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Which New York Bus Tours Are Best?

Updated: April 2, 2024

This post reviews and compares the various bus tour options available to you in NYC, including hop-on-hop-off, fully guided, themed, and night tours. 

If you are like many visitors, you are struggling to decide which of the many bus tour companies to choose, or if to choose one at all.

There are hop-on-hop-off buses, fully-guided bus tours, themed tours, night tours, and the list goes on.

Well, we are here to help make sense of it all.

In this post, we explain the pros and cons of each option and compare the different options.

We are a group of local tour guides, and many of us lead or have led tours on the city's buses, so we know a thing or two about them.


These are two questions that we locals get asked all of the time, and the following tips come from our own experiences.

And we also got inspiration from the contributions of the roughly 200k members of our popular NYC Travel Tips Facebook group. At the bottom of this you can see what group members thought about bus tours.

Our group consists of locals, like our guides, veteran visitors to NYC and newbies.

There's no need to become a member to read the posts, comments, and recommendations, so check us out once you finish reading this post.

So, without further ado, let's get moving.


Traditional hop-on-hop-off bus companies provide transport to major sites all over the city, which can be appealing if the New York subway system seems daunting.  

Typically guests purchase 1, 2, or 3-day access passes and can then get on/off the bus at any of the company's designated stops at any time, or they get tickets through a tourist pass.

Most multiple-day tickets include more than one route to explore, a free bike rental, and sometimes even a ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty!

Depending on the service you use, tickets might also include admission to more than one museum, popular attractions like the Empire State Building, and freebies at nearby businesses.

Prices for these combination tickets are sometimes too good to pass up.

All offer audio headsets with commentary in multiple languages.

Unfortunately, no hop-on-hop-off company offers live tour guides at this time. For live guides, check out the next section.

The market is very competitive with companies outdoing each other's prices regularly.

NYC Sightseeing Pass

Be sure to check for any deals by clicking the links.

However, no information is provided when you are off the bus, and commentary on board occasionally consists of a recording.

For that reason, these tours are best for those looking for an informational shuttle service between attractions rather than detailed information about the city.  

Leave the detailed touring to our pay-what-you-wish walking tours or our audio tours, many of which start and end near popular bus stops.

Likewise, during the busy season, guests may have to wait for multiple buses to pass through a stop as seat availability is not guaranteed.

Also, keep in mind that though bus tours guarantee easy transportation around the city, they are not always the quickest as all bus tours are subject to NYC traffic!


If we were ranking these buses, Big Bus would be at the top of the list.

Big Bus Tours consist of 35+ stops around New York City on 5 routes, including Downtown, Uptown, and Midtown Manhattan routes, Harlem Routes, and one route in Brooklyn (see map detail).  

You can also download their app, which has maps to help you plan your route.

Guests listen to an audio recording in one of 10 languages while on the bus and they are free to wander around on their own at each stop.  

They also offer a night tour, which is not a hop-on-hop-off tour as well as combo packages.  

All of the Big Bus routes are included for free with the Sightseeing Pass, GoCity Explorer Pass, and the New York Pass.

Big Bus Tours New York

UPDATE: Big Bus has actually added a new feature for kids: Peppa Pig ears!

All children who climb onboard will receive a pair of Peppa Pig ears to wear and an activity sheet.

There is also an audio commentary channel just for kids which focuses on the history of this character and includes music from the latest album.

Big Bus Tickets

Here are just a few of their most popular tickets. Prices are for tickets purchased online. It's slightly more expensive on-site.

All of the Big Bus routes are included for free with the Sightseeing Pass, GoCity Explorer Pass, and the New York Pass.

All prices below reflect an additional 10% off pricing that you can only get when purchasing tickets directly from the official Big Bus website.

Essential Ticket 1 Day

  • 1 Day Hop-on, Hop-off w/ 2 extensive routes
  • The ticket includes 50% on a 2-hour bike rental.
  • Price: $72/Adults | $63/Children

Premium Ticket 2 Day

  • 2-Day Hop-on, Hop-off Tour w/ 2 extensive routes
  • The ticket includes 50% on a 2-hour bike rental.
  • Price: $90/Adults | $81/Children

Deluxe Ticket 3 Day

  • 3-Day Hop-on, Hop-off Tour w/ 2 extensive routes
  • The ticket includes a 2-hour bike rental
  • Price: $100/Adults | $90/Children

Discover Ticket 1 Day

  • 1-Day Hop-on, Hop-off Tour covering Downtown route
  • Price: $54/Adults | $45/Children

Learn more and/or purchase tickets here.

