Best New York City
Bus Tours

Taking a New York City bus tour is a great way to see the amazing sights of New York during Christmas. It's a great way to view the spectacular holiday scenes if you only have a short time.

Of course, if you would like to stay longer to experience the excitement and participate in all the festivities of New York City at Christmas, (I would definitely recommend this) check out
NYC Vacation Packages by clicking here.

New York City Bus Tours

A New York City bus tour on a double decker bus is an unforgettable experience!

There are Uptown loops, Downtown loops, Nightime loops, and even a Holiday Lights Tour during the Christmas Season. If you want to see a lot of Manhattan in a short amount of time, then a New York City bus tour is the way to go.

You buy a bus pass from the tour company that's good for 24 to 48 hours - depending on the company and the tour you take. These tours are great because they allow you to "hop on and hop off" at any stop. You can get off the bus at any stop - have lunch, do some shopping, take some photos and then hop back on the a bus headed to the next stop!

If you do not "hop on and hop off" the tour takes about 2 - 2 1/2 hours. The day tours operate from 8:30am - 5:00pm and they stop at each designated stop every 30 minutes in April - December and every 45 minutes in January - March.

Note: Most tour companies do not pick you up at your hotel - you need to meet at the Tour Company's office.

If you have more time to spend on a New York City bus tour, take the Comprehensive or All Loops tours. These will include a tour guide that gets off with you at each designated stop and describes where you are and its significance.

I highly recommend these - they are very informative!

Some tours will even include a harbor cruise so you can get up close to the Statue of Liberty and even go under the Brooklyn Bridge and view the Empire State Building. Other tours will include a helicopter tour, entrance to a NYC museum or tickets to Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center.

TIP: You can get a discount by booking a tour ahead of time on the Internet.

Christmas in New York City

The best New York City bus tour my husband Sam and I took was on New York Tours - the Downtown Loop.

New York City Bus Tours This is a typical street in Little Italy lined with one amazing restaurant after another. The Best Italian Food in New York City can be found here.

New York  City  Bus Tours

This is Chinatown where not only can you eat authentic Chinese foods, but you can do some bargain shopping. Negotiate bargains with the vendors and come home with some great deals on everything from electronics, jewelry, clothing, handbags, and leather goods. Remember - everything is negotiable in Chinatown.

The Downtown Loop - stops at the Empire State Building
Greenwich Village
Little Italy
Wall Street Financial District
Battery Park (you can take the ferry to Statue of Libery and Ellis Island but not in winter months)
South Street Seaport
Times Square
Rockefeller Plaza
Radio City
United Nations
Theatre District
St. Patrick's Cathedral
Fifth Avenue
and it passes near Ground Zero where you can get off and walk about 4 blocks to Ground Zero.

On this Loop, the bus stops at each desginated stop more frequently - about ever 15 minutes in April - December and every 30 minutes in Jan - March.

Here are the stops we would recommend and what to do while there:

New York City Bus Tours
Murray's on Bleeker St. - Downtown Loop

New York City Bus Tours

Times Square

Little Italy - have lunch at Angelo's - great food and prices were not too expensive - you can walk to Chinatown from here
Chinatown - do some bargain shopping - prices can be negotiated with street vendors

Greenwich Village - Walk down Bleeker Street and check out
Murray's huge selection of cheeses from around the world as well as delicious cured and dried meats. They will even give you samples and they hold tasting classes too.

Rockefeller Plaza - try to get here in the later part of the day when it is starting to get dark - so you can see the Rockefeller Christmas Tree lit with holiday lights and the bright lights on Broadway's Theatre District and Times Square. It just wouldn't be as impressive in the day.
From here its a short walk to Radio City, St. Patrick's Cathedral and Sak's Fifth Avenue. We ended our tour here since the last tour bus leaves at 5:00pm to go back and we wanted to keep sight seeing.

We recommend spending the rest of your evening in this area.

TIP: Check out Christmas in New York City for ideas on what to do.

New York City Bus Tours

The American Museum of Natural History on the Uptown Loop - it is expansive. Too much to see in a few hours, so pick what sections of the Museum you really want to see and stick with those. Also, there is no fee for admission - donations are accepted, which makes this attraction a bargain.

New York City Bus Tours

The Guggenheim Museum on the Uptown Loop. Architecturally interesting as well as the modern art pieces on the inside.

The Uptown Loop on your New York City bus tour will stop at
Central Park
Lincoln Center
Theatre District
Rockefeller Plaza
Radio City
St. Patrick's Cathedral
Fifth Avenue Department stores
American Museum of Natural History
Guggenheim Museum
and Metropolitan Museum of Art.

If you love museums, this is the right New York City bus tour for you. Just make sure you go with a company that offers at least a 48 hour pass.
The museums are gigantic and will take a very long time to go through. There is no way you will be able to see all of the American Museum of Natural History - but it is defintely worth the try!

New York City Bus Tours

Christmas in New York City

The Holiday Lights tour is a nightime tour that begins the Friday after Thanksgiving and goes through January (not on Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year's Eve or New Year's Day).
This New York City bus tour takes you to many of the same stops as the Downtown Loop.
However, this is not a "Hop on and Hop Off" tour. So you will be viewing the sites from a distance without the opportunity to get off and take photos.

TIP:For this reason, I would not recommend this Holiday Lights tour. We prefer to take our time and see the animated window displays of the 5th Avenue Department stores and the Rockefeller Tree up close and take some good pictures.

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