London's "Hop On Hop Off Big Bus Tour"

Old May 12th, 2012, 08:58 PM
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London's "Hop On Hop Off Big Bus Tour"


I am vising London this summer with some wonderful chaps. We hear that the Hop On Hop Off Big Bus Tour is a good way to see the city. Any feedback or recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
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Old May 12th, 2012, 10:20 PM
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I did this four years ago and found it excellant. We planned venues that would take a little time to see like Tower of London and did not get off at those stops returning when our 48 pass had run out. A good way to get an overview of the city and get your bearings with a little informaton and history thrown in.
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Old May 13th, 2012, 03:33 AM
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Travelguy 83, You will find that many folks on this board think that the HOHO bus is a frightful waste of money. They might suggest that you take public buses on certain routes to see the “same thing.”

Have you been to London before? The city is enormous. When I arrived in the city around noon on a beautiful summer day, I rested for a while. Then took the Big Red Bus (I believe it was called) from Marble Arch near my hotel into the center of town. The guide’s (sometimes corny) description of major sites was helpful.

I dropped off at the CHURHILL WAR ROOMS which I really had wanted to see. Then I strolled down to Westminster Bridge where I took a Thames River cruise – price also included in the bus fare. I returned to Marble Arch area on the bus. Note: the bus does not operate at night.

Your ticket also entitles you to a free walking tour which I did not take.

The ticket is good for 24 hours. Don’t lose it – made of rather flimsy material. So the next morning I took the bus back to the center of town to visit Westminster Abbey and other sites. Then returned to Marble Arch area by three. I think I got my money's worth from my ticket. Not sure, it might have been about $30 in US currency.

In any case, enjoy London…
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Old May 13th, 2012, 03:37 AM
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I am one of the people that think this is a huge waste of time and money. It is expensive, difficult to get good seats up top and the bus gets snarled up in traffic. I also find it hard to hear the commentary. But people obviously do it and enjoy it!
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Old May 13th, 2012, 04:11 AM
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Some people think it's a good way to see London. Others think it is a waste of money. I think it's a fun touristy thing that you can do if you don't need to worry much about your budget.

The bus will go to most of the major sights. You can hop on and off as often as you want. On the other hand, you could just as easily (and more cheaply) get to most of those places with an ordinary bus or by tube.

The negative side of going around by bus (any bus) is all the traffic delays. The negative side of going around by tube is that you don't really see anything down in the underground.

The first time I was in London I did almost all my travel by tube. The second time I did both the tube and the HOHO bus. The third time I did ordinary bus and tube. All variations work, but you have to consider both your budget how much time you have.

The HOHO bus ticket is valid for 24 hours, BUT it does not go all those hours. If you are going to use it as transport from one site to another you have to keep track of when the last bus goes in the afternoon. A lot of sites close much later than the HOHO bus stops going.
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Old May 13th, 2012, 04:30 AM
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And when you do get a seat up top, you are subjected to the smell of all the vehicle fumes! And the open air seats up top are also more likely to give you motion sickness, if you are at all susceptible to it (I'm not, particularly, I only get motion sickness on boats in rough weather, but the tops seats on the HOHO bus made me a bit nauseous).

I wasn't particularly enamoured with the HOHO bus although it can provide a good overview of London's main sights and many people do enjoy it.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 09:23 AM
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We did the Big Bus in 2007; we only had 2 1/2 days in London and decided it would be a good way to at least get a peek at some of the places we wouldn't have time to visit.

If you have more time than that in London, I would skip it and take the regular bus and Tube.

Lee Ann
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Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 10:08 AM
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The OPs trip was last summer . . .
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Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 11:35 AM
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I generally take a hop-on/hop-off tour of a new city. The bus generally takes me to places I wouldn't go on my own, as I'm quite lazy.
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