Minuit. Then, in Part 2, you’ll hear how the city’s residents prospered, rebelled against a tyrannical director-general, and won! The story concludes with the British takeover in Part 3, where you’ll learn that despite the change in name and rule, Dutch principles of tolerance and civil liberties survived to shape the city of New York even to this day.

Map of old Nieuw Amsterdam

New York: Revolution to Recovery

Occupied, nearly destroyed by fire and depopulated during the Revolutionary War, the once prosperous city of New York rises again after independence in this two-part story told by park historian Steve Laise. You’ll hear how the city rebuilds, the New York Stock Exchange is established and the controversial question of how to treat the remaining Tories is resolved. The story concludes with an appreciation of New York in 1800, after it has lost its position as America’s political capital but secured its status as the new nation’s financial capital.

Map of New York Harbor in 1800

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Hyperallergic

Hyperallergic

Sensitive to Art & its Discontents

7 Audio Journeys that Let You Escape New York While Walking Its Streets

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Central Park, the setting for Janet Cardiff’s “Her Long Black Hair” (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

Maybe you have walked in Central Park, or taken the Staten Island Ferry, an uncountable number of times, but have you really listened to the birds, the voices of your fellow commuters, and the waves of the harbor? Sound walks can encourage new ways of understanding even the most familiar places, and are the perfect summer escape if you can’t physically leave the city. Here are seven recommendations for sonic journeys, from an artist-led dialogue on Brooklyn gentrification, to music created by the steps of your feet.

Her Long Black Hair

“When you’re in a city like New York, you have to think of all the sounds like they’re a symphony, otherwise you go a bit crazy,” says artist  Janet Cardiff  near the beginning of “ Her Long Black Hair ” (2004–05). The site-specific audio walk was developed as a  Public Art Fund project , and you can still find the audio and accompanying photographs archived online . Set in Central Park, it starts on a bench at the southern point of the Manhattan green space, merging ambient noise, music, poetry, and the regular rhythm of footsteps into an immersive binaural soundscape. Cardiff narrates the 35-minute exploration, which often blurs outside noise and recordings from the artist’s own walks, as you follow the path of a mysterious, dark-haired woman. By the end, you and Cardiff are breathing as one.

Passing Stranger

“ Passing Stranger ” is a 95-minute wander through the history of poets and poetry in the East Village, from one of Allen Ginsberg’s many apartments, in which Jack Kerouac worked on The Subterraneans , to e. e. cummings’s verses on McSorley’s. Produced by Pejk Malinovski, the audio tour is more than just a documentary, weaving together archival recordings, readings, noise from the streets, and neighborhood commentary on the ongoing gentrification of the area. Music by John Zorn and narration by Jim Jarmusch guide listeners from the Bowery to Avenue C, drawing attention to the building where W. H. Auden lived (after Trotsky moved out) and the enduring literary significance of the St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery. The guide is available as a free  download , or you can do some armchair exploring with the online interactive map that combines video and photographs into a multimedia experience.

free audio tours nyc

Beginning John Luther Adams’ “Soundwalk 9:09” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

Soundwalk 9:09

Ahead of the opening of the Met Breuer branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art,  John Luther Adams  created “ Soundwalk 9:09 ” to link the two Manhattan sites. Named for the time it took the composer to walk the eight blocks between the two structures, it involves a crowdsourced cacophony of city noise, from overheard voices to jackhammers and birds, layered with ambient tones. One section is meant to be heard while walking downtown, the other uptown, both fostering a closer appreciation of the urban landscape. As Luther states in his note to the listener : “ The ideal listening balance between the ‘live’ and recorded sounds is one in which you aren’t always certain whether a sound you’re hearing is coming from your ear buds, your imagination, or from the streets around you.”

Southside Stories

At several points during “ Southside Stories ,” your guide, artist Shannon Carroll , invites you to take off your headphones, and step into a business you’ve just learned about, or seek out the person whose story you’ve just heard. The free audio walk was completed in 2014 by a team led by Carroll as part of the UnionDocs Living Los Sures documentary project. It’s set in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with dialogue on the gentrified neighborhood and its Latino community that is being edged out by rising rents. “People look at us like we’re foreigners, and they don’t realize that if it wasn’t for the Spanish people that stood here, this wouldn’t be a neighborhood,” one resident says. Binaural audio mixes street sounds with the voices of the neighborhood, which highlight sites that might be overlooked by newcomers, such as street memorials and an overgrown lot populated by huge stuffed animals and a tiny herb garden, partly cared for by a retired woman named Carmen. It ends at Toñita’s, Williamsburg’s last Puerto Rican social club.

free audio tours nyc

Newtown Creek Nature Walk in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

A Field Guide to Whale Creek

Launched this summer by the Floating Studio for Dark Ecologies, a media art collective including  Nick Hubbard , Rebecca Lieberman , and Marina Zurkow , “ A Field Guide to Whale Creek ” is an audio expedition through the Newtown Creek Nature Walk in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. “There’s more life than you might think in Newtown Creek,” says the voice on the free audio field guide, perhaps sensing your skepticism about seeing much nature in a waterway designated an EPA Superfund Site. Threading together history, commentary on the park design, and observations on the birds, fish, and other wildlife that call this industrial zone home, the guide takes listeners on a loop along the waterfront. You learn terms like “digester eggs” (the futuristic silver spheres at the nearby Wastewater Treatment Plant) and “black mayonnaise” (the toxic mix of oil, arsenic, incinerated ash, and polychlorinated biphenyls that coats the creek’s bottom), and end your tour at a curious fragrance garden, planted at one of New York’s smelliest intersections.

