Hop on Hop Off Buses in London

Feb 11th, 2009, 08:30 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Liverpool Station

Please please. We are always warning people that it is Liverpool STREET station.
Josser is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 08:38 AM
  #22  
 
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sorry, duck tours, I don't know why I keep thinking 'frog' when I know they are great big yellow things!
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Feb 11th, 2009, 09:01 AM
  #23  
 
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"that is their only advantage over the public buses" Well another major advantage IMO (but only if the weather is semi-decent) is the H-o-H-o buses are open top and you can see much better from them than from inside a tfl bus full of shoppers/commuters/school kids.

Some of the H-o-H-o buses have a taped commentary while others have a real live person.

I'm not saying not to take the regular buses -- especially if one is on a tight budget. But sometimes there are economies and sometimes - false economies. Plus one gets a boat ride included w/ the H-o-H-o ticket.
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Feb 11th, 2009, 09:41 AM
  #24  
yk
 
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If you get the seats on the front row upstaris of a double decker public bus, it's a great spot for sightseeing.

However, for the first-time visitor, I think it'll be challenging to both look at the sights AND read a guidebook at the same time. By the time you figure out from the map where your location is and what building you just passed, the next site will be in front of you while you're just starting to read the description of the previous sight from the guidebook. And if you have more than 1 person in your group but only has one guidebook, it really won't work well. (Hence, the advantage of the audio commentary.)

And reading a guidebook on a bus won't work for me, as I get motion sickness.
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Feb 11th, 2009, 09:52 AM
  #25  
 
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"If you get the seats on the front row upstaris of a double decker public bus, it's a great spot for sightseeing. "

definitely true - but that is only 4 seats out of a total seated capacity of 50-70 so one's chances of snagging those seats is pretty slim.
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Feb 11th, 2009, 10:25 AM
  #26  
 
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Outside commuting hours, few buses are so full that you can't sit up front - although you might have to wait for a few stops for your seats to be freed up. Most locals on short rides don't bother climbing the stairs unless the lower level is full, and often they'd rather stand downstairs anyway. This takes the pressure off the sightseeing seats.
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Feb 11th, 2009, 10:46 AM
  #27  
 
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The "freebies" that are included in the ho/ho tickets further serve to use up the ten hours you paid for (the ticket is in effect for 24 hours - but the buses aren't).

You can also spend an inordinate amount of time waiting for the next tour bus. TfL buses come by much more frequently, so you don't waste as much time standing.
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Feb 11th, 2009, 10:56 AM
  #28  
 
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"although you might have to wait for a few stops for your seats to be freed up."

those few stops and you will have missed - oh, maybe 4 or 5 significant sites. In my experience - upstairs front is often full of kids/teenagers who won't get up for nuthin'

Don't get me wrong, the regular buses are absolutely terrific for getting around. Often much better than the tube. For sightseeing (especially for first-timers) - not so much.
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Feb 11th, 2009, 05:37 PM
  #29  
 
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Our hop-on-hop-off bus ticket included a coupon for skipping the very long line at the Tower of London, so it was well worth the price. If you think of your time standing in the que as part of the cost of your trip, and can find this deal, go for it.
saige is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 08:15 PM
  #30  
 
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I'm a big fan of city bus travel, but for a first time visitor
I'd definitely recomment the Hoho bus - it's a great way to get oriented and fun if you have the commentary (live person is better but the recording is OK).

But I wouldn't Hop Off much. Many of the sites are drive-bys only anyway so you get to see them, hear about them, and consider them knocked off your list. I would recommend taking all of the routes for a really good overview, and fit in the boat trip somehow if you have time. You can Hop Off for one or two "must do" stops... or better yet, return to them later on your own via public transport after the 24 hour ticket has expired. That way you maximize the Hoho ticket and don't have to try to cram everything into the 24 hour period.
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Feb 11th, 2009, 10:39 PM
  #31  
 
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The company now called Duck Tours, which uses modified DUKWs, was originally called Frog Tours.
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Feb 12th, 2009, 05:34 AM
  #32  
 
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Makes sense. After all, frogs are amphibious and can't fly.
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Feb 12th, 2009, 05:38 AM
  #33  
 
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Author: saige
Date: 02/11/2009, 09:37 pm

If you think of your time standing in the que as part of the cost of your trip, and can find this deal, go for it.


If skipping queues is a big deal for you, there may be a better way to do it than buying a £1 bus ride for £22.

london-pass.com
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