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.
Coronavirus/Covid: London is now in Tier 4. The Original Tour has been suspended until further notice.
Tour bus companies
There are several tour bus companies in London. We recommend The Original London Sightseeing Tour. It’s the longest running bus tour in London and cheaper than the Big Bus, its closest rival. They have a visitor center on Cockspur St, just off Trafalgar Square, in case you need to ask any questions.
Tour bus routes
The open top buses follow six 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.
Tour Map & Departure points
There are 80+ stops where you can join the bus but the Original Tour recommend starting at one of the main departure points.
View a route map.
There are three tour tickets; 24,48-hours or a cheaper one-day tour (the City Sampler). With a 24-hour ticket if you take your first bus at 3pm on Thursday, your ticket is valid until 3pm on Friday.
You can ride the buses as many times as you like, when the buses are running. If you prefer to stay on the bus, the main sightseeing route takes approximately 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours.
These are prices when you book online or buy tickets on the day. Tickets are valid for any day up to six months after booking.Family tickets are valid for 2 adults and 2 children.
|24-Hour Tour Ticket prices|
|Original Tour – Book online||£30.50||£14.25||£75|
|Original Tour – On the day||£32||£15||£79|
|48-Hour Tour Ticket prices|
|Original Tour – Book online||£40||£19||£99|
|Original Tour – On the day||£42||£20||£104|
|City Sampler Tour Ticket prices|
|Original Tour – Book online*||£25||£12.50||£62.50|
*City Sampler tickets are only available online
Guides and recorded commentary
The yellow (main route) has English speaking guides or recorded commentary in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Portuguese, Mandarin, Arabic & Brazilian Portuguese. The blue and orange routes have recorded commentary.
Free WiFi and app
All Original Tour buses have free Wifi.
Extras included in the ticket price
A Changing the Guard walking tour is included in the 24, 48 and 72-hour bus tours.
Thames riverboat trip
A Thames river cruise ticket between Westminster & the Tower of London is included in the price of the 24-hour tour.
The 48-hour tour includes a trip 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.
When not to do a sightseeing tour
It’s best to avoid doing a tour when there’s a major event in central London. Road closures and diversions might mean you miss some of the main sights. Check the the Original Tour’s service update page for information on disruptions and diversions.