The New York City branch of the popular Big Bus Tours franchise offers three major guided tours: Uptown City Tour, Downtown City Tour and the Classic Ticket. Each one of these popular tours allows guests the opportunity to hop-on and hop-off the iconic burgundy open-top, double-decker bus at as many attractions as they desire over the course of their ticket. While on the bus, a pre-recorded commentary will provide an informative narrative of the New York City landmarks you pass as you ride along.
Big Bus History and Background
Big Bus Tours as it functions today is the result of a merger between two major sightseeing tour companies: Les Cars Rouges and Big Bus Company. Les Cars Rouges was founded in Paris in 1990, while Big Bus Company got its start a year later in London. The two rival tour operators would each grow their profile independently for some 20 years, launching numerous guided tours in major cities throughout the world.
In 2011, the two companies would undergo a merger to form Big Bus Tours. Today Big Bus Tours is the largest open-top bus tour operator in the world, with hundreds of buses running in nearly two-dozen major cities all across the world.
What’s Great about Big Bus?
Many New York City visitors who opt to go on a guided tour with Big Bus Tours choose to take the Classic Ticket tour. This is because, in essence, the Classic Ticket tour is the Uptown City Tour and Downtown City Tour combined together into one unforgettable experience.
The downtown portion of the Classic Ticket tour makes 10 stops at prominent New York City landmarks. These stops are: M&M World, Times Square (in front of the Knickerbocker Hotel), Empire State Building, Flatiron District, SoHo, Chinatown, Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street, and Circle Line Sightseeing. Getting off at one of these stops will leave you well-positioned near such popular NYC attractions as One World Observatory, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the High Line, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, and more.
The uptown portion of the Classic Ticket tour makes 5 stops near notable New York City locations. These stops are: Times Square (in front of the Knickerbocker Hotel), 7th Avenue at West 50th Street, Columbus Circle, Central Park Zoo, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Depending on what you’re interested in seeing, disembarking at a stop on this leg of the tour will put you near attractions like the Museum of Modern Art, Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and the Guggenheim Museum, just to name a few.
Tips for Taking a Big Bus Tour
- Big Bus Tours NYC is included on several money saving tourist passes including the New York Pass, NY Explorer Pass and NYC Sightseeing Pass.
- Your Big Bus New York tour ticket can be combined with a number of other exciting offers, including admission to such New York City landmarks as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Madame Tussauds, and more. If you think this sort of promotion might work well for you and your plans, be certain to add it at the time of your initial Big Bus New York tour ticket purchase.
- Big Bus Tours has a free app that might be worth downloading. This Big Bus Tours mobile app comes with local maps, food-and-drink suggestions, and crucially, live bus arrival times.
- Your Big Bus New York tour will come with a few bonus perks, including a complimentary 1-hour bike rental from Unlimited Biking, redeemable at either their Columbus Circle or Central Park (56 West 56th Street) locations.
- Families traveling with little ones will want to be aware of Big Bus New York’s Peppa Pig promotion. Any kid hopping-on a Big Bus New York tour is entitled to a free pair of Peppa Pig ears, as well as a Peppa Pig activity sheet. There’s even a kid-centric Peppa Pig audio commentary available.