Hop On Hop Off buses have long be a favorite of mine since I first used them in Europe 15 years ago, most big cities now have them and New York is no exception.
Now that I am travelling with young kids these have become even more valuable, what I like to do is sit on the bus for a full loop and get my bearings of the city. This also gives tired young legs a bit of a break and my kids also loved being on a double decker bus.
The New York bus that we went on was operated by Gray Line which seemed to be the most popular one although there was also a bit of competition from other companies.
The 24-hour Downtown Loop takes approximately 3 hours to visit all of the stops including Empire State Building, Greenwich Village, SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown, Financial District, Battery Park, South Street Seaport, Times Square, Rockefeller Plaza, Radio City Music Hall and the United Nations. This ticket is valid for the whole 24 hours and includes as many stops as you require.
There is also a 48 and 72 hour version which includes the whole downtown loop and also includes the Uptown and Brooklyn loops.
Stops on the Uptown include Central Park, Fifth Avenue, Lincoln Center, American Museum of Natural History, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Grant’s Tomb, Apollo Theater, Harlem Market, The Museum Mile, Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum.
Tickets are available from each stop, and are also sold by workers along time square. You can also prebook your tickets Online