The formula is the same one adopted in several cities. The hop-on hop-off bus in London is a double-decker, with the upstairs open so you can see better and take pictures as you go sightseeing. The route is pre-determined and includes all the central sights of the city.
Want to visit the museum or stop for a snack? No problem, get off at any of, I do not know, 60 stops, stay as long as you want and at the same point you went down or any other route, take a bus. They pass at frequent intervals, at least one every twenty minutes.
Anyone who wants to get a general notion of the city, “tick” all the major monuments and attractions without, however, visiting them, can stay in the bus and give full turn in the circuit, which takes about 3 hours. There are guided routes inside the bus giving explanations and making comments live in English. I sincerely prefer the recorded comments. They are more factual and spare us the jokes and personal opinions that sometimes irritate (okay, I’m bad-tempered!).
Hop-on hop-off buses in London
Three companies operate this type of tour in London, offering very similar services: Golden Tours, Original Tour and Big Bus. They offer, for about £ 30.00 for 1 day, with discounts for more days, online shopping or low season, the following:
– Tickets valid for 24 hours or 48 hours
– A route with live commentary, two or more with comments recorded in several languages.
– Buses running every 15-20 minutes from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (special winter timetable) – see the timetable on the date of your visit.
– Walking tours (walking tours), lasting 1.5 to 2 hours
– Boat trip on the Thames (“River Cruise”) from Westminster to Tower or Greenwich with comments and exits every 20-30 min.
– Visitors center with tourist information and ticket sales to the main attractions.
You can get on the bus at any stop, but companies recommend that you first go to the Visitors Center to find out more information, pick up the map, ask questions, etc.
How to make the most of your day with the hop-on hop-off bus in London
My suggestion to take better advantage of the 24 hours that your ticket is valid is to start using the service at lunchtime the first day, make the full main route in the afternoon by visiting one or two attractions. The next day, get up early and start your ride on the first buses. If you want to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, companies offer a guided walking tour, starting at 10:00. Note that, except for July and August, changing the guard does not happen every day, but on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays (subject to variation).
Leave to do the boat ride last while still worth your ticket. If you include Greenwich, get to the Observatory and the sights of Greenwich quietly, and head back to the center of London from DLR / subway. Consult beforehand all the schedules, not only of the buses, walks and boat trip, but also of the attractions that you want to visit.
I think Golden Tours is the best one. Look at the following info:
Golden Tours hop-on hop-off bus
There are 3 routes that include all the sights, one of them passing by St. Pancras station (where the Eurostar arrives). Two other routes collect and deliver customers in areas where several hotels in the city are located.
Blue Route – Essential Tour – includes Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral and other attractions. With live commentary, plus recorded.
Red Route – Classic Tour – includes major attractions besides the museums of South Kensington (Science Museum, Natural History Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum).
Orange Route – Grand Tour – includes the Madame Tussauds wax museum, King’s Cross station and St Pancras station
There are two walking tours included in the ticket: Royal Walking Tour (leaving at 10am), The Beatles Walking Tour (departure at 1pm) from the visitor center.
Boat trip on the Thames
Golden Tours also offers a ticket for boat trip on the Thames valid for 2 days from the day you use the bus. The cruise runs from the Embankment pier or London Eye to the Pier Tower. Valid only for one way (round trip).
You can choose the most convenient duration: 24 hours or 48 hours.
Promotion: until 02/28/2019, buying the 24-hour ticket, you get another 24 hours.
Buy your Original Tours tour from Visit Britain’s official tourism office by clicking here.
You will receive an e-voucher at the time of purchase. Print your e-voucher and change by passing the points described in Victoria, Paddington, Kensington, Leicester Square, Tower Hill, or Waterloo.
I hope the information in this article is useful for you and anyone planning a vacation to London. But if you want more info, you can read London bus tours reviews & comparison.