I’ve always been a fan of Hop on Hop off buses because they’re the best way to get the lay of the land in a new city when you travel. They also make it easy to get from place to place. We took the Big Bus Tours London when we were there for only two nights and wanted to see as much as we could before we had to fly back home.
Note to self: Never book just two nights in an amazing city at the end of a vacation. It isn’t enough. We had spent 3 weeks in Italy and then took a Mediterranean Cruise. London was our last stop and because it was winter, we cut our trip short thinking it would be cold. It turned out it was bright and sunny the whole time we were there with only 1 quick rain shower. Who knew?
Our hotel was on the West End and there was a Big Bus Tour stop within a block of our hotel so we booked a 2-day ticket. There are four routes you can take to various locations so we decided to take the Red Tour to St. Paul’s Cathedral and The London Eye first.
The Red Tour includes a live tour guide. I think he was an actor because he was very entertaining. He gave us a history of London pubs as we passed them by, and I loved hearing about their crazy names. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Ye Olde Cock Tavern, The Old Bank of England were just some to name a few.
Even though we arrived at the Cathedral fairly quick our guide had us enthralled.
If you’re not familiar with the way Hop on Hop off buses work, they take you to a location and then when you’re through, you pick up another bus on the route and take it to the next stop you want to see. You can ride on top, which we love to do, or inside the bus if you want to stay warm.
The Blue Tour and Magical Merlin Tour have ear plug jacks so you can listen to a narrator who tells you about each area you pass by and it’s set for various languages. We got off at St. Paul’s Cathedral and spent time there attempting to climb to the top.
Our ticket included a Cruise of the Thames with City Cruises. Our Big Bus stopped at the Tower of London and then we boarded the cruise ship. It took us under bridges, passing unusual ships and fascinating buildings on the way.
Then it rounded the corner and there was the London Eye in all its glory. We couldn’t have had better weather.
The next day was our last day in London and I’d already fallen in love with it. We wanted to see as much as humanly possible and probably spent about 8 hours total on the bus. We got off briefly to see Buckingham Palace, then rode around some more until we were starving for dinner.
You can purchase a one-day pass that includes 4 different routes, walking tours, and a one way River Cruise. 2 and 3-day tickets let you return on the River Cruise. You can also purchase a 1-day ticket that includes everything the 1-day ticket does plus entry to the London Eye.
There are Big Bus Tours in London, Paris, Budapest, Vienna, Rome, Istanbul, and Dublin as well as the Middle East and the Asia Pacific. If you’re in the U.S. you can take one in New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. I think their tours are totally worth it and will save you from getting sore feet.
If you download their mobile app you can track each bus making it even easier to see when and where to pick up your bus and where it’s going.
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Will you be in a Big Bus City soon or have you taken a tour with them? Please leave a comment below.
This post has been sponsored by Big Bus Tours and I will receive compensation for posting it. However, all opinions are my own.