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Big Bus Tours....legit or naw? So I went to New York with my beau in July after winning a recipe contest sponsored by Voss called #bethechef (shout out to Voss for hooking it up with accommodations and dope merch.) It was our first time visiting New York City, so I decided to extend the trip from 3 to 7 days since the first 3 days were arranged for culinary adventure. Because it’s New York City we’re talking about, I really wanted to enjoy all the #views without walking my legs off, so I started looking into the different bus tours. Let me tell you, THE LIST GOES ON AND ON. After researching endlessly, we decided on Big Bus Tours. And now that we’re back from our exploration, this is what I have to say about Big Bus Tours.
First off, Big Bus has double-decker bus tours in many major cities including:
I’ll clearly be sharing my experience from the New York perspective, but they all function more or less the same. So if you’re traveling elsewhere, I’m sure this review will be useful for you, too.
Secondly, no matter where you’re planning to travel, you want to make sure you purchase tickets directly from the Big Bus Tours website (affiliate link). It’s the cheapest place to get tickets. If you buy them in person or through another website, you WILL get charged more. Additionally, it is the only place to find all of the Big Bus tour packages with everything you could ever want as a tourist. So knocking the Statue of Liberty off your bucket list is as easy as clicking here.
So let’s rewind for a second and talk about why I chose Big Bus Tours over all the other bus tours in New York. For one, it’s a hop-on hop-off bus. This means that I can get off at all the landmarks I want to see and get back on whenever I feel like it. For two, it has a really well designed app. & to my knowledge, Big Bus Tours is the only tour bus company with a functioning free app. Check out the slideshow of the tour app I’ve diagrammed below. A little tour-inception.
During my trip planning process, I luckily stumbled upon the app and ended up using it to plan my list of destinations. I’d say it was a very effective tool and a big contributor to the fun-ness of my NYC adventure.
Anyway, I bought a Premium Ticket for $62 and this is what it included:
I’m sad to say I didn’t get a chance to experience the downtown walking tour. The bus tours, however, I did plenty of. But honestly, if I had the chance to stay in NYC for a few more days, I would have purchased the 3-day Big Bus ticket. Two days of exploration was just not enough to experience the entirety of each tour line. Getting on and off the bus and walking about the city takes a hefty amount of time. And by the trip’s end, we probably only rode to 60% of the stops.
THE NIGHT TOUR, oh my gosh, the night tour. I highly recommend. It’s absolutely amazing and beautiful and it’s honestly THE best way to see New York at night. Here’s a shot of the skyline I took on my iPhone7 Plus as we went over the bridge. Best I could do given the movement of the bus. Still breathtaking, though!
Okay guys and gals, this part is important.
When you buy your tickets, it’s important to know that the QR code they give you is not an actual ticket. When you’re ready to take your first ride, you need to present your tickets to someone with a handheld printer sometime before 2pm so you can get your tickets processed and printed. If you plan to start later than 2pm, that’s totally fine. But most of the people who print the tickets go home, so you’ll probably have to go to the front of Regal Cinemas in Times Square and get your tickets printed there. I personally was let onto the tour bus without getting my ticket printed, so I ended up having to take the subway from Liberty Park all the way up to Times Square because a bus driver wasn’t paying attention. Don’t be like me. Get that ticket printed!
So with the exception of that mishap, the bus tours were absolutely amazing. Every tour guide was extremely knowledgeable about New York’s rich history and all told stories in their own ways. Rain or shine, passengers and guides are always at the top of the bus, so sit at the top if you want the full tour experience. Definitely bring a hat and some sunglasses. It gets hot AF during summer. When it rains, Big Bus provides ponchos, so don’t worry too much about getting wet.
As far as price goes, the tour is absolutely worth every penny. Like I said, if I was staying longer, I would have purchased a 3-day ticket, which would have been an even better value. Their 3-day Big Adventure Pass allows you to choose 5 of 15 attractions and includes some pretty good restaurant discounts. So that’s something I’ll likely look into next time I’m in the Big Apple.
To sum it all up…..Real talk, New York City is expensive. But when you have a full day’s worth of Big Bus entertainment and transportation, it takes away the need for you to do all the little activities that add up and end up costing you more than double that amount. If you do no other tours during your trip, the night tour is an absolute must do. Like I said, it’s THE best way to see the city at night. The bus takes you over the bridge to Brooklyn and back, and you get a view that’s absolutely unforgettable. And it’s great to be able to relax, absorb the city’s energy, and enjoy the lights without having to worry about walking or bumping into people. Big Bus is definitely ahead of other tour companies when it comes to technology, as well. It’s hard to beat that app.
So that’s about it, guys. I hope this information was helpful. Let me know what you thought about your Big Bus Tour in the comment section! Let’s hear your cool story, bro!
I'm Laurelle, a passionate content writer, trend-setter, and entrepreneur.