Hop-on Hop-off sightseeing bus tours are a great way to see as much as possible in a short period of time. If you take one at the start of your trip, you’ll get your bearings and find out which attractions you might want to visit.
The tours are on double decker buses. The top decks are usually open in the summer and covered in winter or when it rains.
Tour bus companies
In terms of quality, there’s really not much difference between the two — they both offer similar deals.
Tour bus routes
The open top buses follow set routes passing all the major sights in central London. You can get off at various bus stops, have a look around or visit an attraction and then take the next bus that comes along. Or, if you prefer, you can stay on the bus for a non-stop tour.
Both companies sell tickets for 24 or 48-hours. So with a 24-hour ticket if you take your first bus at 3pm on Thursday, your ticket is valid until 3pm on Friday.
In winter, both companies offer 48 hour tickets for the price of a 24-hour ticket.
You can ride the buses as many times as you like, when the buses are running. If you prefer to stay on the buses, each route takes approximately 2 hours 15 minutes.
These are the discounted ticket prices when you book online. Tickets are valid for any day up to six months after booking.
*Tour ticket includes an extra 24 hours for free until 31 March 2017.
Guides and recorded commentary
Both companies offer tours with an English-speaking guide or recorded commentary in various languages.
Extras included in the ticket price
Similar ‘extras’ are included in the ticket price for both companies:
- Original London Tour: Changing the Guard, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Jack the Ripper
- Big Bus Tour: Royal London, Harry Potter, Haunting Mysteries
Thames riverboat trip
Both companies offer a hop-on, hop off Thames river cruise ticket included in the price of the tour. 24-hour tickets include a cruise between Westminster & the Tower of London. 48-hour tickets give the option of travelling further downriver to Greenwich.
You must do the walking tours and boat trip within the time limit of the ticket, so take time to plan when you start the tour to fit them all in.
Last updated: 7 January 2017