TIP: Save an additional 5% off tickets by using Tiqets!

Big Bus also offers even more combinations where you can add on attractions (see below), which could include access to the Empire State Building, Madame Tussauds, and much more.

Be sure to read our post comparing all the different tourist pass options in NYC.

Review of Big Bus New York

Big Bus is the best-reviewed hop-on-hop-off bus tour in NYC and the company regards itself as the premium hop-on-hop-off bus service in New York City.

This company sports an overall 4 out of 5-star rating on TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide. Reading their reviews will help set proper expectations.

Big Bus Tours New York

Most negative comments focus on the amount of time that it can take to get onto a bus and the audio systems not working properly. Negative reviews are more likely in high seasons.

Even those who didn’t enjoy their experience typically reported that this bus service was worth considering. 

TopView NYC

This is a relatively new company offering hop-on-hop-off bus tours, but they’re giving the competition a run for their money.

Not only are their prices much cheaper, but they also offer a lot of additional activities and attractions for free with each ticket.

In addition to their main Downtown tour, they also provide hop-on-hop-off routes of Uptown & Harlem, Brooklyn, and even a Night tour.

Depending on which ticket option you choose, you can also get access to a Statue of Liberty Cruise, a Central Park Bike Rental, and the Museum of the City of New York.

This hop-on-hop-off bus tour ticket can be used at any time within 6 months of the original purchase date.

That means you are free to buy tickets when they are on sale and wait until you plan to visit NYC to use them. 

Reviews of TopView NYC

Ratings for this company have suffered in recent years.

While some of this might be due to issues that all companies had during the pandemic, there is no mistaking the fact that their reviews are not very good anymore.

TopView has an overall rating of 3 out of 5 stars, and most guests feel that they don't provide accurate instructions on how to use their service.

Whatever is going on behind the scenes, one thing is for sure: many reviewers are displeased with this company.

Their prices might be some of the lowest in NYC, but sometimes when it seems too good to be true, it actually is.


Same Day Downtown Pass

  • 24-hour Hop-on-Hop-off Downtown Bus Tour
  • $45/Adults | $35/Children

Same Day Downtown & Uptown Pass

  • 24-hour Hop-on-Hop-off Downtown & Uptown Bus Tour
  • $61/Adults | $51/Children

All City Pass (2-Day)

  • 48-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Downtown Bus Tour
  • Also includes the following routes:
    • Uptown Tour
  • 2-Hour Central Park Bike Rental
  • $81/Adults | $71/Kids

All City Pass (3-Day)

  • 72-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Downtown Bus Tour
  • Also includes the following routes:
    • Uptown Tour
    • Brooklyn Tour
    • Night Tour
  • Statue of Liberty Cruise
  • 2-Hour Central Park Bike Rental
  • Museum of the City of New York
  • Free Butterbeer at the Harry Potter Store
  • Skyscraper Museum
  • $115/Adults | $101/Kids

All City Pass (5-Day)

  • 120-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Downtown Bus Tour
  • Also includes the following routes:
    • UptownTour
    • Brooklyn Tour
    • Night Tour
  • Statue of Liberty Cruise
  • 2-Hour Central Park Bike Rental
  • Museum of the City of New York
  • Free Butterbeer at the Harry Potter Store
  • Skyscraper Museum
  • $131/Adults | $115/Kids

Purchase tickets or learn more.

TIP: We highly recommend choosing a more reliable and better-rated service, but if you're really looking to save some money, this is the most affordable hop-on hop-off bus tour currently available in NYC.


NOTE: Big Bus has officially taken over every aspect of operation for City Sightseeing in New York City, so this service is no longer available.

The following information is kept here only for those who have not yet been informed of this change.

CitySightseeing NYC offers a similar open-top, double-decker hop-on-hop-off service as Big Bus.

