London bus tour ★★☆
Take a hop-on/hop-off double-decker sightseeing bus tour of London
You can get an excellent overview of the city's layout, and see many of the architectural sights at a snappy pace, from the top of an open-air, double-decker bus on The Original London Sightseeing Tour.
You'll find flyers all over the place outlining the different tours offered by this hop-on/hop-off bus with running commentary.
At £30 ($45), the "Original Tour" is the best all-around, spinning two-hour loops through the city, visiting various top sights with 15 minutes between buses.
You can hop off any bus, tour around a neighborhood or sight, then hop on the next one that comes along, all day long.
There are actually six color-coded routes.
Three are sightseeing routes with commentary (live on the Yellow route; recorded and multi-lingual on the Red and Blue routes).
The other three itineraries act more as transportation links between main transit hubs and major sights.
(You can see a image of this map in the Photo Gallery to the right—or, if you're on a smaller screen, scroll down)
You can ride any or all of these routes for as long as your tickets is valid.
Tickets are good all day—and there's a 48-hour version available, too, that just costs an extra £10 ($15).
Free cruise and walking tours
The ticket also covers a free river cruise on the Thames between the Tower of London and Big Ben/Parliament (at Westminster Pier), as well as several free guided walks:
- The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
- Jack the Ripper walking tour
- Rock and Roll walking tour
Bus Tour Tours
This exclusive tour offers passengers a rare opportunity to travel on an original 1960s Routemaster London Bus to a backdrop of live commetary and 60s hit music as we transport you back to one of the most defining decades in 20th Century Britain
Pick-up in Richmond option for those who live closer to West London
This unique tour transports you back to the most defining decade in 20th Century Britain as you pass by iconic music venues and locations on the way to the Cradle of Rock. You’ll see the locations of the Chelsea Drug Store, immortalised in The Rolling Stones’ song ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ and Mary Quant’s boutique ‘Bazaar’ famed inventor of the mini skirt. View the architectural splendour of The Pheasantry, once owned by Eric Clapton in the 60s, the site of ‘Granny Takes a Trip’, the first psychedelic boutique in London who’s customers included Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart and many other music legends and socialites of the 60s. Then onto the Half Moon Pub in Putney where, allegedly, live music has been played there every night since 1963 and has hosted the world’s biggest names in folk, blues and rock. Olympic Studios in Barnes has featured more prominently in recording the world’s top bands than any other… including Abbey Road!
You'll take in the homes of celebrated 60s music legends and locations like Twickenham Film Studios where The Beatles filmed ‘HELP!’ and ‘A Hard Day’s Night’. You’ll see where 'Sir' Rod Stewart got his first break and you’ll hear about the famous artists who performed at the Richmond Jazz and Blues Festival between 1961 and 1965 as we stop on the very site and you'll capture the views from the top of Richmond Hill, immortalized in paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds and J. M. W. Turner - it was described by Sir Walter Scott as "an unrivalled landscape". The view from the north side of Richmond Hill was protected by an Act of Parliament in 1902.
In addition to live commentary from your friendly and knowledgeable tour guides, they will play 60s hit music by the seminal artists who regularly performed at local venues such as The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, The Beatles, Elton John, The Yardbirds, David Bowie, The Who, Cream, Pink Floyd, The Kinks, Manfred Mann, The Animals, Genesis, Long John Baldry, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Mott The Hoople.
Keep your eyes out for the occasional music celebrity hopping aboard to share some amazing 60s memories. Recent guests have included Steve Hackett (Genesis), John Fiddler (Medicine Head), (Atomic Rooster), Don Craine (Downliners Sect) Derek Griffiths (The Artwoods), John Gieves-Watson (The Temperance Seven & Bob Kerr's Whoopee Band), Mike Berry, Debi Doss (The Buggles and Kinks backing singer) Phil Lanzon (Uriah Heep) and Peter French (Atomic Rooster).
Hop aboard a vintage red double-decker bus, and then sit back and relax on a sightseeing tour of London. On a route around the city center, watch out for iconic London monuments like Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey — where Prince William married Kate Middleton in 2011. Listen to details of each sight’s history from your guide.
Pass St Paul's Cathedral, a much-loved Baroque cathedral that has hosted countless services for London’s dignitaries over the years, and hear details of significant occasions, such as the wedding of Lady Diana to Prince Charles, from your guide.
Amble down to the banks of the Thames River for a photo stop outside the Tower of London. Designed to terrify Londoners while deterring foreign invaders, the formidable-looking tower is now home to the Crown Jewels and the famous Beefeater guards who protect them.
Walk along the river to Tower Pier and hop aboard a sightseeing boat for a leisurely cruise to Westminster. Sit out on deck or relax in the comfy seats in the saloon, listening to audio commentary about all the sites that you pass. Cruise under London Bridge, gaze at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and see the London Eye just across the river.
