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Which is Best New York Hop on hop off Sightseeing Bus Tour? - NYC Gray Line vs Big Bus Tours Hop On Hop Off Bus Tours Reviews

Overview of Best New York Sightseeing Bus Tours

A bus tour is a great way to see the sights of New York City. It is not only a convenient way to get between them, a bus tour also offers a great vantage point to view this amazing city.

Three companies offer bus tours in New York, and we give you all the details of the tours, routes and prices here. They all offer similar routing and are competitively priced. Big Bus Tours is the most highly rated and justifiable popular. Take note though that they focus on the central areas, but the other two companies offer better options in Brooklyn and the Bronx too if you want to see these areas. Another important consideration is that Bug Bus Tours and CitySights Buses are included with different New York City discount attraction passes. This can represent a great value way to save on your stay in the city, check out our guide to such discount passes.

Unbiased Comparing Best New Open bus tours sightseeing options

Big Bus Tours

Gray Line Bus

CitySights Buses

What is it?

Big Bus Tours go through 4 routes covering all the major attractions in New York. It is rated the best hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour in New York by TripAdvisor, Tours offers live commentary, free mobile app, and restaurant, shopping, and tour discounts.

The 2 Day and 3 Day also include a complimentary Hornblower River Cruise and free entry to the Museum of the City of New York with 3 Day ticket.

Gray Line buses, which are also known as City Sightseeing buses are red in colour and run in 5 different routes. These 5 routes cover all the major attractions of New York and you can hop on and hop unlimited times with live audio commentary.

It also offers complimentary hop on hop off ferry rides, Museum of the City of New York, and â€ËœEat and Play' discount card with the 2 Day and 3 Day ticket.

CitySights Buses also allow unlimited hop on hop off - similar to the other sightseeing bus tours of New York. It also has 5 routes with live audio commentary.

The complementary offers with 2 Day and 3 day ticket includes hop-on hop-off ferry, a choice of 2 museums, â€ËœEat and Play' discount card, and 2 free car sharing rides.

Ticket Cost

Classic 1 Day Ticket: $55 Adult/ $45 Child

(Only includes Uptown and Downtown loops)

Deluxe 2 Day Ticket: $65 Adult/ $55 Child

(All routes + Hornblower River Cruise)

Big Apple 3 Day Ticket: $79 Adult/ $59 Child

(All routes + Hornblower River Cruise + Free entry to the Museum of the City of New York)

1 Day Single Route Ticket: $49 Adult/ $39 Child

(Choose only one of the four routes)

2 Day All Routes Ticket: $59 Adult/ $49 Child

(All routes + hop-on hop-off ferry + free entry to the Museum of the City of New York + 'Eat and Play' card)

2 Day Ticket: $69 Adult/ $59 Child

(All routes + hop-on hop-off ferry + free entry to the Museum of the City of New York + 'Eat and Play' card)

1 Day Single Route Ticket: $49 Adult/ $39 Child

(Choose only one of the four routes)

2 Day All Routes Ticket: $64 Adult/ $54 Child

(All routes + hop-on hop-off ferry + free entry to New York Historical Society or the Museum of the City of New York + â€ËœEat and Play' card + 2 free Via car sharing cards)

2 Day VIP Ticket- Skip the line priority boarding: $89 Adult/ $79 Child

(All routes + hop-on hop-off ferry + free entry to New York Historical Society or the Museum of the City of New York + â€ËœEat and Play' card + 2 free Via car sharing cards)

3 Day Ticket: $69 Adult/ $59 Child

(All routes + hop-on hop-off ferry + free entry to New York Historical Society or the Museum of the City of New York + â€ËœEat and Play' card + 2 free Via car sharing cards + Free entry to Ripley's Believe it or not- Limited period offer)

Ticket Validity

1/2/3 consecutive days

1/2/3 consecutive days

1/2/3 consecutive days

Routes and Time

1. Downtown Loop (Red)

First Tour: 8.00 A.M.