Brooklyn Bus tour City Sightseeing

Like Big Bus, CitySightseeing is a global company and you most likely have seen their red double-decker buses in other cities.  

Reviews of CitySightseeing NYC

When it comes to their hop-on-hop-off service, the reviews are mixed.

CitySightseeing has earned an overall rating of 3 ½ out of 5 stars.

As with most bus services in New York, the negative comments focused mostly on long wait times and audio systems not working properly.

Those who were pleased with their experience reported that the bus drivers/guides were both helpful and knowledgeable.

(NOTE - there are no longer live tour guides).  

Previous guests have complained about experiencing a lot of pressure to tip the guide/driver at each stop.

So, either be prepared to ignore these pleas or carry $1 bills to distribute at each stop.


  • Downtown Tour (Midtown south to the Financial District)
  • Uptown Tour (Midtown north to Harlem)
  • Brooklyn Tour (Currently unavailable)
  • Bronx Tour (Currently unavailable)
  • Night Tour/Holiday Lights (Currently unavailable)


  • Downtown: $59/Adults | $49/Children


If you're having trouble deciding which hop on hop off company to work with and figuring out how much tickets cost, this section will directly compare all the most pertinent details about each service.

Big Bus ToursTopView NYC
1-Day Hop-on, Hop-off Tour covering Downtown route

Price: $54 per person
1-Day Hop-on, Hop-off Tour covering Downtown route

Price: $45/Adults | $35/Children
1 Day Hop-on, Hop-off w/ 2 extensive routes

Price: $72/Adults | $63/Children
1-Day Hop-on, Hop-off Tour covering Downtown and Uptown route

Price: $61/Adults | $51/Children
2-Day Hop-on, Hop-off Tour w/ 2 extensive routes and 50% off bike rental

Price: $90/Adults | $81/Children
2-Day Hop-on, Hop-off Tour w/ 2 extensive routes and a bike rental

Price: $81/Adults | $71/Children
1 Day Hop-on, Hop-off w/ 2 extensive routes and Statue of Liberty Ferry, Empire State Building, or Circle Line Cruise

Prices: $100/Adults | $90/Children
3-Day Hop-on, Hop-off Tour w/ 3 extensive routes, a night bus tour, a bike rental, Statue of Liberty cruise, and admission to 2 museums

Price: $115/Adults | $101/Children
1 Day Hop-on, Hop-off w/ 2 extensive routes and Statue of Liberty Ferry, AND Empire State Building

Price: $130/Adults | $120/Children
5-Day Hop-on, Hop-off Tour w/ 3 extensive routes, a night bus tour, a bike rental, Statue of Liberty cruise, and admission to 2 museums

Price: $131/Adults | $115/Children
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

As you can see, there are a few main differences you'll want to keep in mind when deciding which service to choose:

  • Big Bus is More Expensive
    • No matter how you do the math, Big Bus is the bigger name in hop-on hop-off tours, and they do charge a bit more.
  • TopView NYC has More Options
    • Although they aren't as popular as Big Bus, they do have 3 day and 5 day tickets, and they also include additional activities that aren't offered by their competitors.
  • Big Bus is the Best Rated
    • If you read the reviews for each service, you'll find a lot more negative experiences being reported about TopView NYC than Big Bus.


As a company that primarily offers walking tours, we prefer these types of bus tours as they include all the benefits of a bus tour without most of the cons!

The guide accompanies you on and off of the bus at each stop so you get detailed information about all the major sites, rather than just wandering around on your own.

You are also with the same bus, driver, and guide for the entire duration of the tour, so you never have to worry about getting a seat and can enjoy the tour in a more intimate setting.  

These are premium tours run in climate-controlled buses, therefore they are more expensive than the traditional hop-on-hop-off variety.

However, you will see a lot more, more in-depth, in a much shorter amount of time. 


Visiting New York can be an exciting and bewildering experience.

If you’re looking for a nice overview of the entire city, you might want to consider the NYC Day Bus Tour.

In addition to a fully guided trip throughout the Big Apple, you’ll also enjoy a walking tour and usually a boat cruise (Apr 1 till Dec 31) around Manhattan.