Next, head to the Queen’s famous residence — Buckingham Palace — and see the legendary Changing of the Guard ceremony from outside the palace gates. In time to drumbeats from a military band, soldiers from the Queen’s Foot Guard march to Buckingham Palace in their eye-catching red tunics and bearskin hats.
Watch this traditional ceremony, your tour will then conclude near Victoria Railway Station in central London. Upgrade to include a delicious fish and chips lunch in a central London pub.
Relax on board your open-top bus as you travel around central London and see the sights. Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the London Eye are just a few of the landmarks you might see.
Hop off your bus near the Tower of London, and pose for photos in front of the formidable monument. Hear how the tower is now home to the world-famous Crown Jewels, and admire the smartly dressed Beefeater guards who protect them.
Walk along the river to Tower Pier and board a Thames River sightseeing boat for your 1-hour afternoon tea cruise to Westminster. Sit out on deck or relax in the comfy seats in the saloon, and listen to audio commentary about all the sites. Cruise under London Bridge, gaze at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and take in beautiful views of the London Eye just across the river.
No visit to London is complete without sampling a cup of tea alongside quintessentially British scones with jam and clotted cream. So do just that, and enjoy the sweet treats and a glass of Champagne, too.
When your cruise ends, travel back to the start point by coach.
Enjoy great views of Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye as we meander through the streets and history of our great city, all brought to life by our expert guide.
Take your seat on our beautifully restored double-decker bus and marvel at all of London’s highlights, including Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, all brought to life by our expert guide.
Have your cameras at the ready as we stop for photos at Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece, St. Paul’s Cathedral where Admirals Nelson and Wellington are buried and where Princess Diana was married. Then join us at the Tower of London that was built nearly a thousand years ago and is now home to the Crown Jewels protected by the famous Beefeaters. The imposing former palace was once used as a fortress and a prison and your guide will take you to see Traitors Gate where prisoners entered the Tower for the last time!
Take your place for an unforgettable traditional Christmas lunch cruise for the finest festive dining experience you will find on the Thames. With a luxurious 3 course menu and an elegant, seasonal atmosphere, we promise you’ll never know another Christmas like it.
Red double-decker Routemaster buses are a much-loved London icon, and the only way to tour London.
Other famous London landmarks you'll see include Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye.
Next, you'll jump onboard a Thames River Cruise to see all of the famous London landmarks and bridges from a different perspective. The cruise passes Shakespeare’s Globe, Cleopatra’s Needle and London Bridge before you arrive at Westminster pier to rejoin the bus and head for Buckingham Palace.
Watch the world-famous Changing of the Guard Ceremony as the soldiers, dressed in their fabulous tunics and busbies, march to military music. If the guard change is not taking place, you will stop for photos of the Horseguards.
Add one of the following attractions for a comprehensive introduction to the city of London:
Top London Attractions:
Enjoy fast, hassle-free entry to the London Eye or Tower of London. Pre-booked and pre-paid tickets ensure speedy access to London’s top attractions.
Combine the tour with an afternoon visit to Stonehenge. After the morning tour of London, you'll be dropped off at Victoria Coach Station ready to depart on the roundtrip shuttle bus (5 hours) to Stonehenge at 12:30pm. Designed to give you a fast, hassle-free independent trip to Stonehenge, collect your entrance tickets (included in the tour price!) and free audio-guide before exploring at your own pace.
Even better, why not upgrade and include transport with your London Pass? Choose from a 1-, 2-, 3- or 6- day sightseeing pass with Oyster Travelcard included and see the highlights of England’s cosmopolitan capital with ease.
With the London Pass, save both time and money as you skip admission lines with fast-track entrance and enjoy free entry to more than 60 top London attractions. There is no need to use cash – simply show your London Pass for fast and easy entry to London’s most popular sites.
Choose from a 1-, 2-, 3-,6- day pass, plus enjoy discounts on your shopping and dining. Keen to explore the city in the most hassle-free way? Upgrade your London Pass to include a Oyster Travelcard. Competitively priced, the upgrade option allows journeys made on the London Underground, London Overground, buses and Dockland Light Railway.
London Pass includes:
- A 120-page London guidebook
- Public transport in travel zones 1-6 for the validity of your pass (if Oyster upgrade option selected)
- Free entry to 60 attractions (see Itinerary)
- Discounts and benefits at selected London restaurants, theaters and shops
- Fast-track entrance to many top London-area attractions, like Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London
Special Offer - Buy one 3-Day Pass (excluding travelcard) to save up to 54% on London admissions, compared to booking attractions separately.
There are similar savings to be made on the 1-Day, 2-Day and 6-Day Passes (excluding travelcards)! - Book Now!
