Hop on and off tours in New York City: Everything you need to know
Manhattan has so much packed into a small island – almost 30 distinct neighborhoods ready to strut their stuff for you. The Battery invites with riverside parks and views of the Statue of Liberty. Times Square beckons with its neon lights and Broadway glamour. Central Park brings smiles with its zoo and Strawberry Fields. Plenty of skyscrapers show off the city views – the Empire State Building, One World Observatory and the Top of the Rock are just a few. Museums as fancy as their exhibits – the Guggenheim, the Intrepid, and the Cloisters.
Manhattan is just one borough in New York City. You also have the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, all with experiences to share. A hop-on hop-off excursion through New York City could help you sample all the flavors here.
Why should I take a New York City hop-on hop-off tour?
Hop-on hop-off sightseeing tours show you New York City like nothing else can. You get amazing view from the open top decks as you ride down 5th Avenue, Broadway and 34th Street. Skyscrapers, buildings, townhouses, parks flow pass on either side. Your pics will look like stills from a movie, especially when crossing the Brooklyn or Manhattan Bridge. And if your tour has an evening or night option, you’ll see why this city never sleeps!
Along with the views, you get the experiences and you can make them all your own. Explore every stop or simply sit back and enjoy the ride. Missed something or found a fave? The tour will circle that way again. And you can get to all five boroughs thanks to hop-on hop-offs. No toll fees, no train or bus transfers and no getting lost. Just make sure the one you pick includes them.
The audio commentaries are good for history and factoids but chatting with the guide can give your experience some local flair. You may discover a New York City you didn’t expect!
What attractions can I visit on a hop-on hop-off New York tour?
Get into an Empire state of mind with every stop. Jot down some truly New York spots that you can visit on a New York hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour.
The Empire State Building
Either the 86th or the 102nd Floor observation decks offer 360 views. Just please don’t throw pennies. And don’t miss the 2nd Floor exhibits, including a King Kong experience where you might encounter that great ape.
American Museum of Natural History
You’ll almost wish that the movie “Night at the Museum” was a true story... Or maybe not as you pass by the T-Rex skeleton. Every exhibit, from the lions resting in the savannah to the Easter Island statue, looks like they’re bursting to come to life!
One World Observatory
Built as a tribute to New York’s resilience, the observatory is quite a spectacle. The Sky Pod elevator puts on a show as it takes you up 102 floors. Test your fear of heights on the Sky Portal as you look down over 100 floors.
This used to be a seedy, nasty part of town. Now, it’s full of neon signs and street performers. Stock up on snow globes and take a selfie with Spider Man or the Cookie Monster. Or grab discounted seats for a Broadway show at TKTS after the tour. If you hop on for a night trip, you should make sure this is on the route!
Funky looking on the outside and in. And no need for stairs. You can walk up and down the spiral rotunda to each floor. The view down the center will be an artistic experience all its own, and sometimes you might catch some performance art.
At 2.5 miles long, you should plan your visit ahead of time. Beatles lovers head for Strawberry Fields. History buffs look for Belvedere Castle. “Madagascar” fans visit the zoo. Ask your guide or driver for the best spot to hop off depending on what you want to see.
Are there added extras with hop-on hop-off New York City tours?
Note that some tours are valid for only one day or for a few hours over a few days. Check their schedule to make sure it syncs with yours. Many tours offer tickets to your choice of museums as well as entrance to observations decks at One World Observatory or the Empire State Building. And with the Hudson and East Rivers all around, you may also get a free boat tour or ferry ride.
Worried about missing the next pick-up? You can download an app for that. Some operators have apps so you can track where the buses are. And you can often use free Wi-Fi too.