Top Sight Tours Group

open bus tours in london

Open Top London Bus Tour with Live Guide

Tour start time: daily from 10am to 5pm, start every 1 hour, what we will see & where we will be.

This is an open top bus tour through most iconic landmarks of London with live guide ( on selected departures, subject to availability) . Sit back and relax as our well-ventilated bus reconnects you with the city. The tour lasts between 1.5 hours and 2 hours (subject to traffic on the day).

The bus glides past Central London with most iconic landmarks such as London Tower Bridge, Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, London Eye, .

The buses will be running at reduced capacity and tickets will be sold in specific time slots to avoid overcrowding.

Know before you go

What’s included :

  • Professional live guide on selected departures (s ubject to availability)
  • Audio guides available in 11 languages
  • Reduced capacity and allocated time slots to avoid over crowding

What’s exlcuded :

  • Entrances to any attraction

Please bring with you

  • Bottled water

Please note :

  • Not hop-on hop-off bus tour
  • Buses will be cleaned thoroughly after every tour.

Where we meet

London Eye Tourist Stop, Belvedere Road

Once you have booked, we will send you a confirmation email with all the details of how, where and who to meet on the day of your tour.

TripAdvisor

Tour Highlights

  • A fully ventilated open top bus tour of London
  • See London’s most iconic landmarks
  • Great history lesson for all ages
  • Live English-speaking guide
  • Audio guide available 

Notable sights :

  • London Tower Bridge
  • Houses of Parliament
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • London Eye 

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Golden Tours: Open-Top London Bus Tour with Live Guide

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For groups of 12 or more, you may send us an inquiry at [email protected]. Although we do not guarantee bulk deals for all our tours, there are some tours for which we can offer discounted pricing. Ordinary hop-on-hop-off bus tickets are entitled to group savings. Attractions, pass items and combo tickets aren't.

Due the nature of this type of tour and varying demand, group travellers should be aware that there is no guarantee that the group will be able to travel altogether as the available seats vary from stop to stop and depends on demand each day. The group may need to split up and/or wait for the next bus(s).

As, we cannot guarantee that the group shall be able to travel together as one group, therefore we will reduce the group size down to 4-5 smaller groups per ticket (depending upon group size).

Open-Top London Panoramic Bus Tour with Live Guide

Open-Top London Panoramic Bus Tour with Live Guide

This Tour Is Not Available Right Now

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Select Date, Travellers and Ticket

  • Take an open-top bus excursion to discover the capital.
  • See well-known sites including Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and the Tower of London.
  • All ages may enjoy this dynamic history lesson with a live English-speaking guide.
  • There is a choice for an audio guide.
  • Smartphone Voucher Accepted (No need to print!)

Take an enthralling two-hour open-top bus trip that leaves often from the well-known London Eye. Explore the core of London's past and present while passing by well-known sites including Piccadilly Circus, the Tower of London, and Buckingham Palace. This trip guarantees a balance of information and enjoyment, guided by knowledgeable experts. Relive the enchantment of London's finest sites from the luxury of our bus, whether you pick the day or night trip.

Experience the spirit of London on our panoramic open-top bus tour, an immersive two-hour excursion that leaves from the London Eye every hour. Jubilee Park and Garden in front of the London Eye provide a lovely backdrop for the departure point, which is conveniently located at Belvedere Road, SE1 7NA. A live guide will meet you as soon as you get on one of our blue buses and begin to regale you with interesting facts about some of London's most beloved locations. This trip guarantees that you see all the major sights, including the imposing Buckingham Palace, the fascinating Tower of London, and the energetic Piccadilly Circus. As you travel around the city's busy streets, immerse yourself in its rich history and current relevance. Choose between the day and night trips for a distinctive viewpoint on the nation's capital if you're more flexible. The attraction of London reveals itself to you whether you are in the brilliant sunshine or the twinkling city lights. Spend the entire two hours on the bus taking in the sights and sounds while listening to our live guide's insightful comments. As an alternative, choose the audioguide experience, which provides a fluid history and landmarks of London. For those who want a thorough rundown of the city's top attractions, this trip is ideal. We also offer another alternative if you're seeking for a hop-on and hop-off experience. Our blue busses are waiting for you at the London Eye, where your tour starts and ends. See the timetable map for further information and set out on an unforgettable tour of London's most popular sights. Book your tickets right away!

Day Tours:  10:00am to 5:00pm (please arrive 15 min prior to the start time) Night Tours : 07:00pm and 08:00pm (please arrive 15 min prior to the start time) Duration:  2 Hours Approx Start Point:  London Eye Tourist Stop - Belvedere Road, Tourist bus stop, London SE1 7GH (Please check calender to know about the availability)

  • 2 Hours Open Top Bus Panoramic Tour
  • Live Guide (Subject to availability)
  • Audio Guide available in 11 languages
  • Entrance Fees (Unless specified)
  • Hotel Transfers

Redemption Info

Know before you go, useful downloads, cancellation policy, other london bus tours.

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girl gone london

5 Best Open Top Bus Tours in London (which to choose)

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Ready to tour stunning London on an Open Top Bus Tour or a London Hop-on and Hop-off bus tour?

You’ve come to the right place, as we’re going to explore the best 5 open top bus tours in London (most of which are hop-on/hop-off) – all led by expert guides who want to share the beauty of this part of England and help you skip the tourist traps.

If you’re like, just cut to the chase already, then don’t worry.

The best open top, hop-on hop-off bus tour in London is this London Tootbus Must See Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour and Thames River Cruise .

It has over 3500 amazing reviews, so there’s no going wrong.

London is one of the greatest cities in not just the UK, but the whole world – it’s a city absolutely humming with life and energy wherever you look.

Nowhere else on earth can you find so many world-class museums, restaurants, bars, and architecture in one place.

If you want to see what your other options are, here are 4 more open top bus tours that are definitely worth your time in London.

So let’s get into the list of the best hop-on hop-off bus tours in London so you can book it already!

PS – booking in advance is highly, highly recommended so you don’t miss out and don’t have to worry about booking tickets on the day.

open bus tours in london

⏳ Don’t have time to read the whole list?

The best London hop-on hop-off tour is this London Tootbus Must-See Sightseeing tour.

Hey! Want more honest UK tips and planning advice? Click here to join my London and UK Travel Tips Facebook group , where I can answer more of your questions!

