Travel Tuesday: Big Bus (Midtown Route)

By Go City Expert

Big Bus | Smart Destinations

Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Visiting New York City gives you the opportunity to see some of the world's most exciting and most popular attractions. However, there are so many great sights to see, it can often be overwhelming trying to find the time to view them all? Luckily the Big Bus provides guided tours around the city where you can see notable landmarks and even choose which sections of the city you will be touring. Passengers also can enjoy the luxury of Big Bus' "Hop-on Hop-off" service which allows them to get off the bus at one of the stops along the route and hop on to another bus from any of the stops. Today we're going to look at the Midtown Route aka the "Purple Route" which operates daily from 9am to 6pm.
Big Bus | Broadway Show Tickets

Hop-on Hop-Off

You'll find many of the city's gems peaking out at you along your journey through Midtown. The route is approximately 1.5 hours long and is led by an experienced and often entertaining tour guide who makes sure that you not only see all that New York City has to offer, but also that you enjoy every minute of it. Passengers have the choice of sitting on either the lower-interior level of the double-decker bus or the top level where you are high enough to touch the traffic lights. When the sun is out, it's hard to think of a better way to view NYC and some of the city's most popular landmarks.

Midtown Route

Along the ride you'll get to see areas that you've probably been hearing about your entire life. The world's most famous arena, Madison Square Garden makes an appearance during the tour. You'll also get to see the iconic Empire State Building and Grand Central Terminal. The Midtown route proves to be quite convenient as it not only makes stops at these popular staples in NY history, but also stops at Circle Line Sightseeing where passengers can Hop-off and board a beautiful cruise of the city.
Empire State Building | TripAdvisor
New York Pass holders gain a 1-day ticket for the Big Bus and have the option of upgrading their ticket for a discounted rate at the point of redemption. You can also add specific tours to your ticket such as the Night Tour or the Brooklyn tour. For more information such as pricing or schedules on the Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Tour and their different routes, please click here

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One Day in New York City Itinerary for First Time Visitors

One day in New York City will go by in the blink of an eye, but with a good itinerary, you can see some of NYC's most iconic sights and create powerful lasting memories from your trip. The key to seeing as much as possible, and enjoying it at the same time is an early wake-up time, good walking shoes and some sightseeing itinerary planning preparation. We've outlined the perfect one day in NYC itinerary below, but there are countless ways to tailor your NYC sightseeing itinerary to your travel style and interests. Save on Admission to Top NYC Attractions With The New York Pass, you can save big on admission to more than 90 attractions in the city. Experience the best of NYC and visit as many sites as you want each day for one low price with this flexible pass. Simply put, you decide what to see and when you want to see it! Learn more about our available passes and attractions. One Day in NYC Sample Itinerary Stop 1: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum Start your day of sightseeing in NYC early and plan to catch the first cruise to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum (leaves Battery Park at 8:30 am). The Statue of Liberty is an iconic symbol of the American Dream and an NYC must-see attraction. Getting in: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum tickets are included with The New York Pass. Please note: tickets to the Statue of Liberty pedestal and crown are sold separately and require advanced reservations. Stop 2: Wall Street Walking Tour No visit to the Financial Capital of the World is complete without seeing the sights of Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange. Go on a guided walking tour of the Financial District to make the most of your visit - your knowledgeable guide will provide entertaining and educational narration and context to all the sights you'll see, making sure you don't miss a thing. Sights you'll see along the way, include the Charging Bull statue, Wall Street, New York Stock Exchange, and more. Getting in: Wall Street Walking Tour tickets are included with The New York Pass. Stop for Lunch For a classic downtown lunch, check out Dominic's Italian Sausage, a food cart popular with the local residents and workers, or the trendy Ramen Co, home of the original Ramen Burger, one of New York's favorite viral foodie finds. Stop 3: Central Park Head to Central Park Sightseeing Bike Tours & Rentals and grab a bike to do some exploring--it's the best way to cover a lot of Central Park with a limited amount of time. Getting in: Central Park Sightseeing Bike Tours & Rentals are included with The New York Pass. Stop 4: Times Square [caption id="attachment_461" align="alignleft" width="4048"] Times Square at Night[/caption] After exploring Central Park, check another popular NYC destination off your list and head to Times Square to see the brilliant billboards, lights, and bustling city action. Times Square is home to lots of shops (many geared towards tourists, so it can be a great spot to pick up small souvenirs), street performers, restaurants, and attractions. Football fans will have fun exploring The NFL Experience, Times Square - a fully immersive football experience that puts you in the game and lets you test your skills against the pros with interactive combine events, a 4D cinema/thrill ride experience, tours of all 32 NFL franchises, and more. Visitors looking to experience some of the glamour of NYC will enjoy meeting their favorite celebrities at Madame Tussauds New York. See over 200 impossibly lifelike wax figures - right in Times Square. You'll get to snap photos with everyone from Marilyn Monroe and George Clooney to Einstein and Maya Angelou. Getting in: Times Square is open to the public; The NFL Experience tickets and Madame Tussauds tickets are included with The New York Pass. Stop 5: Empire State Building Finish the day by visiting the Empire State Building for sweeping, 360-degree views of the city from this iconic landmark's 86th-floor observation deck. The ESB observatory is open until 2am every day, so it's the perfect way to end your one day in NYC itinerary. Getting in: Empire State Building tickets are included with The New York Pass. Remember to Save on Admission With this itinerary, you will be able to experience as many of the classic NYC landmarks without frantically rushing around too much. A lot of the activities and attractions mentioned in this post are included on The New York Pass–save money on admission to dozens of the most popular attractions in NYC is included for one low price. Save anywhere up to 40% off of the city’s most sought-after attractions with the pass versus regular gate admission prices. Learn more about The New York Pass here.
Casey Makovich
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New York Itinerary - 2 Days In New York

