I see them in every major city, lurking around the major sights and tourist hubs, multiple companies, languages and themes, but I’d never actually ridden one. I’ve always been anti bus tour. I like walking and don’t love being surrounded by hoards of tourists. I suppose this was a bit unfair because I’d never really been on one. Lucas’s parents and aunt and uncle were visiting London with us, we had limited time and they weren’t as inclined to walk everywhere and take the tube as we are. So on our first morning in London, we got tickets to one of the big bus companies and set off to see the sights.
Our bus had a live guide and it was fun to zip around the city on the open top and learn about various sights. I have to say the quality of the live guides varied, we hopped on and off a few busses and some were much better (and more audible) than others. The pre recorded tours went to less popular and farther flung sights so we didn’t bother with those.
The busses are convenient since they go from attraction to attraction and run pretty frequently. All the companies offer multiple routes and some include walking tours or river cruises. If you’re looking to avoid taking the metro, or to get a quick rundown of the highlights of a city it’s a good way to go. Note that most upper deck seats aren’t covered, and the best views are definitely from the top floor so it may not be worth doing in inclement weather.
The verdict? It was a bit pricey for 2.5 hours of entertainment, but could be good value if you use it instead of public transport as well. The busses were frequent, but top deck seats weren’t always available. I might consider another tour in the future but I wouldn’t put it high on my list.
Are you a fan of bus tours? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments!