Morningside Heights

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Morningside Heights is often called American Acropolis due to the high concentration of educational and religious organizations on this hill. Let us 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 campus 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 is a shortage of public restrooms. Before the tour you could use the Great Hill or Charles A. Dana Discovery Center in Central Park.

This private tour takes about 2 hours and costs $150. Use calendar below to look for an available time and request a convenient slot. I will get back to you shortly with confirmation. Or just contact me.

Request a private tour below


  • You’ve heard of Pulitzer prize, would you like to see the building where it’s given out?
  • They are the tallest USA church and the largest USA cathedral and they are in the same neighborhood, whaaat?
  • The crown prince and princess of Japan visited NYC in 1960, where did they go?
  • The original of this patriotic sculpture is in Paris, in Place de Bitche dutifully renamed Place des États-Unis?
  • The Alma Mater sculpture has a hidden little owl that decides if a freshman will become a valedictorian, wanna look for it?
  • Pina Bausch, Leontyne Price, Leonard Cohen lived in the International House, what is it exactly?
  • Washington DC has Tidal Basin, NYC has Brooklyn Botanical Garden and this place
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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. 🙂

Other walking tours to consider

Any questions or comments?

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.