a birds eye view of Columbia University campus, Morningside Heights, Central Park and beyond

Tour guide

Slava Shpigel
+1 212 498 9524
  • Language: English




10:00 am - 12:00 pm



Morningside Heights (in English)

10% of all profits go to support Ukrainian Armed Forces

Morningside Heights is often called American Acropolis due to the high concentration of educational and religious organizations on this hill. Let us also dive in this atmosphere of higher knowledge. On our way we will see the work of Statue of Liberty sculptor, meet a German Revolutionary and overlook Harlem from up high, have a detailed discussion of architectural pearl of Upper Manhattan that is Cathedral Church of St John the Divine (the largest cathedral in the States), also about a record breaking church – Riverside Church, we will walk through the Columbia University and talk about art there, finally experience one of New York contrasts: a modest gravestone next to a giant Grant Mausoleum. And also a lot of other details as much as time allows us.

The tour will take about 2 hours, we will walk a lot as always. There will be steps, approximately 150 in all. Of those almost a hundred – in one ascent, so bear that in mind. Unfortunately on our way there won’t be any public restrooms but we will finish not far from Playground 123 in Morningside Park. Before the tour you could use the Great Hill or Charles A. Dana Discovery Center in Central Park.

Out of many concerns we will not enter buildings together but I very much recommend to capitalize on your trip uptown and explore the neighborhood by visiting for example the tower of the Riverside Church (https://www.trcnyc.org/tours/), the views are amazing;


visit St John the Divine (tickets may be purchased beforehand, although it’s not necessary, $5, the information is here: https://www.stjohndivine.org/visit/hours-information/

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The Who

The kids are alright

116th street through Columbia U

There used to be cars on 116th street through Columbia University campus

The view of Columbia U

If you take a tour of the Riverside Church they may take up the tower for this view, and others

Riverside Church

The tallest church in the USA

Grand Tomb

A grand Grant Tomb

The Thinker

Right elbow to the left knee, you try sitting like that for a hundred years.

St John the Divine

The largest cathedral in the United States and it isn’t even finished

Carl Schurz

German born American secretary of the Interior

Japanese Stone Lantern

Japan’s crown prince and princess presented this to NYC in 1960, personally

Slava on a tour

Morningside heights
  • The tour takes approximately 2 hours but often we go a little bit over that
  • This route is a about 2 miles long; there will be 150+ steps on the way
  • If your kids appreciate some history in their Sunday take them with you
  • Don’t forget to check the weather couple of days prior

Interactive route map


a map of the route
Click/tap on the map to explore the route of our tour

Want this same tour just for yourself?

Private 2 hour walking tour is $150 for you and up to 9 of your guests

Did you know?

St John the Divine

Why is its facade not symmetrical?

The cathedral is actually not finished, even though it's 130 years old. And even so it is the largest in the States.

Columbia University

How did it happen it's here?

Columbia used to be in Financial District and then near where Rockefeller Center is but in late XIX they moved to the bucolic uptown and the city grew around them

Grant's Tomb

Who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb?

No one! Grant and his wife are entombed and not buried in the sarcophagi inside. This is an old joke slash riddle. 🙂

Slava Shpigel photo

Slava Shpigel

Your guide

Licensed New York Guide, leading tours since 2012.

I have never appreciated history before I moved to New York in 2010. Maybe it was an immigrant thing – to study up on the new city and country – but it quickly fascinated me. Now 4 shelves of USA and New York history books and 10 years guiding experience behind me I more than ever want to share the stories I learned.

Any questions or comments?

Ask me anything!

  • Language: English

The event is finished.