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New York Night Bus Tours

Updated: September 11, 2023

This post compares many New York City night tours available to you, including double-decker buses, small group outings, and Christmas bus tours.


OVERVIEW

In the city that never sleeps, there are a lot of tourist companies in New York City that offer bus tours either at sunset or after dark.

The city changes dramatically from day to night, and even the iconic landmarks look different when the sun goes down and the city glows.

A night bus tour is perfect for anyone who wants to experience NYC from a new perspective.

One of the most common types of night bus tours is offered by hop-on hop-off bus tour companies on double-decker buses.

From the top of a double-decker bus, you'll get unparalleled views and will have plenty of photo ops!

Brooklyn Bridge Self Guided Tour

Unlike day tours that allow you to hop on and off at various bus stops to explore at your leisure, night tours generally do not make stops. Instead, you stay on the bus for the duration of the journey.

Alternatively, you might also want to consider a small group bus tour, as these outings usually run much longer and cover a lot more ground.

Finally, you can also look forward to Christmas bus tours during the holiday season. Since they focus primarily on lighting displays, these tours are always offered after dark.

Prices for night bus tours range from $45 - $80 at most, with the average cost coming in at around $50 - $60 per person.

If you're looking to save money on this activity, make sure to check our discounts section for details about the best deals on night bus tours in New York City.


DOUBLE DECKER NIGHT BUS TOURS

Below are bus companies that offer evening tours.

Ticket prices typically range from $45 - $79, making this one of the more affordable after-dark adventures through NYC. 

None offer hop-on-hop-off service at night, rather these are continuous tours.

Several of the options below are offered free for holders of certain discount passes or combination tickets. 

Be sure to check out our comparison of all the night bus tours for more info.


Top View NYC

This company offers NYC bus tours including a 90-minute night tour. There is frequent service, between 6 pm and 12 am on Monday through Thursday and 6 pm to 1 am on Friday through Sunday.

As with their competitors, this outing is not a hop-on hop-off service, but it does take place on a double-decker bus.

If you're interested in saving money, this tour is also included with their 2, 3, and 5-day hop-on hop-off bus tours.

Night Bus Tour

Just some of the sites you will see on your tour are the Empire State Building, Greenwich Village, Chinatown, Little Italy, the Brooklyn Bridge, the United Nations, Chrysler Building and Grand Central Terminal.

While the price point for this outing is much lower than others on our list, it's worth noting that this company doesn't typically receive great reviews.

We recommend considering all your options before settling on this one because we want you to have a good time!


Big Bus Tours

This company offers a guided night tour of Manhattan every night from 7 pm to 9 pm.

The departure point is at M&M World at 7th Avenue and West 48th St. in the Times Square area.

This is not a hop-on, hop-off tour. Thr route takes you from Midtown Manhattan to see all the landmarks that dazzle at night.

The bus then crosses the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn for some spectacular skyline views from your open-top bus.

Night Bus Tour 

The tour has a live host who offers commentary in English. There is no audio commentary in other languages.


CitySights/Gray Line/City Sightseeing 

This outfit also offers a night bus tour that takes you to several awesome New York City sites.

Although this is not a hop-on-hop-off service, a professional tour guide will provide commentary on all of the landmarks you will be passing.

This 90-minute bus tour is offered daily at 6:30 pm.  

  • Ticket Price: $44 for Adults | $34 for Children

NOTE: This night bus tour is not currently available as of July 2022.


SMALL GROUP NIGHT BUS TOURS

This section will cover some of the best small-group bus tours available after dark in New York City.

Since these tours tend to be longer and more exclusive, you can expect prices to range from $50 - $80 or more.


USA Guided Tours

This is likely the longest night tour in NYC and you will surely see a lot of the city from both the comfort of your bus and through short guided walks at some of the bus stops.

Over the course of 4 hours, you'll see all of the most fascinating attractions in New York and you will get out for a few short guided walks as well. 

Your adventure starts at 5:30 PM from the Times Square area. Just a few of the neighborhoods you drive through are Midtown East, Financial District, Tribeca, Battery Park City, Little Italy, Greenwich Village, and others.

Along the way, you'll stop and leave the bus for short guided walks of the High Line and Little Island Park, along the Hudson River, and Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport where you'll get stunning views of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Considering the length and breadth of this bus tour, the price of admission is more than reasonable. 


Royal City Tours

This outing is very similar to the service offered by USA Guided Tours, as it is also a small group tour and it runs for approximately 4 hours at night.

What's even better is that their night bus tour is often provided multiple times each evening, with tours starting at 5:30 pm and 5:50 pm.

You can expect to see several notable landmarks as the sun is setting or after it finally goes down, including sites like Times Square, the Empire State Building, and more.


The Ride

This is a fairly popular bus tour in New York City, and it's offered much later than most of their competitors, with tickets being offered as late as 7:30 pm and 7:45 pm.

Unlike other night bus tours, this one is focused more on entertainment, with two live comedic hosts providing an interesting look at the city.

Over the course of 75 minutes, you'll visit a wide variety of notable sites in NYC, including Times Square, Central Park and more.

NOTE: This tour is included on two tourist passes listed in our discount section.


CHRISTMAS NIGHT BUS TOURS

In addition to all the other night bus tours in NYC, there are also seasonal holiday services that visit the best lighting displays in the city.

You'll have a fantastic time seeing the sparkling lights from our warm and comfortable tour bus.

Below we go over holiday bus tours, and you can expect prices for these outings to run from $50 - $60 per person.


Royal City Tours

If you're not interested in their more traditional small group night bus tour, this company also offers a Christmas Magic Tour from December 1st - January 3rd.

This bus tour starts in Manhattan at 4:15 pm and runs for 3 hours and 30 minutes.

You can expect to visit sites in Dyker Heights and enjoy a walk under the Brooklyn Bridge.


Tour America NYC

This company offers a Christmas bus tour visiting Dyker Heights and the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn.

These are some of the best places to spot beautiful lighting displays!

Like their competitors, this tour is around 3 hours and 30 minutes long.

However, this outing starts at 5 pm and runs later into the night.

Tickets are available from December 1st - January 1st.

See our New York Bus Tour Overview for more information on all of these services.


Deals and Discounts

Several of the services we have listed here are actually available at a discount.

Alternatively, you'll also find several tour packages which include excursions after dark.

Is the New York Pass Worth It?

Here's a general rundown of the many deals and discounts available on New York night tours.

  • Big Bus Tours – If you purchase either a 48-hour or 72-hour ticket, their night tour is sometimes included. These tickets are also included with several of their tour packages.
  • New York Pass – This tourist pass includes access to a variety of the services we've already listed, including Circle Line cruises and Big Bus Tours. They also offer The Ride at no additional cost. They also offer discounts for Spirit Cruises, helicopter rides, and other sightseeing tours.
  • Explorer Pass – The Explorer Pass includes access to such services as Big Bus Tours, Circle Line cruises, and at times New York Water Taxi. You'll also gain admittance to attractions like Top of the Rock, Madison Square Garden, and Radio City Music Hall. Like its competitors, this company also offers admission to The Ride.
  • Sightseeing Pass – City Sightseeing offers its very own tourist pass including quite a few attractions and tours. You'll also enjoy access to locations such as One World Observatory, Madame Tussaud's, and the 9/11 Tribute Center.

Make sure to check sites like Groupon, Living Social, and Goldstar for additional discounts on NYC night tours. For more information on these discounts, check out our guide to New York on a budget.


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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, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: September 11th, 2023
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