hop on hop off london

Hop on hop off London: The best bus tour to start your trip!

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Looking to work out what to do during your trip to London?  A Hop on Hop off bus tour is a great place to start! You’ll get an overview of all of the best sights and be able to come and go as you please. Choose to stop off at some of the sights of the British Monarchy – Buckingham or Kensington Palace for example.

If you’d rather do some of the big hitting tourist sights – such as the London Eye or the Tower of London – these too are within easy reach. Read on for our handy guide to Hop on Hop off Bus tours in London.

Hop on Hop off Bus tours – How it works

Available from a number of providers across London, a Hop on Hop off Bus tour brings the first time visitor a number of advantages. At times overwhelming,  this huge city has a vast number of attractions. And they’re pretty spread out.

A bus tour will help you get your bearings. You’ll usually get an audio guide in a range of languages, and a map to help you decide where to get off. It’s an excellent way to explore the city on a first visit.

Your pass will usually be valid for 24 hours (although some tours offer longer passes) and you simply present it to the driver. Then, sit back and take in the sights.

Let’s check out some of the top providers below ….

hop on hop off london
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The Original London Sightseeing Tour

Original Tour bus London
The_Original_Tour_@londonpass.info

This tour company offers 24, 48 or 72 hour passes and includes a spin on a Thames River Cruise!

Tour Tickets & Validity

Choose between 1, 2 or 3 days.

What’s included in the Tour ?

6 different routes are on offer, covering a whopping 80 attractions throughout the capital city. You also have the opportunity to add on bolt-on tickets, such as Madame Tussauds

Extra Tips

Make sure you take advantage of the free Thames River Cruise included in the price for a different view to the city.

The tickets also include access to a changing of the guards ceremony!

Good for kids! On the blue, green and orange route there is an audio guide specially dedicated to children!

How to book your ticket ?

Book your ticket (24 hour tickets start at about £30 per adult) online here.

What routes are included ?

There are 6 routes offered with over 80 stops across London:

  • Yellow Route. Standard route for the best top London sights, including London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Bridge
  • Blue Route. Goes through Kensington and Chelsea, taking in the most luxurious properties in the capital
  • Orange Route. St Pancras, Chinatown, Leicester and Trafalgar Square
  • Red Shuttle Route. Jump on here to connect to the main routes or see Hyde Park
  • Purple Shuttle Route. Jump on here to connect from non-central hotels to the main routes

Big Bus Tour London

hop on hop off london Big Bus Tours
Big_Bus_Tours

Big Bus Tours London is another popular choice. This company offers a range of tickets that you can tailor to your needs

Tour Tickets & Validity

Choose between a classic one day hop on hop off ticket – which includes a one way river cruise and a walking tour – or something a bit more special…..

What’s included in the Tour ? (including adult prices)

  • Classic ticket £35– standard 24hr hop on hop off bus, walking tour and one way thames river cruise. Audio guide included. Extends across all 4 routes on the network
  • Premium ticket £40 – valid for 48 hours and includes a return thames river cruise
  • Deluxe ticket£45 as above, but valid for 72 hours
  • Deluxe plus ticket – £75. Valid for  72 hours, with all the benefits of the premium ticket plus fast track entry to the London Eye

london pass tipExtra Tips

  • Free onboard wifi
  • Audio guide

How to book your tour ticket ?

Book and download your ticket below:

What routes are included ?

Red Tour – Complete tour of central London

Green Link – connects Kings Cross to the main route

Golden Bus Tours London

hop on hop off london Golden Tours Bus
Golden_Tours_Bus_London

This tour company offers over 70 stops, and across 6 routes.

Tour Tickets & Validity

Standard tickets offer a basic 24 hour hop on  hop off bus experience, but there are plenty of upgrade options available. Check them out below

What’s included in the Tour ?

  • 24 hour bus tour – unlimited ticket, including audio guide starting at £30 per adult
  • 48 hour bus tour – add a 24 hour bolt on for an extra £6 per adult!
  • 24 hour bus tour with added London Eye bolt on – starts at £47 per adult
  • London by night – 1.5 hour duration costs only £25 and focuses on the best nightlights and spots in the capital
  • 24 hour ticket plus London Eye, Madame Tussauds and Sea Life London  £82

london pass tipExtra Tips

This company offers literally  dozens of other combination tickets on top of those listed below. Check them out here

How to book your tour ticket ?

Book your ticket and download your pass here.

What Routes are included ?

  • Essential Tour  – the one you don’t want to miss. Features a live english guide
  • Classic Tour – St Paul’s Cathedral, Knightsbridge, Buckingham Palace
  • Grand Tour – Westminster, Shard, Tower Bridge

 

The following additional routes link you to the main tours:

  • Morning Pickup
  • Evening Pickup
  • Interchange

City Tour London

city tour london
City_Sightseeing_Bus_@alyssalit

City Tour London is a familiar brand. The company offers a standard hop on hop off bus tour for 24 hours. They also offer a whole load of bolt on extras, detailed below:

Tour Tickets & Validity

  • The City Sampler. 24 hour bus tour is valid on all 6 routes and includes an audio guide. Prices start at £29 per adult
  • HOHO 24h with 3 extras. This ticket includes an extra bonus route, a one way river cruise and a  walking tour. Adult prices begin at £34, so this is a good deal when compared to the City Sampler
  • HOHO 48h with 3 extras. As per the above, but you get 48 hours to use the pass. Adult prices from £44
  • HOHO 72h with 3 extras. As per the above, but you get 72 hours to use the pass. Adult prices from £54
  • Add on a whole range of extras with the Iventure card – including access to some of London’s top attractions. Beginning at £69 per adult you can select 3 London experiences and add them on to the HOHO ticket

london pass tipExtra Tips

  • Audio guide available in 6 languages
  • You need to print out your voucher – showing just the email will not be accepted

What Routes are included ?

