The Absolute Best Night Bus Tours in NYC

Are you ready to explore New York City? The city that never sleeps has so many sights that it would take a lifetime to see everything. So, while you won’t be able to see the entire city during one trip to NYC, we do suggest that you sign up for a nighttime bus tour. You’ll love experiencing the glamour of New York illuminated by night, where you’ll see many famous attractions and be entertained by the live guides. But how do you know which one to choose? Today we’ll look at the best night bus tour NYC to make it easier.

We have already done several of the tours and were positively surprised. Therefore, when planning your trip, you should seriously consider taking a night tour by bus – seeing New York at night is simply amazing!

In a rush? Further down, I’ll answer your question about 👉 which night bus tour in NYC is the best and I’ll tell you how you can even 👉 do it for free!

What Is The Night Bus Tour?

As the name would suggest, a night bus tour takes visitors on a sightseeing adventure around NYC after dark. The landmarks you see will depend on which bus tour you choose, and we consider the three we’ll discuss here today to be the best, which are provided by Gray Line Bus, Big Bus, and Top View.

It’s important to note that while most NYC bus tours are hop-on-hop-off, the night tours are not!

There are no scheduled stops, and you cannot get off the bus in the middle of the route. With that being said, let’s take a detailed look at each of these.


Quick Comparison

Here you can compare the different providers and routes and find the best night bus tour for you!

BIG BUS New York

BIG BUS Night Tour

Gray Line Night Bus Tour NYC

Gray Line Night Bus Tour NYC

Best Night Bus Tour NYC Loving New York Reviews TOP View

TOP VIEW Night Tour

Duration
Duration
1.5 hours
1.5 hours
1.75 hours
Live Guide
Live Guide
Times Square at Night
Times Square at Night
Empire State Building
Empire State Building
Soho
Soho
Little Italy
Little Italy
The Village
The Village
Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Lower Manhattan
Lower Manhattan
Tickets
Tickets

#1 Big Bus Night Bus Tour NYC

Ranked among the best night bus tours in NYC, Big Bus is a famous tour company in the city. This company is the largest operator of sightseeing bus tours in the world. They began with just three buses and have grown to operate in over 20 cities across four continents with hundreds of buses.

Big Bus Night Bus Tour NYC Information

  • Price: $49 for children / $59 for adults
  • Duration: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
  • Departure/Arrival Location: 7th Ave & W 48th, Outside the M&M Store
  • Departure Time: Tours begin at 7:00 pm and run through 9:00 pm

As you make your way to the departure area, consider that seats are first-come, first-served on the bottom or top deck. Once aboard the open-top double-decker, you’ll want to plug in your recorded audio commentary that’s available in 10 languages ranging from English and Spanish to German, Japanese, and more. Listening to this during the duration of your trip is the best way to learn lesser-known facts about each attraction you see.

Big Bus Night Bus Tour NYC Route And Attractions

This night bus tour NYC begins just up the road from the Gray Line bus tour’s starting point and follows a similar path. You will start at the M&M World Stop and make your way through Times Square. The first attractions you’ll see are Bryant Park, stores along 5th Ave in Midtown, and the infamous Empire State Building.

You will then travel through NYC’s Flatiron district, where you’ll see the famed Flatiron Building and Union Square before heading through Noho and Soho. The bus then travels through Little Italy and Chinatown before heading over the historic Manhattan Bridge toward Brooklyn. At this point, the bus will circle back over the bridge and continue toward the Avenue Of The Americas, where you’ll get an up-close look at Hudson Square, Greenwich Village, and the garment district before arriving back at your final destination.

Big Bus Night Bus Tour Tickets

Here you can buy tickets for the night tour. Note: these are not available separately, but only as an upgrade in combination with the regular hop-on hop-off bus tour.

Get Tickets


#2 Gray Line Night Bus Tour

Gray Line is a family-owned company that started in New York City in 1926. They operate the largest double-decker bus fleet globally, making Gray Line the ideal source for an NYC bus tour.

Gray Line Night Bus Tour NYC Information

  • Price: $49 for children / $59 for adults
  • Duration: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
  • Departure/Arrival Location: 777 8th Ave, New York, NY, 10036
  • Departure Times: Tours begin at 5:30 pm and run through 9:00 pm

As evening sets in Manhattan, Gray Line begins their nightly bus tours around the city. Visitors can enjoy seeing the city’s iconic landmarks light up and really get a sense of what NYC’s nightlife is all about.

This open-top double-decker bus boards on the West Side and provides unobstructed views of the most mesmerizing sights. You’ll love the colorful light displays as you journey through areas such as Times Square, SoHo, the Lower East Side, and more.

