Tour buses., London
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.)
you can find sightseeing buses that cover the main tourist sights. It is usually in open-topped buses.
Commentary is in several languages.
It s a hop-on, hop-off service. You can find the buses in central london.
The best way to see London is to go on one of the inexpensive open top tour buses with tour guides. Some of these you can book in advance and others you can get on and off as you please.
Look out for the specially marked bus stops.
I love the Big Bus tours. The reasons:
1) When we got to London, there was a tube strike and not a taxi to be had. There we were - hot and sweaty and jet lagged with luggage and in no condition to walk from Victoria Station to our Bloomsbury hotel. So I bought a BB ticket and rode the bus around to the British Museum. I could walk to the hotel from there. It's true that it cost, but I'd have had to pay at least £8 for a taxi, and I was intending to get the BB anyway.
2) Since we both have bad knees, walking a lot isn't really an option. The BB whisked us around and gave us a good overview of the city and the history. Even though we've been there before, we learned something new about almost everywhere. Also found it interesting to talk to the guides in between times when they weren't busy. (I asked questions like - why don't the windows have screens in them)
3) It is much easier to take pictures from higher up, and there's no glass window to reflect like there is in the regular double deckers. (Not that I dislike those buses - it's just harder to take photographs)
They have ticket sellers and information people at the main stops and you can charge the tickets on a credit card.
You can hop on or off at any stop.
Buses run every 5-15 minutes.
Tickets are valid for 24 hours and include:
- FREE River Cruise
- Live guides or "Sights and Sounds" commentary, digitally-recorded in eight languages. I liked the guides better.
You can find them in many places in Central London. Mostly by Piccadily are, liecester Sq. etc'.
If you dont like to walk to all the tourist attraction and you rather see that more quickly then try this tours. they take you to all the famouse and central attraction.
I had lots of time rto explore London so i never thought to try that. i rather walk and see and stop where i really like.
These are the popular open top buses for tourists. I find them quite expensive though. I prefer the day pass on the buses and underground.
Big bus company seems more value for money and the ticket includes a river cruise along Thames, as well as free walking tour with a guide.
If you don't know where to start in London and it is a nice day, hop on an open top tour bus. If will quickly give you a feel of the town, where the major monuments are and roughly what it looks like. However, remember that there is much more to London than what any quick tour can show you. Make sure you then explore by foot the areas that have fired your interest. Take your time: London is an old city and you will need much more than a day to discover its secret.
Enjoy the sights of London on a open top tour bus through the streets of London. With commentary in a number of languages covering the important landmarks in London. If anything it should serve as a great history lesson.
The sightseeing bus is not that worth the money actually, they charge GBP15 for 24 hours ride but the time you wait for the bus is too long. I took the Original Bus which I would not suggest it at all, waiting time is way too long. We saw more of the Big Bus which is red in colour is more frequent.
The best way to get around and to see London is to take one of the Big Red Tour busses that you can get a hop-on hop-off ticket. The ticket can be purchased for one day or for the weekend.
The price was good and the live person guiding the tour was funny.