“ The Gaits: A High Line Soundwalk ” has become a regular New York City cold weather event.  Make Music New York  annually organizes a sound parade for their winter edition, inspired in part by Phil Kline’s “ Unsilent Night ” boombox gathering in Washington Square Park. However, the free app, featuring sound composed by Lainie Fefferman, Jascha Narveson, and Cameron Britt, can be downloaded anytime for  iPhone or Android . Entering the High Line in Manhattan at Gansevoort and Washington streets, listeners walk the elevated park to West 30th Street, their footsteps morphed into gongs, guitar chords, the ripple of splashing water, and claps of applause along the way.

This Is Not A Theatre Company’s “ Ferry Play ,” written by Jessie Bear and directed by Erin Mee, uses the route of the Staten Island Ferry as the stage for its “podplay.” Available for  iPhone or Android  ($1.99 for either), one act is set over the Manhattan to Staten Island leg, and the second on the return, with one character asking you to “smell it, who is around you, what they’re eating, the perfume they wore this morning, the sea. See it, the horizon, the sky, be outside with me now.” The ferry crowd, from tourists jostling for a photograph of the Statue of Liberty to downtown workers returning home, become the actors, and in turn you’re encouraged to consider their individual stories. If ferries aren’t your thing, the company recently launched “Subway Plays” for the underground commute.

free audio tours nyc

The Staten Island Ferry leaving Manhattan (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

Allison Meier

Allison C. Meier is a former staff writer for Hyperallergic. Originally from Oklahoma, she has been covering visual culture and overlooked history for print and online media since 2006. She moonlights... More by Allison Meier