Gray Line’s guides are knowledgeable and provide guests with insight and interesting facts about what sights you’re passing. There’s also an informative onboard guide you can follow that tells even more about each landmark. Just be sure to have your camera handy and ready to take lots of pictures because there are plenty of opportunities.

And if you’re lucky enough to be in New York City around the holiday season, this tour is replaced by the Holiday Lights Tour. This particular tour is a beautiful time to travel around Midtown to view the legendary NYC department store windows and lots of other Christmas-themed decorations.

Gray Line Night Bus Tour NYC Route And Attractions

Starting out on 8th Ave, you’ll begin the trip going through the garment district where you travel along one of the city’s most famous roads, 5th Avenue. Here you will pass the famed Macy’s store in Times Square and the Empire State Building. You’ll also marvel at the sight of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York’s Public Library, and other high-end stores such as Cartier and Armani.

The trip will then travel through the West Village toward Tribeca and Soho. After this, you’ll take in the sights of Chinatown, Little Italy, and the Lower East Side before crossing the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn. Once in Brooklyn, you’ll view the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and the trendy streets of Dumbo before heading back toward Chinatown. Finally, you’ll pass through Greenwich Village and get a spectacular view of the Flatiron building before arriving back at your departure location.

Gray Line Night Bus Tour Tickets

Here you can buy tickets for the night tour – either as a one-way ticket or book it in combination with other tours and attractions to save even more money!

GET TICKETS


#3 Top View Night Bus Tour NYC

Top View buses are among the most famous and easiest to spot in NYC. They operate a large fleet of double-deckers that are equipped with the latest in GPS triggered audio technology that’s available in 11 languages. Top View operates over 40 bus stops and offers rides all day, making it easy for visitors to explore the city on their own terms.

Top View Night Bus Tour NYC Information

  • Price: $49 for children / $59 for adults
  • Duration: 1 Hour 45 Minutes
  • Departure/Arrival Location: 46th St between 7th Ave & 8th Ave, off of 8th Ave
  • Departure Time: Tours begin at 7:00 pm and run through 11:00 pm

Top View offers one of the best night bus tours in NYC, as it’s comprehensive and passes many of the most famed attractions the Big Apple has to offer. Aboard one of the open-top double-decker buses, you will be delighted by the sights and sounds of the city that never sleeps. Between the flashing lights and stunning architecture, it will provide you a new view of the city that you can’t see during the day.

Top View Night Bus Tour NYC Route And Attractions

The Top View night bus tour begins in Times Square and travels down 5th Avenue past Bryant Park and the Empire State Building. It then travels past some of the city’s most famous areas, including the Flatiron District, Greenwich Village, Soho, Chinatown, and Little Italy.

The bus will then head toward the harbor, where you will cross the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn. This is usually a fan-favorite as the splendor of the Manhattan Bridge at night is unbeatable, as are the breathtaking views of Manhattan’s towering skyline.

You will then head back toward Manhattan, where you’ll enjoy other famous sights such as the United Nations Building, Chrysler Building, and the Grand Central Terminal. Finally, you’ll travel through Times Square once again before arriving at your departure point.

In the end, if you’re looking for a fun night experience in New York City, then you don’t want to miss out on one of these unique encounters. Regardless of which night bus tour NYC that you choose, the views are unmatched, and you’ll have plenty of lasting memories to take back home.

Top View Night Bus Tour Tickets

Here you can buy tickets for the night tour.

Get Tickets

My Recommandation

Which Night Bus Tour is the Best?

The routes of the night tours are pretty much the same and will take you to the most beautiful and impressive places in New York.

Nevertheless, there is one clear recommendation for me: Big Bus. Why? They have the most modern buses compared to the other providers and the guides were always in a good mood. Unfortunately, however, the night tour is not available for purchase individually. But if you wanted to do the hop on hop off tours in NYC anyway, this is the best option.
BIG BUS Tickets
If you only wanted to do the night tour by bus, I recommend Gray Line – you can book them separately!

Gray Line Tickets

Do the night tour for free

Do you already know the attractions passes for New York? With these you can visit many attractions and tours for a very reasonable fixed price (this includes the night tour).

You can learn more about them here:

🔥 Brand new! 🔥 Check out our Loving New York Shop with our travel guides (including our Amazon bestseller with 600+ reviews). With them, you'll be perfectly prepared for your New York trip!

About the author
Steffen

I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 20 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On this blog, I want to share everything I have learned and discovered, so you can have the best time in the greatest city in the world. By the way: Did you like my article? Then think about becoming a supporter of us on Patreon!

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