Touring Great Cities with Podcasts

The iPod is not just for groov­ing to music any­more. Muse­ums are using pod­casts to help vis­i­tors bet­ter explore their
art col­lec­tions (See our relat­ed arti­cle). Uni­ver­si­ties are doing the same for their cam­pus­es (see UC Berke­ley’s tour on iTunes). Doc­tors are now using iPods to improve their stetho­scope skills. And, trav­el­ers can now use them to tour through the great cities and coun­tries of the world.

Along these lines, a ven­ture called Sound­walk pro­vides engag­ing, some­what off­beat audio tours of New York and Paris. In New York, they offer indi­vid­ual tours of Lit­tle Italy, the Low­er East Side, Times Square and the Meat Pack­ing Dis­trict. They also get into Brook­lyn and the Bronx. Mean­while, in Paris, they take you through the Marais, St. Ger­main, Pigalle, Belleville, and the Palais Roy­al. Each tour is nar­rat­ed by fit­ting fig­ures. The writer Paul Auster leads you through Ground Zero in New York. Vin­ny Vel­la, who has played roles in The Sopra­nos and Mar­tin Scorce­se’s Casi­no, takes you through Chi­na­town. To get a feel for whether it’s the right kind of expe­ri­ence for you, Sound­walk lets you lis­ten to a sam­ple of each tour. Unlike most things that we fea­ture on Open Cul­ture, these audio files are not free. They’ll run you $12 a piece. But in the scheme of a big trip, it may be worth the cost.

Now if you’re look­ing for free trav­el pod­casts, then you’ll want to give some time to Trav­el with Rick Steves (iTunesFeedWeb Site). Some recent episodes look at Sici­ly, Spain, Cuba and Mex­i­co. You can also find a sep­a­rate col­lec­tion ded­i­cat­ed to trav­el­ing in Paris and its envi­rons (iTunes). Lis­ten­ers give these pod­casts high marks.

See all of Open Cul­ture’s Pod­cast Col­lec­tions:

Arts & Cul­tureAudio BooksFor­eign Lan­guage LessonsNews & Infor­ma­tionSci­enceTech­nol­o­gyUni­ver­si­ty (Gen­er­al)Uni­ver­si­ty (B‑School)Pod­cast Primer

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.