Things to do in

New York City

Eat, shop, and fall in love with world-class museums, historical landmarks, and skyscrapers galore.

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Our most recommended New York City Hop-on Hop-off Tours

  • New York: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

    1. New York: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

    Explore New York City and see the sights from the top deck of an open top bus. Admire iconic landmarks and monuments, from the Empire State Building to Times Square and the world-famous Brooklyn Bridge. Discover the unique neighborhoods of Chinatown, Little Italy, and the Upper East Side. The hop-on hop-off route covers iconic sights throughout New York City. Experience the diverse culture, beautiful parks, stunning architecture, and picturesque views both from the top of an open-air sightseeing bus, and on foot when you choose to hop-off to further explore. Hop-off and back on at your leisure to create your own customized itinerary around the city. Benefit from live bus tracking so that you will always know exactly when the next bus will arrive. Enjoy new, state-of-the-art audio commentary that is highly entertaining and engaging for adults and children alike. Choose from 3 ticket op...

    The downtown bus was great but the uptown bus wasn’t on cue when we passed specific sites. It would talk about them too early and when we reached them they were already talking about something else.

  • From Manhattan: Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Bus Tour

    2. From Manhattan: Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Bus Tour

    After pickup from Manhattan, the tour bus will take you through the Battery Tunnel directly to the borough of Brooklyn. Once you are in Brooklyn you'll head to the Dyker Heights district, an Italian-American neighborhood famous for its elaborate houses and gardens. Each year residents compete between each other to put up spectacular Christmas decorations, illuminations, and displays. Your tour guide will tell you about the origin and history of this tradition, before giving you free time to walk the streets to admire and take pictures of the houses. Once you have finished strolling around the neighborhood, you will get back on the bus to head to the Brooklyn Bridge. There you will enjoy the different viewpoints, with more free time to take pictures of the spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline. Finally, you will return to Manhattan where the tour ends. You can feel free to ask you...

  • New York Pass: Access to 100+ Attractions & Tours

    3. New York Pass: Access to 100+ Attractions & Tours

    Use The New York Pass on your phone to allow you cash-free entry to over 100 New York tourist attractions. It’s a bit like an “all you can eat” buffet; once you’ve bought your New York Pass, you don’t have to pay to get into any of the attractions covered by the pass, and the more sights you see, the more money you save.

    The New York Pass records when and where you first use it, as well as how long it will remain valid. This means your pass is activated the moment that you first use it at any attraction or service. Your New York Pass is then valid for the number of days that you've purchased. 

    The full list of attractions:

    POPULAR EXPERIENCES

    • Empire State Building

    • Big Bus Tours: 1-day Classic Tour

    • Top of the Rock Observation Deck

    • 9/11 Memorial & Museum

    • Edge (Hudson Yards)

    • One World Observatory

    I didn’t have any problems with the pass. It was show/reserve and go experience, and it allowed us to do most of the attractions, including others we had planned. I had a good trip with it.

  • From Manhattan: 3.5-Hour Brooklyn Christmas Magic Tour

    4. From Manhattan: 3.5-Hour Brooklyn Christmas Magic Tour

    If you are looking for something to do in New York City during this holiday season make sure you put this on your list. It is cheery, it is bright, it is Christmas, it is New York City, and it is everything Christmas about Christmas. This Brooklyn neighborhood is out of this world during Christmas time. Dyker Heights Christmas Lights is the cutest and most spectacular area of houses decorated for the holiday season. It is blocks and blocks of Christmas lights and fantastic decorations. The neighborhood goes all out with beautiful nativity displays, nutcrackers, inflatable santas, garland, lights and more. The place glows with bright lights, buzzes sound, and bumps with holiday music on full blast. It is fun to see how some houses mix it up every year. It is a recommended experience and a perfect night out for families, groups of friends and even a date night. This is a great place to go...

    Daniel was very nice and knowledgeable. Small crowds due to COVID so we were able to enjoy without worrying. Everyone wore face masks.

  • New York: Go City Explorer Pass with 95+ Tours & Attractions

    5. New York: Go City Explorer Pass with 95+ Tours & Attractions

    Go City offers you a selection of over 95 must-see NYC attractions, museums, and tours for one low pre-paid price. Save up to 45% compared to buying separate attraction tickets, and see New York's most popular attractions with one easy-to-use digital pass.