Last Tour: 5.00 P.M.

2. Uptown Loop (Blue)

First Tour: 9.00 A.M.

Last Tour: 5.00 P.M.

3. Brooklyn Loop (Green)

First Tour: 10.00 A.M.

Last Tour: 3.00 P.M.

4. Night Tour (Yellow)

First Tour: 6.00 A.M.

Last Tour: 8.00 P.M.

1. Downtown Loop

First Tour: 8.30 A.M.

Last Tour: 5.00 P.M.

2. Uptown Loop

First Tour: 9.00 A.M.

Last Tour: 4.00 P.M.

3. Brooklyn Loop

First Tour: 10.30 A.M.

Last Tour: 3.00 P.M.

4. Bronx Loop

First Tour: 10.00 A.M.

Last Tour: 3.00 P.M.

5. Night Tour

First Tour: 6.00 A.M.

Last Tour: 9.00 P.M.

1. Downtown Loop

First Tour: 8.00 A.M.

Last Tour: 6.00 P.M.

2. Uptown Loop

First Tour: 9.00 A.M.

Last Tour: 5.00 P.M.

3. Brooklyn Loop

First Tour: 10.00 A.M.

Last Tour: 3.00 P.M.

4. Bronx Loop

First Tour: 10.00 A.M.

Last Tour: 3.00 P.M.

5. Night Tour

First Tour: 6.30 A.M.

Last Tour: 8.00 P.M.