The full trip will take roughly 5 hours to complete and you will see a lot of significant landmarks along the way.

Your tour guides hop off at each stop to help show you around!  

Available daily from 10 AM – 3 PM.

TIP: If you are planning on visiting Washington, DC, you will get 30% off the Discover DC Tour (normally $69) if you purchase it at the same time as your Discover DC Tour.  

You will need to call USA Guided Tours to confirm your NYC tour date.


Reviews for USA Guided Tours NYC

All of the reviews for USA Guided Tours are positive.

With a full 5-star rating on TripAdvisor and Viator, it’s safe to say that this is one of the highest-rated tour companies in NYC.

One happy customer went so far as to exclaim that this is a must for any first-timers in New York. This seems to be a common sentiment, as several visitors left similarly positive comments. 


OnBoard offers day and nighttime tours, including an 8-hour Premium See-It-All Tour, which covers the length of Manhattan and comprises a visit past or to the Statue of Liberty. 

  • Cost: $69.99 and up depending on type/length of tour and which day of the week
  • Duration: Tours vary from 3.5-8 hours
  • Tour with Staten Island Ferry Ride
  • Tour with a ticket to the Statue of Liberty
  • Not currently available

Reviews of OnBoard NYC Tours

Reviews for this company are very good, resulting in an overall 4 ½ star rating on TripAdvisor and Viator. 

Some went so far as to indicate that they visited locations you wouldn’t typically see on a tour of New York City. 



The Ride is Broadway on a bus!

A unique experience that, according to their website is "equal parts theatrical show and immersive tour."

It's designed to be fun and entertaining, with street performers scattered throughout the tour route.  

The information about the city is rather limited and the route is confined to the area around Times Square, so guests looking for a comprehensive city tour should look at "The Tour" or elsewhere.

Tickets and Reviews of The Ride

This service has received an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide (read the reviews). 

Most guests enjoyed their experience on The Ride, but some have said that the quality of this tour has decreased over time.

It would appear that this trip does not appeal to all audiences, but it’s worth noting that hundreds of customers have left positive feedback about their adventures.

If you’re looking for something a bit different, many passengers have suggested that this is one of the most original and unique bus tours in New York!

  • Price: $79 per person
  • Duration: 75 minutes
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours before tour time.
  • Purchase tickets here.

TIP: The Ride is free for those who purchase the New York Pass or the Explorer Pass.

Read our post comparing NYC tourist passes


This fun and educational trip is from the same company that brought you The Ride.

The Tour is less about the performance (there are no singers or dancers along the route) than it is about the city itself. 

Clocking in at 15 minutes longer than The Ride, this service is more affordable and it covers a slightly larger area.

TIP: Both the RIDE and the TOUR are free for those who purchase the New York Pass or the Explorer Pass.

Reviews of The Tour

Much like the other services from this company, The Tour has an overall 4 out of 5-stars rating on TripAdvisor.

There are a few negative comments, but the overwhelming majority of their ratings are positive.

Some passengers suggest that this is a great option for anyone who might be short on time, while others say it’s the best tour they’ve ever taken.

Several of the negative reviews indicate that they were expecting the same experience that is offered on The Ride, but that simply isn’t the case.

Please make sure to select the right bus tour from this company to avoid any confusion.

  • Cost: $39 per person
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Not currently available.

TIP: Both the RIDE and the TOUR are usually free for those who purchase the New York Pass or the Explorer Pass.


If you’re a major movie buff, then this is the tour for you!

On Location Tours specializes in showing guests where all their favorite movies and TV shows were filmed.

Some of their most popular tours include:

Guides also pepper the tours with history about the neighborhoods you drive through.

NYC Sightseeing Pass

Reviews of On Location NYC Tours

With a 4 ½ out of 5-star rating and over 1,500 positive reviews on TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide, it’s safe to say that On Location Tours has impressed a lot of customers.

That being said, about 10% of their reviews are from unhappy passengers, who complain that the tour wasn’t as long as they were promised, while others simply found it uninteresting.

Although these comments may be troubling, it’s worth remembering that there are ten times as many people who absolutely loved their experience with this company.

