The summer is a good time to join many of NYC’s guided tours. While it may be too hot for a walking or biking tour, there are plenty of guided tours by bus or boat, where you can drive or sail around the island while listening to expert guides.
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There are many guided tours in NYC, some of them aim at first-time visitors with limited time, and they drive them around the must-see attractions. Other tours are designed for advanced travelers and can focus on a certain area or a specific theme: NYC food, nightlife, movie locations, etc.
Best Bus & Boat Tours in NYC
Skyline Sightseeing tours the city in an orange, open-roof double decker bus, allowing visitors to explore the city from above (unless it’s too hot or rainy). You can choose between an All City Pass and a Multi-Day Pass, so you drop off on any station and go back on the bus without additional charges. The bus drives through the most popular tourist attractions in Downtown and Uptown Manhattan, and there’s also a Brooklyn tour and a night time tour around Times Square.
City Sightseeing New York
Similarly, you can explore the same sites from a ferry, hop off at any stop and hop on again. City Sightseeing cruises travels to several off-Manhattan locations including Brooklyn, Governor’s Island and of course, Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty. There are also longer tours that combine cruise with bus and visits to museums, restaurants and other NYC attractions.
NYC Movie & TV Locations Tour
On Location Tours offers guided bus tours in NYC many movie and TV locations, where you can follow the steps of Woody Allen in Manhattan or visit Sex and The City’s girls’ favorite bars and shoe shops. There are tours by NYC area (Central Park, Uptown Manhattan), by TV shows (The Sopranos, Gossip Girls) or by theme (holidays, classic movies). All the tours take place in an air-conditioned bus with knowledgeable guides and offer plenty of photo-ops.
Most of NYC food tours are walking tours, some of them focus on a culinary neighborhoods (Hell’s Kitchen, Chinatown, Little Italy), others on a local specialties (bagels, pizza, ethnic food). But from the large selection of food tours, there several bus tours. These tours are usually more intimate and less crowded than the regular food tours, and they target locals as well as tourists.
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The Pizza Bus – Although most New Yorkers have a strong opinion about the best pizza slice in NY, some others are living in doubt. The 4.5-hours tour leaves every Sunday in a yellow school bus, does not aim to crown the best pizza in NYC. Instead, it takes you to several historic landmarks (from the first licensed pizzeria to Frank Sinatra’s favorite pizzeria) and exposes you to different tastes and variations (Neapolitan, Sicilian and classic New York pizza). At the end, you may not know for sure which pizza is the best in NYC, but you’ll have a stronger case.
Best of Brooklyn Food – Brooklyn has a rich diversified culinary scene thanks to its variant immigrant population. This half-a-day bus tour gives you a taste of the Jewish, Polish, Italian and French kitchens, and for dessert – a visit at Jacque Torres Chocolate Shop. At the same time, you get a glimpse of the borough’s culture and a view at Manhattan skyline.
If you are not into organized, guided tours, you can rent a car in NYC and organize your own private tour!