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Audio Walking Tours

Audio Walking Tours

Guide to U.S. Audio Tours With the proliferation of the iPod, iPhone, and portable MP3 players, audio tours have become an increasingly popular way to explore new places when traveling to tourist destinations. They're cheaper, less obtrusive, and often better than taking a guided walking tour or bus tour of a city. This summer we've greatly expanded our comprehensive resource of the audio tours available throughout the world. You can view the entire list of audio tours on our blog: Guide to Audio Tours Note: Most of these audio tours we don't have up on the site yet so we're linking directly to them on their websites or to iTunes. We'll start with the best & most comprehensive audio tour sites: Best & Most Comprehensive Audio Tour Sites : Over 100 Audio Guides from Tourcaster now featuring numerous Free City Guide Podcasts on iTunes Over 400 Audio Guides from Heart Beat Guides With 25% of the Tours Available for Free Lodingo Travel Guides Featuring the Most Comprehensive Selection of Downloadable Audio Tours AudioGuide2go.com Search Portal to Audio Trails Guides and Tours on the Web Here are all the walking tours we can find for U.S. cities: U.S. Cities : Soundwalk Tours of New York City Neighborhoods Sounds for Sights Audio Tours for New York City covering Lower Manhattan, Rockefeller Center, South Street Seaport, and Times Square CentralPark.com Audio Tours Podcast Frommer's Day by Day Audio Walking Tours Free Audio Tour & Map of Greenwich Village in NYC Sidewalk Guides of Washington, D.C. Downtown LA Walks Podcasts Covering Downtown LA in the areas of Arts and Culture, Shopping, Historic Downtown, and International Downtown Scott's L.A. Audio Driving Tours of Pasadena, Hollywood, and Los Angeles Stroll San Francisco Audio Tours CityStoryWalks of San Francisco Mp3TravelGuides.com Featuring Tours of Portland and Seattle Guide Me Tours Denver Travel Guides Rocky Mountain Audio Guides Tour of Denver VisitDetroit.com Audio Tours Covering Downtown & Midtown Detroit Discovery Audio Tours on iTunes Featuring 80 CityGuides and Museum Tours for Destinations across the U.S. Audissey Guides Podcasts Includes Free Tours of Boston, Chicago, Miami Beach, Seattle, and New Orleans CityListen Audio Tours Includes Tours of New York, Chicago, and San Francisco CarTours Self-guided Interpretive Audio Driving Tours Includes Tours of Lewis and Clark Trail, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, The North Cascades Highway, and The Olympic Peninsula Museum of the Open Road (MOTOR) American Highway Tours Ride With Me Audio American Highway Tours Cape Treks Cape Cod Audio Driving Tours Untravel Media Boston Walking Tours Glacier National Park Podcast Travel Audios U.S. National Park Audio Tours covering Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, Glacier National Park in Montana, Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming Waypoint Tours Includes Tours of Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Yosemite National Park, San Francisco, Grand Canyon National Park, and Sedona Arizona Red Rock Country Walkabout Audio Tours Includes Tours of the Grand Canyon, Sedona Area, & Northern Arizona Acoustiguide Free Audio Tours Covering Cities and Museums throughout the United States with numerous Acoustiguide Podcasts on iTunes AudioSteps Walking Tours for the Digital Age - Includes Tours of New Orleans, Philadelphia, Sacramento, San Francisco, & Washington, D.C. Explore the United States of America! Guide to Europe & World Audio Tours And here's our list of European audio tours followed by a list of audio tours from throughout the world! European Cities : Rick Steves' Audio Tours Podcast Includes Free Tours of Paris, Versailles, Orsay Museum, and Louvre Museum Soundmap London Audio Walks Includes Tours of Brixton, Camden, Brick Lane, King's Road, Soho, a free Sweeney Todd Audio Tour AudioExplore Walking Tours of Cities in Ireland Includes Tours Dublin & Cork audiotravel Walking Tours of Cities in Germany Includes Tours of Cologne & Munich iAudioguide European City Tours Includes Tours of Barcelona, Berlin, London, Paris, & Rome StrollOn Audio Guides of European Cities Include Tours in London, Paris, Prague, Amsterdam, and Venice MPTours Includes Three Tours of Rome noambit.com Tours Featuring Tours of Florence, Prague, the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial, and the Alhambra in Granada, Spain Helsinki Sightseeing Tram Audio Guide The Antenna Audio Tour of Historic Gardens in London & The Antenna Audio Tour of Literary Houses in London Walk & Talk Series by Gildan Media Includes Walk & Talk Paris , Walk & Talk Rome , Walk & Talk Venice , & Walk & Talk Florence Footnotes Audio Walks in London London Audio Tours Free Audio London Walks Podcast by LondonWalks.org Free Paris Audio Guide Podcast by CityZeum.com Frommer's Day by Day Audio Walking Tours Free Audio Tour & Map of Da Vinci’s Paris Discovery Audio Tours on iTunes Featuring 80 CityGuides and Museum Tours for Destinations across Europe MP3 City Guides Includes Tours of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest, Edinburgh, Florence, London, Paris, Prague, Rome, Vienna, Venice, and York AudioSteps Walking Tours for the Digital Age Includes Tours of Bath and Bristol, London, Granada, Florence, Rome, Berlin, Paris, & Prague Play & Tour MP3 City Guides Includes Tours of Amsterdam, Atenas, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Istanbul, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Marrakech, Paris, Prague, Rome, Seville, Venice, & Venice Walki Talki Audio Walking Tours Includes Tours of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Edinburgh, Geneva, London, Madrid, Munich, Paris, Prague, Rome, and Venice with short, concise capsules about major European destinations on their Walki-talki Podcast A History of Scotland Audio Walks Podcast covering Edinburgh, Finlaggan, Stirling, Dunfermline, and Kilmartin Glen Podtours Includes Tours in Austria, Italy, France, England, Spain, Belgium, Germany and Austria iJourneys Tours of the Wonders of Italy Includes Tours of Amsterdam, Rome, Barcelona, Florence, Paris, Pompeii, Salzburg, Venice, Vienna, and Innsbruck Seville Spain Audioguide Acoustiguide Free Audio Tours Covering Cities and Museums throughout Europe with numerous Acoustiguide Podcasts on iTunes Jane's Smart Art Guides Covering Art Destinations in Italy PocketVox Audio Guides and Walking Tours Included Tours of numerous cities in Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, and more Talking Trip Includes Tours of London, Barcelona, and New York Artineraries Includes Tours of Assisi, Edinburgh, London, Ostia, Padova, Paris, Rome, Torino, and the Vatican CitiesInSound.com Includes Tours of London, Edinburgh, Rome, and Paris iPodCityWalks Includes Tours of London, Florence, and Paris Audio City Tours Includes Tours of London, Amsterdam, Salzburg, Paris, and Oxford Sound Travel Walking Tours Includes Tours of Florence, London, Paris, Rome, and Venice Walk Talk Tour Includes Tours of London, Edinburgh, York, and Manchester Cool City Walks Includes Tours of London, Brighton, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Barcelona, and Rome Tourist Tracks MP3 Walking Tours Includes Tours of Bath, Brighton, Cambridge, Canterbury, Cheltenham, Edinburgh, Ely, Glasgow, London, Manchester, and Oxford Budapest Audio Guide ChooseMalta.com Valetta Walking Tour ZeVisit Free Audioguided Tours Mostly in France CitySpeaker Audio Guide Includes Tours of Rome, Paris and London Hear’s A Journey European Driving Tours in Tuscany & Provence Audio Tor Oslo Audio Guides Other World Cities : DayOut Audio Guides of New Zealand Tours of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico from Tek Trek MPTours Includes Three Tours of Buenos Aires Auditour Guides of Buenos Aires Walk The Talk Tours of Hong Kong and Macau Colombia Audio Tours Includes Tours of Bogota, Cartagena, and Medellin City Surf Toronto Walking Tours Content Creation's Sounds & The City Audio Tours Includes Tours of Singapore, Mumbai, Beijing, Seoul, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Dubai Acoustiguide Free Audio Tours Covering Cities and Museums throughout the World with numerous Acoustiguide Podcasts on iTunes Tokyo Realtime Audio Guided Walking Tours The world is your oyster with these audio tour guides! Language Learning For Your Trip Want to learn the lingo for the place you're visiting? If you're going on a trip, LearnOutLoud.com features dozens of language learning resources for you to download and take with you. Here are some language learning downloads designed specifically for the traveller: Survival Phrases Series from Innovative Language Learning : Learn Arabic - Survival Phrases Arabic, Part 1 Learn Arabic - Survival Phrases Arabic, Part 2 Learn Italian - Survival Phrases Italian, Part 1 Learn Italian - Survival Phrases Italian, Part 2 Learn Japanese - Survival Phrases Japanese, Part 1 Learn Japanese - Survival Phrases Japanese, Part 2 You can browse all Innovative Language Learning titles including numerous podcasts here: Innovative Language Learning Downloads & Podcasts Berlitz For Your Trip Series : French For Your Trip German For Your Trip Italian For Your Trip Spanish For Your Trip You can browse all Berlitz Downloads here: Berlitz Publishing Language Learning Downloads Savvy Traveler Series from Audio Forum : Savvy Traveler French Savvy Traveler Spanish Savvy Diner French Savvy Diner German Savvy Diner Italian Savvy Diner Spanish You can browse all Audio Forum Downloads here: Audio Forum Language Learning Downloads Collins Language 40-minute Series for Travelers : Twenty 40-minute Audio Programs covering 20 Languages including Arabic, Cantonese, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin American Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, & Vietnamese! You can browse the Collins Language 40-minute Series here: Collins Language 40-minute Series Language Learning Downloads Dr. Blair's Language Learning Express Lane Series : Dr. Blair's Express Lane: Japanese Dr. Blair's Express Lane: Mandarin Chinese Dr. Blair's Express Lane: French Dr. Blair's Express Lane: German Dr. Blair's Express Lane: Italian Dr. Blair's Express Lane: Spanish Hopefully these titles will help you in learning the language for wherever you're going this summer! Guide to Museum Audio Tours We've added a list of museum audio tours to our comprehensive resource of audio tours. We're still adding more museum audio tours to this list, but we have a pretty good list so far from many of the major art museums in the United States and around the world. Check out these podcasts and audio & video learning resources: Museums : Discovery Audio Tours on iTunes Featuring Museum Tours for the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Guggenheim Museum (New York), de Young Museum (San Francisco), and more Acoustiguide Free Museum Tours Site and Acoustiguides on iTunes Including the Asian Art Museum (San Francisco), the Kimbell Art Museum (Fort Worth), The National Portrait Gallery (London), and numerous other museums around the World Artineraries Includes Art Tours in Assisi, Edinburgh, London, Ostia, Padova, Paris, Rome, Torino, and the Vatican The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) Special Exhibition Podcast Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) on iTunes U Museum Masterpieces: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Teaching Company DVD Course Museum of Modern Art (New York) Podcast MoMA (Museum of Modern Art, New York) Think Modern Lectures Podcast Museum of Modern Art (New York) on iTunes U Whitney (Museum of American Art, New York) Focus Video Podcast American Museum of Natural History (New York) Podcast Brooklyn Museum on iTunes U National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.) - Behind the Scenes Podcast National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.) Video Podcast Smithsonian American Art Museum Podcast and all Smithsonian Podcasts on iTunes The International Spy Museum (Washington, D.C.) SpyCast Podcast United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (Washington, D.C.) on iTunes U Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Podcast on iTunes Philadelphia Museum of Art: Exhibition Minutes Podcast The Cleveland Museum of Art Podcast Indianapolis Museum of Art on iTunes U Walker Art Center (Minneapolis) on iTunes U LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) Podcasts MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles) Audio and Podcasts SFMOMA (San Francisco) Artcasts Podcast Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco) Podcast Rick Steves' Audio Tours Podcast Includes Free Tours Versailles, Orsay Museum, and Louvre Museum Museum Masterpieces: The Louvre Teaching Company DVD Course The Grand Tour - The National Gallery, London Podcast The National Gallery, London Podcast Museum Masterpieces: The National Gallery, London Teaching Company DVD Course Tate Modern (London) Paint Podcast Tate Modern (London) on iTunes U Learn about the great museums of the world with these audio & video learning resources!