Several guests recommend this tour for film buffs of all ages, stating that it is both informative and fun for movie lovers.

  • Cost: Varies with tours, but most are between $30-$70.
  • Duration: Tour times vary, but most run between 2-4 hours


Whether you are looking to bust a move or bust a rhyme, Hush Hip Hop Tours has the perfect tour for fans of the genre.

It claims to be the only hip-hop tour company in the world with pioneers of hip-hop, DJs, and professional break-dancers leading its tours.

As you travel from one location to the next, some of the people who helped make the movement possible will explain how this art form was born in the streets of NYC.

Their tours will take you to Harlem, the Bronx, and Brooklyn.

Reviews of Hush Hip Hop Tours

This may be one of the highest-rated experiences on the list, as Hush Hip Hop Tours have earned an overall 5 out of 5-stars rating from most 

An overwhelming majority of customers have reported that their trip around New York was not only memorable but historically accurate as well.

Some have even said that this tour is great for all audiences, suggesting that you need not be a fan of hip-hop to learn a lot about the city while on your trip.

There are only a handful of negative comments, and few of them seem to have anything in common that would suggest any major issues with their service.

TIP: Hush tours are also available for free with The Sightseeing Pass.


Scott's Pizza Tours are the premier pizza tours of New York City.  

Scott's offerings are primarily walking tours. However, on Sundays, Scott offers a pizza bus tour that reaches the outer boroughs of NYC.  

  • $85 per person
  • Duration: 4.5 hours
  • Includes stops at 4 pizzerias
  • Proof of vaccination is required
  • Stops change weekly
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Reviews of Scott's Pizza Tours

Everyone loves pizza, and according to reviewers on TripAdvisor, learning about the dish can be pretty fun.

An overwhelming majority of the reviews for their bus tour are positive.

NYC Sightseeing Pass

This tour takes place on a yellow school bus, so it might not be the most comfortable seating you’ll ever experience.

That said, almost everyone who has experienced the trip has had an absolute blast.

Positive reviews suggest that the entire journey is entertaining, and you’ll even have the opportunity to eat a few slices!

Scott also offers pizza walking tours, including:

  • Greenwich Village Pizza Walk
  • Crosstown Pizza Walk
  • Lower East Side Pizza Walk
  • Brooklyn Pizza Walk


Fans of Seinfeld will definitely want to consider taking this tour.

According to Larry David, Kenny Kramer was the actual person who inspired the hilarious character of Cosmo Kramer.

Believe it or not, Kenny still lives in New York and he provides a fabulous tour of the city to give fans a better idea of what life was like for the people that inspired the characters in everyone’s favorite show about nothing.

Visit a lot of the locations you’ve seen in the series and hear about the creation of this concept from Kramer himself!

With the exception of just one negative review, every rating on TripAdvisor is positive. 

Some fans report waiting years to take a tour with Kenny only to have their expectations exceeded in the end.

According to many reviewers, this might be one of the more entertaining bus tours in the city, and it’s perfect for any fan of Seinfeld.

  • Cost: $47.50 (plus $2 service charge)
  • Available Saturdays at 12 PM
  • Duration: 2-3 hours


If all of the above sounds out of your price range, then you could always take advantage of the public bus system and tour around the city on your own!

The New York Times published a great article a few years back about the best bus lines and routes to see all the major sites in the city.  

For under $10, the public bus system offers visitors a great way to explore the city on their own for a minimal cost.  

Don't forget that you can also take our free walking tours in combination with this option.

Another option is to download our audio tour app and use it for the neighborhoods that take the bus or subway to get to.


If you are interested in taking both a boat and bus tour while visiting New York, it's often cheapest to purchase those two tickets as part of a combo deal.

Many companies offer a variety of combinations, including helicopter tours and museum tickets as well.  

Child prices are even less, but they vary. Click the company links for more details.  

Be sure to also read our post comparing the various tourist passes, such as the New York Pass, CityPass and the Explorer Pass, which may be an even better fit for you. 

All passes include some form of bus tour.


In addition to their hop-on hop-off bus tours, this company also offers a variety of additional activities you can combine with their tours to save money.

These combo packages include tickets to some of the most popular attractions in New York City, so there's a pretty good chance you're already planning to see them anyway.

