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Hop-On Hop-Off Tours in New York in New York | Price comparison

Hop-On Hop-Off Tours in New York

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Taking a hop-on hop-off tour in New York makes the impossible possible: getting to all the top attractions without the stress of using the city’s public transport system! Glide through the city on a dedicated bus and, with commentary from an expert guide or an audio guide, you’ll arrive at your destination full of fun new facts about the Big Apple. You can also use your valid ticket to hop on and off whenever you see an attraction you’d like to visit.
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Hop-On Hop-Off Buses

New York’s public transportation system is notoriously dirty and busy, but you can easily get to all the places you want to go on a hop-on hop-off bus! A ticket will get you access to set routes on comfortable doubledecker buses, complete with a guide (or audio guide) to point out the important attractions. Either stay on board and complete a loop just to see the sights, or hop off to explore in more depth.
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New York: Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Tour by Open-top Bus
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New York City: The Sightseeing Day Pass
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New York City: City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
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The Top 10 Cities for Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours

Best Hop-On Hop-Off Tours: New York in 6th Place

TicketLens compared 77 destinations worldwide and discovered that even though hop-on hop-off tours in New York are expensive, they take visitors to see a large number of attractions on their routes. The 40 attractions cover everything from the Empire State Building to the Met.
Big Bus New York | Flickr: Jason Lawrence CC BY 2.0

Big Bus

Big Bus is one of the world’s best-known hop-on hop-off bus operators, and their buses’ maroon and gold livery makes them easy to spot. Their classic ticket includes 24 hours of access to their Red Downtown route and their Blue Uptown route, while the premium and deluxe tickets also include access to the Purple Brooklyn route and the Green Harlem route, plus a panoramic night tour and access to the Circle Line Liberty Cruise.

Red Route

This route covers the Downtown area of Manhattan, starting at Time Square, winding past the Empire State Building through SoHo and Chinatown before heading back to the stop outside M&M’s World. You’ll also see Wall Street and the Statue of Liberty from the stop outside Battery Park, and you can jump off at Circle Line Sightseeing to take the cruise included with premium and deluxe tickets. If you want to stay on board and ride the whole loop, you can expect it to last about 90 minutes. Buses arrive every 15 to 20 minutes from 8 am. The last bus leaves the first stop at 6 pm.

Blue Route

The other route included in the classic ticket, the Blue Route will take you on a journey through Uptown Manhattan. Stop one is at Carnegie Hall, after which you’ll head past Times Square and Bryant Park, stop at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Central Park Zoo, before looping back around and finishing on Broadway. Buses depart every 15 to 20 minutes from 9 am onwards, and the whole loop takes about 90 minutes.

Purple Route

One of the routes exclusive to the premium and deluxe tickets, the Purple route takes you on a journey through Brooklyn, the borough with the highest number of inhabitants. The loop starts at Battery Park before taking you down to Flatbush Avenue to see the Barclays Center and the Grand Army Plaza. It finishes up at the One World Observatory, where you can hop off but not on. The whole tour takes about 90 minutes and departs every two hours from 10 am, and commentary will be provided by an English-speaking guide or via pre-recorded commentary available in 10 languages.

Green Route

This is another special route, exclusively reserved for those with premium or deluxe tickets. Live guides will tell you all about the history of Harlem, or you can enjoy audio commentary in 10 languages. The first stop is at Columbus Circle, near Central Park, then you’ll stop at the American Museum of Natural History and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine before ending at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. The tour departs every two hours and takes a total of 70 minutes.

Yellow Night Tour

This isn’t a hop-on hop-off route, but this two-hour panoramic tour is included in premium and deluxe tickets. You’ll see all of the most important Manhattan sights after dark, giving you a different view of the city that never sleeps. Tours depart every 20 to 30 minutes from the M&M’s World stop near Times Square, with the first tour leaving at 7 pm and the last tour at 9 pm.
CitySightseeing New York | Wiki: Tdorante10 CC BY-SA 4.0

City Sightseeing

City Sightseeing runs hop-on hop-off buses in dozens of cities around the world, so they know what they’re doing! Their offerings in New York come in all kinds of packages. You can book tickets that give you access to just one of their three hop-on hop-off bus routes, or you can opt for their ‘All Around Town’ option, which can be combined with either a boat tour or entrance to one of New York’s top attractions. In addition to their Uptown, Downtown, and Brooklyn hop-on hop-off bus routes, they also have a panoramic Night Tour that lets you see the city in all its brightly-lit glory.

Downtown Route:

This route will introduce you to all the vibrant sights of downtown Manhattan over 17 stops. It begins in Times Square North before heading past Macy’s and the Empire State Building, through Greenwich Village and Soho, Chinatown and Little Italy, before passing the World Trade Center and Battery Park. It then loops around, passing through the East Village, by the United Nations, and ending at the Rockefeller Center/Radio City Music Hall. The full loop takes about two hours and 30 minutes and buses leave every 20 to 25 minutes between 8 am and 5 pm.

Uptown Route

This route will take you through uptown Manhattan and the neighborhood of Harlem, famous for its place at the heart of African American art and culture of the Harlem Renaissance. The 2-hour long route with 20 stops begins in Hell’s Kitchen, stopping at Columbus Circle, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine before swinging back around and coming back to the heart of Manhattan via the Apollo Theater, the Guggenheim Museum, and Central Park Zoo. These tours depart every 20 to 30 minutes between 9 am and 4.30 pm.

