Anyone who has read any of travel posts will know how much I love a good hop on hop off bus tour in new cities, I even did a post on five reasons why they’re great. So when planning my latest trip to New York I was thinking about what to fit within our tight four-day itinerary. Bearing in mind it was my boyfriend’s very first trip to America and knowing how big New York was I wanted to show him as much of the huge city as I could. As we had a super early flight on our first day I knew we’d be a bit tired but would still want to do some exploring so getting a hop on hop off bus tour seemed like the perfect compromise; see a lot of the city and get our bearings while being sat down in a bus. Win, win.
We picked up our tickets from the Big Bus tours main office which is just off Time Square next to M&M world and it’s such a good location as it’s the first stop for both the Red Downtown Line but also one of the stops for the Blue Uptown Line. The classic ticket for the two lines are priced at $54 when booked in advance which is about £39, and this might seem a lot of money for a bus tour but each route is between 2 and 3 hours in length and you cover so much more ground than you would in pretty much any European city you may visit. You can also purchase combo tickets to include Harlem/ Brooklyn tours, Night tours, a Sightseeing cruise or tickets including attractions such as the Empire State Building, 9/11 museum and the One World Observatory.
Our downtown route took just under 3 hours and benefited from a live onboard English speaking guide which was so much more interesting than the pre-recorded audio you get on some tours. There were 29 different stops all located conveniently near major landmarks and attractions such as Battery Park for the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge/ City Hall, Midtown West for the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum and so much more.
Much like all of these types of bus tours you can hop off at any point to explore and jump back on the bus later in the day at the same stop or another stop you may be near. As we weren’t all that energetic over the day we decided to just sit on the bus and take in all the sites for the whole journey and it was so enjoyable seeing the city from another viewpoint as it was something I’d never done before.
Have you ever done a hop on hop off bus tour?