2 Days In New York Planning on spending two days in New York City, but not sure what to do? We've put together the perfect New York itinerary to help you with your trip planning. You'll get a real feel for the city, from cruises and tours to museums and the famous skyline. This itinerary will not only save you time, it’ll also save you money on your two days in New York. To make sure this itinerary works for you, we’ve included both walking and public transportation options to ensure you don't miss any of NYC’s highlights. This 2-day New York itinerary includes... Big Bus Hop on Hop off: 1-Day Classic Ticket Empire State Building Observatory Food On Foot Tours Madame Tussauds 9/11 Memorial & Museum Liberty Super Express Cruise Whitney Museum of American art Edge If you’re planning on spending more days in NYC or you’re taking a whistle-stop one-day trip, we’ve also put together a 1 day in New York, a 3 day in New York, a weekend in New York, and a full week in New York itinerary. DAY 1 Stop #1: Big Bus Hop on Hop off: 1-Day Classic Ticket Hop on and hop off this double-decker bus sightseeing tour to explore most of the city! You’ll be guided through New York’s sights and sounds with the help of an informative narrator. You won’t miss a thing! A few of the top sites you'll see include the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street, Madison Square Garden, and many more. You’ll get an excellent overview of the city's historical sites and landmarks while you hop on or off at any of the stops, making it an ideal option for you if you like a bit of flexibility. Stop #2: Empire State Building Observatory After seeing the Empire State building from the top of a bus, you’ll be eager to ride the elevator to the 86th floor and explore one of the most iconic buildings in all of New York. You’ll get the chance to snap plenty of Instagram-worthy pics 381 meters in the air, so don’t forget your camera! Aside from its spectacular views, the Empire State Building has a lot of historical significance. Its art deco décor is an appealing feature for architecture enthusiasts. Check out the 24-karat gold, aluminum leaf mural on the ceiling! We recommend you reserve at least two hours for this attraction. Keep in mind that elevator lines will add to your overall time spent at the attraction but you won’t regret it! Read all of our tips for visiting the Empire State Building before you go to make the most of your visit. Stop #3: Food On Foot Tours Work up an appetite? Experience New York’s diverse culture by tasting a vast array of cuisines on The Food on Foot Walking Tour. A knowledgeable guide will lead you through the NYC neighborhoods, highlighting the best restaurants and food stops to explore. You won’t be left hungry as there are several different tours available. So don’t worry, there’ll be a tour that caters to everyone's food desires. If you do plan on heading out for a lunchtime bite, the Midtown Mix tour might be the right option for you as it’ll give you the chance to try multiple cuisines . Take a bite out of New York's streets. Stop #4: Madame Tussauds If you have time for one last stop... Make your day memorable with some iconic faces! Sip tea with the Royal Family, start an election with Joe Biden, save the world with Spiderman, or get a rare selfie with both Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. If none of these take your fancy, there are plenty more celebrities and experiences you’ll love! Madame Tussauds is one of the top attractions in New York, combining both celeb-spotting opportunities and interactive experiences. These include: Suit Up with the Marvel Superheroes, Sit in the Oval Office, Join the Ghostbusters, Be a Tonight Show Guest, Star on Broadway, Face Off with King Kong, Walk the Runway. Make your friends jealous with a photo of you kissing your favorite celebrity. DAY 2 Stop #1: 9/11 Memorial & Museum Starting the day at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum is an opportunity to avoid the crowds and pay your respects in silence. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum honors nearly 3,000 victims of these attacks and all those who risked their lives to save others. Located in the footprint of the Twin Towers, the Memorial's twin reflecting pools are a must-see. With two enormous pools and trees surrounding them, it's a very moving place. A feeling of sadness is especially prevalent in the dark. Both North Pool and South Pool were constructed on the same spots as the twin towers, creating a place of solemn reflection and remembrance.These pools are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in North America. The names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed into the bronze panels edging the pools. It’s a place of deep emotion and great beauty. Stop #2: Liberty Super Express Cruise All aboard the big yellow boat! From Downtown New York City, it's the fastest way to see Lady Liberty! You’ll see New York’s skyline from all angles while zooming across the seas to the Statue of Liberty. You’ll experience the magic of Lady Liberty in all her glory in just 45 minutes. Millions of tourists visit her monument every day as it serves as a symbol of hope for all who are fortunate to see its magnificence. Feel the wind blow through your hair as you hear some of New York's most recognizable sights described in a brilliant guided narration. When you reach the majestic Lady Liberty, the boat will slow down for you to capture some memorable snaps while you get a detailed description of its history and significance. No trip to New York City is complete without visiting the famous landmark, and the cruise is the best way to get up close and personal. You can't beat the view from the water. But expect a new hair-do by the end of the super fast cruise! Stop #3: Whitney Museum of American art Do you have an eye for art? The artistic genius in you will love The Whitney Museum of American Art. The Museum is home to modern and contemporary art of the United States, storing artwork from living artists and notorious favorites. Lose yourself in the abstract strokes of O’Keeffe’s Music Pink and Blue No.2 (1918) piece. This is one of the many iconic artworks to explore from Whitney’s collection. You’ll be amazed by the collection which holds over 25,000 works, created by more than 3,700 American artists during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. You’ll get the chance to get up close and personal with upcoming artists, especially if you attend one of their exhibitions. The exhibitions often focus on socio-political and economic themes. The Museum’s flagship exhibition is the Biennial, which has been surveyed as the country’s leading recent developments in American art. Name the artist before anyone else can! Stop #4: Edge If you have time for one last stop... Take in the city views from the angled glass walls while sipping champagne in the sky to top off the perfect two-day trip. You’ll have perfect unobstructed 360-degree views of the sunset from the 100th floor. The 360-degree view includes the glass floor, where you can see the streets illuminated by the sun from beneath your feet. Not only will you be thrilled by the panoramic view, but also the design of the building. You’ll question the safety of the dramatic observation deck that extends out of the building. It’s a masterpiece of architecture. End your day on the Edge of New York City. It’s a sky-high experience! There are endless things to see and do in the Big Apple. From unparalleled viewing platforms to unique dining spots and entertainment options, it’s nearly impossible to take it all in in just one visit. Whatever you choose to do, you won’t be disappointed; rather, you’ll struggle to fit it all in. Make the best out of your travel experience with this helpful itinerary. If you’d like to know more, connect with us on Instagram and Facebook.
Evangeline Leeder
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Things To Do In NYC For Solo Traveler On Vacation