    Choices include the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Ferry, 9/11 Museum and Memorial, Empire State Building, NY Waterways Tours, MoMA, and many more! There's no need to decide in advance, and you can take up to 60 days after using the pass to make your first visit.

    Your Explorer Pass also features special perks including gift shop discounts or a free audio guide at selected attractions, helping you make the most of your New York trip and save even more along the way.

    The New York attractions you can select include: 

    MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES

    • American Museum of Natural History

    • The Museum ...

    With the New York Explorer pass, we selected the 7 most important sights. Then I started planning the days. I got to know the subway and bus transportation in New York and planned where and how to go. Now I’m nearing the end and enjoying it more and more. I’ve been to the U.S. several times, but I’ve avoided big cities by far so far. However, I was in almost every National Park. I think we will enjoy that too.

  • New York: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour with 9/11 Museum Ticket

    6. New York: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour with 9/11 Museum Ticket

    Hop on to an open-top sightseeing bus and discover the highlights of Downtown and Uptown Manhattan. Get an overview of the city's iconic sites. Then hop off at the Brooklyn Bridge stop and walk over to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Discover the history of the 9/11 attacks and the site the Twin Towers once stood at the 9/11 Museum. Connect with the past and remember the story of this catastrophic event that forever changed American history. The 9/11 Memorial Museum is the global focal point for preserving the history of the events of 9/11, documenting the impact of the attacks, and exploring 9/11's continuing significance. Highlights on the hop-on-hop-off bus tour include: • Times Square • Empire State Building • Soho • Chinatown • Brooklyn Bridge • Statue of Liberty • Circle Line • 5th Avenue • Central Park

  • New York: Hop-on Hop-off Bus, Ferry or Night Tour Options

    7. New York: Hop-on Hop-off Bus, Ferry or Night Tour Options

    Explore New York from onboard the open-top, double-decker sightseeing bus. Hop-off at the attractions you want to explore further and see the city at your own pace. The 1, 2 and 3-day tickets includes access to 2 loops - Uptown and Downtown - where you can hop-on and hop-off the bus as many times as you please! You can also opt for a Night Tour or Ferry Tour, to discover the city from a different angle! Travel on the Downtown Loop and the Uptown Loop, jumping off at any of the 50 stops along the way. Enjoy the best of Manhattan, from the flashing lights of Times and the iconic Empire State Building–New York's most prestigious skyscraper–to the fashion stores of 5th Avenue, or the impressive home of the United Nations. Onboard, you will have access to a high-quality live audio commentary, giving you a general overview of the sights. Downtown Loop Stop 1 - Times Square...

    It’s good and nice place to be , to my surprise I didn’t know that the Statue of Liberty is a gift from France to USA. I really learnt a lot of things .

  • Baltimore to New York City by Rail

    8. Baltimore to New York City by Rail

    Enjoy a day in New York by taking the railroad... leave the tolls, gas and traffic problems at home while you relax aboard an Amtrak Regional train.   Take a nap, read a book or watch a movie on the comfortable Amtrak seats or stop in at the Café Car as you speed into Pennsylvania Station, New York.  With a mid morning arrival, its just a few blocks to pick up your included tickets for a memorable double-decker hop-on-hop-off tour of New York and Brooklyn. Pick from a variety of loop tours. Stay on the bus or hop off at the stop of your choice.  There is something to do at nearly every stop. Museums, observatories, theaters, zoos, boat rides all are everlasting fun  even if you've experienced them before. Children and adults will enjoy the famed WWII aircraft carrier, INTREPID, and its new space shuttle exhibits or experience the new One World Trade Center Observatory with a stop at the...

Frequently asked questions about New York City

Planning Your Visit

  • How many days to spend in New York?

    Spend at least five days in order to see New York like a local. Manhattan is the ultimate walking city, densely packed and not very long or wide. You won't have to go very far and you'll find Broadway plays to see, districts and restaurants to explore, drinks to be had, bookstores and botanical gardens to browse. And don’t miss a walk on the Highline or the Brooklyn Bridge!

  • Where to shop?

    From Bergdorf Goodman to local Soho boutiques, there’s something for everyone. Our tip? Be sure to check out the Brooklyn Flea: tons of local designers will give you a unique take-home souvenir.

  • Where to eat?

