London Tour Buses

Old Mar 21st, 2002, 09:55 AM
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London Tour Buses

There are several companies that run the hop-on hop-off touring in London. Is there any reason to pick one of them over the others? Anyone have any advise on them? Thanks -Suzi
Old Mar 21st, 2002, 10:35 AM
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I would check the routes and prices. There are reviews in other guides - Rick Steves, Fodors, Frommers, etc. - so look around.

Traffic in London is horrible and the bus doesn't move very fast. They usually runabout 2 hours - good thing to try if you want to get your bearings, but pretty lousy as a mode of transportation.

My folks took one and weren't all that impressed, but a coworker just got back from London a few weeks ago and recommended The Big Bus Co. tours ( It's hop-on hop-off and apparently includes a riverboat trip. She toot he bus in one direction and hopped the boat going the other.
Old Mar 22nd, 2002, 04:07 PM
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My first trip to London about 3 years ago I wound up taking the Big Bus tour 2 days in a row on all three different routes as I got a good overview and hopped on and off. It was about $15/day, of course, much more than using the metro, but I got to see everything and the tour guide spiel was good. I thought this was the best way to see the city and still be able to get off wherever I wanted. It ran from 8:00am to 6:00pm.
Old Mar 22nd, 2002, 04:17 PM
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We went on a long weekend to London two Novembers ago and took two of the Big Bus routes. Aside from the fact that it was blistering cold, it was a great way to orient ourselves to the city and to see some of the main sites. The kids loved it, and there always seemed to be another Big Bus coming along within a few minutes after we had toured a site. A bonus was that the guides on the buses are mostly London actors and actresses with a witty and theatrical approach to history.
Old Mar 22nd, 2002, 04:31 PM
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Do remember the underground passes are good on the London double decker non touristy buses and a whole lot cheaper and go many of the same places (without the spiels of course). There are some great bus routes that you can take say from Oxford Street in front of Selfridges you can take the #15 bus and it follows almost the exact route of the tour bus i.e. along Oxford Street to Oxford Circus to Picadilly Circus through Trafalger Square down the Strand past St. Paul's through the City and onto the Tower of London. From the same location you can take the #12 which follows pretty much the same route to Trafalger Square and then turns the other way down Whitehall to Westminster across Westminster Bridge to Elephant & Castle (the imperial War Museum). For my money after the first bus tour, the city buses are a great great value for the money and often times after the theatre, we prefer to take the bus back to the hotel rather than the Underground just to get a nice feel and view of the city......
Old Mar 22nd, 2002, 04:38 PM
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Jeff - I agree. The only problem is that poor jet-lagged tourists will have absolutely no idea what they are passing on the #15, or #12, or any other bus route. I have been on a bus and hearrd a weary American Dad telling his brood that "that building is Westminster Abbey" - and it was the Royal Albert Hall!!!!

I always take buses and the tube while in London. But I have been there dozens of times. For a first timer the hop-on-hop-off tours are the best thing going - if only because of the commentary.

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