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Big Bus Sightseeing Tour of London?

Old Feb 18th, 2004, 10:59 AM
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Big Bus Sightseeing Tour of London?

Saw a sight offering a bus tour that allows you to hop on/off, has over 90 stops and is good for a 24 hour period...all for 15 pounds per person. Wondering if this is a good deal, or would we be better off just going another route (i.e., tube and walking, or a straight no on/off tour of the historical district)? Thanks for any suggestions/comments.
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Old Feb 18th, 2004, 11:42 AM
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These are very good - especially for a first time visitor. They are a good way to see where everything is and you can hop off anywhere to visit what interests you, and then hop on anothet one to continue your tour.

There are two of these companies -- Big Bus, and The Original. They are basically the same - similar prices, routes, and they use the same bus stops.

the Big Bus are red and The Original are brown/cream. There is no reason to book them ahead of time - just hop on and pay the driver.
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Old Feb 18th, 2004, 11:56 AM
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I agree with Janis. We thought it was a great orientation to London. It made our walking on later days much easier. We did not use it as a hop on/hop off. We started in Mayfair and took the bus over to the Tower of London and took the boat back to Parliment. The guide was interesting and it was a very scenic and useful orientation. We were lucky to have a sunny Feb day. Even though it was cold it was great to be on the open upper level and on the boat to see the views from the Thames.
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Old Feb 18th, 2004, 12:41 PM
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Just returned and used the Big Bus. I agree it is a great way to see the city. Bought our tickets in advance via the internet and a pound or two per ticket.
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Old Feb 18th, 2004, 06:24 PM
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Excellent bus tour for a first-timer. I used it my first day in London (a week's trip) and hopped on/off and then took it again the next day on different routes (there's 3). Sure, it's much more expensive than just using the tube but you get a great overview. Buy your ticket when you find the first Big Bus stop (be sure you have a "live" commentary - took a recorded one years ago for a quick one day trip in London and fell asleep!). After that you can use the tube/bus when you get your bearings. Of course, you will be walking a lot between sites and you just catch the next bus if you use it as hop-on/off.
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Old Feb 19th, 2004, 04:31 AM
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We took the Big Bus tour, and it was great. They also throw in a river cruise departing around the corner from the Tower of London going to Big Ben area (can't remember that stop), and a walking tour (which I highly recommend) departing from Trafalgar Square. That was fun & interesting & stopped at a few pubs along the way. Have fun.
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Old Feb 19th, 2004, 04:36 AM
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I agree with the above posters that that this is the best way to see London. The price also includes a pass that will get you into Madame Tussaud's and the Tower of London without waiting in the long lines to buy tickets, quite a time saver.
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Old Feb 19th, 2004, 06:00 AM
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Cicerone or others - I didn't realize that the Big Bus Tour included a pass to the Tower of London. Entry fee and all? Is the pass just valid the day of the bus tour? Is this true of the Original Bus tour too? Thanks!
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Old Feb 19th, 2004, 07:29 AM
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No, you can buy a ticket on the bus (or at one of the stops) to those venues, thereby averting the need to stand in line. I think the tickets might be slightly discounted on the bus.

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Old Mar 15th, 2004, 06:59 PM
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Does anybody know how long it takes for the entire trip? We would like to sightsee using the Big Bus tour as well, but not until after 2PM. Is this enough time for the price? thanks.
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 02:03 AM
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I don't think you can do it all from 2PM on because they have 3 different routes, but you can try. Here's a link to their website.

http://www.bigbus.co.uk/
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 03:17 AM
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petit,

2pm is not enough time, unless you are willing to continue next day. The ticket is good for 24 hour period. It starts the clock when you hop on the first bus. The buses run from 8:30am to around 4-4:30pm in winter and till about 6pm in summer.
I agree with everybody here, it is a great way to see all the famous and not so famous landmarks for first timers, so later you could go back and visit the places that you found interesting, and you don't have to depend on guide books only which in most cases just point out the more known spots. I found some great pubs that I probably would never have any other way. Also found some great book stores, antique shops and small local galleries. The route really does give you a very nice overview of London.
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 11:38 AM
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petite,
It depends on whether you want to use it to hop on and off or just stay on board for the ride. The red tour takes about 2 hours for the full route(without getting on/off) and the blue tour takes about 3 hours. There's some overlap between the two. If your time is limited, I would go with the red tour as this is the one with live commentary and passes by the most popular sights. Remember your ticket will be good until 2pm the following day. We picked up ours around 3:00pm the first day and just rode around for the full loop, then used it the following day to hop on and off.
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 12:16 PM
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We used the Big Bus several years ago on our first trip. My only complaint was that it became cold in the evening, & I remember a long wait for the bus near St. Paul's Cathedral.
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