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Featured tours, check out our newest tours, piermont on the hudson, the history, the river, the village, welcome to arco, idaho, first in the world, explore kirksville, a historic downtown & more.

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Explore the early beginnings of the vibrant village of Piermont. Learn about its connection to the Hudson River, its role in the American Revolution, its industrial past and its commercial significance to the country.

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Welcome to Arco, Idaho! Arco is a place of transition, where the desert plain meets the mountains, blue streams disappear into black lava, and the urban of Idaho gives way to the wilds of Idaho.

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Welcome to this walking tour of Kirksville, Missouri! This tour will take you to Kirksville’s most fascinating and historically significant landmarks, while sharing the stories of the people who made this such an interesting city.

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“Awesome App - A must have app for anyone who enjoys learning more about the area they are in. While being entertained by great stories and information. Great job!!!”

“Great idea! - What an innovative idea! So enjoyed my first tour (of Red Mountain Park) by using your app. I look forward to using it at other attractions in the future and have high hopes that all cities will offer this first class format to help enhance the experience of traveling.”

"We used this app in Jackson,WY and through Teton National Park. As we drove through Teton NP, we listened to the historical story of the area. It gave us so much more understanding of the area and added so much to our drive. It’s really easy to use and added so much to our trip. Would gladly use it again."

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“Fantastic road tripping tool! - My family used TravelStorys to plan our trip to Jackson Hole and this app was indispensable! We listened to several of their tours through the Tetons and absolutely loved it. The app spoke to us while driving, so we didn’t have to look at the phone once!”

