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 $45 per person
New York seems strangely familiar to most first-time visitors thanks, in part, to its starring role in thousands of classic and contemporary films and TV shows. In many ways New York is like an additional character in these shows, setting a familiar tone, sometimes gritty, sometimes hectic. This tour offers the opportunity to see where some of those iconic moments were filmed, including classic Seinfeld locations (Soupman), the office buildings used in Spiderman, the apartment building of Monica, Chandler et al. from Friends, and many more.
From $75 per person
Turn on the radio today and hip-hop is almost impossible to miss. While the genre continues to evolve and speak to new generations, the new stuff will never quite live up to its origins on the streets of places like the Bronx and Harlem. Take a bus tour through these very streets, led by the very artists who pioneered the artform. Reggie Reg, GrandMaster Caz and many more have led these tours in the past. This is not just any old tour, it is a guide to the iconic spots, narrated with real stories from the people who lived and spawned the birth of hip-hop.
From $59 per person
New York works at many levels. While it may not be possible to see much further in front of you than the lofty skyscrapers on either side, the waterfront is another story, and the city skyline is a beautiful thing to behold when illuminated at night. This 4.5-hour bus tour passes through some of New York’s best known areas, including Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square and New York Library to see how they look in all their resplendent night-time glory. This bus tour also includes a 20-minute walking tour through Grand Central Station.
From $59 per person
If you have exhausted all the sights (and yourself) of Manhattan, it’s worth noting that the surface of New York City has barely been scratched. There are many other notable regions that have fostered their own subcultures, styles and architecture, but getting to them is not so easy on foot. This lengthy bus tour takes in the highlights of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, such as Yankee Stadium, the great bridges across the Hudson, the bohemian zones of Brooklyn and the hip-hop-linked streets of Harlem. You’ll see different sides to city and learn more about them from the tour guide.
From $57 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.