Enjoy a 3-hour mini coach tour of Beatles locations in central London including Abbey Road and Trident Studios. This guided, small-group tour (of no more than 15) will show you their hangouts, gig locations and much more. In total, you will see over 30 Beatles related sites on this magical mystery tour around London.
Meet your guide at Sloane Square Tube Station at 2pm and start your journey into the Beatles world. You will experience the most comprehensive tour of Beatles sites in London on this bus adventure into the world of John, Paul, George and Ringo.
Trace the rise of the world’s first supergroup and learn all about Beatles history. You’ll have the chance to get off the bus on several occasions, take pictures and see the sites up close.
See over 30 Beatles related sites including the home of John, Paul and Ringo, the studios where they recorded many of their famous tracks, some of the famous locations where they played live gigs including the famous rooftop concert. You will also visit sites featured in album covers, photo-shoots, and even film locations from Help! and A Hard Days Night.
During the tour you will hear Beatles tracks as you travel through the London of the Fab Four and to a time when the boys from Liverpool ruled the world of music. Your Beatles tour ends at 5pm back at Sloane Square Tube Station.
Begin at St. Pancras International, a tour representative will meet you at 5.45am (5.15am on Saturdays), you’ll swap your voucher for an informative welcome pack.
When you arrive at Gare du Nord Station in Paris, make your way to the Open Top Bus stop, situated outside the station at 10 boulevard de denain: Eurostar et Thalys. See the true beauty of Paris as you drive past the Champs–Elysees, Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde. You have the option to hop off and ascend the Eiffel Tower for breathtaking views across Paris (not included).
After a fantastic day spent exploring Paris, make your own way back to Gare Du Nord. Your departure time from Gare du Nord Station is 8:13pm, arriving in London at 9:29pm.
Standard Premier option: (optional extra) includes a light meal and refreshments served at your seat on the Eurostar
Discover London at your leisure with a 24-hour hop-on hop-off bus ticket that includes a 20-minute Thames riverboat ride and 2-hour walking tour. Enjoy included Wi-Fi and audio commentary in your choice of eight languages as you see sights from St. Paul's Cathedral and Big Ben to the Tower of London, the London Eye, and Buckingham Palace, taking the time to explore whatever interests you.
Stop at one of your local operator's central locations, which include Victoria, King's Cross, Leicester Square, and Paddington, to convert your voucher into a ticket. That's good for 24 consecutive hours of hop-on, hop-off bus travel, covering over 60 stops on three routes, as well as a walking tour and Thames boat ride.
Take your time to explore London at your leisure, seeing the sights you want and traveling with ease between the main tourist areas. The buses visit all the classic London attractions, from Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park, to the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, Big Ben, the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, and much, much more (see itinerary for route details).
Multilingual audio guides are available on all routes in English, Brazilian Portuguese, Mandarin, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish. The classic Blue Route, covering London's highlights, features a live, English-speaking guide. Open-top buses also offer free Wi-Fi.
Your ticket includes your choice of two 2-hour walking tours: the Royal Walking Tour, covering the royal family's favorite places to escape within the capital, and the Beatles London Walking Tour, exploring places where the iconic British band worked and played. The Royal Walking Tour starts from Leicester Square at 10am daily and finishes in Westminster at 12pm; the Beatles London Walking Tour starts from Leicester Square at 1pm daily and finishes there at 3pm.
Also on the menu is a 20-minute riverboat ride, giving an alternative perspective on some of the London sights you've seen from the bus. You can ride from Embankment or London Eye to Tower Pier (home of Tower Bridge), or from Tower Pier to London Eye or Embankment: boats start before 7am and run until after 9pm on weekdays, starting soon after 9am on weekends. Timetables, route maps, and further information will be available when you collect your ticket.
Hop aboard your minibus at 10:30am near Temple tube station in central London, then spin through the city streets to begin your 3-hour tour.
Take in movie locations linked with Ian Fleming and 007 — including the MI6 building and locations from the Bond film, Spectre — and listen as your guide sheds light on the action behind the scenes of filming.
Along the way, learn how the James Bond films were made and gain insight into the secret world of espionage. Follow in the footsteps of famous Bond stars including Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig, then alight from your minibus by the London Eye to conclude your tour.
Meet your guide in central London, and hop aboard a luxury air-conditioned coach for your tour of the capital’s best Harry Potter film locations. As you travel, your guide will keep you entertained with tales of Harry Potter wizardry and also show off the familiar London attractions that inspired J K Rowling when she wrote her award-winning books.
Hear insider tales of how the films were made from your guide, and chat with fellow muggles in your group about magic and all-things Harry Potter as you see the sites. Visit Number 12, Grimmauld Place, home of the Black family of wizards in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and as you walk around your guide will regale you with tales of Sirius Black who fought evil Lord Voldemort.