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Neat app! Great for a frequent traveler or history buff! Very interesting stories about pikes peak! Can't wait for the Garden of the gods tour!

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Free Tours in New York City (NYC): Join New York Adventures

New York, often referred to as the "Empire State," is one of the most exciting metropolises in the world. The "Big Apple" is a global hub for finance, culture, entertainment, fashion, and more. You are truly lucky if you are planning to travel to this city! However, if you want to get the most out of your trip, we recommend booking our New York free walking tour. Our professional guides will do their best to make your visit unforgettable by revealing hidden gems and local secrets only the true New Yorkers know. 

Discover the Magic of New York City: Free Tours for Every Traveler

If you want to see as many places as possible within a couple of hours, you must go to our website and book your free NYC walking tours. Whether you are looking for culinary adventures or wish to explore the most exciting places in the city, we got you covered. Let’s highlight the three most popular NYC walking tours with the highest user rating.

Metropolitan Museum of Art in-App Audio Tour & Manhattan Walk

You can’t be in New York and not see the Met's richest art collection. It’s the world's foremost art museum with a fantastic collection from different epochs. We’ll begin our tour with the Egyptian Art galleries, see the Medieval and Byzantine art collection, and finish it by visiting the block down Fifth Avenue. 

New York Public Library in-App Audio Tour: Exploring the Iconic Site

The New York Public Library is a fantastic place with a treasury of 2.5 million volumes and artifacts. The tour starts outside so that you can enjoy incredible architecture, famous lions, and incredible sculptures. During the tour, you will also visit Bryant Park. It all lasts only 1.30 hours, but you’ll learn many interesting facts about this place!

Secrets & Flavors of China Town & Litle Italy in NYC

If you want to see the impressive Soho Square and experience the vibes of China Town, you should totally opt for this tour. The tour begins at the iconic Dominique Ansel Bakery; we will then move to SOHO and a local square park. We’ll also pop into the Ferrara Cafe in Little Italy, where you’ll taste Italian food. Join us on this cultural adventure and have a time of your life!

Besides relaxing and informative walking excursions, we also offer bus tours allowing you to explore distant locations within a few hours. When booking one, you’ll visit various places, from Boston and Niagara Falls to Philadelphia and Amish Village. The duration of these tours varies from 5 to 10 hours. However, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy them!

Explore Iconic Landmarks: Free Tours of New York City's Must-See Sites 

Are you going to visit the heart of New York City? You will hardly find a better way to immerse yourself in the city's dynamic spirit than through our walking tours of New York. See the dazzling lights of Times Square, the grandeur of Central Park, and the historical significance of the Statue of Liberty - our friendly guides will show you the best historical landmarks. 

All our tours are led by seasoned guides, passionate about their work. With their captivating narratives and intriguing insights, you’ll undoubtedly remember this trip for years to come!  If you want to understand the soul of New York, it’s high time to book your tour online!

Embrace the Outdoors: Free Tours of New York City's Parks and Gardens

You know that New York is one of the biggest metropolises in the world. However, there’s a serene oasis of greenery and tranquility among the bustling streets and towering skyscrapers. With our New York walking tours, you will immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this metropolis. You will walk around the iconic Central Park and explore the High Line. Overall, with our guided tours, you will dive deeper into the horticultural marvels that thrive in unexpected corners. Our professional guides are well-versed in botany and history and are always ready to answer all your questions!

Uncover Hidden Gems: Off-the-Beaten-Path Free Tours in New York City

As you can see, many hidden gems are waiting to be discovered beyond the well-trodden tourist paths. With our off-the-beaten-path free tours, you will explore the city's lesser-known corners, local secrets, and authentic experiences. Moreover, you will dive into Harlem's vibrant neighborhoods, the artsy enclaves of Greenwich Village, or the cultural melting pot of Queens. 

All our guides are passionate locals ready to share everything they know about this fantastic city. Overall, if you really want to see Greenwich Street, Manhattan, Chinatown, Broadway, and other famous landmarks, book our free walking tours in New York City right away!

Practical Information: Tour Schedules, Meeting Points, and Booking Details

Our tours are free of charge; however, you must book them on our website in advance. If you do like the excursion, you are free to leave a tip. These tips go directly to our guides as a token of appreciation for their efforts in making your day in New York memorable.

Always check the meeting point in a tour description. All of them are strategically chosen for your convenience. Our guides will be waiting for you there to start the excursion. Tours are available in English, Spanish, and Russian.

Our New York walking tours typically last 2-4 hours, depending on which one you choose. So wear comfortable shoes and prepare your camera to capture unique options. 

Book Your Free Tour in New York City Today!

Are you ready to dive into the atmosphere of Broadway? Do you want to see the Brooklyn Bridge? Well, you’ve come to the right place. With our New York tours, you will explore this city's hidden gems and iconic landmarks. Our guides will do their best to create a friendly atmosphere allowing you to explore the city and immerse yourself in its vibe. It’s time to wave your worries goodbye and book your New York walking tour right away!

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How audio-jacking using gen AI can distort live audio transactions

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Weaponizing large language models (LLMs) to audio-jack transactions that involve bank account data is the latest threat within reach of any attacker who is using AI as part of their tradecraft. LLMs are already being weaponized to create convincing phishing campaigns, launch coordinated social engineering attacks and create more resilient ransomware strains. 