Tour Duration

Downtown Loop: 2 hours

Uptown Loop: 2 hours

Brooklyn Loop: 1.5 hours

Night Tour: 1.45 hours

Downtown Loop: 2 hours

Uptown Loop: 2 hours

Brooklyn Loop: 2 hours

Bronx Loop: 1 hours

Night Tour: 2.5 hours

Downtown Loop: 2.5 hours

Uptown Loop: 2 hours

Brooklyn Loop: 1.5 hours

Bronx Loop: 1.5 hours

Night Tour: 2 hours

Departure Point

Downtown Loop: Times Square 48th

Uptown Loop: Times Square 48th

Brooklyn Loop: Battery Park

Night Tour: Times Square 48th

Downtown Loop: Times Square 48th

Uptown Loop: Times Square 48th

Brooklyn Loop: Brooklyn Promenade

Bronx Loop: Grant's Tomb

Night Tour: Times Square 48th

Downtown Loop: Times Square 48th

Uptown Loop: Times Square 42nd

Brooklyn Loop: City Hall/ Brooklyn Bridge

Bronx Loop: Grant's Tomb

Night Tour: Times Square 48th

Bus Stops/Attractions

Downtown Loop

  1. Times Square 48th

  2. Times Square 42nd

  3. Empire State Building

  4. Korea Town

  5. Flatiron District

  6. Union Square

  7. Greenwich Village

  8. NOHO

  9. SoHo

  10. China Town/ Little Italy

  11. World Trade Center

  12. Battery Park- to Statue of Liberty

  13. Battery Park- Battery Place

  14. High Line

  15. Madison Square Garden

  16. Theater District Shopping Court

  17. M&M's World Stop

Uptown Loop

  1. Times Square 48th

  2. Times Square 42nd

  3. Rockefeller Centre

  4. Central Park and Columbus Circle

  5. Lincoln Centre Plaza

  6. Dakota/Strawberry Fields

  7. American Museum of National History

  8. Cathedral of St. John the Divine

  9. Grant's Tomb

  10. Apollo Theatre/ Harlem

  11. Museum of the city of New York

  12. The Guggenheim Museum

  13. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

  14. The Frick Museum

  15. Central Park Zoo

  16. Central Park South

  17. M&M's World Stop

Brooklyn Loop

  1. Battery Park

  2. One World Observatory

Night Tour

Panoramic Tour

Downtown Loop

  1. Times Square 48th

  2. Broadway/Theatre District

  3. Madison Square Garden

  4. Empire State Building

  5. Flatiron District

  6. Union Square

  7. Rubin Museum of Art

  8. Greenwich Village

  9. SoHo

  10. China Town / Little Italy

  11. City Hall/ Brooklyn Bridge

  12. World Trade Center

  13. Battery Park- to Statue of Liberty

  14. South Street Seaport

  15. Lower East Side

  16. East Village

  17. United Nations

  18. Waldorf- Astoria Hotel

  19. Rockefeller Centre

  20. Central Park

  21. Park Central Hotel

  22. Winter garden Theatre

Uptown Loop

  1. Times Square 48th

  2. Columbus Circle

  3. Lincoln Centre Plaza

  4. Dakota/Strawberry Fields

  5. American Museum of National History

  6. Upper West Side

  7. American Youth Hostel

  8. Cathedral of St. John the Divine

  9. Grant's Tomb

  10. Apollo Theatre/ Harlem

  11. Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market

  12. Smithsonian National Museum of Design/ Jewish museum

  13. The Guggenheim Museum

  14. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

  15. The Frick Museum

  16. Central Park Zoo

  17. Central Park South

  18. Port Authority Bus terminal

Brooklyn Loop

  1. Brooklyn Promenade

  2. Atlantic Avenue Middle Eastern Restaurant

  3. Barclays Centre

  4. Brooklyn Museum of Art

  5. Prospect Park Zoo

  6. Brooklyn Public library

  7. Fort Greene park

  8. Junior's restaurant

Bronx Loop

  1. Grant's Tomb

  2. Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market

  3. Yankee Stadium

Night Tour

Panoramic Tour

Downtown Loop

  1. Times Square 48th

  2. Broadway /Theatre District

  3. Madison Square Garden

  4. Empire State Building

  5. Empire State Building-2

  6. Flatiron District

  7. Union Square

  8. Greenwich Village

  9. SoHo

  10. China Town / Little Italy

  11. City Hall/ Brooklyn Bridge

  12. Battery Park- to Statue of Liberty

  13. South Street Seaport

  14. Lower East Side

  15. East Village

  16. United Nations

  17. Waldorf- Astoria Hotel

  18. Rockefeller Centre

  19. Central Park

  20. Park Central Hotel

  21. Winter garden Theatre

Uptown Loop

  1. Times Square 42nd

  2. Times Square 46th

  3. Times Square 56th

  4. Columbus Circle

  5. Lincoln Centre Plaza

  6. Dakota/Strawberry Fields

  7. American Museum of National History

  8. Quality Inn/Newton hotels

  9. Upper West Side

  10. Cathedral of St. John the Divine

  11. Grant's Tomb

  12. Apollo Theatre/ Harlem

  13. Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market

  14. Museum of the city of New York

  15. Smithsonian National Museum of Design/ Jewish museum

  16. The Guggenheim Museum

  17. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

  18. The Frick Museum

  19. Central Park Zoo

  20. Central Park South

  21. Winter garden Theatre

  22. Times Square 42nd

Brooklyn Loop

  1. City Hall/ Brooklyn Bridge

  2. Brooklyn Promenade

  3. Atlantic Avenue Middle Eastern Restaurant

  4. Barclays Centre

  5. Brooklyn Museum of Art

  6. Prospect Park Zoo

  7. Brooklyn Public library

  8. Fort Greene park

  9. Junior's restaurant

Bronx Loop

  1. Grant's Tomb

  2. Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market

  3. Yankee Stadium

Night Tour

Panoramic Tour

Frequency

Downtown Loop: 15 minutes

Uptown Loop: 15 minutes

Brooklyn Loop: 1 hour

Night Tour: 30 minutes

Downtown Loop: 30 minutes

Uptown Loop: 30 minutes

Brooklyn Loop: 30 minutes

Bronx Loop: 1 hour

Night Tour: 30 minutes

Downtown Loop: 30 minutes

Uptown Loop: 30 minutes

Brooklyn Loop: 30 minutes

Bronx Loop: 30 minutes

Night Tour: 30 minutes

Audio commentary

Yes

(in 11 languages)

Yes

(in 11 languages)

Yes

(in 11 languages)

Complimentary tours and cruises
Heading

Hornblower River Cruise ( Only with 2-day Deluxe and 3-day Big Apple Ticket)

Free entry to the Museum of the City of New York (Only with 3-day Big Apple Ticket)

Optional tours to Madam Tussauds Museum, Empire State building, Statue of Liberty, and One World Observatory at an additional price.

