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10 walking tours to try in NYC

The legendary Ferris Bueller once said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Even though he was referring to skipping school, the logic still applies. Test out one or more of these New York City walking tours to get some insight into the buildings, landmarks, restaurants, stores and even ghosts of New York.

What are you waiting for? Walk -- don't run -- to one of these New York City tours.

Free Tours By Foot

This
Photo Credit: Jake Stimpson via Flickr

This "pay-what-you-wish" tour company offers more than 30 different tours around the city, with the most popular being the Soho, Little Italy and Chinatown tours. Follow your licensed tour guide for about two hours as you cover a little over a mile of ground and learn about each neighborhood. Reservations are required. 646-450-6831, freetoursbyfoot.com

Big Onion Walking Tours

Big Onion offers a multitude of neighborhood tours,
Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Jewel Samad

Big Onion offers a multitude of neighborhood tours, including the Brooklyn Bridge and Heights area, the East Village, the Financial District, Gramercy Park and Union Square, and historic Times Square. The company also runs seasonal tours, such as a Christmas Stroll in Greenwich Village. Most of the guides are graduate students in the process of researching and writing doctoral dissertations in history. They know what they are talking about. $20 ($15 for students, seniors and active military), 888-606-9255, big onion.com

Ghosts of New York

Get creeped out on these haunted walking tours
Photo Credit: Ghosts of New York

Get creeped out on these haunted walking tours that take you to the most eerie spots in New York City over the course of about 90 minutes. The top three tours this month include Edgar Allan Poe and His Ghostly Neighbors of Greenwich Village, Peter Stuyvesant and His Ghostly Friends of the East Village and Ghosts of the City. In this photo, guide Jamie Owens stands next to the bell of St. Mark's Church in the Bowery on the East Village Walk. $20 ($15 for students and seniors), 646-493-7092, ghostsofny.com

The Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl

Every Saturday at 1 p.m.,
Photo Credit: Matt Kane via Flickr

Every Saturday at 1 p.m., "literary geeks and history buffs" lead tours that leave from White Horse Tavern (567 Hudson St. and 11th St.) and last for about three hours. Along the tour, you will listen to prose, poems and interesting historical details about writers and the literary pubs they once frequented. You can also check out the Midtown Literary Walking Tour and the Brooklyn Literary Pub Crawl. $20 ($15 for students and seniors), 212-613-5796, literarypubcrawl.com

Harlem Heritage Tours

How much do you really know about Harlem
Photo Credit: Getty Images / D Dipasupil

How much do you really know about Harlem and its history? Enrich your knowledge through one of the following walking tours offered by Harlem Heritage: Harlem Gospel, Harlem Renaissance, General Harlem History, Harlem Civil Rights, Harlem Wednesday Gospel, Harlem Heritage Apollo Theater, Harlem Heritage Food, Take The A Train Harlem Tour and the General Harlem Heritage Multimedia Tour Lunch Tour. Tours range from two to five hours and tickets cost between $25 and $89. 212-280-7888, harlemheritage.com

Foods of New York Tours

Feast your eyes on this roasted cauliflower with
Photo Credit: Diana Colapietro

Feast your eyes on this roasted cauliflower with cashews, sesame and parmesan from Rouge Tomate Chelsea. It's no secret that New York City is a force to be reckoned with in the culinary world. Treat yourself to delicious cuisine in the neighborhood of your choice on one of these tours offered by Foods of New York. Tours last about three hours (all food tastings are included in the ticket price) and locations include Greenwich Village, Chelsea Market/Meatpacking District, Heart of the Village, Gourmet Chinatown and NoLita/NoHo. Guides are culinary enthusiasts, cultural experts and even comedians, so it's sure to be an enjoyable experience for foodies and tourists alike. $52 ($65 for Gourmet Chinatown Food Tour), 917-408-9539, foodsofny.com

Shop Gotham

Shop Gotham provides tours with a focus on
Photo Credit: Chris Ford via Flickr

Shop Gotham provides tours with a focus on "NYC-only stores." Tours last two to three hours throughout SoHo and NoLita, major shopping neighborhoods. Tour guides not only provide information about shopping, but also about the surrounding architecture, history and culture of the areas. Tickets cost $38-$64, 212-209-3370, shopgotham.com

Street Art Walk

Have you ever walked by an interesting piece
Photo Credit: Garrett Ziegler via Flickr

Have you ever walked by an interesting piece of graffiti and wondered what it means? Here's a solution to satisfy your curiosity. Every Saturday and Sunday, Street Art Walk offers two-hour tours of street art around Bushwick and Williamsburg. Beginning at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., tour guides for Street Art Walk "bring the walls alive" and explain stencils, murals, graffiti and details about the artists who created them. $25, streetartwalk.com

Chocolate Tour of New York

Chocolate is important. Whether or not you enjoy
Photo Credit: Siona Karen via Flickr

Chocolate is important. Whether or not you enjoy it, chocolate plays a critical role in our health and happiness. For $50, spend about two hours tasting chocolate at multiple chocolate shops around Chelsea, Greenwich Village and SoHo. besttours.com

New York City Photo Trek Tours

New York City Photo Trek Tours offers private
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Mario Tama

New York City Photo Trek Tours offers private tours led by guides who happen to be professional photographers around Times Square and the Theatre District, Central Park, Midtown Manhattan, Downtown Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. Tours are either 2 or 3 hours and the company guarantees at least 75 photos for a 2 hour tour and at least 125 photos for a 3 hour tour. The photos will be sent to participants in a gallery by gallery and zip-file. Tickets from $137.50 per person, 917-734-7602, Photo Trek tours

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