IBM’s Threat Intelligence team took LLM attack scenarios a step further and attempted to hijack a live conversation, replacing legitimate financial details with fraudulent instructions. All it took was three seconds of someone’s recorded voice to have enough data to train LLMs to support the proof-of-concept (POC) attack. IBM calls the design of the POC “scarily easy.” 

The other party involved in the call did not identify the financial instructions and account information as fraudulent.

Weaponizing LLMs for audio-based attacks 

Audio jacking is a new type of generative AI-based attack that gives attackers the ability to intercept and manipulate live conversations without being detected by any parties involved. Using simple techniques to retrain LLMs, IBM Threat Intelligence researchers were able to manipulate live audio transactions with gen AI. Their proof of concept worked so well that neither party involved in the conversation was aware that their discussion was being audio-jacked.

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Using a financial conversation as their test case, IBM’s Threat Intelligence was able to intercept a conversation in progress and manipulate responses in real time using an LLM. The conversation focused on diverting money to a fake adversarial account instead of the intended recipient, all without the call’s speakers knowing their transaction had been comprised. 

IBM’s Threat Intelligence team says the attack was fairly easy to create. The conversation was successfully altered so well that instructions to divert money to a fake adversarial account instead of the intended recipient weren’t identified by any party involved.

Keyword swapping using “bank account” as the trigger 

Using gen AI to identify and intercept keywords and replace them in context is the essence of how audio jacking works. Keying off the word “bank account” for example, and replacing it with malicious, fraudulent bank account data was achieved by their proof of concept. 

Chenta Lee , chief architect of threat intelligence, IBM Security, writes in his blog post published Feb. 1, “For the purposes of the experiment, the keyword we used was ‘bank account,’ so whenever anyone mentioned their bank account, we instructed the LLM to replace their bank account number with a fake one. With this, threat actors can replace any bank account with theirs, using a cloned voice, without being noticed. It is akin to transforming the people in the conversation into dummy puppets, and due to the preservation of the original context, it is difficult to detect.”

“Building this proof-of-concept (PoC) was surprisingly and scarily easy. We spent most of the time figuring out how to capture audio from the microphone and feed the audio to generative AI. Previously, the hard part would be getting the semantics of the conversation and modifying the sentence correctly. However, LLMs make parsing and understanding the conversation extremely easy,” writes Lee. 

Using this technique, any device that can access an LLM can be used to launch an attack. IBM refers to audio jacking as a silent attack. Lee writes, “We can carry out this attack in various ways. For example, it could be through malware installed on the victims’ phones or a malicious or compromised Voice over IP (VoIP) service. It is also possible for threat actors to call two victims simultaneously to initiate a conversation between them, but that requires advanced social engineering skills.”

The heart of an audio jack starts with trained LLMs

IBM Threat Intelligence created its proof of concept using a man-in-the-middle approach that made it possible to monitor a live conversation. They used speech-to-text to convert voice into text and an LLM to gain the context of the conversation. The LLM was trained to modify the sentence when anyone said “bank account.” When the model modified a sentence, it used text-to-speech and pre-cloned voices to generate and play audio in the context of the current conversation.  

Researchers provided the following sequence diagram that shows how their program alters the context of conversations on the fly, making it ultra-realistic for both sides.

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Source: IBM Security Intelligence: Audio-jacking: Using generative AI to distort live audio transactions, February 1, 2024

Avoiding on audio jack

IBM’s POC points to the need for even greater vigilance when it comes to social engineering-based attacks where just three seconds of a person’s voice can be used to train a model. The IBM Threat Intelligence team notes that the attack technique makes those least equipped to deal with cyberattacks the most likely to become victims.  

Steps to greater vigilance against being audio-jacked include: 

Be sure to paraphrase and repeat back information. While gen AI’s advances have been impressive in its ability to automate the same process over and over, it’s not as effective in understanding human intuition communicated through natural language. Be on your guard for financial conversations that sound a little off or lack the cadence of previous decisions. Repeating and paraphrasing materials and asking for confirmation from different contexts is a start.

Security will adapt to identify fake audio. Lee says that technologies to detect deep fakes continue to accelerate. Given how deep fakes are impacting every area of the economy, from entertainment and sports to politics, expect to see rapid innovation in this area. Silent hijacks over time will be a primary focus of new R&D investment, especially by financial institutions.

Best practices stand the test of time as the first line of defense. Lee notes that for attackers to succeed with this kind of attack, the easiest approach is to compromise a user’s device, such as their phone or laptop. He added that “ Phishing , vulnerability exploitation and using compromised credentials remain attackers’ top threat vectors of choice, which creates a defensible line for consumers, by adopting today’s well-known best practices, including not clicking on suspicious links or opening attachments, updating software and using  strong password hygiene .”

OnUse trusted devices and services. Unsecured devices and online services with weak security are going to be targets for audio jacking attack attempts. Be selective lock down the services and devices your organization uses, and keep patches current, including software updates. Take a zero-trust mindset to any device or service and assume it’s been breached and least privilege access needs to be rigorously enforced.

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Explicit Deepfake Images of Taylor Swift Elude Safeguards and Swamp Social Media

Fans of the star and lawmakers condemned the images, probably generated by artificial intelligence, after they were shared with millions of social media users.

A fan looks at a purple phone decorated with a bracelet that reads “Eras Tour.”