    Interested in finding the best eats in New York? Here are our favorites. Pizza: Check out Roberta’s, a legendary Brooklyn institution. Classic bagels and lox: Head to Russ & Daughters on the Lower East Side. Authentic diner experience: Empire Diner and Tom’s Restaurant are two of the best. Fun brunch spot: Try Prune in the East Village, or Marlow & Sons or Cafe Colette (both in Williamsburg).

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    USD ($)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-05:00)
  • Country Code
    +1
  • Best time to visit
    There's truly no best or worst time to visit New York, because this city is alive 24/7/365. That being said, those on a budget should look to plan a trip between January and April, when prices will be (at least a little) cheaper. Also, summer travelers should plan 6 months ahead.

Insider tips: Planning a trip to New York City

Looking to take a bite out of the Big Apple? We've enlisted the help of New York City expert, Steffen, from Loving New York to help you make the most of your next trip. Read our tips below for your next visit to New York City.

What should I do on my first trip to New York City?

If it's your first time in New York, you should definitely visit one of the big observation platforms! You have several to choose from, but I recommend the Edge observation deck at the Hudson Yards and the One World Observatory. Also, take a boat tour to see New York from the water.

What are some hidden gems to see in New York City?

I'll tell you two of my favorite spots in New York: the Grand Banks at Pier 25 on the Hudson River and Domino Park in Williamsburg. Both places grant you sensational views of the city.

How much time should I spend in New York City?

To explore New York – and not feel stressed out – you want to stay at least 5 to 7 days. That way, you can visit the most important spots and still have time to let the city work its magic on you – but without the time pressure

What food is New York City known for?

I'm a total foodie – so New York is obviously paradise to me! Start with the typical Cream Cheese Bagels (for example at Russ & Daughters in the Lower East Side), try the Pastrami Sandwiches (at Katz' Delicatessen or the Pastrami Queen), and eat a typical New York Pizza Slice. And if you have a sweet tooth: Juniors has the best cheesecake in the city, hands down!

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit New York City?

First-time visitors should always book their hotel in Manhattan – this way the distances are short and you can easily reach all the sights on foot. I like Soho, Tribeca, Lower Manhattan, and Murray Hill in particular.

What is the best way to get around New York City?

In New York, the best way to get around is on foot – or you can jump on a 'Citi Bike', which is super cheap to rent. We also like to use the NYC Ferries, which can shuttle you between Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens on the East River for the price of a one-way subway ride.

What are the best months to visit New York City?

It's worth visiting New York at any time of the year. But if I had to settle on individual months, I recommend May/June and September/October.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

There are so many different gastro spots in Williamsburg, the East Village, and West Village.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

New York and shopping simply go hand in hand, Great areas are SoHo, 5th Avenue, and the lower part of Broadway. Be sure to avoid the Times Square area for shopping at all costs – most stores are overpriced and true tourist traps!

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in New York City?

Exploring New York with the family is huge fun - I myself have been to our favorite city with my kids numerous times. Among my personal highlights is a trip to the Statue of Liberty, the visit to the One World Observatory, and Central Park with its lakes and playgrounds. Also really exciting is the Museum of Natural History, which will be familiar to many from the movie "Night at the Museum".

What is the best thing to do in New York City for solo travelers?

Make sure to take a sailing tour on the Hudson River. Many tours, one with on-board wine tasting, for example, start at Pier 62. This is a really relaxed way to travel and a fun way to meet new people.

What is the best thing to do in New York City for couples?

New York can also be quite romantic. A visit to the Empire State Building in the evening from 10 pm (from Thursday to Saturday) is a real highlight, not just for couples. During this time, a saxophonist plays on the observation deck. Also very enjoyable are the dinner cruises and a flight in a helicopter over New York.

What are the best annual events in New York City?

Among the most important events in New York are St. Patrick's Day in March, Gay Pride in June, of course, the 4th of July, and also the Macy's Parade – which is an absolute must-see.

Other Sightseeing Options in New York City

Want to discover all there is to do in New York City? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about New York City

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 57,484 reviews

Live in CNY. Been to the city plenty of times but never have been here. Why did our family wait so long??? This was a great experience and rich in history. The views, AMAZING! Love the Big !

The tour was nice! The guide, Brian was funny and knowledgeable about all the sites. I would recommend this tour to others. Thanks!

Great trip! I was scouting spots to propose so the guided tour helped!

Totally loved it. It was our first concert and it sure was memorable.

Easy booking and quick efficient entry into the building.