Get us in your inbox

Bloody Angle in Chinatown
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Jörg Schubert

The 6 best crime tours in NYC

Visit former mafia hangouts, gang war battlegrounds and haunted buildings on these bone-chilling crime tours in NYC

Written by
Tolly Wright
Annalise Mantz
Alex Floyd-Douglass

Look past the hip cafes and organic grocery stores in any New York City neighborhood and you’ll find it: evidence of the city’s sordid past. If you know where to look, you can find old mob hangouts, gang war battlegrounds and haunted places sprinkled all around the five boroughs. That’s where these crime tours in NYC come in. Instead of hitting all the big New York attractions, these walking tours in NYC focus on the city’s secrets – a dark history that some would be keen to forget. Once you’ve visited former bootlegging depots, secret underground tunnels and the final resting places of notorious mafia bosses, you might just see the city in a new light.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to New York City tours

NYC crime tours

Mafia Tour and Food Tasting
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Tomás Fano

1. Mafia Tour and Food Tasting

Fuhgeddabout The Godfather. Find out what New York’s 20th-century mobsters, like Lucky Luciano and Carlo Gambino, were like as you walk past former East Village tenements, alleyways, social clubs and funeral homes that played a part in their criminal empires. Enjoy a Sicilian meal in Little Italy while you soak up the history.

Greenwich Village Ghost Tour
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/NumbPhoto

2. Greenwich Village Ghost Tour

One of the city’s oldest neighborhoods is also home to some of its oldest residents – even if they now only reside there in spirit. Leave your scaredy pants at home for an afternoon of morbid tales about the nabe’s ghosts, from ancient spooks and menacing apparitions to recently spotted ghouls.

Little Italy Gangs and Crime Private Tour
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Jörg Schubert

3. Little Italy Gangs and Crime Private Tour

Uncover the truth about New York’s seedy criminal underworld on this tour of two neighborhoods that were once notorious for their gang activity. In Little Italy, you’ll discover a pizzeria that doubled as a drug ring and bars featured on The Sopranos. Next, in Chinatown, you’ll visit the Bloody Angle and check out secret tunnels used by gangsters on the run from the cops.

Gangsters and Ghosts Tour of New York
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Maximilian Goldmann

4. Gangsters and Ghosts Tour of New York

It’s fitting that the New York County Courthouse is smack dab in the middle of the neighborhood once known as Five Points, where five families waged bloody gang wars for decades. Visit historic landmarks like Curb Exchange, a former bootlegging depot, and Old St. Patrick’s Church, the city’s oldest Catholic church. You’ll even spy a few filming locations from The Godfather trilogy. Watch out for the ghoulies though. 

NYC Gangster and Mob Private Walking Tour
Photograph: Shutterstock

5. NYC Gangster and Mob Private Walking Tour

Don’t want to mingle with the public on your tour? Spring for this private walk for up to 10 people. You’ll visit the spot where the infamous Dead Rabbits Riot occurred, the battleground between the deadly Tong gangs in Chinatown and former hangouts of mafia dons in Little Italy. 

Private Mafia Tour by Luxury Vehicle
Photograph: Shutterstock

6. Private Mafia Tour by Luxury Vehicle

Ride through Manhattan in style—like the dons of the mafia once did—in a luxury vehicle on this private tour. You’ll focus on mob hangouts frequented by bosses like John Gotti, including ritzy steakhouses, exclusive social clubs and extravagant homes. To get even more insight into the mob mentality, extend the tour by two hours and venture into Queens to visit Gotti’s former home, high school and final resting place.

Looking for more tours in NYC?

    You may also like
    You may also like