By Kate Conger and John Yoon

Fake, sexually explicit images of Taylor Swift likely generated by artificial intelligence spread rapidly across social media platforms this week, disturbing fans who saw them and reigniting calls from lawmakers to protect women and crack down on the platforms and technology that spread such images.

One image shared by a user on X was viewed 47 million times before the account was suspended on Thursday. X suspended several accounts that posted the faked images of Ms. Swift, but the images were shared on other social media platforms and continued to spread despite those companies’ efforts to remove them.

While X said it was working to remove the images, fans of the pop superstar flooded the platform in protest. They posted related keywords, along with the sentence “Protect Taylor Swift,” in an effort to drown out the explicit images and make them more difficult to find.

Reality Defender, a cybersecurity company focused on detecting A.I., determined with 90 percent confidence that the images were created using a diffusion model, an A.I.-driven technology accessible through more than 100,000 apps and publicly available models, said Ben Colman, the company’s co-founder and chief executive.

As the A.I. industry has boomed, companies have raced to release tools that enable users to create images, videos, text and audio recordings with simple prompts. The A.I. tools are wildly popular but have made it easier and cheaper than ever to create so-called deepfakes , which portray people doing or saying things they have never done.

Researchers now fear that deepfakes are becoming a powerful disinformation force, enabling everyday internet users to create nonconsensual nude images or embarrassing portrayals of political candidates. Artificial intelligence was used to create fake robocalls of President Biden during the New Hampshire primary, and Ms. Swift was featured this month in deepfake ads hawking cookware .

“It’s always been a dark undercurrent of the internet, nonconsensual pornography of various sorts,” said Oren Etzioni, a computer science professor at the University of Washington who works on deepfake detection. “Now it’s a new strain of it that’s particularly noxious.”

“We are going to see a tsunami of these A.I.-generated explicit images. The people who generated this see this as a success,” Mr. Etzioni said.

X said it had a zero-tolerance policy toward the content. “Our teams are actively removing all identified images and taking appropriate actions against the accounts responsible for posting them,” a representative said in a statement. “We’re closely monitoring the situation to ensure that any further violations are immediately addressed, and the content is removed.”

X has seen an increase in problematic content including harassment, disinformation and hate speech since Elon Musk bought the service in 2022. He has loosened the website’s content rules and fired, laid off or accepted the resignations of staff members who worked to remove such content. The platform also reinstated accounts that had been previously banned for violating rules.

Although many of the companies that produce generative A.I. tools ban their users from creating explicit imagery, people find ways to break the rules. “It’s an arms race, and it seems that whenever somebody comes up with a guardrail, someone else figures out how to jailbreak,” Mr. Etzioni said.

The images originated in a channel on the messaging app Telegram that is dedicated to producing such images, according to 404 Media , a technology news site. But the deepfakes garnered broad attention after being posted on X and other social media services, where they spread rapidly.

Some states have restricted pornographic and political deepfakes. But the restrictions have not had a strong impact, and there are no federal regulations of such deepfakes, Mr. Colman said. Platforms have tried to address deepfakes by asking users to report them, but that method has not worked, he added. By the time they are flagged, millions of users have already seen them.

“The toothpaste is already out of the tube,” he said.

Ms. Swift’s publicist, Tree Paine, did not immediately respond to requests for comment late Thursday.

The deepfakes of Ms. Swift prompted renewed calls for action from lawmakers. Representative Joe Morelle, a Democrat from New York who introduced a bill last year that would make sharing such images a federal crime, said on X that the spread of the images was “appalling,” adding: “It’s happening to women everywhere, every day.”

“I’ve repeatedly warned that AI could be used to generate non-consensual intimate imagery,” Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said of the images on X. “This is a deplorable situation.”

Representative Yvette D. Clarke, a Democrat from New York, said that advancements in artificial intelligence had made creating deepfakes easier and cheaper.

“What’s happened to Taylor Swift is nothing new,” she said.

Kate Conger is a technology reporter based in San Francisco. She can be reached at [email protected]. More about Kate Conger

John Yoon is a Times reporter based in Seoul who covers breaking and trending news. More about John Yoon

Justin Timberlake will perform a free concert in New York City: How to score tickets

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Justin Timberlake will perform another free concert , this time in New York City, on the pop singer's 43rd birthday.

The NSYNC star on Wednesday announced the Jan. 31 show on his website and social media pages. The surprise concert will take place at Irving Plaza, a ballroom-style music venue in Manhattan.

The announcement comes less than a week after Timberlake performed another free concert in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Here's what to know:

How to see Justin Timberlake in New York City

Fans hoping to see Timberlake in concert have until 11:59 p.m. ET Friday to request free, non-transferable tickets through Ticketmaster .

Each user can request up to two tickets, which are not guaranteed considering the anticipated demand. Even though tickets are free, billing information is still required to validate requests, and a temporary $1 authorization fee will be instantly refunded once credit cards are validated as active.

Those who sign up will then be notified by email on Jan. 30 if they scored tickets.

Pop singer releases new song, teases album

While performing Friday in Memphis, Timberlake confirmed that he has an album on the way when he sang a new track called "Selfish." The DJ also played his new single, "No Angels."

The new album will be Timberlake's sixth solo outing, and his first since his 2018’s “ Man of the Woods .”  A video posted on his Instagram account around the time the Memphis show seems to tease the title of the upcoming release, " Everything I Thought It Was ."

