Photo: Tourists in packed Times Square

From Harlem down Broadway to Greenwich Village and Little Italy, a bus tour provides great views of New York City’s diverse neighborhoods.

Photograph by Richard Wynn, My Shot

From the National Geographic book Journeys of a Lifetime

  1. New York City

    Start in Harlem, famous for its African-American culture, then it’s on to Central Park and Fifth Avenue. The bus takes you down Broadway and through the theater district—show-business mecca—passing Greenwich Village and Little Italy farther south. End at Whitehall Terminal and ride the Staten Island Ferry with spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, and Manhattan.

  2. Beijing, China

    Board the air-conditioned bus near Xi Hai lake, with its goose-pagoda island and traditional fishermen—fragments of an old Beijing that include the nearby Forbidden City. The landscape changes dramatically as you travel from high-rise modernity to mountainous Badaling and the 25-foot (7.6-meter) Great Wall. Imagine five horses or ten soldiers marching side by side to defend against barbarian hordes.

    www.kinabaloo.com/badaling_great_wall.html
  3. Moscow, Russia

    Victory Park, the starting point, celebrates Soviet triumphs in World War II. After that, you pass the grand triumphal arch that commemorates victory in an earlier war—against Napoleon. Spot the Hotel Ukraina and the University—two of Stalin’s monumental “Seven Sisters” wedding-cake skyscrapers. See the Sparrow Hills, and end up at Kamenny Bridge behind the multicolored onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral, Red Square, for a panoramic view.

    www.waytorussia.net/Moscow/GettingAround.html
  4. Tallinn, Estonia

    Board at the ultramodern mall by the medieval gate. Ride beside the Baltic, past the bronze angel of mercy extending her hand to drowned sailors. Pass the Singing Grounds where in the late 1980s thousands of Estonians gathered to sing patriotic songs banned by the Soviet regime. End behind the park of the Swedish nunnery, ruined in a 16th-century war, near a beautiful cemetery in a quiet forest.

    www.bussireisid.ee/index.html?MENU=&KEEL=en
  5. Stockholm, Sweden

    See this beautiful city built on 14 islands by environmentally friendly bus. Peer into a maze of medieval streets in the Old Town and spot the cathedral and royal palace. You travel along the waterfront opposite, then head north. Look for the spire of the Town Hall, where Nobel prizes are awarded. End at the University hospital and walk the campus grounds.
    www.sl.se/Templates/SubStart.aspx?id=1906

  1. Budapest, Hungary

    It’s not far from St. Stephen’s Cathedral to Castle Hill but you’ll go from one city (Pest)—location of the huge Herohttp://kids.preview.nationalgeographic.com/Stories/es’ Square—to another (Buda) as you cross the Danube on the Chain Bridge. End at the Royal Palace, now home to several museums. Explore the Matthias Church and admire the vista from the Fishermen’s Bastion.

    www.bkv.hu/english/home/index.html
  2. Paris, France

    Start at the Porte d’Orléans, where in 1944 tanks first rolled in to liberate the city, and travel past the Luxembourg Gardens, through the Latin Quarter, and across the Seine to Notre-Dame Cathedral. Note the Gothic tower of Saint-Jacques by the bus stop for the Hôtel de Ville. You carry on past the Pompidou Arts center and finish at the Gare du Nord.

    bus38.online.fr/indexeng.html
  3. Rome, Italy

    Explore the Tiber’s right bank, starting with colonnades that follow the curve of ancient baths. Marvel at the Trevi fountain. Whizz past the Capitoline Hill, Forum, Colosseum, and Circus Maximus, where you sense the gore and glory of ancient Rome. Get off at Ostiense for a rest and a gelato.

    www.alfanet.it/welcomeitaly/roma/bus_metro/info.html
  4. Madrid, Spain

    Starting from the leaning towers of Puerta de Europa (Gateway of Europe), you pass through Columbus Square and on past Cybele, goddess of fertility, in her chariot surrounded by fountains. Art galleries and gardens follow before you return to Earth again in the commercial center.

    www.ctm-madrid.es/
  5. London, England

    Hop on a red bus at Trafalgar Square, home of Nelson’s Column, then go down the Strand and on past St. Paul’s Cathedral. See the tallest stone column in the world at Monument (where the Great Fire started in 1666) and end at the Tower of London, trying not to lose your head.

    www.tfl.gov.uk

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