  • Essential Ticket + Empire State Building
    • $100/Adults | $90/Children
  • Essential Ticket + Circle Line Liberty Cruise
    • $100/Adults | $90/Children
  • Essential Ticket + Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
    • $100/Adults | $90/Children
  • Discover Ticket + Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
    • $80/Adults | $70/Children
  • Essential Ticket + Empire State Building + Liberty Cruise
    • $130/Adults | $120/Children

Purchase combo tickets here.

Some of these deals are better than others, and in the case of packages that include the Statue of Liberty or the 9/11 Memorial Museum, we recommend reading more about these to find out if you can get tickets for even cheaper another way.

It's also worth noting that most of these attractions are also included alongside the Big Bus tours with the New York Pass, the New York Sightseeing Pass or the Explorer Pass.

Big Bus Tours New York


City Sights also offers several different combo packages at a low rate. Use the promo phrase SAVE10 to get an extra 10% off each package.

Big Bus Classic Tour + 1 Attraction

  • 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Both Downtown and Uptown Loops
  • Admission to one of the following attractions or activities:
    • Empire State Building
    • Top of the Rock
    • Intrepid, Sea, Air, and Space Museum
    • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    • Madame Tussauds
    • 9/11 Tribute Museum
    • New York Historical Society
    • Museum of the City of New York
    • The Cloisters Museum
    • Central Park Sightseeing Guided Bike Tour
    • Central Park Sightseeing Walking Tour
    • MoMA
  • $79/Adults | $69/Children
  • Purchase this combo deal.

Big Bus Classic Tour + 3 Attractions

  • 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Both Downtown and Uptown Loops
  • Admission to one of the following attractions or activities:
    • Empire State Building
    • Top of the Rock
    • Intrepid, Sea, Air, and Space Museum
    • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    • Madame Tussauds
    • 9/11 Tribute Museum
    • New York Historical Society
    • Museum of the City of New York
    • The Cloisters Museum
    • Central Park Sightseeing Guided Bike Tour
    • Central Park Sightseeing Walking Tour
    • MoMA
  • $139/Adults | $129/Children
  • Purchase this combo deal.

The Sightseeing Pass

  • NYC Bus Tour for 1-10 days
  • One World Observatory
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum
  • Night Bus Tour
  • Admission to 90+ Attractions such as:
    • Madame Tussauds
    • American Museum of Natural History
    • Metropolitan Museum of Art
    • Guggenheim Museum
    • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
    • On Location Tours - When Harry Met Seinfeld
    • The RIDE
  • Prices from $149/Adults | $139/Children

New York Tour Shuttle

This bus tour is perfect for those who only have limited time in New York.

Over 9 hours, you'll see several different landmarks and enjoy access to sites such as the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.

Additionally, you'll also make a special stop in Little Italy for lunch.

This is a fairly comprehensive day trip that covers most of the bases in NYC.

Tickets are a bit expensive, but ratings indicate that the service may be worth its higher price tag.

  • Ticket Prices: $99 per person
  • Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Availability: Thursday – Monday at 9:00 AM
  • Attractions/Activities Included:
    • Statue of Liberty (w/ access to the Pedestal)
    • Wall Street Walking Tour
    • St. Patrick's Cathedral
    • 9/11 Memorial & Museum
    • Little Italy
  • Not currently available.

Reviews for this service are quite good, as a majority of customers have given the trip a 5-star rating.

Several visitors mentioned their tour guides by name, indicating that they were very friendly and provided a lot of useful information about the city.

Although they enjoyed the experience, some reviewers felt it important to note that you will need a lot of stamina for this all-day outing.

If you are interested in day trips such as this, consider checking out our comparison of NYC in a day tours.


This company is currently offering their night bus tour in a combo package which includes tickets to the Edge Observatory.

If you're planning to visit this attraction and you're interested in taking a bus tour at night, this is an excellent opportunity to save some money.

The bus tour itself begins at 5:30 pm and lasts for 4 hours, so you'll want to visit the Edge Observatory before taking the tour.

This combo tour is available 3 days a week on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

  • $94/Adults | $84/Children
  • Not currently available.


