Short Overview Tours of Major Cities

Old Feb 7th, 2002, 04:17 AM
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Short Overview Tours of Major Cities

In my trips to Europe I have never felt the need to take one of those short (2-4 hour)overview bus tours of large cities. To me they seem like a waste - it seems like you jsut visit things for a few moments (if you get out of the bus at all) - then have to backtrack once your own touring begins. And I wouldn't think you really get the lay of the land while on these. I jsut look at maps, and read up a lot on the places before I get there. Seems to me it saves time and money. I guess some people are more comfortable with these. Any thoughts on their value???
Old Feb 7th, 2002, 04:25 AM
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<<I guess some people are more comfortable with these.>>

I think you answered your own question.

I spent a day and a half in Paris with my parents in 1992 - - it was a footnote on a 9 day trip. They spent 4 of their 14 waking hours in Paris on one of these bus trips (I was busy on business while they did that) - - and I think it was great for them. Gave them a sense of having "seen" more than they would have on their own. I wouldn't have "driven them past" all the places it went even if I had had the time.

So, they have their place.

Best wishes,

Old Feb 7th, 2002, 05:39 AM
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We have friends who always do these tours and convinced us to try them. We did one in Madrid, an open air, two story bus. It was very useful, maybe shorter than two hours. It provided an overview of the major sites so we could decide where we wanted to spend more time and which places we might skip. It also gave us a good feel for the layout of the city. The bus only stopped to let people on and off at each site, not to stop so people could get out and take pictures, hop back on etc. That kind of arrangement would add too much wasted time to the trip and I'd not take such a bus. I would do the other kind like we did in Madrid in any city I was visiting for the first time.
Old Feb 7th, 2002, 06:27 AM
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While it's not my idea of fun, I agree with Rex that there are uses for these tours. A friend of mine uses one of the tour company deals in London as her transportation for the week! A lot of us have taken the tours on "jet-lag" day when our hotel room isn't ready yet we're too pooped to take in much. I also remember doing one on an unbelievably cold, windy January day in Washington, DC. It was so cold that the mere thought of going from one building to another at the Smithsonian was excrutiating. The bus tour was a palatable alternative to staying under the covers in our hotel room.
Old Feb 8th, 2002, 09:05 PM
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