A hop on hop off sightseeing bus tour is a must do and highly recommended for London Tourists especially if this is your first-time visit to London. With the help of hop on hop off bus tour you will have a good idea of the city without worrying about directions or stations as the bus stops and passes all the prime locations, which also gives a benefit to people who do not speak very good English as the bus has guide in multiple languages which keeps you aware of places you are passing on the bus. The bus stops at all the stops and you have an option to get off and get back on at the same stop or join the bus at another stop. Following set of paragraphs explains key advantages of the hop on hop off bus tour London and various bus tours available to book.
Key advantages of Hop on Hop off bus tour
City Overview and Open Top Bus Experience:
Doing a sightseeing Hop on Hop off bus tour gives you a nice overview of the city and idea of the city’s prime locations to visit. Doing a sightseeing open top bus tour is highly recommended for at least a day or two days and after that, you can be on your own.
Flexible & Frequent:
Firstly, a hop on hop off bus tour is very flexible, which means you can use it as you like. The buses are mostly arriving every 10 to 15 minutes in summer and every 15 to 20 minutes in winter, this way you are not bound to any fixed schedule and you can spend as much time as you like at one location and when you are ready you can join another bus coming from the same stop you got off the bus or another stop.
Guide in Multiple Languages:
Although London is very tourist friendly with directions and signs everywhere and lots of helpful people but still if you are not very good with English, a hop on hop off bus tour is definitely a good option for you. Usually, all the hop on hop off bus tours have recorded guide in many languages which does not just guide you about the history of London, it is also very helpful if you don’t speak English very well as you will be well aware of where you are and where you are going.
The buses do also have a live onboard guide in English which keeps you entertained as well.
Comparing the Hop-on Hop-off Bus tours:
The time is long gone when London only had one or two sightseeing hop on hop off bus tours, now London has at least four companies operating as a hop on hop off bus tour and it is often difficult for tourists to choose the right one, here is your guide to hop on hop off bus tours. In the following guide, we have focused on 3 main companies in London.
Big Bus Tour
Golden Tours Hop-on Hop-off Tour
The Original London Tour.
All three companies cover all the major sights including Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus, Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross, Westminster, Tower Bridge, St. Pauls and Buckingham Palace.
Big Bus Tour has the benefit of offering full-service regular service from areas that are densely populated with hotels such as Paddington, Bayswater, and South Kensington. This way tourists can join the tour right from their hotels and come back to the hotels. Golden Tour’s Hop on Hop off does not have full service from hotel districts except Paddington however they do operate a morning and afternoon connection service
Previously Big Bus Tour company had an advantage of having most frequent service and most convenient map with blue line covering most of the sights but now Golden Tour’s also offering very good frequency of buses and with the inclusion of Orange & Blue route where you can cover most of the sights in London
All the hop on hop off bus tour services offers free walking Tours and River Cruise Tour as part of standard Hop on Hop off bus tour except Golden Tours offering a cheapest 1-day ticket without river cruise tour or walking tours.
How Hop-on Hop-off Ticket works:
Most tickets are formed as 24 hours, 48 hours or 72 hours validity, which can be termed as 1 day, two days or three days. The validity of the ticket starts from the time you first board on the bus and valid until the same time next day or day after depending on the ticket you have bought for example a 24 hour ticket will be valid from the time you first board the bus until the same time next day.
Service timings vary and depend on season, usually in summer time buses operate the longest duration with the Big Bus Tour having last bus tour starting at around 7 PM. In winter, however, most services have their last bus at around 4:30 PM.
Which Company to Choose:
Based on our experience we are fond of two hop on hop off companies in London, Big Bus Tour and Golden Tours’ hop on hop off bus tour. The key advantage with choosing Big Bus Tour is better convenience in terms of route and pick up from hotel districts along with very good frequency whereas Golden Tours’ open top bus tour does also have route convenience and very good pricing strategy where you have an option to choose with or without River cruise tour.