Easy Guide: Best London Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour Picks

Best open top bus tours in london, 1. london tootbus must see hop-on hop-off bus tour and thames river cruise.

⭐️  RATING:  4 out of 5 Stars, 3,500+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  1 hour 30 minutes – 2 hours | ✔️  BOOK NOW

open bus tours in london

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS TOUR

  • Audio commentary for adults
  • Audio commentary tailored for children + activity packs
  • Thames River cruise ticket and walking tour included
  • Access to app that allows tracking of the buses in real-time and provides stop locations

Of all London’s open top bus tours, this tour is a superb choice whether you’re travelling alone, or with friends, family or children.

Pick from the two available routes, cross your fingers for a sunny day, and plug in your audio guide.

Keep the kids occupied with audio guides specifically tailored towards children and accompanying activity packs.

Hop off at London’s key sights, whether that’s Marble Arch, Westminster Abbey or Hyde Park and then hop back on whenever you’re ready to continue your adventure.

The downloadable app makes it easier to plan your route, track down bus stops and ensure you never miss a bus.

Finally, take advantage of the included Thames River cruise ticket and walking tour, once you’ve seen London from the top of a bus it’ll be time to see the city from a different perspective.

Choose this tour if you’re hoping to keep the kids entertained while seeing London in a hassle-free, efficient way, thanks to the provided app.

2. Vintage London Bus Tour Including Thames Cruise with Optional London Eye

⭐️  RATING:  4 out of 5 Stars, 370+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  3 hours 30 minutes | ✔️  BOOK NOW

open bus tours in london

  • See London aboard a vintage, hop-on hop-off London bus
  • Thames River cruise ticket included
  • Optional London Eye ticket add-on
  • Optional Stonehenge trip add-on

Another marvelous choice for anyone hoping to take an open top bus tour.

This one comes with a twist – you get to see the city aboard a classic bus from the 1960s!

Tour London in style, passing top attractions: St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace (hopefully you can stop to see the Changing of the Guard!), Cleopatra’s Needle, and many more.

Midway through you’ll indulge in a Thames River cruise, climbing back aboard for the final leg of the journey which will take you to the London Eye.

If you selected the optional upgrade you can skip the queues and soar above London and see the city’s skyline while encased in a glass pod.

After this, head back to the bus station to board another bus for an afternoon excursion to Stonehenge – if you’re up for it.

This tour is worth it if you want an open top bus tour with a vintage flair and hope to combine it with a ride on the London Eye.

3. Big Bus London Hop-On Hop-Off Tour and River Cruise

⭐️  RATING:  4 out of 5 Stars, 7,300+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  1 hour – 3 hours 20 minutes | ✔️  BOOK NOW

  • Free WiFi available on board
  • 3 different routes are available

For those of you looking for flexibility on your open top bus tour, I would recommend this tour with 3 separate routes to choose from.

The route variety allows you to see as many of London’s top sights as you can handle while enjoying the onboard commentary.

Choose between tickets that last for one, two or three days, allowing you to space out the experience, ensuring you don’t suffer from sightseeing fatigue.

Make use of the included Thames River cruise.

You may as well purchase the London Eye ticket add-on while you’re at it, ticking off another one of London’s finest activities.

The WiFi on board is a nice touch.

Even if you’ve not picked up a UK sim card yet you can still stay connected while out and about on this tour.

The route variety and multi-day ticket options makes this a brilliant choice for those looking to cover as much ground as possible from the vantage point of an open top bus.

4. London by Night Sightseeing Tour – Open top bus

⭐️  RATING:  4 out of 5 Stars, 540+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  1 hour 30 minutes | ✔️  BOOK NOW

open bus tours in london

  • See London’s landmarks at night
  • Live commentary
  • Less traffic holding you up!
  • Illuminations not visible during the day can be seen on this tour

If you’re on the hunt for an open top bus tour that’s a little different to your standard tour, this could be the one for you, as you get to cruise through London after dark!

When lit up at night, London’s most iconic landmarks and sights take on a whole new life and they’re unmissable.

Pass by the imposing St Paul’s Cathedral, lit up so you’re still able to take in its beauty, gaze at the illuminated Houses of Parliament, and marvel at the glowing London Eye.

These are just a few London landmarks that you’ll pass by and gain a newfound appreciation of.

Accompanying you on your tour will be a guide who will provide a live commentary, filling you in on all kinds of facts and educational tidbits.

Consider this tour if you have no time for an open bus tour in the day, or if you’re looking to see London illuminated.

5. Golden Tours London Hop-On Hop-Off Open Top Sightseeing Bus Tour

⭐️  RATING:  3.5 out of 5 Stars, 600+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  1 day pass | ✔️  BOOK NOW

open bus tours in london

  • Unlimited travel on the bus for a 24-hour period
  • Audio guide included
  • Ticket includes a free walking tour and optional ticket to KidZania

Our final open top bus tour also includes a number of added extras that makes this tour just as worthwhile as the others on the list.

Once you’ve picked which of the two routes you’d like to take, plug in your audio guide and take in London’s sights and landmarks.

Regardless of your chosen route, you’ll be taken through some of London’s most picturesque areas.

Even if you’ve picked the excellent value ticket option that’s valid for 24 hours you might feel the need for a break at various points and that’s a-okay.

Included in the ticket are a Thames River cruise, two walking tours to choose between (Beatles or Royals), and an optional entry into KidZania which could be the perfect way to spend an afternoon if you have kids.

This final tour should be considered if you want to go on a themed walking tour or are looking to break up the day with something fun for the kids.

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  • 17 Best Harry Potter Tours in London
  • 17 Best London Foodie Tours
  • 13 Best Ghost & Haunted Tours in Edinburgh
  • 11 Best Edinburgh Walking Tours
  • 11 Best Private Tours in London
  • 11 Best Ghost Tours in London
  • 11 Fun Tours of Royal London
  • 13 Isle of Skye Tours for a Magical Time
  • 13 Mysterious Tours of Loch Ness
  • 7 Best James Bond Tours in London
  • 7 Best Paris Tours from London
  • 7 Best Stratford-upon Avon Tours from London
  • 7 Best Tours of Bath from London
  • 7 Best Black Cab Tours from London
  • 11 Best Downton Abbey Tours in the UK
  • 5 Best Graffiti Tours in London
  • 9 Best London East End Tours

UK Travel Planning Guide: the FAQs

🏥 Should I buy UK travel insurance?

