Detour Global Preview

For those of you outside of the Bay Area, we have some good news — today we’re launching new Detours in New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, and Marrakesh. This reduces the average distance between human and Detour by 48% to a much more manageable 10,234 miles.

Today’s launch brings us to a total of 21 Detours spanning 8 cities. And while their quality is unsurpassed, we still believe you shouldn’t need to travel 10,000 miles to take one. But until we really begin expanding next year, take a Detour if you visit one of these cities — you won’t regret it.

Here’s what’s launching today.

New York

In New York, we’ve partnered with Soundwalk to re-issue three of their most popular walks — updated with Detour’s location-aware technology and group audio sync so you can take them with friends.

Ride the 6 train deep into the South Bronx as Def Jam Records co-founder DJ Jazzy J lays down the history of hip-hop and guides you through his South Bronx neighborhood where it all began. Sit on the very stage where hip hop was born and stroll the streets to the beats and rhymes of hip-hop’s legendary heavyweights.

Hasidic Williamsburg is a stark contrast to the hipster enclave that surrounds it. In these two walks, one for women and one for men, you are lead into the storefronts, back rooms, and neighborhood spaces of the Hasidic community. Witness and understand their unwavering and centuries-old traditions up close and personal as you walk through a day-in-the-life of a Hasidic Williamsburg.

Join Soprano’s actor, life-long Little Italy resident, and “Mayor of Elizabeth Street” Vinny Vella on a stroll through his neighborhood, mob-life memories, and his gruff yet endearing internal monologue. Meet his 80-year old butcher, see the ceiling through which 100’s of pounds of provelone was once stolen in the middle of the night, re-live some of Vinny’s favorite movie scenes, and end up in Chinatown with a new understanding of the neighborhood. Vinny’s wisecracks will echo in your ears for days.


Backstage Westminster

Join Henry Adeane, senior civil servant and forgetful whiskey enthusiast, for a jaunt around the seat of British government. Take in a millennium of history as you tread the same streets as Westminster’s greatest heroes and its many villains. Hear tales of achievement and triumph, deceit and skullduggery, botches and blunders, even as your guide struggles to contain a blunder of his own. Henry strips away the myths, cuts through the grandeur, and uncovers the true stories of government.

Radical Clerkenwell

Discover a 1000 year-long history of revolution and working class dissent in the cobbled streets of Clerkenwell: the city’s centre for radicalism and non-conformity. You’ll visit landmarks and go beyond the monuments to see the many remnants of Clerkenwell’s history that still thrive today — the infamous Smithfield meat market, London’s first hospital and the charities and churches which grew along side rebellion to make Clerkenwell the beating heart of left-leaning reform.


Illegal Paris

Climb the postcard-perfect hill of Montmartre and then descend its other side into the underbelly of its fringe economy. Amongst pickpockets, police officers, and peddlers of souvenirs and contraband, see how Montmartre’s strict laws play out and get broken on the street.

The Crazy Years with Kiki de Montparnasse

Once the epicenter of an international artistic revolution, Montparnasse is today a neighborhood often ignored. But between the world wars, Montparnasse was abuzz with jazz music, cocaine, and artists and writers looking for a place they could freely create. At the center of it all was the original “it” girl, Kiki de Montparnasse, the muse and model for a number of soon-to-be-famous painters and photographers. Kiki throws light on the key art movements from the time, and takes you through Montparnasse’s hidden studios, secret graves, and Picasso’s favorite oil pastels.


Ungovernable Kreuzberg

Amidst the ruins left by World War II and surrounded by the Berlin Wall, Kreuzberg became an experimental living room for hedonism, hard-edged left-wing politics, freedom, protest, and a different kind of life. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, everything changed and the once-forgotten district was suddenly open. See and hear how Kreuzberg remains proudly ungovernable today. Follow train tracks and migration paths through squatted streets park parties, where space is still claimed defiantly for the public good.


Summer of Anarchy

In the summer of 1936, Barcelona became the very first and only anarchist state. In the wake of a toppled empire, empowered anarchist unions formed a makeshift army and successfully resisted a Fascist coup d’état. Relive the incredible story of the first anarchist revolution with the people who fought it. Walk with Jose, a Spanish soldier turned anarchist; young feminist and activist Concha Liaño; and George Orwell, whose experiences as a volunteer anarchist soldier would later inform his famous work, “1984”.


Memories of the Medina

Dive into the collective memory of this thousand years old square, Place Jemaa el Fnaa, and its surrounding souks. Meet snake charmers, monkey trainers, and glimpse into the lives of the people who work and perform there daily. Learn to haggle, witness magicians at work, and take part in the centuries-long traditions of the medina and its marketplace.

Originally published at on June 11, 2015.

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