  • Yellow Original Tour – all you need to get to know the top attractions in London
  • Orange – This one focuses on all the museums you need to see in London
  • Morning Silver Shuttle – takes you from the main hotels to Marble Arch to join the other tours
  • Purple Shuttle – takes you from some other main hotels to Marble Arch
  • Blue Royal Tour – One for those who want to see all of the attractions of the Royal Family

Hop on Hop off London Map

Original London

hop on hop off london
Road_map@theoriginaltour.com

Big bus tours

hop on hop off london Big Bus Tour
Road_map@bigbustours.com

Golden bus tours

hop on hop off london
Road_map@goldentours.com

City tour London

hop on hop off london
Road_map@london.city-tour.com

Hop on Hop off London opening and circulation hours

Most of the tour companies begin between 8am, operating on average every 10-20 minutes in peak season, and finishing at around 8-9pm. Check with each individual bus company for specific route times. Many publish a very detailed bus timetable. Note some routes operate reduced times in low season.

night hop on hop off london bus
night_open_bus_London_@natanaelvieira

London Bus Tours Extras

Here are some of the extras you can enjoy with some of the companies on this list:

  • live English speaking guide
  • free walking tours or thames tour
  • connecting busses to the main routes
  • audio guides in a wide variety of languages
  • wifi available from a number of providers
  • bolt on extras for minimum costs
  • feeder busses from outlying hotels to the main routes
  • buses at frequent intervals
  • open top buses for the (sometimes) nice weather
london hop on hop off stops
Inside_bus_@alexmotoc

Hop on Hop off London Visit + Attractions

Look out for providers that provide discounted combo tickets. As mentioned above you can bolt on London Eye or Madame Tussauds passes. You can also benefit from some of the providers from a free walking tour or Thames River cruise.

If you plan to sightsee hard then why not try a city pass that INCLUDES a hop on hop off bus tour instead, such as the London City Pass (we highly recommend) or the London Pass. Then, you can cover a whole range of the top attractions as well as the HOHO tour. This sometimes works out cheaper than just the Bus ticket plus a few bolt ons.

Are Hop on Hop off Tours worth it? – Our opinion

If you are looking for a quick way to get the best overview of London then yes. You can also make the pass really work for you and use it to save on transport. The onboard audio – or live guide –  is an added bonus. And, on a rainy day, you can still experience the capital at its best without getting soaked!

Best hop on hop off London – Comparison Table

Company Price Validity Extras Routes Booking
Original London Adult from £33 1,2 or 3 days Thames River Cruise, Audio Guide, Walking tour, kids friendly audio 6 from £30
Big Bus Tours Adult from £35 1,2 or 3 days On board wifi, bolt on London Eye 2 from £29
Golden Bus Tours Adult from £30 1,2 or 3 days Audio guide, lots of bolt on options 6 from £30
City Tour London Adult from 1,2 or 3 days River cruise, walking tour, bonus route for premium tickets 7 from £29

Hop on hop off London FAQs

londonpass.info faq

Which hop on hop off is best in London?

Big Bus Tours London and the Original Bus Tours London consistently vie for the top spot on review websites

How much is the hop on hop off in London?

Hop on Hop off bus tours in London are on average about £30 per adult for a 24 hour pass. Pricing increases depending on your preference, including longer duration or bolt on offers.

Where can I buy hop on hop off tickets in London?

It’s recommended to get your tickets online for the best deals. However, the top bus companies also have ticket offices across London. Some also have promotional teams on the street from whom you can get tickets on a whim!

What London Attractions will I see?

No matter which company you choose, you can be guaranteed to see the main attractions in London. Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, London Bridge, the Tower of London. They will all be featured by any of the reputable tour agencies mentioned here

Can we plan a group tour / private tour?

Big Bus London for example offers private tours for those in smaller groups or who want to celebrate a special occasion. Buses can cater for up to 43 guests and even incorporate your special wishes.

Can I use an Oyster card on hop on hop off?

No. Oyster Card is a special pay as you go service for the public transport network and does not include private bus companies

Tours to do in london

Stick to the main standard tours if you are visiting London for the first time. All of the bus companies mentioned here, and many more, will cover all the main sights in London. If you have been to London before, then a hop on hop off bus tour might not be for you. Perhaps you’d rather check out how to use the Oyster Card to explore the city in more depth

Conclusion

A hop on hop off bus tour isn’t for everyone, but it can give you a great overview of the top sights. It’s definitely one trip experience to consider for the first time visitor to London. See all of the main sights and not worry about getting lost with one of the HOHO tours!  Book your tickets today here

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