Absolutely yes. Basic coverage is not expensive, and as a visitor you are NOT covered under the NHS. Compare policies and prices with Travel Insurance Master here , a big name in the travel insurance business, and cross that off your list.

🔌 Do I need travel adapters for the UK?

Yes, you do, otherwise you won’t be able to plug in your electronics/phone/lifelines. I recommend this one , which is all-in-one so you can use it in other countries.

🚗 What do I need to drive in the UK?

The first thing you need to check out if you’re planning on renting a car in the UK is this guide to driving in the UK for visitors – the roads, signs, and driving experience will likely not be what you’re used to and it’s essential to prepare yourself to stay safe and aware.

🛌 What’s the best way to book hotels in the UK?

For UK hotels, Booking is the best site as it offers free cancellation on many properties. If you want an apartment, I always recommend VRBO over AirBnb.

📳 Will my phone work in the UK?

Yes – if you set it up right. Check out my guide on making your foreign phone work in the UK to ensure that you get the type of service you need.

🚿 Can I drink the water in the UK?

Yes, UK water is great and perfectly safe. But drink out of taps in any kitchen or use water fountains. Double check before drinking out of the taps in hotel bathrooms, though, as they may be on a different system. London water is safe to drink .

Heading to London? Want the best tips?

Check out my Ultimate Guide to London for Visitors. Using text, images and video, this guide is packed full of tips, tricks, safety advice, knowledge on how to get around and what to do, and more!

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THE 10 BEST Hop-On Hop-Off Tours in London, England

Hop-on hop-off tours in london.

  • Historical & Heritage Tours
  • Archaeology Tours
  • Cultural Tours
  • Hop-On Hop-Off Tours
  • Up to 1 hour
  • 1 to 4 hours
  • 4 hours to 1 day
  • 5.0 of 5 bubbles
  • 4.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 3.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 2.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Chinese (Traditional)
  • Likely to Sell Out
  • The ranking of tours, activities, and experiences available on Tripadvisor is determined by several factors including the revenue generated by Tripadvisor from these bookings, the frequency of user clicks, and the volume and quality of customer reviews. Occasionally, newly listed offerings may be prioritized and appear higher in the list. The specific placement of these new listings may vary.

open bus tours in london

1. Big Bus London Hop-On Hop-Off Tour and River Cruise

open bus tours in london

2. City Sightseeing London Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

open bus tours in london

3. Vintage London Bus Tour Including Cruise with London Eye option

open bus tours in london

4. Golden Tours London Hop-On Hop-Off Open Top Sightseeing Bus Tour

open bus tours in london

5. Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing River Cruise on the Thames

open bus tours in london

6. Big Bus London Open-Top Evening Tour

open bus tours in london

7. The Big Day out - London Eye Ticket, London Hop-on Hop-Off Tour & River Cruise

open bus tours in london

8. London: Harry Potter Walking Tour + Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

open bus tours in london

9. IFS Cloud Cable Car and Uber Boat by Thames Clippers Hop On Hop Off Pass

open bus tours in london

10. London Tour Hop-on Hop-off Bus optional Thames River cruise

open bus tours in london

11. Tower of London with London Hop-On Hop-Off Tour and River Cruise

open bus tours in london

12. London Tootbus Hop on Hop off Bus Tour and Thames River Cruise

open bus tours in london

13. Ride of Routemaster and See London

open bus tours in london

14. London Tootbus Discovery Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

open bus tours in london

15. London Discovery by Day and by Night Hop-On Hop-off Tours

open bus tours in london

16. London Eye Fast-Track Ticket with Hop-On Hop-Off Tour and River Cruise

open bus tours in london

17. London Christmas Day 1 Day Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

open bus tours in london

18. London by Night Tootbus Sightseeing Bus Tour

open bus tours in london

19. 7 Day Winter Tour of England and Scotland starting from London

open bus tours in london

20. London for 5 Days with Stay in English Families Home

open bus tours in london

21. Full Day London Pick & Mix Customized Tour

open bus tours in london

22. 7 Day Tour Exploring England and Scotland starting from London

What travellers are saying.

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A London & Travel Blog

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London , London Tours & Experiences , London Travel Tips & Inspiration · August 23, 2023

5 Best Open Top Bus Tours in London (2024) — from a London Travel Blogger

open-top-bus-tours-london

Looking for the best open top bus tours in London? Look no further. Here’s the best ways to do London sightseeing by bus — from a London travel blogger.

This post may contain affiliate links. Check out my  Disclosure & Privacy Policy  for more information.

As a Londoner who loves playing tour guide, I can’t help but recommend open top bus tours in London.

From the grandeur of the Houses of Parliament to the timeless allure of the Tower Bridge, these bus tours offer a lovely ride through the city’s most iconic landmarks, often accompanied by a knowledgeable tour guide to gIVE you a great introduction to the city.

With that said, here’s the best open top bus tours in London — from a London travel blogger.

The Best Open Top Bus Tours in London

london-open-top-bus-tours

Big Bus London Hop-On Hop-Off Tour and River Cruise

big-bus-open-top-bus-tour-and-river-cruise-london

If you want a comprehensive tour of London take a trip on the Big Bus London Hop-On Hop-Off Tour and River Cruise .

The journey lasts around 3 hours and 30 minutes and costs £40.50 to feel the breeze as you cruise past the London Eye and hop off to explore the buzzing streets of Covent Garden or Piccadilly Circus.

It also comes with a free cancellation policy should your London travel plans change, ensuring a stress-ride booking either way! Check Reviews .

City Sightseeing London Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

city-sightseeing-hop-on-hop-off-bus-london

Alternatively, you can take the City Sightseeing London Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour .

Priced at £37.00, this two and a half hour trip lets you soak in the sights of the magnificent St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and the Tate Modern (+ free cancellation too). Check Reviews .

London Tootbus Hop on Hop off Bus Tour and Thames River Cruise

London-Tootbus-Hop-on-Hop-off-Bus-Tour-and-Thames-River-Cruise

For a combined sightseeing deal check out The London Tootbus Hop on Hop off Bus Tour and Thames River Cruise .

For £42.00 you’ll take an incredible two-hour journey through the city by bus and a refreshing river cruise.

Savor the beauty of the Southbank, the Shard, and London Bridge from the comfort of your seat and the Thames. Check Reviews .

