Which New York City bus tour?

May 24th, 2011, 03:42 AM
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Which New York City bus tour?

Hello, we are a couple in our late 20s who will be in NYC for 3 nights in June. Our flight gets in at around 2pm, so we only have the latter portion of the first day and night. We will then have 2 full days before we leave the city to get our hire car and go on with our journey.

We are satisfied with our length of time- i know alot of people will argue for your first time in NYC this is not enough time.

My question is, we hope to purchase a "hop on, hop off" bus ticket to enable us to see sights and get about. We are interested in all the expected tourist sites, this being our first time in New York...

could you recommend the best route/ good company to go with? Its a little daunting!

Also, I have been reading that it is advised to arrange a "shuttle" transfer from the airport to our accomodation ( it is not a hotel, it is a Bed and Coffee) is there one in particular we should use or how do we go about this?

many thanks
sazcc is offline  
May 24th, 2011, 05:00 AM
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The Hop on/Hop off bus tours are pretty much all the same, and I strongly .... STRONGLY ... recommend that you do not take one for such a short trip.

You'll end up spending five times as much money and twice as much time in traffic as you would if you did some research on the places you really want to see and then go to see them.

I'd spend your money on a guidebook and a regular Metrocard so you can ride the NYC subway and bus system and get (more quickly and conveniently) to all the same places you can reach on the bus tours. But everyone knows on this board how much antipathy I have toward these.

They can be a reasonable good choice if you are infirm and can't walk or if you don't plan to get off the bus, but if you are young, in shape, and interested in NYC, explore those things you are most interested in on your own or on foot. A city bus will get you to all the same places for $2.25 as a $29 hop-on bus tour will.

As for your airport transfer, it's hard to know which method you should take unless you tell us what part of the city you're staying in and which airport you're flying into (also it helps to know how much luggage you have).

From JFK or EWR, the best cheap option is almost always the Airtrain, not a shuttle, because you can avoid traffic by taking a train. But again, it really depends on where you're going. Most of the airport shuttles either take you to a central drop-off point like the Port Authority or Grand Central (from where you still have to get to your lodging) or on a multi-stop trip around the city, where you could be the first or the fifth stop (though these will take you door to door).
doug_stallings is offline  
May 24th, 2011, 05:43 AM
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HOHO buses are a huge waste of time and money. They don;t work as transit - since they run only eery 30 minutes or so (versus every 5 minutes for city buses or subway) and in high season when they arrive they are often too full to get on meaning another 30 minute wait. (IMHO this type of bus tour is bad everywhere but esp bad in NYC - since they are very limited in the route they can take.)

As for seeing things - the "guides" are well known for incorrect info - and you can;t get to many places since the buses are limited to specific routes. Plus the only way to see anything is from the top - when you will sit in sun, heat, and rain - as well as waste time just sitting in traffic.

You have a very limited amount of time - it;s much better to decide what you do want to see - and just go and see it - on your own schedule.

As for getting to your lodging - a shuttle - esp "supershuttle" is the worst option. It takes people for many hotels and you can spend hours riding around in heavy traffic as it drops people at first one and then another before getting to yours. If you tell us where you are staying (address) - and which airport you land at - plus how much luggage you have and if you're comfortable hauling it up and down stairs - people can make recos.
nytraveler is offline  
May 24th, 2011, 04:32 PM
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HOHO buses allow you to "see the sights" from the bus but you will kill lots of time that you don't have waiting for buses when you hop off. Get a MetroCard. Let that be your plan A. Watch the buses in action and if you want to take one, do Grayline. I work for them. If it's a nice day, enjoy the ride. Buy your tickets at the last minute.

SueNYC is offline  
May 25th, 2011, 02:40 AM
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As others say, the hop on/off buses are fine for sightseeing (although you do waste time if you hop on and off and you do get stuck in traffic). For transportation, they're not the right mode. Kingofnyc.com does a full day tour where the guide stays with you and Real New York Tours uses subway and walking to show you around.

As for transport to/from the airport, I don't know where you read a shuttle is the way to go. It isn't. They're awful in NYC. The least expensive option (about $7/person) is the AirTrain/subway if you're coming into either JFK or EWR. A website like hopstop.com will give you exact directions or use maps.google.com and click on the train icon at the top for public transport options. It sounds like you're staying at East Village Bed & Coffee at 110 Ave. C, which will require quite a few changes.
mclaurie is offline  
May 29th, 2011, 05:34 AM
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Thanks for the responses, great help!

Good guess Mclaurie- we are staying at East Village Bed and Coffee on 110 Avenue C.- which is obv in East Village.

We are flying into EWR, our flight lands at around 2pm, as you know there are just the 2 of us and we will each have a small rectangular hand luggage suitcase (with wheels to pull it) and each a large canvas luggage bag, again on wheels.

Im taking then that our best option is this Airtrain? Could anyone give rough idea of where we get on that at EWR and also the changes we need to make to get to our East Village 110 Avenue C accomodation. I will also take a look at suggestions on hopstop.com and google maps, but any help would be most appreciated.

Thanks again!!
sazcc is offline  
May 29th, 2011, 05:46 AM
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Yo get the Air Train at the EWR terminal and it will take you to a train station where you can pick up the New Jersey Transit train to New York Penn Station. Do NOT get out at Newark Penn Station.

You choices from there are subway or cab. With 2 sizable pieces of luggage each I would do a cab. At Penn station you can get up to the street via escalator. if you stick with the subway - and it will require a couple of changes - you will have to haul all that luggage up and down several flights of steep, narrow stairs. And I have seen several people who decided to take the subway be stuck doing this. Since they couldn't haul all the luggage in one trip they had to ask someone at the top to watch their luggage while they went back down the stairs to get the rest of it. The last time it was 2 apparently healthy young women - but they couldn;t pick up their larger bags and carry them and the smaller bags up the stairs at the same time.

To me spending $10 or $15 on a cab would be worth not having to do this. (But then I won;t go on the subway with anything larger than a large shoulder tote bag - just too much trouble to drag around and squash onto the train with.
nytraveler is offline  
May 29th, 2011, 08:24 AM
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Thats great help nytraveler- $10-15 is no problem at all- just so i have an rough idea, would you be able to estimate the Newy Jersey Transit train cost roughly?

I think that is definatley what we will do, it will be hassle enough to have our luggage in a huge city we have never been in before- we want to make the journey as painless as possible to our accomodation!!

Just so i have this right- we get the NJ transit train from Newark to NEW YORK Penn Sation- then we do get out there to go to street level and hail a cab? thanks
sazcc is offline  
May 29th, 2011, 09:03 AM
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I haven't read the other responses, but I think the hop-on-hop-off buses are not a good deal. It is much better to to experience NYC by rubbing elbows with locals on the subway and busses: http://www.mta.info

happytrailstoyou is offline  
May 29th, 2011, 10:55 AM
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When your train pulls into Penn Station you will need to find the escalator up to the concourse level (ask the conductor - since most exits are stairs). Then you can take the escalator from the Concourse up to 7th Avenue - which heads south, towards the east village. There will be a cab line there - it may look long but rarely takes more than about 10 minutes.
nytraveler is offline  
May 29th, 2011, 11:40 AM
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Air train is $12.50 each and includes NJ Transit ti Penn Station.
doug_stallings is offline  
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