Summary of contents of this post
Welcome to the Bronx! If you have already read our New York guide, you will have seen that the Bronx is one of the New York neighborhoods into which we divide our view to make it easier. Well, in this post we’re going to tell you everything you can see and do in the Bronx and surrounding areas, the most important points of interest, where to sleep, where to eat, if it’s really dangerous, which areas are the most conflictive, etc …
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If you ask us what to see and do in the Bronx, no doubt these would be the places we recommend and you can not miss, although it is true that we visited this neighborhood within the tour of contrasts that we did with Civitatis and you have to know it very well to enter it independently, as there are areas that are still quite dangerous.
TOUR OF CONTRASTS
Is the Bronx dangerous?
Before we start talking about this controversial neighborhood, we want to talk about something you’re sure to be worried about: insecurity. Is the Bronx still a dangerous neighborhood? The reality is that we don’t know him well enough to give you an answer, but we have read a lot about him and we also have the recommendations of the guide who accompanied us during the tour of contrasts.
I’m sure if you’ve heard of the Bronx, besides being home to the Yankees, it’s because it’s known as one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the world, because that’s how it was in the past. One important thing to keep in mind is that the Bronx is huge, so yes, in such a huge neighborhood, there are still areas where conflicts and violence between rival gangs exist. In fact, there are areas where you are not even allowed to get out of the van during the contrasts tour for security reasons. Our guide told us that a few weeks earlier one of the vans on the tour had received a stone that had shattered one of the crystals. So yes, there are still conflict zones. But again, it’s zones, it’s NOT the whole Bronx district.
We have read that the least recommended (and should be avoided) areas are those in the south and northeast of the district, as well as those we have marked on the map with a red “X”.
First and foremost, what you need to have when you visit the Bronx is common sense: visit the busiest areas and do it during the day. If you prefer to be safe, you can always opt for the tour of contrasts.
Things that really caught our attention in the Bronx.
It is common to find shoes hung by the cords of light cables. Contrary to what I thought before I visited the Bronx (I always thought it was something like: someone died here and we left their slippers to remind others), this means that place is a point of sale of drugsThere are cameras recording everywhere. There are some houses whose doors are painted red. They are part of Operation Clean Hall, an operation that marks the places that are susceptible to dealing with drugs or weapons and through which the police can enter at any time. With the arrival of Giulani as mayor of New York in 1994, the death rate in the Bronx dropped dramatically. There are areas of the Bronx, which we could only see from the van, where there is almost extreme poverty.
Bronx map and points of interest
In the map below, you will find the most important points of interest in the Bronx:
What to see and do in the Bronx
Although it used to be one of the most dangerous areas in the world (and some parts of the neighborhood are still dangerous because it is controlled by gangs), today you can take a walk through the Bronx, the birthplace of rap and hip hop and visit the New York Botanical Garden, Yankee Stadium or the city’s most iconic graffiti.
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As I said above, we visited the most important points of interest in the Bronx during our contrasts tour, but in this post we want to talk to you about EVERYTHING you can see and do in the Bronx.
TOUR OF CONTRASTS
If there’s one thing the Bronx is known for, it’s their baseball team. And its stadium is undoubtedly one of the most important points of interest in the district. It was built in 1923 and later renovated in 76. It has a capacity for 50,291 spectators, making it one of the largest baseball stadiums in the United States.
What to See and Do in the Bronx: Yankee Stadium
If you are going to buy the NY Pass, you should know that it includes the entrance to this stadium and a guided tour of it. If you do not have this pass you have two options:
Buy the ticket to visit the stadium and do the guided tour that costs 20 USD per person.go to watch a game of the Yankees as an amateur. You can check the tickets here, you will find prices from 24 USD per person for a normal match.
Sports shows at Madison Square Garden:
What to See and Do in the Bronx: Yankee Stadium
It’s a shame that the two times I’ve been in New York hadn’t yet started the baseball season, because I really think going to a game has to be really exciting.
Fort Apache, 42nd Precinct, Bronx.
Paul Newman made this place famous when he appeared in the movie Fort Apache in 1981. In the film, Newman was one of the policemen of this police station located in hostile territory trying to survive the conflict surrounded by drugs, riots and murders…
Poster of Fort Apache
The film reflects, in addition to the situation in the Bronx, the police corruption of the time.
What to see and do in the Bronx: Fort Apache
When we visited this area, our contrasts tour guide told us about all the initiatives that were carried out in the Bronx to try to put an end to crime and murder. One of them, known as ‘Stop shooting, start living’ (Stop shooting, start living), tried to take the weapons out of the street by giving them to their owners in exchange for food or clothing checks. The commitment of the police was not to investigate the origin of these weapons or the crimes that might have been committed with them.
Urban art and murals
In the Bronx you will find countless graffiti, many of them dedicated not only to hip-hop music legends, but also to innocent victims of conflicts in the Bronx. In this district the streets tell stories through urban art, most of them sad and related to violent deaths.
Next I’m going to talk to you about the best known murals and graffiti in the Bronx.
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Without a doubt, this is one of the best known murals in the Bronx and is one of the classic stops on the tour of contrasts. If you want to go on your own you can do so by arriving at the Simpson St. Petersburg metro station.
What to see and do in the Bronx: I love The BronxWhat to see and do in the Bronx: I love The Bronx
This area is controlled by the Latin Kings and it is common to find shoes hanging from light wires. Contrary to what I thought before visiting the Bronx (I’ve always thought it was something like: someone died here and we leave their shoes to remind others), this means that this place is a point of sale of drugs.
Big Pun Mural
This mural, located next to a gas station, was made in honor of a well-known rapper who died, against what we might think at first, of a heart attack because of his great overweight (he weighed more than 300 kilos).