The Big Day Out – London Eye Ticket, London Hop-on Hop-Off Tour & River Cruise

The-Big-Day-out- London-Eye-Ticket-London-Hop-on-Hop-Off-Tour-And-River-Cruise

If you’re in for an entire day of London sightseeing, the Big Day Out should be your go-to.

For £62.50, you get a two and a half hour bus tour, a London Eye ticket, and a River Cruise on the Thames. That’s one great three-for-one! Check Reviews .

London Hop On – Hop Off Bus with optional River Cruise

London-Hop-On-Hop-Off-Bus-with-optional-River-Cruise

Similarly, you should also consider the London Hop On – Hop Off Bus with an optional River Cruise .

For £37.00, you get to spend three hours exploring the best of London alongside an optional River Cruise. Check Reviews .

The Pros of Open Top Bus Tours in London

Although open top bus tours in London can often be seen as a tourist trap, there’s tons of reasons they make a great add to your tourist itinerary (plus if you know me you’ll know we don’t tourist shame over here !).

open bus tours in london

Open Top Bus Tours in London History Did you know open-top buses in London can be traced back to the early 20th century? In 1910, London General Omnibus Company (LGOC) introduced the first-ever open-top bus on the streets of the capital, providing passengers with an open-air view of the city’s landmarks. These early versions were modest in design, featuring a simple roofless upper deck, but they quickly became a hit among Londoners and visitors. As the popularity of open-top buses soared, so did their design and capacity. In the 1920s and 1930s, newer models were built with more comfortable seating, enhanced safety measures, and extended routes. By the mid-20th century, open-top buses had become a quintessential sight on London’s streets, contributing to the city’s bustling tourism industry and distinctive urban landscape.

Panoramic Views

One of the primary advantages of riding an open-top bus is the unparalleled panoramic view it offers.

On an open top bus tour you can take in the city’s majestic architecture, historical landmarks, and scenic beauty without any obstructions whatsoever.

Immersive Experience

Open-top buses are also a super immersive experience, allowing you to do some ample people watching from above before taking in the sights by foot.

Being able to feel the essence of London’s energy and atmosphere makes the ride more than just a means of transportation, but a memorable part of any London visit.

Tourist-Friendly Routes

Open-top bus tours are carefully curated to cover the most popular tourist attractions and historical sites, which you’ll of course want to see if you’re a first-time visitor in London (or just like seeing the sights!).

These hop-on-hop-off tours enable you to explore the city at your own pace, with the flexibility to disembark and explore areas of interest further before rejoining the tour at your leisure.

Audio Guides

Most open-top buses provide audio guides in multiple languages, making learning about London’s fascinating historical and cultural insights accessible to all.

Photography Opportunities

For photography and Instagram enthusiasts, open-top buses offer excellent opportunities to capture stunning photographs from elevated vantage points in London — giving you the very best perspective of London’s iconic landmarks.

The absence of windows ensures unobstructed shots of London’s iconic landmarks, giving you cherished London memories for years to come.

Thanks for reading my London Open Top Bus Tours Guide. If you enjoyed it, let me know on  Instagram !

Check out more tour recommendations:.

  • The Best Bus Routes for Sightseeing in London
  • Top 10 London Attractions: 10 Famous Places to See & Visit
  • 3 BEST Afternoon Tea Bus Tours in London You Have to Check Out
  • The Best Harry Potter Tours in London
  • 10 Tips for Tourists in London (Tourist Mistakes and How to Avoid Them)
  • London Tours & Experiences
  • London Neighbourhood Guides

Happy Londoning,

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London Panorama Open Top Bus Tour with Audio Guide

Home > Tours > London Panorama Open Top Bus Tour with Audio Guide

Reconnect with London on this 90min open top bus tour. Drive past all the greatest London landmarks including Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament in our well ventilated open top buses, with a live English-speaking guide*

  • Panoramic tour of London’s most remarkable regions and landmarks
  • E-tickets accepted on all hop on hop off services!
  • View such iconic structures as Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge
  • See celebrated areas of London including Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly
  • Enjoy the insights and fascinating facts with a live English, or multilingual audio guided tour
  • A great introduction to the history of London for the kids
  • Free cancellations available on this tour**
  • Audio guides available in the following languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Brazilian Portuguese, Indian, Japanese and Arabic.
  • Open top bus tour around London
  • A professional live guide*
  • Audio guides available in 11 languages
  • Reduced capacity and allocated time slots to avoid over crowding
  • This is not a Hop-On Hop-Off tour
  • Entrances to any attraction
  • No refreshments will be provided

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Original London Sightseeing Bus Tour

The 9 best bus tours in London from 007 to fine dining

Anyone call for a bright red double-decker? See the capital in all its glory on one of these brilliant London bus tours

Whether you’re after a whirlwind tour of London’s attractions  for the first time or you want a little refresher of your favourite spots in London, we’ve rounded up the best London bus tours for you to take your pick. Our choice selection includes open-top classics that enable you to tick off your favourite landmarks one by one and some sinister tours that take place after dark... And don’t worry Harry Potter fans – we’ve included a London bus tour that takes in all the bespectacled boy wizard’s trips around the capital, from King’s Cross to Number 12 Grimmauld Place. 

Time Out tip:  Wherever you're headed while you're visiting London always have two things to hand: a brolly and Citymapper. 

Want more? 🚲Try a London bike tour instead 💂‍♀️Check out  the best London tours   🛏Stay in the best Airbnbs in London

This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here .

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Best London bus tours

The Beatles evening tour

1.  The Beatles evening tour

Trace the years from 1962 to 1970, when Beatlemania was at its peak, as you visit more than 35 Beatles-related landmarks on this evening tour of central London. You’ll also see some of the sites surrounding the band members’ individual music careers, while your expert local guide entertains you with Beatles history through music and film footage - don't worry, there are plenty of photo stops.

Time Out tip: If you're a Beatles fan, you might also enjoy Music of The Mind, an exhibition exploring the works of artist and activist Yoko Ono. It runs until 1st September. 

Ghost bus tour

2.  Ghost bus tour

Set aside an hour of your time to get well and truly spooked. On this ghost bus tour you’ll cruise the city’s historic streets in an old Routemaster (painted black, of course), learning all about London’s gruesome past with a hefty helping on chilling tales and the most haunted sites in the capital.

Time Out tip: For even more gore, why not check out the Sweeny Todd experience at the London Dungeon ?

