Getting around New York Ciy

Oct 25th, 2008, 10:42 AM
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Getting around New York Ciy

I am wondering if a hop on hop off bus with a glass cover over the top would be a good way to see the city in December. I am staying at the Wellington hotel and there is a subway station next to the hotel. Is it better to see the city, (4 first time visitors) on our own using the subway or should I buy a ticket for $80 a person for Brooklyn tour, Holiday lights tour, uptown tour and downtown tour.
lacajun is offline  
Oct 25th, 2008, 10:45 AM
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There's no one best answer for everyone and I think weather and your fitness level play factors. I didn't know there were any glass topped hoho tours. The ones I've seen are open or just partially covered, not much protection in cold, wind or rain. has several options in closed buses but they're not hoho.
mclaurie is offline  
Oct 25th, 2008, 11:18 AM
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Depends on what you want to see and how long you want to see it.

Gekko is offline  
Oct 25th, 2008, 11:22 AM
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Dear mclaurie

City Sights New York offers a covered top for their buses in case of cold or rain.

Has anyone heard of this company.
lacajun is offline  
Oct 25th, 2008, 11:23 AM
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Dear Gekko,
We will be in NY city for 5 days and 4 nights.
lacajun is offline  
Oct 25th, 2008, 01:09 PM
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If you're thinking of using the hoho as your transportation, it's not a good idea. You'd do better with mass transit whether bus or subway (or taxi).

I've seen the City Sight buses, but never totally covered as they're depicting on their website. I've seen them when part of the upper level is covered and part is not. I understand these are also not as plentiful as the Grayline buses. I think if you just want to stay on the bus for the entire loop and get a seat under cover, it's fine and a good overview. If you intend to keep getting on and off, you'll waste a lot of time waiting for another bus (or trying to find the stops which are evidently not that well marked).

Buses are not the fastest way to get from point A to point B but they are a good way of seeing things.

There's a lot of traffic in December. I'd either forget the tour and just go where you want to go OR do an escorted tour so you're not wasting a lot of time.
mclaurie is offline  
Oct 25th, 2008, 01:51 PM
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What specifically do you want to see? Your hotel is well located for lots of things. Manhattan is so crowded in December that I always walk whenever possible.
maryanntex is offline  
Oct 25th, 2008, 03:42 PM
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How long will you be in NYC? If just for one or two days, definitely take that bus and let it drive you around to see everything! If you know you want to hang out in different parts of the city, you can just hop on the subway to get there and then walk around.
c_dot is offline  
Oct 26th, 2008, 12:25 PM
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Traffic in Dec will be horrendous - and the HOHO buses usually run 30 minutes apart - versus about 5 for the subway (best way to get from one place to another) or local city buses.

With that many days I would just go and see/do what you want and not waste a lot of time sitting in traffic looking at the outsides of building and local Christmas shopping.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 28th, 2008, 07:39 AM
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As a general means of transportation it is better to go with the subway. My wife and I used the subway all the time in NYC and it is a great way to get around. But guided tours can also be a great way to get to know a city intitially but not as a general transportation.

We have been to NYC a couple of times and here is a trip report with pictures from last year and one from 2004 . Maybe you can find some useful info there Get in touch if you have any questions.

Gard - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Oct 29th, 2008, 07:50 AM
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I advise purchasing a good guide book and traveling by bus and subway as the great preponderance of New Yorkers do.

This is a much better way to get a feel for NYC than by traveling on a bus with other out-of-towners.

happytrailstoyou is offline  
Oct 29th, 2008, 09:36 AM
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Recommend deciding after you arrive and depending on the weather.

In recent years, there have been spells of mild weather. If you're dressed for it, and the weather is favorable, the views of the city, neighborhoods, are magnificent from seats on the upper level of the open air buses. We did the holiday lights tour on a open bus, and dressed for it we were just fine (and really enjoyed it). More favorable for viewing the tall buildings than walking around.

But, I wouldn't recommend trying to do three loops plus the Holiday Lights. For most, the downtown tour is plenty during the day. It covers everything south of Central Park - plenty of scenery and neighborhoods.

None of those is particularly favorable for "getting around", unless you're headed for sights/attractions near the stops. And, you'd have to visit those in order, as the routes are circular. You'd also want to have a more detailed map along, in case you wander around from a stop. Those buses start rather late, and stop early (around 5PM). Sometimes, they're not all that reliable, especially if you wait more than half an hour at a stop, and the next bus is full.

We prefer the buses to the subway, but you really can't see much from the windows, and often they're standing room only. The subway is great, though, if the weather is nasty.

In the winter, it is just more difficult to combine "touring" with "getting around".
djkbooks is offline  
Oct 29th, 2008, 12:35 PM
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Someone from NYC please correct me if I'm wrong-if you have any walking problems, not all the subways have elevators.

That being said, subways are super ways to get from A to B.
TDudette is online now  
Oct 29th, 2008, 07:34 PM
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Few of the subways have elevators. However, most subways aren't all that deep, so it's just one flight down, maybe two.
ellenem is offline  
Oct 30th, 2008, 04:31 AM
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Thanks ellenem! Unfortunately, when I had breathing problems, even one flight was very difficult. For the wheelchair-bound, impossible.

TDudette is online now  
Oct 30th, 2008, 06:24 AM
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Most subway stations do NOT have either elevators or escalators. And the ones tht do have elevators are out of order with some frequencey.

Subways may be from one to three flights of stairs below street level - depending on station and line (some major stations have one set of lines running a level lower than another).

But, all NYC buses are wheelchair friendly. The driver can make the bus "kneel' to meet the level of the sidewalk and there are places in the buse where wheelchairs will fit anc can be locked.

Folding wheelchairs can also fit in cab trunks. And some cabs are fitted with ramps and room inside for an open wheelchair (but not big enough for a motorized scooter.)
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 30th, 2008, 08:25 AM
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I understand your problem. I just wanted others to be clear that unlike many European subways that are quite a climb below ground, many NYC subways are a short distance down. If you can't do stairs, take a bus.
ellenem is offline  
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