Many of the companies listed above also offer evening bus tours.

The New York skyline is breathtaking when illuminated after dark, and a bus tour is a great way to see many different areas of the city in a short amount of time.

Night tours do not typically operate as hop-on-hop-off tours, even though many are operated by hop-on-hop-off companies in double-decker buses.

There are also small group shuttle bus night tours.  

NOTE: Some of these night tours are included in the multiple-day tickets offered by each company.

Big Bus Tours New York


In addition to its highly-rated daily tour, this company also provides one of the longest and most detailed night tours in New York.

Clocking in at 4 ½ hours in length, the NYC Night Bus Tour will take you past some of the most popular destinations in the entire city, including locations such as Times Square, Chelsea Market, Chinatown, and Greenwich Village.

This excursion also includes at least one short walking tour. Discover how New York City changes when the sun goes down! Available Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 5:30 PM to 10 PM.


  • $59 for Adults
  • $49 for Children
  • $6 off w/ Military ID
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Availability: Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
  • More information and to book.

Every single review for this particular night tour is 5 stars. Most guests report that this company is very professional and reliable, describing their tour guides as entertaining and knowledgeable. 


In addition to their hop-on hop-off bus tours, this company also offers a night tour which allows you to see what the city looks like after dark.

This outing doesn't include any of their other bus tours, nor does it provide access to the Museum of the City of New York or a free Central Park bike rental.

Even so, it is one of the few options for a night bus tour as of March 2024.

If you're interested in seeing the city lights after the sun sets, this is an excellent option you might want to consider.

NOTE: Don't forget that this night tour is included with their 2, 3, and 5-day hop-on hop-off bus tour ticket.

TIP: We recommend considering another service, as this company routinely receives negative reviews indicating they aren't the best option on our list.


Big Bus offers nightly bus tours that depart between 6-7 pm every 15-20 minutes from Times Square (6 pm - 8 pm in winter months).

Sites include Radio City Music Hall, 5th Avenue, the Empire State Building, the Manhattan Bridge, and the Manhattan skyline from the Brooklyn waterfront.

You can view their night tour route map (yellow).  

  • Price: $62.10 per person
  • Duration: 2 hours.
  • Included in the price of all multi-day Big Bus tickets.
  • It is not included in the New York Pass.


We hope that this post provides you with enough information to decide which, if any, NYC bus tour is right for you.

To help you get a sense from others about the various tours, we've included these opinions and suggestions from members of our popular New York Travel Tips Facebook group.

Here, Lindsey asks the question that anyone considering these tours wants to know.

Among those who have taken and enjoyed a bus tour, one of the most common reasons they gave is to become oriented to the city.

Rather than hop on and hop off, many people found it helpful to do a full loop first and note what sites you’d like to go back to.

This can be a great way to narrow down your itinerary to only places you know you will like.

These tours are more than just a way to orient yourself, you’ll learn things about NYC as well and see a lot!

Plus, on a hop-on hop-off bus tour, you may be pleasantly surprised to discover new places that intrigue you enough to go back and visit them.

This group member liked learning about the city’s neighborhoods and then deciding where to go back to.

She also loved the fact that the bus gives her feet a rest while she still discovers more of the city.

Like the others, this group member recommends them but feels that the tours are best used as sightseeing tours, rather than a means of getting from attraction to attraction as that can eat into one’s time.

For those who have never done a bus tour, don’t worry as they are pretty easy to use.

For example, Big Bus has an app that shows you in real time where buses are so you know when to be at the stop.

You may have noticed that two members above were able to take the Big Bus tour for free by purchasing a New York Pass. You can read more about this pass here.

Need help planning your bus tour itinerary? This member has organized one for you!

As for taking the unusual tour, The Ride, it really depends on what you are looking for. 

If you are looking for an informative tour that takes you around the city, The Ride isn't the best choice. That isn't to say you won't enjoy it.

If you want to be entertained in a one-of-a-kind manner, then it could be just what you are looking for, especially after a long day and you want to sit back and relax.

If you have any more questions about NYC bus tours (or anything else about NYC) that we haven't covered here, check out our New York Travel Tips Facebook group!

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About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo,, and more.
Updated: April 2nd, 2024
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