Big Bus London hop-on hop-off tour

3.  Big Bus London hop-on hop-off tour

Hop on and off at London's best landmarks and attractions on this classic open-top tour bus. Soak up the sights with over 40 stops around the capital, listen to captivating commentary about your surroundings and experience it all at your own pace.

Time Out tip: With a city this widespread, you'll need some flexibility. For that, you can grab a ticket valid for up to three days, that way you can take your time getting to know London.

Harry Potter bus tour

4.  Harry Potter bus tour

We may all be muggles, but London contains a wealth of fun Harry Potter experiences that are more than magical. Hop onboard this tour and you’ll journey from Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross to Number 12 Grimmauld Place – a trip that takes three hours (aka just enough time to get  really  into the Potterverse). You’ll get to learn about locations that inspired JK Rowling’s awesome books and discover the tales behind some of wizarding wonders. And the best thing? You’ll also be shown some of the most famous Harry Potter film locations.

Time Out tip: Once you head back to Kings Cross, you grab a slice and enjoy the sun (providing there is any) at Happy Face Pizza. It's Neapolitan style, so you know it's good. 

James Bond bus tour

5.  James Bond bus tour

Sure, James Bond drives fancy cars, like a classic Aston Martin, but can he fit all his mates in there for a jolly around London? Not likely. Especially if you want to throw a guide in for good measure, too. Luckily, you can fit all those people and more on this Bond bus tour. Delve into 007’s world of espionage and late-night wanderings to discover filming locations as well as sites frequented by Ian Fleming.

Time Out tip: Want even more British novelty? Just a 14-minute tube stop away you'll find Rules, London's oldest restaurant serving traditional British fare. It's pretty fancy, so Bond would approve.

London at night tour

6.  London at night tour

Giving lucky riders a taste of the lit-up London skyline, this 1.5-hour night tour hits all of the top tourist spots. Naturally, you’ll be travelling on-board a classic double-decker, and it’s the perfect way get views of famous attractions, including Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the London Eye after hours. Plus, learn fascinating facts about these legendary landmarks from your expert guide and hear insider tips on exciting places to visit in the capital at night.

Time Out tip : If you're looking for more lates the National Gallery is open until 9 pm every Friday, while Sir John Soane's Museum hosts a themed late each month.

Open-top tour on a vintage bus

7.  Open-top tour on a vintage bus

A vintage double-decker bus has been transformed into an open-top sightseeing experience. From Buckingham Palace to the Tower of London via the Houses of Parliament, The Shard and St Paul’s Cathedral, see London without any of those annoying panes of glass in the way. Aboard the bus, you'll also have screens with historical footage of London through the decades. 

Time Out tip: If you're feeling peckish after the tour, head to the vibrant, colourful Carnaby Street (a 15-minute stroll) for lots of great food options. 

Bustronome London

8.  Bustronome London

A bus tour for gourmands. The Bustronome team combine fine views with fine dining, across a series of lunch, afternoon tea and dinner services. As you pass a sequence of landmarks including Nelson’s Column, the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s and the Tower of London, you’ll also enjoy a seasonal menu with an optional paired wine. Bon appetit!

Time Out tip: While this tour is on the pricier end of the scale, it makes a great gift. Not to mention you get to site-see while you dine.

Afternoon Tea Bus London Tour

9.  Afternoon Tea Bus London Tour

Fancy a quintessentially British afternoon tea on a classic London bus? Get involved on one of Golden Tours' afternoon tea buses  – as you sit down to a brew and a spread of sandwiches, cakes and pastries, you’ll be driven past Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, St James’s Park, Hyde Park, the Royal Albert Hall and all the usual suspects. Splendid!

Time Out tip: This tour is an excellent choice if you're looking for wholesome hen-do ideas. 

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  • London City Tours >

London Hop on Hop off Bus with Optional River Cruise

London Hop on Hop off  Bus with Optional River Cruise

Our London hop on hop off bus tickets offer amazing value for money and are the best way to explore the city. We have 3 different interconnecting bus routes, with over 80 bus stops conveniently located near to all the major London sites and attractions as well as hotels and main line railway stations. This includes stops by Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the London Eye, the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral and many more. One ticket enables unlimited use of all 3 routes.

Choose from a 24 hour, 48 hour or 72 hour ticket. There are also Family Tickets which helps keep costs down.

The Hop on Hop Off Bus is so much more convenient than taking the underground or regular bus routes and with its routes and bus stops following the major sites and with either an audio guide or live guide, plus being an open-top bus it also offers a great experience.

The ticket can also includes a river cruise between the Houses of Parliament and the Tower of London. Enjoy amazing views of iconic London attractions as you travel along the River Thames.

Save time and book your ticket before you arrive.

You can cancel up to midnight (UK time) the night before departure and get a refund in full.

You can see a route map via the link here >>> , and you can also download a route map from your e-ticket. When you first hop on the bus, you will also be given a large printed map of all the bus routes.

Hop on Hop off Highlights

  • Convenient stops located all across the city next to the main attractions. Travel around the city on open-top buses and enjoy amazing views as you ride!
  • The buses are valid for 24, 48 or 72 hours from the moment you first hop on. You can hop on and off as much as you like during this time
  • Live guides are available on all blue route departures
  • Audioguides are available on every bus in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Brazilian Portuguese, Hindi, Japanese & Arabic
  • Our riverboat cruise allows you to travel 1-way up or down the River Thames to or from Westminster Pier (next to The Houses of Parliament) and Tower Millenium Pier (next to The Tower of London). The journey time is  30 minutes dependent on where you disembark. You can take your cruise within 7 days from when you first start your hop-on hop-off bus journey.
  • You can cancel up to midnight (UK time), the night before departure and receive a full refund.

London Open Top Bus Routes

Our Blue Route – Classic Tour

This is our signature route passes by many of London’s most famous landmarks including the London Eye, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, The Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly. The route criss-crosses over the River Thames including over the iconic Tower Bridge.

A great idea is to take this route as a circular tour of London and see many of London’s most iconic sites and get a good feel for the city. Then, take the route to hop on and off as you want, or skip onto one of the other routes where they overlap.

This route stops at the side of Buckingham Palace as no buses are allowed in front of the Palace.

Our Red Route – The Essential Route

Because London is so big, we have another signature route that covers more of Central London as well as the North. You’ll see Hyde Park, Madame Tussauds, the British Museum and Kings Cross, St Pancras, and Euston Stations, where you can snap a selfie at Platform 9 3/4. The route passes very close to Regents Park, which is on the far side of London Zoo.