See the site that was used to create the Leaky Cauldron pub, which served as a gateway to Diagon Alley for muggles. Head to Kings Cross Station to see fabled Platform 9 ¾ and pose for pictures in front of the sign as you imagine how Harry leaping through the wall in the first film – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
After three hours of exploring the magical world that Harry Potter lived, in, your tour finishes at King’s Cross station in central London, and your guide will happily point you in the right direction for your on-going travel.
Home to British royalty as well as some of the world’s best-known historical monuments, attractions and landmarks, London is a city with sightseeing opportunities aplenty. Hop aboard an open-top Big Bus to soak up the sights of the beloved English capital and discover its delights at your own pace. Three routes are included with your ticket: the Red Route, which lasts for a full 2.5 hours and includes an onboard guide; the Blue Route, which lasts for a full-loop duration of 3.5 hours with audio commentary; and the Green Route, which includes stops at Covent Garden and the British Museum.
For those who want to take it easy, stay on board for the full loops listening to entertaining commentary as you go. If you want to explore the city on foot, hop on and off wherever, and whenever, you like. Big Bus offers a range of activities to do in between daily rides, including three walking tours and a 30-minute River Thames sightseeing cruise. See the Itinerary for a full list of stops and more information on the included daily activities.
With your Classic (1 day), Premium (2 day), or Deluxe (3 day) pass, the sights to see are endless. Travel to Trafalgar Square to stand in awe of Nelson’s Column, or stretch your legs on a stroll through beautiful Hyde Park. With your camera in hand, hop off your bus near Buckingham Palace to capture sights of the Queen’s London home, and look out for must-see landmarks such as Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and more.
Click on the ‘Additional Info’ button below to see a map of the London Hop-On Hop-Off Tour route.
Choose the evening departure time most convenient to you, then make your own way to the prearranged meeting point near Trafalgar Square in central London. Greet your ghoulish guide, then climb aboard the eerie ghost bus, a classic 1960s Routemaster with a Gothic edge and a dark backstory.
Find a secluded spot in the shadows of the lower deck, or boldly ascend to the top deck and settle into one of the blood red seats. Feel the roar of the engine, and prepare yourself for a thrilling tour of London’s darker side.
As your bus weaves its wicked way through London’s streets, listen to your guide, a somewhat unhinged bus conductor, recount gruesome tales from the capital’s long, depraved past. Feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end as you learn about the Whitehall Mystery, a particularly bloody murder case where neither the victim nor the killer were ever identified, though some believe that Jack the Ripper, London’s most fearsome serial killer, may have been behind it.
Hear spine-chilling stories about the city’s most famous ghosts as you pass by some of London’s must-see attractions including the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, London Bridge, Southwark Cathedral, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.
Steel yourself as you learn about the ancient royal tombs that were uncovered at Westminster Abbey, the black dog of Newgate Prison, and the demon barber of Fleet Street. You’ll also visit the Cross Bones Graveyard, a pauper's burial ground with a legend that dates back to medieval times.
After around an hour, your tour concludes back at the original start point.
Make your own way to the prearranged meeting point near Trafalgar Square in central London. Greet your guide, the eccentric Professor Quantum, then climb aboard a classic 1960s Routemaster bus, kitted out (British slang for customized) with time-bending gadgets and mind-boggling devices.
Get comfortable inside the lower deck or find a seat on the top deck, then feel the rumble of the engine and prepare to travel back in time on an entertaining tour of historical London.
Pass by premier sights including the magnificent Neo-Gothic Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, where Prince William and Kate Middleton were married.
Then continue on to Whitehall, the center of the British Government. Pass by Downing Street, home to the British Prime Minister, and catch a glimpse of the Horse Guards Parade.
Next, marvel at St Paul’s Cathedral, one of the city’s most iconic buildings, and be awed by the monumental Tower of London and Tower Bridge, as well as the more modern sights around the London Bridge area.
As your bus makes its way through the capital’s streets, listen to the professor recount tales of his experiences from the past, present and future, as well as the history behind the sights you see. You’ll also have the opportunity to make contact with famous figures from by-gone times through a fully functioning time phone.
After around an hour, your tour concludes at the original start point.
Perfect for days out in London, this tours has been specifically designed to show you all the sights of the city in 75 minutes. This tour gives you a flavor of the swinging sixties on a timeless Routemaster bus, now converted into an open top bus and filled with state of the art technology.
Handpicked by comedy writers and directors, your London tour guides will come from a wide variety of professional entertainment backgrounds. From award winning comedians to the finest tour guides in the city with years of experience, the performers bring you a comedy tour like no other.
The tours provide more than just the finest things to see in London, the buses are equipped with high definition screens and an exclusively designed sound system. With footage of London through the ages and site-specific music and songs, this tour immerses you in the London experience.