innovative and entertaining open-top sightseeing tours inLondon,with live English commentary or a choice of digitally recorded commentary in 8 languages. All Big Bus tours feature a hop-on hop-off service and tickets are valid for 24 hours. The ticket also give syou a free Thames river cruise.
These tours allow you to see 100's of London attractions at your own pace and convenience, with the freedom to take a break from your tour at any time to explore a sight further, or maybe go for a spot of lunch or shopping, Then, when you're ready to continue with a tour, simply jump on the next tour bus! - your tickets are valid for 24 hours - included in the price of the ticket is:-
FREE cruise on the River Thames - sit back and cruise along London's beautiful River Thames - here is a superb opportunity to see London as you have never seen it before.
* 5 fully-guided FREE walking tours - these gentle light hearted walks give you an amazing insight into our beautiful city
* Live English Commentary (not taped) - from an informative tour guide giving you the history and facts behind the sights you will see.
* Big Language Tour with dazzling digitally recorded sights and sounds commentary in a choice of TWELVE languages.
* Over 80 traditional London double-decker open-top sightseeing buses - so you will have no longer than a 15 - 20 minute wait for a bus to arrive
The Big Bus is an open double-decker bus with two separate tours. The Red Tour covers central London and stops include Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and The Tower of London. The Blue Tour covers all the top attractions of Central London as well as Kensington and Hyde Park. The Green Link stops at popular London hotels and also the British Museum. A Thames River cruise is included in your ticket.
You can book online and receive a discount. There is a recorded commentary available in 8 languages. Your ticket is good for 24 hours.
I always recommend taking these tours wherever they are available especially if you're not taking any organized tour. This way you can get a little bit of history and some interesting facts while becoming familiar with the city.
There are two Bus Tour companies in London so do compare the routes.
when in london it is a good idea to buy a ticket for the london bus tour. its a great way to see the sights and you can hop on and hop off the buses whenever they stop. our ticket included a free thames cruies from the tower of london to wetstminster bridge which was very entertaining. You can pay for tickets on the bus however they are probably cheaper if you prebook them on the internet. the commentary is informative and enjoyable. good value at £20 for 48 hours for adults and £10 for children plus free thames cruise.
I’m not normally one who uses the city tour bus systems. I’d rather walk the city myself or use local mass transit transportation, but for many these systems have their uses. With my brother flying into London for a short trip and my daughter wishing to ride one of those two level buses, I relented.
For someone with limited time to see the city, I think this is an excellent way to at least have a quick view of all the sites. The buses allow for unlimited off/on privilege, but partaking of this would not allow a complete viewing of all the sites. There are a number of different tour companies available and I believe they are all about the same. The biggest variable is the talent of the commentator on the individual bus. The first lady we had was amazing. She was a great store of information about the city and seemed to speak every language of any tourist joining us.
Part of the price of the ticket is the inclusion of a river tour, so we left this brilliant lady and took the cruise. We found the cruise a delightful adventure. There are better cruises available, some including lunch or dinner or moonlight travel, but the simplicity probably forces one to pay more attention to the city as we passed. We revisited the bus and unfortunately, this one had tape audio and not a live commentator. I’m sure the tape had some good information, but I’m not sure anyone on the bus could actually hear it. After the first bus, this was a major disappointment.
Cost for an adult is approximately $34 US, good for 24 hours.
The Original Tour buses (with a red triangle on the front) offer recorded commentaries in the following languages:
English - French - German - Italian - Japanese - Russian - Spanish
You are given free headphones when you get on the bus, which you should keep with you until you have finished the tour.
The tour voucher is valid for 24 hours after you first use it. You can get off at many places along the route, and then board another bus (they run every 15-20 minutes between 9am and 5pm in winter, and operate longer and more frequent services in summer: check the start and finish times when you join the tour).
This is a company that runs a fleet of open air buses that visit most of the so called major sites of interest in London. The ticket normally lasts two days, you can get on and off whenever you choose. They normally throw in a brief thames boat trip too!
If its your first visit to London this is a good way to 'get your bearings'
A good way of getting a general view of London is to take a bus tour. These vary from short drives through the City of London and the West End to full-day tours which include lunch and visits to all the main sights such as the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament etc.
Is this your first trip to London? The Big Bus Company is a great way to get aroud and see the sights. This hop-on hop-off bus tour goes all over the city, and the guides on the bus are knowledgeable and witty.
Get off the bus at any stop, see whatever is around, and then go back to where you exited the bus. You won't have to wait too long for another bus to come around. The 20 pound fee is well worth it! The tour starts in Mayfair by the Ritz, but you can buy your ticket at any of the stops. Just look for the employees in the brown windbreakers near all of the tourist atractions.
There are several tour bus companies with various routes around central London. You can buy a ticket that is good for 24 hours and get on and off at set stops around the routes. This is a great way to get an overview of London and stop off and see a few places, have a bite to eat and enjoy the city. Granted, a regular city bus is cheaper but you get either a live guide or recorded commentary as well. One good plan is to take the route around once and then the second time, decide where you want to get off and what you want to see.
The two main Companies, offering similar routes and prices are
A lot of people have posted tips for this type of tour and consider it a tourist trap. They say get a travel card and get around cheaper. Yes, that's true. A travel card would be cheaper. But on the other hand, you don't get the narration, and you don't get confusion as to which stops or routes or tube lines you need to get where you want to go. You are in a strange city and London can be overwhelming. Yes it's a bit pricey for a 24 hour ticket (and they dont' run at night after about 8 p.m.) but it's a good introduction and orientation to the city.
Check the London Transport site for bus and tube maps
The Big Bus Tour is a great way to get an overview London, though not necessarily the best way to get from place to place.
We enjoyed the live tour guide on the bus, he had lots to say about history and odd facts as we were driving around; you had the option of open air or with a roof over your head. I was able to get some very good photos from the top open deck of the bus.
I think every guide memorizes the whole tour spiel, as we repeated a short segment and it was the same info. You can also get a tour with recorded guide info (live and audio tours were interchangable with one ticket). We were on one bus with the recorded tour, and liked the live guide better. The guides are entertaining and personable.
It costs 18 pounds for riding the tour bus (8 pounds for children 5-15) on three different routes around the parts of London most visited by tourists for 24 hours, with on-off privileges at lots of stops (if you bought your ticket at 2 p.m. on day you would be able to get on and off the tour buses until 2 p.m. the next day. The buses run every day except Christmas from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30-6 p.m. depending on time of the year.
There's a 2 pound discount if you get the tickets on-line. You can also buy them by telephone or on the buses/at bus stops.
Your ticket also includes a half-hour Thames cruise and your choice of several walking tours from Trafalgar Square.
Big Bus Tours won the "Sightseeing Tour of 2004" award from Visit London.
Were the tickets worth the price?
Yes, I think so, especially if you take full advantage of what they offer. We were only on the buses about 3 or 4 hours one afternoon, and didn't take the cruise or walking tours.
The next day we wanted to get to the London Eye early and knew the tube would be much faster.
However, I know we picked up interesting information about London and got a very good overview we wouldn't have riding around on a non-tour bus. (Which we also did one day.)
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