The Downtown Experience in New York, NY

Pier 15, South Street SeaportNew York, NY 10038
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The Downtown Experience is a traveling multimedia historic adventure featuring virtual reality visualizations, expert tour guides, and so much more. Your tour vehicle features theater-style, side-facing seats with perfect views of NYC and top-of-the-line technology. Various stops along the tour are taken to the next level with virtual reality headsets. Experience NYC like never before!

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our New York Travel Experts
  • Tour duration: approx. 90 minutes.
  • Sites include Brooklyn Bridge, Governor’s Island, and the Statue of Liberty.
  • Uses virtual reality technology to provide first-hand experiences for guests.
  • A great NYC activity for ages 6 and up.


from The Downtown Experience

THE DOWNTOWN EXPERIENCE Powered by THE RIDE is a brand new multimedia historical adventure exploring Downtown Manhattan’s most notable landmarks and neighborhoods. Featuring some of THE RIDE’s signature performance interludes and enhanced with the advanced technology of our partner Timelooper, THE DOWNTOWN EXPERIENCE will be highlighted by the magic of Virtual Reality visualizations allowing visitors to travel back in time and relive iconic historical moments.


90-minute multimedia historic adventure of Downtown Manhattan
-Fun, original & informative music and videos that support our Storyteller guide’s deeply researched historical narrative
-Theatre-style, side facing seating & floor-to-ceiling glass windows with panoramic views
-Advanced audio/visual technology including 40 LCD TV screens showing footage of the landmarks and neighborhoods of Downtown Manhattan
-Enhanced with the magic of Virtual Reality that will lift your imagination out of your seat and through time!
-VR locations include the South Street Seaport, Ellis Island, Battery Park and City, China Town, Wall Street, Federal Hall & the Stock Exchange.
-Route features iconic landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Governor’s Island, New York Harbor & the Statue of Liberty, Battery Park, 9/11 Memorial, One World Trade Center and Observatory, City Hall and more!

The Downtown Experience departs from 200 Water Street in front of Starbucks and ends at South Street Seaport near Pier 15 and 16.

Reserve New York City Customer Reviews

Have you been to The Downtown Experience? Share your knowledge and be the first to review this.
TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
Glasgow, United Kingdom
"Great 75mins"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 19, 2018 NEW
Fun, over the top, cheesy, but full of laughs. Would definitely recommend if you’re looking for something different to do
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Hyunsoo C
Arlington, Virginia
"Amazing experience in NYC"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 19, 2018 NEW
It is a kind of great shows in Manhattans, and all of you who visit in NYC must take on the bus. Even though you may have trouble in understanding English, it worths it to pay it.
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Manasa B
Sydney, Australia
"FUn and high energy"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 19, 2018 NEW
Nice way to wiz through NYC around time square. Entertaining, and hilarious hosts. The talent on bus was only superseded by the performers outside of the bus. The saxophone duet and rapper were the highlights.
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Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
"An average ride"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed January 19, 2018 NEW
We visited the ride attraction as it was included in our New York Pass and were very much looking forward to it after reading some reviews and looking at their website. We were asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to out time slot which meant we were stood in -5 degree temperature for 15 minutes longer than required! You basically queue next to the bus with its engine running but not allowing anyone to board despite the below and freezing temperature. The seating is fairly cramped and you are not allowed to choose your seat which meant my daughter and I had limited viewing as we were sat direct behind one of the hosts of the bus, who stood in front if us throughout the tour. The windows were also very dirty which again reduced visability. The tour itself was OK - there were some good moments and some pretty cheesy ones! I was expecting to see more of NYC but instead you drive around streets listening to the two women sing and make cheesy jokes. Overall I enjoyed the ride but I wouldn't recommend visiting unless it's part of a pass or discount voucher.
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Weston super Mare, United Kingdom
"Entertaining but overpriced"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed January 18, 2018 NEW
We did this ride as part of the sightseeing pass,had we paid full price we would have been disappointed.That said,because of the pass,we didn't and it was 75 minutes of fun,the onboard crew were very entertaining and despite the bitter cold temperatures the outside performers were also very good,professional standard and well worth the ride.
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The Downtown Experience is located at Pier 15, South Street SeaportNew York, NY 10038
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Frequently Asked Questions about The Downtown Experience

Where does the tour begin and end?
The Downtown Experience tour will depart from 200 Water Street in front of Starbucks and end at the South Street Seaport near Pier 15 & 16.

Please note there is no climate controlled area to wait for the bus during the boarding process. All guests must line up outside. Please dress appropriately.

How long is the tour?
The tour is approximately 90 minutes long.

What NYC landmarks are included in the tour?
While on the tour, guests will see:

  • South Street Seaport
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • Governor’s Island
  • Battery Park
  • New York Harbor plus Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty
  • Battery Park City
  • 9/11 Memorial
  • One World Trade Center & One World Observatory
  • China Town
  • Wall Street,
  • Federal Hall 

Can I hop on and hop off the bus?
No. The Downtown Experience is not a hop-on, hop-off tour.

Does the tour bus have seat belts?

Are bathrooms available on the tour bus?

Can I bring food and drinks onboard the bus?
No. Only bottled water is permitted on the tour. We recommend eating prior to or after your tour.

Does the tour operate rain or shine?
Yes. Tours are only canceled/rescheduled in the case of extreme weather that would prohibit the buses from running.

I’m prone to motion sickness. Should I participate in this tour?
The Downtown Experience buses do not travel at high speeds. However, the bus does have the audience members facing sideways as we travel through New York City, so you can expect some repetitive starting and stopping that may affect some patrons.

Is this tour appropriate for all ages?
While the content of the tour is appropriate for all ages, it is recommended that kids ages 6 and up enjoy the tour due to the virtual reality component.

Are the tour buses handicap accessible?
No. Guests must be able to ascend and descend stairs without assistance.