Hop-on hop-off ferry ( Only with 2-day and 3-day Ticket)

Free entry to the Museum of the City of New York ( Only with 2-day and 3-day Ticket)

â€ËœEat and Play' card (Only with 2-day and 3-day Ticket)

Hop-on hop-off ferry ( Only with 2-day and 3-day Ticket)

Free entry to the Museum of the City of New York OR New York Historical Society ( Only with 2-day and 3-day Ticket)

â€ËœEat and Play' card (Only with 2-day and 3-day Ticket)

2 free Via car sharing cards

Other amenities

Live guide on bus

(English)

Live guide on bus

(English)

Live guide on bus

(English)

City Pass which includes this tour

New York Pass

Big Adventure Pass

None

Explorer Pass

Other information
  • No bus service on 1st January

  • Free for children below 5 years

  • No bus service on 25th December and 1st January

  • Buses operate only between 9:00 A.M. and 12 P.M. on Christmas eve and New Year eve

  • Free for children below 3 years

  • Buses operate only between 9:00 A.M. and 3 P.M. on New Year eve

  • Free for children below 3 years

How to use

Print the voucher in your mail and exchange it near Stop 1, Times Square 48th Street.

Print the voucher in your mail and exchange it at Gray Line Visitor Centre on Times Square.

Print the voucher in your mail and exchange it near Stop 1, Times Square 48th Street.

Big Bus Tours

Gray Line Bus

CitySights Buses

 

Where to Buy New York Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Tour?

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Where to Buy City Sights New York Bus Tours?

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Best New York Hop-On Hop-Off Tours

CitySights NY Bus Tours

City Sights New York Bus Tours is a handy service for tourists to familiarize themselves with the popular Big Apple. This bus service has 4 hop-on hop-off lines and a panoramic Night Tour. This offers you a convenience of organizing the sightseeing the way you are comfortable with. In addition to bus rides, City Sights NYC Bus Tours bestows its users with extras, such as a hop-on hop-off ferry ride, discount cards and more.

Key points of New York City Sights tour

Complimentary sightseeing tours included

CitySights New York Sightseeing Tour ratings and reviews from users

City Sights NY Bus Tour packages

City Sights Bus Sightseeing Tour routes

CitySights Bus tour Verdict

With thoroughly covered Brooklyn and Bronx districts, City Sights New York Sightseeing Tour is especially convenient for tourists interested in these neighborhoods. Also, this provider offers complimentary extras with each ticket. So, you can reserve a bus tour and other activity that interests you at once.

This New York sightseeing tour also comes with the pre-recorded commentary in around a dozen languages. Free amenities, such as a visit to the chosen museum, cruise and discounts at specified eateries and shops are also a big bonus. With the VIP ticket, you also gain fast-track boarding on the bus.

Finally, you enjoy the tour of this provider if you have the Explorer Pass.

Is the CitySights NY Bus Tour right for me?

The City Sights New York Bus Tours is an ideal option if you like to combine bus tours with other amenities. Those on offer by this bus sightseeing company are a hop-on hop-off ferry ride, discounts at participating restaurants and shops and a visit to the selected museum. If a priority boarding also means to you, the City Sights Bus Sightseeing Tour has a solution for you. Also, you are free to choose a language of the audio narrative you understand best.

Where to buy New York CitySights Bus tickets?