Top Things to Do in NYC for a Solo Traveler on Vacation Don't be intimidated by the idea of a solo trip to New York City - it's one of the best cities in the world to experience on your own. New York City will challenge you as a tourist. You'll have to navigate the city (and quickly learn why it's so commonly referred to as a 'concrete jungle') on your own, entertain yourself, and choose your own itinerary--entirely. The perfect destination for a little you time and self discovery. Traveling alone in NYC is an entirely different experience than traveling with a partner or in a group. When visiting NYC alone you have total control over what you see and do. No compromising over restaurants, sightseeing tours, or afternoon outings. Yet to make the most of your solo travels to New York City, you want to choose things to do that are geared at single people. Here are some of the best activities for a solo traveler to help guide your itinerary. Free Entry with The New York Pass® Free entry to many of these popular New York attractions and activities are included on The New York Pass®. Used by over 3.5 million travelers, the New York Pass is the ultimate sightseeing pass, which includes admission to 90+ attractions, Fast Track Entry at select attractions, a free guidebook, & much more. Learn more about the New York Pass benefits & how to save up to 70% off attractions. New York Art Galleries Spread out across six neighborhoods in NYC are locally procured art galleries, which are perfect for a solo traveler with an artistic curiosity. After all, when you are by yourself you can fully immerse yourself in the art without feeling pressured by others to move to the next activity. Admission: the galleries are totally free to get in to and open to the public. They are located in Chelsea, Lower East Side, Upper East Side, Soho, Williamsburg/Bushwick, and Dumbo located in Brooklyn. Shopping at Cobble Hill Whether you are into books at Books Are Magic, prefer the hip finds at Refinery, or want to nosh out at Stinky Bklyn, Cobble Hill is where it’s happening for shopping in NYC boutiques. For all of your trendiest New York shopping needs, the Cobble Hill shopping district along Smith and Court offer a smorgasbord of delights. Shop til your heart is content without any guilt from tagalongs as a solo traveler in NYC. This is a great place to grab souvenirs for family members whom you left behind for your trip. Admission: getting into the shops is totally free, the shopping however, is unfortunately not. Luxury Spa Days Where is the one place where silence is golden? Why, at a luxurious spa, of course, and New York City is full of these. Consider booking a spa experience at your hotel, or splurge for the Sleeping Beauty treatment at Joanna Vargas Skin Care. And, no, spa days aren’t just for the ladies. Solo male travelers can strive for Brad Pitt’s face with a treatment by the Tracie Martyn Fifth Avenue salon. After all, this is who gives Brad his Hollywood shine. Admission: to experience NYC spa luxury, you'll have to book a treatment or appointment with a spa before you go. 9/11 Memorial and Museum If you visit NYC, then you must experience the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The memorial is on the World Trade Center grounds and features a pair of reflecting pools. Then in the museum in Foundation Hall, you can see a wall that was an actual part of the retaining wall used during the recovery after the 9/11 attacks. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum are solemn places where you will be glad you are visiting alone. Admission: 9/11 Memorial and Museum tickets are included with the New York Pass. Museum of Modern Art MoMA is one of the world’s most famous modern art museums and a grand adventure for any solo traveler. See works of art by the most famous modern artist of New York City—Andy Warhol—including the Gold Marilyn Monroe painting. Other artists on display include Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, and Willem de Kooning. It is a must-see for any NYC visitor, and when visiting alone you have no pressure to rush through the 250,000 plus photos on display at the Museum of Modern Art. Admission: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) tickets are included with the New York Pass. Brooklyn Bridge Bike Ride When is the last time you tried riding a bike with your kids tagging along, or your parents for that matter? If you are traveling with a group, trying to enjoy a bike ride is nearly impossible. Someone’s always complaining or getting left behind. Well, now that you are traveling NYC solo you are in the driver’s seat. Test your bicycling chops with a bike rental and tour over the Brooklyn Bridge. Enjoy the sights and sounds of New York City including the Statue of Liberty and NYC Harbor. Admission: Brooklyn Bridge Sightseeing Bike Tours and Rentals tickets included with the New York Pass. SoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown Instead of sticking close to your hotel and Times Square, venture out into the melting pot that is NYC. Three of the most cultural neighborhoods in the city are SoHo, Little Italy, and Chinatown. Best of all, you can take a walking tour of all three and soak it all in. As a single visitor, you won’t have to fret with getting split up from your group. Instead, you can spend as much time meandering vendor stalls and people watching while you dine alfresco. Admission: SoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown Tour tickets are included with the New York Pass. Brooklyn Botanical Garden As you look for a place to rest your tourist-tired feet, consider a stop at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Tucked away in the midst of a bustling city, the BBG features an array of flora that will give your spirit a lift. From the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden to the Shakespeare Garden, there are several small gardens nestled throughout the property. There’s also a Children’s Garden where kids have been gardening for more than a century, inspiring tourists of all ages. Admission: Brooklyn Botanical Garden tickets are included with the New York Pass. Museum of Sex Let’s be honest, sometimes you want to see the sites of a city, but you are too embarrassed to ask others in your group to join you. Here we have the Museum of Sex, which is educational and enlightening if not a bit eye-catching at times. And if you typically travel with children, now is your opportunity to experience this 18-and-over museum on your own. Plus, for solo travelers in NYC, there is the Jump For Joy exhibit. Here you can unleash your energy and bounce around in a room with strangers. The interestingly shaped round bouncy balls are made to encourage bumping into one another. Admission: Museum of Sex tickets are included with the New York Pass. Remember To Save On Attraction Admission There's always something to do in New York City, hence the nickname "The city that never sleeps". Being that there are so many different activities and attractions to visit in the city, you can end up spending a ton on admission fees. However, if you purchase the New York Pass, you'll gain free access to over 90 attractions in New York. This will allow you to save more money and visit more attractions. For more information on the New York Pass, click here.
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