What to see and do in the Bronx: Big Pun Mural
It’s one of the classic stops on the contrast tour, but if you want to go on your own you can do it by arriving at the Intervale metro stop.
Head Acke Nelson Mural
In this case the mural is related to death and conflict. The main character was shot in cold blood after a dispute at a baseball game.
What to See and Do in the Bronx: Headache Nelson Mural
Mural by Amadou Diallo
Diallo’s is another of the most tragic cases in the Bronx. This Guinean immigrant died in 1999 outside his home as a result of 41 shots fired at him by four policemen from the now defunct New York Police Street Crimes Unit.
What to see and do in the Bronx: Mural by Amadou Diallo
Amadou was on his way home when he caught the attention of the police for his ‘resemblance’ to a suspect of several rapes. When he stopped, the young man became nervous and went to take out his wallet to identify himself. This movement was interpreted by the police as a threat (together with the fact that one of them accidentally tripped and fired his gun at the ground, with the consequent confusion of his comrades) and caused them to start shooting at Diallo indiscriminately.
The death of the young man caused great unrest in the city and was a before and after in the way of understanding the violence and conflicts in the Bronx.
New York Botanical Garden
And coming out of the most conflictive areas of the Bronx, we are now going to see other points of interest that are not so related to the district’s criminal history.
We start with the New York Botanical Garden, a paradise for lovers of plants and flowers, as well as the most important botanical garden in the state of New York. Established in 1891, the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) is distinguished by the beauty of its landscape, collections and gardens.
What to See and Do in the Bronx: New York Botanical Garden
It is currently the largest botanical garden in a U.S. city and is a National Historic Monument. It houses 50 specialized gardens and collections comprising more than one million plants. Highlights include the award-winning Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, considered one of the world’s most sustainable rose gardens; or the Native Plant Garden, which celebrates the diversity of plants in northeastern North America.
Entrance to the Botanical Garden costs 23 USD per person if you visit on weekdays and 28 USD if you visit on weekends. It is open every day from 10:00 to 18:00, but you can check the special opening hours here.
Bronx Arts Museum
Since its founding in 1971, the Museum has played a vital role in the Bronx by helping to make art accessible to the entire community. In commemoration of its 40th anniversary, the Museum implemented a policy of universal free admission, supporting its mission to make artistic experiences available to all audiences.
The permanent collection of the Bronx Museum is made up of more than 2,000 works of art covering all formats.
As I said, access to the Bronx Museum is completely free and the schedule is as follows:
Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays from 11:00 to 18:00 hours, Thursdays from 11:00 to 18:00 hours, Fridays from 11:00 to 20:00 hours, Saturdays from 11:00 to 18:00 hours, Sundays from 11:00 to 18:00 hours.
As you probably know, because I’ve said it countless times, I’m a SUPER fan of cemeteries (especially because I think they say a lot of things about the places we visit) and this one in the Bronx is really gigantic and houses inside the graves of famous people like Herman Melville, Joseph Pulitzer or Celia Cruz. But it is not worth it just for that, also for the landscape and architecture of some of its mausoleums.
What to See and Do in the Bronx: Woodlawn Cemetery
Woodlawn Cemetery, which organizes tours for the most famous visit, is open every day from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Woodlawn Cemetery, which organizes tours for the most famous visit, is open every day from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Arthur Avenue and Belmont, the Little Italy of the Bronx
If Lower Manhattan’s Little Italy seems small to you, you might want to take a walk in this little Italy in the Bronx. Here you will find countless shops and restaurants where you can taste exquisite Italian food and feel as if you were on the shores of the Mediterranean.
What to see and do in the Bronx: Arthur Avenue
Would you like a cannoli or a nice plate of pasta? Well, this is your place! In addition to eating and walking around the area, you can’t miss the Arthur Avenue Retail Market, the typical neighbourhood market where you can soak up the day-to-day atmosphere of the inhabitants of little Italy in the Bronx.
Other points of interest around the Bronx
1520 Sedgwick Ave, where hip-hop is considered to have been born.Bay Plaza Shopping Center, one of the city’s largest shopping areas.visit Gun Hill Brewing Company, a must if you’re a beer lover.visit Edgar Allan Poe Cottage, the former home of American writer Edgar Allan Poe.Wave Hill Park.
How long do I need to see the Bronx?
In our opinion the ideal time to visit this area is a morning or a full afternoon, everything will depend on whether you are content to see what you are taught in the tour of contrasts or prefer to make an incursion on your own in the Little Italy of the Bronx or the Botanical Garden.
How to get to the Bronx
The best way to get to the Bronx, like most places in New York, is by subway.
What you have to be clear about is where in the Bronx you want to start your visit, because in addition to being huge, in the Bronx there are conflictive areas. Perhaps what makes the most sense is to start your visit in the Botanical Gardens area and walk to Little Italy, for example. Next we leave you the map with the metro stops that you will find in the Bronx:
How to get to the Bronx
In this post you have more information about how to get around New York.
Where to Eat in the Bronx
One of the best things about New York in general is the large number of choices you have to eat. As always, we are preparing videos and posts about this, but the Bronx, and especially its Little Italy, is a perfect place to eat.
If you visit this area in the middle of the morning, you can eat at one of the restaurants marked in dark grey on the map, such as Enzo’s or Louie & Ernie’s Pizza.
Other options for eating in the Bronx:
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Where to Sleep in the Bronx
It is true that if you ask us, we would not stay in the Bronx as long as there are other options such as Brooklyn or Queens, which is very well priced and well communicated, so you will arrive at the center in a moment.
If you want to take a look at hotels in the Bronx, you can do so here, but remember to consult the opinions of other travellers who have slept in the hotel you are interested in very well to avoid unexpected scares.
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