Timberlake, who is booked to appear Thursday on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" and Saturday on "Saturday Night Live," also recently reunited in 2023 with his boy band NSYNC at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards. Shortly after, the group  released its first new song  in 20 years, "Better Place," for the soundtrack of " Trolls Band Together ."

Eric Lagatta covers breaking and trending news for USA TODAY. Reach him at [email protected]

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Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO Tour

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Tour Information

Brooklyn bridge, heights & dumbo, brooklyn bridge, heights & dumbo highlights.

This is a 3-hour tour that begins with a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, an icon of New York City for over 125 years, with spectacular views of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

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For our full tour calendar, click here .

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TOUR DESCRIPTION

The tour then moves on to a stroll of Brooklyn Heights, America’s and New York City’s first suburb.  

The tour then explores the neighborhood DUMBO before ending at the Fulton Ferry landing.

Brooklyn Bridge

The tour begins at the fountain inside City Hall Park in Manhattan. It’s a full mile (1.6 km) across the bridge.

But, we will be making plenty of stops to talk about the history and design of the bridge and to have the opportunity to capture scenic photographs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and New York Harbor.

Check out our self-guided Brooklyn Bridge walk (also available as a  GPS-led audio tour ) to get a better idea of what you will experience.

Before you read our top ten, consider listening to an episode of our NYC Travel Tips podcast that covers the Brooklyn Bridge.

This podcast offers bite-sized audio clips with tips on how to plan your trip to NYC. You can get our podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

  • Brooklyn Heights

The bridge lets out in Brooklyn’s finest residential neighborhoods, filled with interesting people and architecture.

Nicknamed America’s first suburb, Brooklyn Heights will certainly amaze.

Learn about George Washington’s doomed stand against British marines and walk past the homes of Truman Capote, Arthur Miller, and Norman Mailer.

Last but not least, we will visit the promenade for arguably the best views of Manhattan and New York Harbor.

From the promenade, we will walk down to the ferry landing area and explore a small part of DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass).

Once a manufacturing and industrial district, economic change sapped the area of its economic strength, leaving large and vacant factory lofts as attractive destinations for artists starving for large and affordable living space.

The neighborhood's unique urban landscape is partially the result of being below two bridges, an interesting sight to see.

Learn more about this neighborhood with our self-guided tour of DUMBO (also available as a  GPS-led audio tour ).

This tour finishes near the Fulton Ferry Landing in DUMBO, where you could take the  East River Ferry to Lower Manhattan.

TOUR INFORMATION

Reservations: REQUIRED. Click here to reserve . Groups of 5 or more traveling together should visit our groups' page .

New York in One Day Meeting Point

Duration: Approximately 3 hours. Tour distance is approximately 2.5 miles (4 km).

BOOKING NOTES:

  • You will not have time to do this 3 hour morning tour and an afternoon tour at 1pm.
  • You will have very limited time to do this 3 hour morning tour and an afternoon tour at 2 pm - it will require no sit-down lunch and immediate travel from one tour to the other.
  • This tour route uses stairs. Please notify your guide if you cannot use stairs so the guide can plan a reroute to accommodate your needs.
  • This tour covers Brooklyn Heights so you do not need to book that tour as well!

Start point: Tour begins from  the fountain  in the center of City Hall Park ( map ).

Endpoint:  Tour ends near the Fulton Ferry Landing in Brooklyn.

When: @9:30am Daily and @10am as needed. Additional tours @10am will be added as needed.   View Our Full Calendar .

Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it's done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for anyone's budget.

Languages:  Public tour is in English or Spanish only (see our Spanish tour page for calendar) . Private tours for individual groups are also available in both languages upon request.

Save even more money with a  tourist discount pass  as well as with our tips on  bus ,  boat  and  food  tours. We also have a free app where you could download several  GPS audio versions  of our tours.

Additional planning information:  You will NOT have time to do this 3 hour morning tour and an afternoon tour at 1 pm. You will have very limited time to take this 3 hour morning tour and an afternoon tour at 2 pm.

It will require no sit-down lunch and immediate travel from one tour to the other.

Tours go out rain, snow or shine. Dress appropriately for the weather. 

GPS-LED AUDIO TOUR

Take this tour in our GPS-led audio tour app. It's actually 3 separate tours. Listen to the samples.

Sample of our Brooklyn Bridge Tour

Sample of our Brooklyn Heights Tour

Sample of our DUMBO Tour.

You'll need to download our free audio tour app. Downloads are only $1.99. Some tours are free.

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Here is how it works:

  • Book a tour on our booking page above.
  • Receive a confirmation email with all the details.
  • Enjoy the tour(s).

Available Tours:

  • Central Park
  • Lower Manhattan
  • 9/11 Memorial and World Trade Center
  • The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
  • Greenwich Village
  • Food Tour of Greenwich Village
  • The Brooklyn Bridge (in English, Spanish, and German)
  • The High Line
  • Midtown Manhattan
  • Grand Central Terminal

Available Without Audio (full text):

  • Times Square

RELATED POSTS:

  • Other NYC Tours
  • Things to Do in NYC
  • Things to Do in Brooklyn

And much, much more

North america, united kingdom & ireland, middle east & india, asia & oceania.

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