IHG Travel Blog

Become part of the “family” in New York City

Charlie "Lucky" Luciano - Father of US Organized Crime

Charlie “Lucky” Luciano – Father of US Organized Crime

The days of the mob aren’t what they used to be. But in the not-so-distant past, New York City was the arena for the major mob players, with the Five Families running the city.

The Five Families — Lucchese, Genovese, Gambino, Bonanno and Colombo — are the major Italian-American Mafia crime families residing in the Big Apple. They dominate the organized crime scene in New York, as well as throughout the U.S. and have done so since the 1930s.

Because there’s such a rich Mafia history here, NYC loves taking its tourists back in time with tours telling and showcasing the lives of the big bosses and gangsters from the late-1800s through the mid-1900s. See where they did their business, where they regularly hung out, where they ate and drank, and where they had their family feuds.

NYC gangsters tours

NYC Gangsters Tours makes you an offer you can’t refuse with their options of various public, private and specialty tours. On their tours, you learn about the rise and fall of the American Mafia, notorious gangsters and the different game players back when the mob had such a major influence on NYC. Learn about early New York City Street gangs and the birthplace of organized crime on their Little Italy & Chinatown Gangsters Walking Tour or travel through a 100-year tale of organized crime on The “Rise and Fall of the American Mafia” Tour.

Photo by WillVision

Their Jewish Gangsters of the Lower East Side Walking Tour walks you through the life of a Jewish gangster and what used to be one of the largest Jewish communities in the world, while The Life and Crimes of “Lucky” Luciano Tour shares the story of a very influential NYC gangster from Sicily and provides a three-course Italian dinner after your tour.

The “official” Gangs of New York tour

You may have seen the popular movie, but just like movies don’t do books justice, the Gangs of New York movie doesn’t do The “Official” Gangs of New York Tour justice. All you have to do is show up at the meeting site and then go on a tour where you hear about the historical facts of the area and stop at sites like “Murderer’s Alley”, the lost intersection of Five Points and places associated with police riots from the mid-1800s.

New York Mafia Tour: Little Italy’s mobsters, gangsters and tough guys

Venture through Little Italy on a guided New York Mafia Tour. On this tour, listen to stories of the Five Families, see where the most infamous mob shooting in Little Italy took place and visit film locations from popular American mob movies, such as The Godfather and Goodfellas.

Photo by Loek Zanders

Mafia walking tour

Put on by the Lower East Side History Project, this Mafia Walking Tour has you traveling through the East Village and Little Italy. You visit some of the former Mafia social clubs, businesses and homes, and also talk about the history of the Five Families, the roots of the mob in America and Italian immigration.

Photo by Peter Cigliano

When you arrive at your New York City hotel, you won’t see any mobsters taking to the mattresses, but you can take one of its tours to learn all about the feuding Five Families and other infamous NYC gangsters from back in the day. It’s a fun way to learn a little Mafia and American history and a chance to have a NYC travel experience that doesn’t just involve stopping by the major, tourist-filled attractions.

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