Rat Tours are Taking Over New York City

New York City, United States
Photo by Pelle Martin on Unsplash

When it comes to travel, there is a flavor for everyone. Some prefer lying on beaches of white sand, otherwise opt for the mountains and big cities. Yet, New York City has managed to carve out a tourism niche if its own—Rat tours. 

If you got a shiver down your spine, you’re not the only one. But one man has realised how lucrative the critters can be.

Rats have become somewhat synonymous with the Big Apple. It was only a few years ago that one of the rodents went viral for carrying a slice of pizza down the subway steps. The infestation became even worse during the pandemic, with health inspectors recording 60,000 incidents last year, prompting the appointment of a “rat czar” to get rid of them. 

But not before tourists can have their own experience.

“Rats are like a New York City mascot. People want to see it for themselves,” says Kenny Bollwerk who leads the free walking tours. They take place late at night near Rockefeller Center and in Flushing and Sunnyside, Queens.

For those who can’t make it in person, Bollwerk typically live-streams the rat exploration on TikTok. It is not uncommon for him to receive 10,000 viewers at a time on what has become known as RatTok.

We think we might just stick to Times Square.