 

Big Bus New York Hop-On Hop-Off Tours

The Big Bus is a bus sightseeing provider in the city of New York. The service on offer allow you to explore the Big Apple in a manner most convenient for you. With interconnected bus routes, you can travel around the city with high efficiency. More so, strategically deployed stops allow you to take off the bus and resume the ride anytime you wish. In addition, you benefit of complimentary tours and visits to attractions with specific passes.

Key points of Big Bus NYC sightseeing tour

Complimentary services included

New York Big Bus Tour ratings and reviews from users

Big Bus Sightseeing Tour packages

Young children don't pay for a ride.

Note:

Premium ticket adds a choice between the Panoramic Night Tour or the 1-hour Cruise.

Deluxe ticket offers you two additional choices. A choice between the Panoramic Night Tour or the 1-hour Cruise is the 1st one. The 2nd option includes choices between the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty tours.

Big Bus NYC Hop-on Hop-off Tours routes

NYC Big Bus Verdict

The Big Bus Hop on Hop off Sightseeing Tour is the most favorite New York bus tour on TripAdvisor. Most of its former users are simply blown away with the quality of the service. Besides 4 available routes, it offers complimentary tours, a cruise and tickets for museums for a better in-depth overview of the Big Apple. An additional benefit for the card holders is a choice between specified services with additional tickets.

Buses of the New York Big Bus Tour are wheelchair accessible and intervals between departures are short. Besides audio commentaries, English-speaking travelers benefit of an entertaining English-speaking guide on board the bus. In addition, services of this provider are a part of New York Pass and Big Adventure Pass.

Is New York Big Bus Tour right for me?

Considering the number of satisfied users, you can hardly go wrong with the Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Tours. The bus tour is ideal for people who stay in the Big Apple shortly or for a prolonged time since it offers passes for 1, 2 and 3 days. With 10 available languages, you are very likely to listen to the audio commentary in a language you are familiar with. Also, you benefit of additional services with upgraded tickets (Premium and Deluxe), such as the cruise, a tour and a visit to a museum.

Where to buy NYC Big Bus Sightseeing Tour tickets?

Gray Line Citysightseeing Double Decker tour

Gray Line is the bus sightseeing provider that covers downtown, Brooklyn and Bronx areas of New York. The service disposes of stops next to major attractions of the Big Apple, so you can alight from the vehicle at any point. Consequently, you are free to choose where and when to resume your ride. Besides, Gray Line Hop-On Hop-Off Tour offers additional amenities, such as a river cruise, museum ticket and a discount card.

Key points of Gray line Double Decker sightseeing tour

Complimentary sightseeing tours included

Gray Line Bus Tour ratings and reviews from users

Gray Line Hop-On Hop-Off Tour packages

Children under 3 don't pay.

Gray Line Sightseeing Tour New York routes

Verdict

We could say that the biggest strength of the Gray Line Bus Tour is the choice between separate tickets for each of New York's attractive neighborhoods. If you wish to tour the downtown, Brooklyn or any other area solely, you don't need to go in circles and pay a full-price ticket. Just opt for the specific ticket and enjoy. Note that 1-day passes come without useful extras.

For people that wish to discover as much of New York as possible, New York Gray Line Bus Sightseeing has 2-day and 3-day tickets for all bus routes. In addition, holders of these passes are free to enjoy a hop-on hop-off ferry ride and a visit to a reputable museum. Also, with the Eat and Play discount card, you benefit of discounted dining and shopping in some of Manhattan's restaurants and stores.

Unlike other New York bus services, tours of Gray Line aren't included in any of the Big Apple's city passes.

Is the Gray Line Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour NYC right for me?

Gray Line City Sightseeing Tour is ideal for travelers willing to explore a specific area of the city (Brooklyn, Bronx or other). With the panoramic Night Tour included, you would benefit of a prolonged service with this provider. For enjoying attractive discounts at restaurants and stores, a sightseeing cruise and a visit the City Museum, Gray Line is the right choice.

Where to buy Gray line Bus Sightseeing Tour tickets?


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