Tips for the Hop on Hop off Bus New York City

Tips for the Hop on Hop off Bus New York City

In most major cities in the world there are bus services called hop on, hop off these tour buses tend to visit all the major sights and allow you to get on and off where you please.  The Hop on Hop off New York buses will take you around the city to see all the major sights.

These types of tours are a great advantage when travelling, as they allow you to get your bearings in a new city and see many of the sights you may not get a chance to see if you are in town for a short period of time. If you are planning a girls trip then New York is a fabulous place to hang out with your best girlfriends. If this isn’t your first trip you may want to experience New York off the beaten track and find some hidden gems.

hop on hop off bus trips in New York City

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Hop On Hop Off New York City Bus is no exception and has several of these types of bus tours.  The tours generally loop around routes that cover everything from Brooklyn to downtown and you can usually find a few other bargains like boat trips thrown into the various packages. Don’t forget to do your homework before you head to New York there is just so much to see and read up on New York Tips and sites you want to visit will allow you to make a great itinerary.

Figuring out what to see in New York City is, at the best of times a challenge. Heading to New York for a weekend means you need to know exactly what to see and do in a short time frame. I am a firm believer that planning your itinerary is a must for seeing New York.

Tips for the Hop on Hop off Bus New York City

One of the best-reviewed Hop on Hop off New York bus tours is the Grayline they have several routes that span the entire City, including Night Tours showing the lights and Manhattan skylines.  There are also a variety of packages and tickets to choose from that include admission to various famous locations like the Statue of Liberty Ellis, World Trade Centre, Top of the Rock, downtown, uptown and Brooklyn and Times Square.  The bus comes with a tour guide and translation devices and it can be quite a fun way to see a big City.

The beyond entertaining New York Hop On Hop Off Bus

Hop on Hop Off New York Map

Tips for the Hop on Hop off Bus New York City

Tips for the Hop on Hop off Bus New York City

Bus Tours are not all created equal so here are some thoughts to make sure you get the best out of a Hop On Hop Off bus.

Tips for the Hop on Hop off Bus New York City

10 New York Hop on Hop Off Bus Tips

1# First things first, check out reviews online of the bus tour you are thinking of taking. Grab maps and brochures from all the vendors you can and then go back and Google the best tour for the best price.  

2# Understand the pass you are buying and what it includes. Many tours will offer hourly rates or up to several days.  Work out what is going to be your best bet by planning your schedule before you pay for a ticket. We actually purchased our tickets in the afternoon and as a result, we got 4 days worth of touring on a 3-day ticket.  The cost of our ticket was around $65 in the US and included a river tour.  The beyond entertaining New York Hop On Hop Off Bus

3# That leads me to, get your plan in place before you get your ticket. All the tours offer maps, guides, and the time-frames the buses run.  If you plan to visit the Statue of Liberty, take the cruise, then hit Central Park and upper Eastside, make sure you are working the route properly.  For example, you don’t want to be on the bus see the Statue of Liberty from a distance and then go up to Central Park only to have to come back for your river cruise where you can actually visit the statue.  Layout your route and what you want to see before you go.Tips for the Hop on Hop off Bus New York City

#4 Make sure you dress for the weather. Many buses have open tops and if the sun is burning bright or it is raining you want to be dressed appropriately for the weather.  It is impossible to get good photos when you are in a closed bus, but some do have canopies on the top level, which can help, at least you can duck outside quickly to get that superb shot.

#5 Don’t be afraid to take the tours and not get off the bus, give yourself time to familiarize yourself and get your bearings then later you can plan a route that takes you to where you want to go. Using the bus as a means of transportation makes them very convenient.  You can drop in that lovely deli for lunch and then go shopping at Macy’s since it is right around the corner.  You won’t spend hours going up and down streets that don’t even get close to your destination or worse end up taking cabs that cost way too much to go a block and a half. The beyond entertaining New York Hop On Hop Off Bus

#6 Take the time to learn what your ticket includes and the correct time-frames, on several tours we have been on passengers get on the bus and go uptown when they want to go downtown for their free boat tour. Many of the packages also include good deals on restaurants and shopping discounts, this can be very useful in expensive cities.

#7 Try to remember which bus tour your tickets are for, there are so many in New York, for example, you can end up attempting to get on the wrong bus at the wrong stop. Learn the route and check where buses will stop. Tips for the Hop on Hop off Bus New York City

#8 New York is always busy so there is no real good time of day to book a ticket or hop on a bus.  It does tend to get busier around 11 am and then stays busy for most of the day.  Sometimes you won’t get a good seat on the bus but there is always another one.  Traffic can also be hell in New York or any other major city, just sit back and enjoy the fact that you aren’t driving.

#9 Many bus companies offer speciality tours, this is a great choice during special seasons like Christmas. You can take an evening tour of the lights, Christmas decorations, and then go ice-skating in the park.  

New York City Central Park in Autumn with Manhattan skyscrapers and colorful trees over lake with reflection.

#10 Hop on Hop Off tours are a fantastic way to familiarize yourself with an unknown city.  Don’t be embarrassed to join all the other tourists on the bus – don’t forget you are one. You can also rent a bus or larger vehicle yourself from a company like Limo Find and enjoy the ride in luxury.

If you are looking for the perfect 4 days in New York Itinerary for the first time visitor Kayla’s got you covered with a great article on visiting for the first time.

The beyond entertaining New York Hop On Hop Off Bus

If you want some great advice for your New York Itinerary checks out native New Yorker’s Kelly’s blog A Local’s Guide to New York I guarantee you not only does it have some valuable information for your trip – but she will keep you laughing as well.

Tips for the Hop on Hop off Bus New York City

Now I haven’t travelled with a toddler in many years but Cath from PassportsandAdventures has this absolutely killer post on 5 Awesome Things to do in New York with a Toddler go give it a read if you have little ones.

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Tips for the Hop on Hop off Bus New York City


  • Faith was born in Ireland raised in Canada and has lived in over 10 countries in Europe including England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain, Northern Ireland, Wales, along with Mexico, Antigua, the US and has slow travelled to over 40 countries around the world. Graduating with a degree in Anthropology and Women's Studies Faith is a student of history, culture, community and food and has written about these topics for over 40 years.

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