This route also stops at the side of Buckingham Palace, as no buses are allowed in front of the Palace.

This route is additionally convenient for visitors staying in the many hotels in the Bloomsbury district of London near Woburn Square, Woburn Place, and the British Museum.

Our Orange Route – Museum Tour

This route covers the west of central London, where you can find many of London’s principal museums, including the V&A Museum, Science Museum and Natural History Museum. The route also passes Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Buckingham Palace and The Royal Albert Hall. And for shopaholics, it passes the world-famous Harrods department store.

All our routes are included in your ticket.

You can see a route map and timetable here>>> , and you can also download a route map and timetable from your e-ticket. When you first hop on the bus, you will also be given a large printed map of all the bus routes.

Changing of the Guard outside Buckingham Palace

Changing of the Guard outside Buckingham Palace

River Cruise

open bus tours in london

River Thames Cruise

There is also an option to include a River Thames Cruise. Travel from Westminster Millenium Pier (next to the Houses of Parliament) to Tower Pier (next to the Tower of London) or start from Tower Millenium Pier and cruise to Westminster Pier. This is a 1-way ticket, and the cruise lasts 25 minutes. The cruise passes many famous sites, including the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, HMS Belfast, Shakespeare’s Globe, Tower Bridge and The Tower of London. The cruise is an unforgettable experience.

  • You can take your cruise within 7 days from when you first start your hop-on hop-off bus journey.

You can see a route map via the link here >>>

Free Walking Tour

Additionally, with your ticket, you can also choose between 2 free walking tours. Purely optional. This has been recently added as a free addition to the ticket.

‘A Royal Walking Tour’. Enjoy a 2-hour tour through the capital with an expert guide, passing places with past and present connections to the royal family and fascinating insights into the royals’ daily lives. The tour starts at 10.00am by Buckingham Palace.

A ‘Jack The Ripper Tour’. Our expert guide will take you back to Victorian London where the notorious Jack the Ripper stalked for victims. Use your detective skills to analyse the clues ‘The Ripper’ left behind to try and solve these terrible crimes. The tour lasts 1.5 hours and starts near The Tower of London at 3.30pm.

Our ticket types

We offer five different ticket types to choose from. You can select your ticket type on the checkout page

1 Day without Cruise –  this is our cheapest hop on hop off ticket, which allows you to travel on the bus for one calendar day. For example, if you get on the bus on Tuesday at 10am, you can use the bus until the end of Tuesday. The ticket also includes 2 free walking tours

24 Hours –  this ticket includes a cruise, 2 free walking tours and can be used for 24 hours from the moment you first hop on the bus. For example, if you first get on the bus on Tuesday at 10am, you can use the bus until Wednesday at 10am.

48 Hours – this ticket includes a cruise, 2 free walking tours and can be used for 48 hours from the moment you first hop on the bus. For example, if you first get on the bus on Tuesday at 10am, you can use the bus until Thursday at 10am.

72 Hours – this ticket includes a cruise, 2 free walking tours and can be used for 72 hours from the moment you first hop on the bus. For example, if you first get on the bus on Tuesday at 10am, you can use the bus until Friday at 10am.

24 Hours without Cruise – this ticket can be used for 24 hours from the moment you first hop on the bus but does not include a cruise. For example, if you first get on the bus on Tuesday at 10am, you can use the bus until Wednesday at 10am. The ticket also includes 2 free walking tours

more details:

  • Our open-top buses depart every 20 minutes in the summer and holidays on the blue and red routes. Every 30 minutes on the orange route. The r iverboats depart every 30 minutes
  • You can join the bus from any of our stops and use all the routes.
  • The 24, 48 & 72 hour tickets include unlimited use of the hop on hop off bus & riverboat cruise
  • You are free to use your river cruise on any date within 30 days of the start of your hop-on hop-off bus experience.
  • All tickets include 2 free walking tours. You are free to take these walking tours on any date within 7 days of the start of your hop on hop off bus experience
  • You can cancel up to midnight (UK time), the night before departure and get a refund in full
  • Children under 5 go free

Tour Booking

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London Bus Tour

Let the city simply take you by surprise.

Tootbus London St Paul's Cathedral

Our tours will be severely disrupted on Saturday 18th May due to a large demonstration taking place in central London. The Kids Tour will leave from stop #15, Grosvenor Gardens, next to Victoria Station. See details

Hop-on hop-off: explore London at your own pace in 1, 2 or 3 days

open bus tours in london

Must See London

Hop-on hop-off bus tour + cruise

  • 1, 2 or 3 days
  • 3 bus routes
  • 3 walking tours
  • River cruise

open bus tours in london

London Discovery

Hop-on hop-off bus tour + walking tours

New Tootbus app

London themed bus tours: discover the city from a different angle

open bus tours in london

London Kids Tour

Non-stop live guided bus tour

  • Live guided in English
  • Fun and educational

open bus tours in london

London by Night

Non-stop evening bus tour

  • Adult & kids commentary

open bus tours in london

Unique rooftop on wheels

  • Catchy playlist
  • Drinks available on board

London Packages: combine our hop-on hop-off visit with an attraction or a night tour

open bus tours in london

London Discovery + London By Night

Daytime hop-on hop-off bus tour + evening bus tour

  • 3 daytime bus routes
  • 1 night tour

Self-guided city discovery walks

Need inspiration to discover more of London ?

Wi-Fi on board

Audioguide in 10 languages

Family Pass

Kids special commentary

Walking tours includded

Fully accessible

Daily London tours, private visits to Stonehenge, day trips to Paris, Harry Potter & more!

  • Stonehenge Tours
  • London Tours
  • Harry Potter
  • Paris Trips
  • Out of London
  • Rock 'n' Roll
  • Other Tours Open Top Bus Downton Abbey Lunch and Afternoon Tea Tower Of London London Eye Windsor Castle Evening Tours
  • Contacts UK 020-7713-1311 US 1-800-815-4003

open bus tours in london

Your one-course meal is a choice of either Fish and Chips or Vegetarian dish available on the day. Drinks are available at additional cost. The pub is located near Victoria station.

open bus tours in london

TRIP ITINERARY

Open Top Vintage Bus Tour with Live Professional Guide

What better way to enjoy the highlights of London than from on board a Classic 1950s Route-master Bus with a live professional guide?