Brooklyn Tour

Depart the island of Manhattan and take a tour of the most populated of New York’s boroughs: Brooklyn! Join this 9-stop tour at Battery Park before crossing the Manhattan Bridge and heading all the way south to Prospect Park before heading back towards the bright lights of the city. Get a great view of the Manhattan skyline from across the Hudson River. The whole loop takes about 90 minutes, and buses leave every 25 to 30 minutes between 10 am and 12 noon. Audio narration is available in 9 languages.

Night Tour

This tour takes place after the sun sets so that you can get to know the city that never sleeps, lights and all! The night tour leaves from 777 8th Avenue between 47th and 48th street, with tours departing every 30 minutes from 6 pm to 8 pm. The full tour takes 90 minutes in total and is led by an expert guide, or you can enjoy the recorded commentary available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Hebrew, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and Russian.

Sightseeing Ferry

Some of City Sightseeing’s tickets also include access to their sightseeing ferry, which departs from Pier 78 (in Midtown) or the World Financial District. There are two stops where you can hop on or off during the tour of the Hudson River and New York skyline, and you’ll also get great views of Ellis Island, Liberty Island, and the Brooklyn Bridge. The full loop takes 90 minutes. Boats depart at a range of times between 10 am and 4 pm, with the exact times varying according to the season, so check the schedule on the day of your visit to make sure you don’t miss out.
Top View New York | Wiki: Bethjbraden CC BY-SA 4.0

Top View

Top View’s bold red buses have been brightening up the New York streets since 2016 and serve over 500,000 visitors every year! They have a diverse range of routes that cover Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. Their 24-hour saver pass includes their Downtown and Uptown & Harlem Tours, plus a cruise around the Statue of Liberty, while their 48-hour Sightseeing Pass includes the Brooklyn and Bronx non-stop tours and a night tour, plus free entry to the Museum of the City of New York. Their tours’ double-decker buses are fitted with GPS triggered audio guide systems in 11 languages so the narration will always be synced with the view from your window.

Downtown Route

This 21-stop route takes in the most important sights in downtown Manhattan. It starts at Times Square West before heading south past Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, and Union Square, with a stop at Battery Park where you can transfer to the Liberty Cruise, before swinging back around, going past the Highline before finishing the loop at Port Authority. Buses run from 8 am to 6 pm and tours are lead by an English-speaking guide (or narration in 11 languages).

Uptown & Harlem Route

This 15-stop route takes you around uptown Manhattan and into the renowned neighborhood of Harlem. Starting at Times Square North, you’ll pass through the Theater District, then past the Dakota Building and the American Museum of Natural History before heading to Morningside Heights and the Apollo Theater. You’ll then head back on the eastern side of Central Park, passing by the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Central Park Zoo. Tours run daily between 9 am and 5 pm.

Brooklyn Tour

This non-stop tour will take you on a panoramic journey through downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn, crossing the Manhattan Bridge and offering customers a chance to get a great view of the island from the southern shore of the Hudson River. See Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park, and the Barclays Center while enjoying narration in the language of your choice. The tour departs daily at 10 am from Battery Park.

The Bronx

This panoramic tour takes in one side of Manhattan before heading north across the Madison Avenue Bridge to the Bronx, looping around Yankee Stadium before heading back to the starting point. The tour leaves Port Authority every day at 9 am.

Night Tour

Another non-stop route, this tour takes you past all the sights after dark so that you can enjoy watching the bright lights of the city. See Times Square, the Empire State Building, Chinatown, and more while getting a great overview of the city’s most important sights.

Liberty Cruise

The Liberty Cruise doesn’t stop at Liberty Island, but it takes you past it on a boat ride that will make sure you get to take the best photographs from the water. If you’re taking the Downtown Route you can get to the World Financial Terminal (where the cruise starts) by getting off at Battery Park. It’s recommended that you reserve the time of your cruise by using the authorization code on your ticket so that your seat on the cruise of your choice is guaranteed.
New York Water Taxi | Wiki: Fletcher6 CC BY 3.0

New York Water Taxi

The New York Water Taxi combines all the cool of a yellow NYC taxi cab with the convenience of a hop-on hop-off bus and the freedom of the open ocean! That’s right, it’s a hop-on hop-off boat service that takes passengers from Hell’s Kitchen all the way to Brooklyn and back again. You can also combine a 24- or 48-hour pass with entry to one of New York’s top attractions, from the Empire State Building to Madame Tussauds.

Water Taxi Route

There’s only one route, which keeps everything very simple! You can hop on or off at Midtown 42nd Street (in Hell’s Kitchen), Downtown Battery Park (in downtown Manhattan), South Street Seaport (also in downtown Manhattan, but on the east side of the island), or at Brooklyn DUMBO. The full loop takes 70 minutes and you’ll be accompanied by an expert guide who’ll be providing commentary on the sights you pass by. The service begins every day at 10 am when the first boat leaves Midtown 42nd Street, and the last boat leaves Brooklyn DUMBO at 6.10 pm, visiting all the other stops on its way back. Schedules are subject to change depending on the season and the weather, so arrive 15 minutes early and check the New York Water Taxi website on the day of your visit if you have any concerns.
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