The energy of New York City certainly lies in its streets. If you are visiting New York for the first time, it can certainly be overwhelming. Honestly, there is some serious ground to cover and if you are thinking you could perhaps spend three to five days all by yourself to see the major spots of NY City, you are totally in for a surprise. One of the best ways to travel around New York is to book a hop-on hop-off bus or the New York bus tour as they are popularly known as.
How does the hop-on hop-off bus tour work?
The hop-on hop-off bus tour is essentially a guided tour that covers some of the most sought-after circuits in NY City and they stop on key areas for the tourists to experience the place. As a traveler, you purchase the tickets online after opting for the operator and route of your choice including the number of days (usually lasts a day or two). The best part of this bus tour is that you can hop on and off at any point in that particular circuit and hence the name. There are several fleets of buses that operate on some of the famous circuits and they run for a fixed time and the traveler can use their tickets as long as the tickets are valid. The biggest advantage is that, if you liked a particular place from the tour, you can always go back and spend more time or even venture to new areas that are not covered by the tour.
While most of the guided bus tour operators do a phenomenal job entertaining the travelers, here are some of the favorites:
The Ride has been quite a showstopper among tourists for its unique seating and the view it offers. Instead of the bus seats facing the flow of the traffic, they are turned towards the sides – with windows from the floor to the ceiling. Equipped with pretty much 40-45 television screens with state-of-the-art sound system, thousands of LED lights and fascinating live commentary from the tour guide – this hop-on and hop-off tour gives you entertainment in all dimensions. The 75-minute tour combines several landmarks including the Chrysler Building and Carnegie Hall and some intriguing performances from the streets of Manhattan. The Ride gives a perfect balance of education and entertainment in its choice of circuit with their tour guides giving amusing anecdotes of the city.
There is no way one can miss spotting the bus. Painted in bright red, this open-top double-decker bus is a classic indeed. It gives a great tour of Manhattan through two of its famous routes called the Downtown Red and the Uptown Blue with several stops on the way. The open top certainly helps you to feel NY City in flesh. Some of the famous stops in this tour would be 9/11 Memorial and the High Line, Chinatown, Greenwich Village, and Chelsea. If you wish to have a breath of fresh air, stop in the 840-acre Central Park!
Gray Line CitySightseeing Holiday Lights Tour
NY City by night carries a different charm altogether. The city has different personalities between night and day and you wouldn’t want to miss the lights and how they turn New York into a mystical city. This operator also runs an open-air double-decker bus. The after-dark excursion takes nearly three hours to complete and is based on the route you take, there are chances you might see the Rockefeller Center including the sparkling Christmas tree, the bright beautiful lights of Radio City Music Hall, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and of course, the Times Square.
Open Loop New York
Making the best of technology, Open Loop allows you to track where the bus is, using their “Where’s my bus?” option from the web page. They offer an uptown and downtown route with an open double-decker experience. In order to complete the experience, audio guides are made available to tourists in several languages including English, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, etc. They also offer tickets for one, three or even five days with unlimited use, thereby offering convenience in transport to several key tourist spots.
On Location Tours
Besides the above, if you are a movie buff, you should just book yourselves with On Location Tours. These operators specialize in showing the tourists where their favorite movies and TV shows were filmed. Some of the popular tours include:
- NYC TV & movie tour
- Sex and the City hotspots tour
- Gossip Girl sites tour
- Sopranos sites tour
- When Harry met Sally tour
- The Real Housewives of New York City tour
The tour guides also share the history of different neighborhoods as you drive through.