Enjoy great views of the capital’s iconic sights, both old and new, including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, St. Paul’s Cathedral, London Bridge & the London Eye. The Vintage Double Decker Bus Tour includes a photo stop at Westminster Abbey, burial place of Britain’s monarchs and the host for coronations and many royal weddings since its construction in the eleventh century.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is the home of the British monarchy and it was The Queen Elizabeth II’s residence in London as well as her administrative headquarters.  We stop here for a photo.

Private guided cruise on the River Thames

Finally we will take a guided private extended boat trip on the River Thames. Enjoy excellent views of The Houses of Parliament, St. Paul's Cathedral, The Shard, Shakespeare's Globe and many more from the river whilst being entertained by our tour guide. (Private cruise exclusive to Premium Tours customers operates during summer months.)

Why not upgrade to add a visit to The London Eye, The Tower of London or Fish & Chips lunch?

  • Panoramic tour of London on Open top Vintage bus
  • Thames River Cruise
  • Photo stop outside Buckingham Palace
  • Transfer and entry to the venue (when upgrade option selected)
  • Professional Guide

Please note:

  • Please note that this is an  open top  bus tour - please be prepared for the possibility of rain
  • On rare occasions the open top bus may be changed to a closed top bus or a coach
  • When the guard change does not take place, we stop instead for photos of Buckingham Palace
  • Boarding starts 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time
  • Transfer for all venues is available except for Madame Tussauds and Tower of London. Tour ends at each venue leaving you to explore at your leisure.

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Discover The Top London Attractions in 75 minutes

The Classic Tour is a wonderful vintage double decker bus tour and sightseeing experience like no other. Hop on board our carefully restored classic 1960s double-decker Routemaster bus, for your open-top ride through the best attractions in London.  Our hand-picked, highly trained, entertaining and comedic tour guides are the best in the business and will help you experience an authentic London you may not have known. They are also very funny! You will see more, learn more and laugh more while understanding the astonishing history of the Capital, taking the photos and selfies of a lifetime, and enjoying the glorious sights of London.

Please note – choice of seats and deck are given on a first-come first-serve basis.

A Classic London Bus Experience

Experience historical London from our beautiful and iconic open-top London bus which was originally used by London Transport from the 1960s.

Finest Tour Guides in London

Our brilliant tour guides come from a variety of entertainment backgrounds and will bring you a tour like no other. Our guides really do know their history and facts about London. They will share their wealth of knowledge with you, as you pass the key landmarks. Watch and listen out for some incredible insights into the making of our Capital city.

State of The Art Audio Equipment

The buses have been fitted with state of the art enhanced technology to bring your experience into the 21 st century.

open bus tours in london

The Classic Tour Story

The Classic Tour provides a unique and entertaining tour on one of the most iconic and historic vehicles of our time - the Routemaster bus. It is seen in all the classic films with London as a back-drop, it is on all the postcards, and though they are no longer in widespread public service, with us you can still experience this thrilling, prestigious and stately ride that allows the most intimate and authentic opportunity to be experience and be part of our great city.

YOUR JOURNEY

Your journey starts at Trafalgar Square.

Departing from the absolute heart and centre of London, you will follow a carefully selected route to allow you to discovery the very best of our Capital and see the best attractions, buildings and landmarks in London. You will have constant opportunities to take some fantastic photographs and better understand the history of how and why the buildings came to symbolise our great city. Please also note, although we will always try our best, on rare occasions we may be unable to visit every landmark listed on the tour.

Find out more here

Our tours depart from Northumberland Avenue at:

Please Note: Our tours only run on certain days, please check our booking form for the latest date & time information

Please note that tour times are subject to change.

The following tickets are available when you book:

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Have a query? send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

St. Paul's Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral, London, is an Anglican cathedral, the seat of the Bishop of London and the mother church of the Diocese of London. It sits on Ludgate Hill at the highest point of the City of London and is a Grade 1 listed building.

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square is a public square in the City of Westminster, Central London, built around the area formerly known as Charing Cross. Its name commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar, a British naval victory in the Napoleonic Wars with France and Spain that took place on 21 October 1805 off the coast of Cape Trafalgar, Spain.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a focal point for the British people at times of national rejoicing and mourning.

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, London, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster.

The Shard

The Shard, also referred to as the Shard of Glass, Shard London Bridge and formerly London Bridge Tower, is a 95-storey skyscraper in Southwark, London, that forms part of the London Bridge Quarter development. Standing 309.7 metres (1,016 ft) high, the Shard is the tallest building in the United Kingdom, the fourth-tallest building in Europe and the 111th-tallest building in the world.

Tower of London

The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the square mile of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill.

The London Eye

The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames in London. The structure is 443 feet (135 m) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 394 feet (120 m). When it opened to the public in 2000 it was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London built between 1886 and 1894. The bridge crosses the River Thames close to the Tower of London and has become an iconic symbol of London, resulting in it sometimes being confused with London Bridge, situated some 0.5 mi (0.80 km) upstream

Downing Street

Downing Street is a street in London, United Kingdom, known for housing the official residences and offices of the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. “Downing Street” is used as a metonym for the Government of the United Kingdom.

open bus tours in london

Avoid These Tourist Traps In London And Visit These Destinations Instead

O ne of the world's greatest cities, London is packed with tourist attractions so impressive that you'll want to add them all to your itinerary. From the Tower of London to Buckingham Palace to the Churchill War Rooms, the list of unmissable landmarks seems endless. Don't worry, though -- it's possible to visit most of them in just a two-day trip . When you're on a tight schedule, it's important to avoid time- and money-wasting tourist traps in favor of visiting sites that are worthy of your attention. 

Whether it's an overrated and overpriced wax museum, a kitschy dungeon experience, or a super crowded viewpoint, there are many places to avoid visiting in the U.K.'s heady capital. The confusing part? Some of them top multiple lists of must-see attractions. That's where we come in. 

As someone who lived in this captivating English city for six years, I have first-hand knowledge of the biggest tourist traps to avoid when traveling to London. Plus, I can offer more impressive (and often less costly) destinations to visit instead. Don't want to take my word for it? No problem. I combined my first-hand knowledge with reviews and suggestions from other locals to create this list.

