In order to take in all of the exciting sights, activities, and culture NYC has to offer, you’d need…well, a lifetime! So, what do you do if you only have a few days to visit the best city in the world? The Big Bus Tours' “hop on, hop off” pass is easily the best and most convenient way to see New York’s famous landmarks and more in a short period of time.
With this pass, Big Bus will take you along its sightseeing routes, allowing you to get on and off the bus at any point from 8 am to 6 pm. You can pick and choose which places you don’t want to visit without having to arrange any of your own transportation!
So…with over 35 stops throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, which ones should you hop off at?! Here’s where we would go if we were on that bus...
EMPIRE STATE / KOREA TOWN
One of the first stops on Big Bus’s Downtown Route, we suggest you start by hopping off near these quintessential NYC spots: Korea Town and the Empire State Building. Maybe even take a trip up to the Empire State Building Observatory (you can learn more about that here!)
The Flatiron Building is possibly the coolest example of the city’s amazing architecture. Plus, it’s nearby some pretty awesome places to eat – like Eataly or the first ever Shake Shack in Madison Square Park – and lots of shopping.
GREENWICH / NYU
There’s a lot to take in in bohemian Greenwich Village. At this stop, you can get a taste of the NYU life, visit Washington Square Park, browse the Village’s unique stores, and more.
New York is full of history and culture, with Chinatown being one of the best examples. We recommend getting off here and eating some affordable, authentic Chinese food. Then, take a stroll down Canal Street. Columbus Park is nearby, too!
BROOKLYN BRIDGE / CITY HALL
Visiting City Hall sounds boring, right? But Manhattan’s Federal Hall is a National Historic Landmark, so it’s a total must-see. From here, you can also see the Woolworth Building, an early skyscraper, and if you’re really feeling adventurous, you could walk the Brooklyn Bridge!
For all the Native New Yorkers reading, we know, we know – Times Square is overrated. But for someone who’s never been to (or rarely comes to) New York City, it can be a pretty astonishing sight. Plus there are lots of things to do and see in the area, such as Broadway, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and the UN Headquarters.
CIRCLE LINE SIGHTSEEING
Hopping off here can multiply your sightseeing by ten. With a ticket to Circle Line Cruise (which you can get bundled with a Hop On Hop Off pass!) not only will you get wild views of some of the world’s most famous landmarks, like the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge, but you’ll get to do it on a relaxing boat ride!
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
If you love sports, you have to stop at The Garden. Known as the “most famous arena in the world,” Madison Square Garden is home to the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers, and many more teams. You can tour the whole place, including backstage and the locker rooms.
GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL
Most train stations aren’t worth visiting, but Grand Central Station most certainly is. Its architecture is iconic, with stunning chandeliers and huge windows. People watching here is always fun, too!
DAKOTA / STRAWBERRY FIELDS
This Central Park area pays homage to the Beatles and John Lennon, featuring an “Imagine” mosaic among lovely, bright landscaping. Across the street is the Dakota, where Lennon lived and was ultimately killed. Beatles fan or not, any music lover can appreciate this stop.
APOLLO THEATRE / HARLEM
Another great one for music fans! This stop is nearby the historic Apollo Theatre, a NYC landmark and music venue known for hosting legends such as Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin. Be sure to check out other Harlem favorites like Morningside Park, the Abyssinian Baptist Church, and the Studio Museum Harlem.
THE FRICK MUSEUM
The next stop we suggest is near the Frick Collection. While this museum is not quite as well known as the Met or MoMa, it features art just as beautiful.
THE PLAZA HOTEL
Spend part of your day like New York’s rich and famous with an indulgent meal or drink at the Plaza. Perhaps the most famous hotel in New York, the Plaza is home to many lavish restaurants and bars, including a food court-esque area for a quicker (and less pricy) bite. There’s also shopping and a spa!
These spots are all throughout the city, so some of them will be on different Big Bus routes. Be sure to plan accordingly by checking out the routes on the Big Bus website, so you can hop off at as many stops as possible.