Choosing The Best Option
What goes into being the best, you may ask. The criteria we've looked at include:
Why use a NYC tour?
It's on a lot of people's bucket list: A trip to New York City! If you're like most people, it can be a little overwhelming trying to plan a trip where there's so much to do and see. Thankfully, there are some reputable NYC tour companies that have pulled together the top attractions and made them all accessible via double decker buses, multi-day city passes and beautiful harbor cruises.
We've taken a look at cost, types of tours and attractions available, what each company is known for, and how long they've been in business to give you an idea of what to expect when you use one of these tour companies to help plan your next New York vacation.
From Times Square to the Statue of Liberty, from Broadway to Ripleys Believe It or Not! Museum, there's a lot of ground to cover when you're visiting the Big Apple. Below are some answers to the most common questions that get asked about booking tours in New York City.
Do I have to pick my dates now?
Tour companies understand that plans can change up until the last minute. For most tours and cruises, you purchase a voucher for your desired excursion that is good for one year from the purchase date. That leaves plenty of wiggle room in case you decide to postpone your trip or need to rearrange your itinerary once you arrive in New York.
How do "hop-on, hop-off" tours work?
Typically, these are bus tours that follow scheduled routes through popular areas of the city including Downtown, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Uptown. If you select a one-day tour, you will choose one route and get on the bus at a specified departure location. Every bus includes a tour guide who tells you about the history and interesting facts of landmarks along the tour route. The bus also stops briefly at all of the popular attractions along the route.
At any stop, you can get off and explore the area for as long as you like, then just catch the next bus when you're ready to continue the tour. Buses usually come every 20-30 minutes. If you choose a multi-day tour, you can pick 2 or 3 routes and explore them over the course of a few days. Some multi-day tours also include hop-on, hop-off ferry tours, so you can spend one day getting to know Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and other attractions you can't get to by land.
What attractions should I be sure to see?
This is really going to depend upon your personal tastes, but there are a few stops that are quintessentially New York and will at the very least make your trip memorable with some great photo opportunities.
What if I Want to See New York City from observatories?
Unless you're planning on taking a helicopter tour, there's really no better way to take in the entire city than from the top of one of New York's famous observatories. The highest vantage point in the city is from One World Observatory in the newly-opened One World Trade Center building. You get stunning views of the city from the 102nd floor of the tallest building in North America.
The Empire State Building Observatory is on the 86th floor of this historic New York landmark and provides 360 degree views of New York City and beyond. For an incredible view and a chance at a star sighting, try the Top of the Rock Observatory on the 70th floor of the Rockefeller Center where NBC films some of it's most popular shows.
How do I See the Statue of Liberty?
This seems like a no-brainer for any trip to New York. You can take a ferry to Liberty Island and see her in person, or get a great view of Lady Liberty from any number of vantage points like Lower Manhattan or the Brooklyn Bridge. As part of these tours, you'll get the chance to get an up close and personal look at the Statue of Liberty with guided commentary if you wish.
Will these tours visit museums?
You'll get the chance to select which museums you'd like to visit on your tour, and you can even select multi-day tour so you can get the full experience. New York City is truly a global destination that is brimming with rich cultural history. Try to explore at least one of the dozens of museums and historical landmarks that help define the city that never sleeps.
For some of the finest collections of modern art and classic masterpieces, try The MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art), The MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art) or the Guggenheim Museum. If quietly walking through hallways of art isn't your thing, there are more interactive options like Madame Tussauds New York Wax Museum where you can see uncanny wax replicas of your favorite stars, or Ripleys Believe It or Not! Museum that has bizarre and mysterious exhibits that stretch the limits of your imagination.
Are tour tickets refundable?
It depends on the company. Be sure to check the fine print before you finish your transaction. Currently, Gray Line New York issues non-refundable tickets, but CitySights NY allows refunds within 30 days with proof of purchase.
Trusting our top pick
Navigating the many choices for every consumer purchase can be challenging. Our team spends hours doing research, combing through forums, and reading consumer reviews on even the most basic of household items, and we summarize that information in clear, precise comparisons.
Join the millions that have trusted BuyersGuide.org to help them make smarter buying decisions. We help our readers spend their money wisely and find the right product to suit their specific needs. Our independent expert reviews and data-driven shopping recommendations empower you find the New York City tour provider that's right for you.
What sets us apart?
We leverage user data to understand decision-making and put the best products in front of each user. We tailor our comparisons to what matters to our user's needs, specific or broad. We keep our content up to date, we are constantly looking for new merchants and products to compare, and we are quick to remove any that are outdated or no longer meeting our standards.
Our rankings change day-to-day based on our proprietary algorithms that crunch data to identify top-performing products and tailor recommendations to exactly what our readers are looking for.
Have a question or want to make a recommendation? We love to hear from our readers and are always looking for new products to include on our site. Get in touch!