Whether it’s on foot, on two wheels or four, New York is a magical place to visit, offering a sensory experience unlike anywhere else on earth. Its soaring skyscrapers, our modern temples, compel you to arch your neck and admire them in all their glory, while the bright lights and rattling fast-paced conversation of its residents add to the intensity.
One of the more tranquil ways to experience the city is by bus, with a huge number of bus tours available for those who want to enjoy a slightly more detached, elevated vantage point. Here’s our pick of the best New York bus tours currently available.
From $35 per person
This all-city, two-day pass gives visitors the chance to enjoy up to 5 different tours aboard double decker buses at your leisure, each exploring various parts of New York. By purchasing a ticket you can jump on and off buses in Uptown and Downtown New York as often as you please, giving you total freedom and independence – two words that are indelibly linked with the city. Some of the legendary sites and landmarks you’ll see include Times Square, Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building and Radio City Music Hall in downtown Manhattan, while you’ll also get the chance to taste the hip culture of Brooklyn and the Bronx, as well as sample New York by night. This package also includes a free liberty cruise, free entrance the Museum of New York City and two extra hours of bike rental.
From $31.04 per person
This two-hour bus tour invites you to experience New York after dark, when its illuminated streets and giant neon signs are perhaps at their most atmospheric. Starting on the corner of 7th Ave & 48th St, you can pick a seat on the top or bottom deck before choosing your preferred language for the recorded audio commentary (there are 10 available) that will regale you with fascinating stories and facts about the city as the tour progresses. Among the iconic sites and landmarks you’ll pass are the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Times Square and Central Park. Buses leave every 30 minutes between 7- 9pm.
From $49.92 per person
This is another tour that gives you maximum freedom by allowing you to board buses at designated stops at any time across a 48-hour period. And if you get in quick, renowned travel agency isango are currently offering a sizeable 22% discount, leaving you with extra money to spend as you wish in the city that never sleeps. The tour offers four different routes that you can traverse at your own pace, taking in all of the city’s most famous attractions as well as some of its lesser known landmarks, plus a chance to experience New York after dark. Live commentary is provided in English or recorded commentary in a choice of 11 languages. To add convenience to your trip, you can also opt for a VIP Pass, which offers priority boarding at all stops.
From $45.22 per person
Explore New York’s lesser-known neighbourhoods on this 4-hour sightseeing tour. After an early morning departure at a pre-arranged Manhattan location you’ll cross Manhattan Bridge where your first port of call will be the Bronx and its iconic Yankee Stadium, home to the famous Yankees baseball team. Next up, you’ll head to Queens where you can enjoy views of the Manhattan skyline across the water as you soak up the area’s multi-ethnic enclaves. Finally, you’ll be transported to the equally diverse Brooklyn, which is teeming with bohemian artists and young start-up companies. The tour will end with a visit to Manhattan’s Little Italy neighbourhood.
From $109 per person
This one-day, self-guided sightseeing pass can also be extended over multiple days, with unlimited opportunities to hop on and off a gray line double-decker bus and explore the city at your leisure. The pass includes access to One World Observatory, New York’s tallest building, as well as fast free queuing access to Empire State Building, Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, Buca di Beppo Restauran, Planet Hollywood Restaurant, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, and Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. Pre-purchased and printed e-tickets can be redeemed at 777 8th Avenue, between 47th & 48th Street, where you’ll be given vouchers to use during your visit.