Read more: 50 Underrated Tourist Destinations Around The World

Skip Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours And Ride A London Bus

While hop-on hop-off bus tours can be a convenient way to explore a big city, they often come with a hefty price tag. If the tour is based in London, you can expect to pay over $50 per adult for a one-day pass. Instead, board a London bus, which will cost less than $7 for a day of travel. Bus fare for one ride is about $2 and the daily cap is under $7. To pay for their ride, visitors must use a contactless card or an Oyster Card, the visitor's version of which can be purchased online and mailed to your home before you leave.

Double-decker London buses offer spectacular city views, with many routes passing right by London's landmark attractions. One of our faves is the historic Routemaster Bus 15, which we suggest boarding at the Tower of London. Hop on at Great Tower Street (Stop TT) and ride west to Charing Cross Station. Be sure to sit up top for the best views along this heritage route -– you can't miss St. Paul's Cathedral and Trafalgar Square. 

Bus 24 is another great option for sightseers. Hop on at Victoria Station and ride it to Camden High Street. Along the way, you'll pass Westminster Abbey, the Horse Guard's Parade, Trafalgar Square, and Downing Street. Grab a bite at Camden Market when you disembark or stay on until you reach Hampstead Heath where you can catch unbeatable views of the city.

Skip Madame Tussauds And Visit Buckingham Palace

It may tout itself as a top London attraction, but Madame Tussauds would be more honest if they said they were the top rip-off site. Booking in advance will save some money -- the standard online rate for an adult begins at just over $47 versus the walk-up price, which begins at almost $60. But that's still a lot of quid to dish out for wandering around an overcrowded and noisy space filled with okay-ish wax replicas of A- and B-list celebs. Yes, it's fun to take photos with the royal family and fool friends into thinking you met them IRL, but is it worth it? We don't think so.

Instead, we suggest visiting Buckingham Palace for a potential King Charles III sighting. Realistically, you probably won't spy a royal outside the palace, but at least you'll see a historic monument up close. Celebrities more your thing? Book a reservation at one of the city's most popular restaurants. Chiltern Firehouse has hosted acting greats Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper as well as soccer superstar David Beckham. 34 Mayfair is another good bet for great food and celeb spotting. Imelda Staunton and royal family members have all eaten here.

Skip Changing Of The Guard And Visit The Queen's Gallery

While you should add Buckingham Palace to your list of must-see London tourist attractions, you may want to avoid a visit during the Changing of the Guard. This formal ceremony marks the change between the old guard (on-duty soldiers) and new guard (soldiers taking over duty) for the royal palaces. Marching with a band from Wellington Barracks to the Palace, the new guard will arrive at the palace at about 10:45 a.m. A well-known event, this is a big tourist draw, which means you can expect hefty crowds queuing up an hour or more in advance, as well as pickpockets who arrive to take advantage of the chaotic atmosphere. This tourist trap, which takes place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, is one you'll be happy to miss. Sadly, watching this famed ceremony these days feels more like witnessing an overhyped marching band than it does an esteemed historic ritual.

Instead, ditch the crowds and glimpse art from the Royal Collection in the Queen's Gallery or visit the Royal Mews , where you can see the royal stables and the 260-year-old Gold State Coach used at King Charles III's Coronation. The Mews are open Thursday through Monday from early March to early November. Neighboring St. James Park is another interesting place to visit. One of London's famed Royal Parks, it is bordered by three palaces and boasts a fabulous view of Buckingham Palace in particular.

Skip Platform 9 ¾ At King's Cross Station And Visit Warner Brothers Studio Tour London

If you're traveling with a Harry Potter-obsessed kid, you may want to visit Platform 9 ¾ at King's Cross Station. But if you're alone, or with other adults who couldn't care less, we advise you to skip this overrated tourist trap. If you're already planning to be in King's Cross Station and have time to scope out this attraction, that's one thing; but if you're traveling there with the sole purpose of visiting this site, think twice. 

Set between platforms 9 and 10 (obvs) this point of interest includes nothing but a brick wall denoted with a sign. Stuck into the wall is part of a trolley loaded with fake suitcases and an empty owl cage. Those hoping for a quick photo and to score some Potter swag will be pleased;  the Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 ¾ is open daily, even on bank holidays, and it sells everything from wands to clothes to makeup. 

For those who'd rather have an unforgettable and truly magical Harry Potter experience, though, head to Warner Brothers Studio Tour London -- The Making of Harry Potter in nearby Leavesden. Instead of merely looking at a wall, visitors can board the Hogwarts Express, "fly" on a broomstick, walk through the Great Hall, and explore the Forbidden Forest. Step foot in Diagon Alley, try a Butterbeer, or check out some of the film's famous props and costumes. You won't be sorry you visited.

Skip London Dungeon And Visit The Tower Of London

No matter how much the kids beg you to visit the London Dungeon, stay strong and just say "no." This kitschy tourist trap is a waste of your hard-earned money (tickets start at over $37 for adults) and it's so hokey you'll roll your eyes more times than you can count on both hands. This pitiful attraction is peppered with costume-clad actors who like to scream and cackle and its two rides (the Drop Dead: Drop Ride and the Tyrant Boat Ride) will make you wish you were at Walt Disney World; even "It's a Small World" would be more enjoyable. An escape room has also been added to increase the venue's income stream –- it costs $153 for a private game for six people.

Want a historic experience with a side of chills? Head to the Tower of London instead. There, you can tour the Torture at the Tower Exhibition, where you can get up close and personal with the stretching machine (a.k.a. the rack) and other ancient torture devices in the Lower Wakefield Tower. The Bloody Tower is another point of interest you won't want to miss. The most infamous prison on the grounds, this is where you'll learn about the alleged murder of two young princes -– Edward V and his little brother Richard –- by their uncle, Richard III.

Skip The London Bridge Experience And Visit Churchill War Rooms

Looking for a good spooking? Do yourself a favor and skip The London Bridge Experience. A tourist trap designed to bring the city's macabre history to life with the help of actors with a penchant for jump scares, you can expect to meet zombie-like versions of ghastly heavyweights Jack the Ripper and William Wallace during your visit. Tickets cost about $37 for the experience, which takes anywhere between 35 and 50 minutes. That means you could be spending more than $1 a minute. Entry fees also include a trip to the London Tombs, deemed the U.K.'s "best scare attraction," according to their site . Zombified dentists, doctors, and creepy clowns await visitors in the lower vaults of this venue, ready to pounce and scream in your face.

Instead, we suggest visiting the Churchill War Rooms. Also located underground, this fascinating historic facility is part of the Imperial War Museums. Located in the basement of Whitehall, this once-secret complex was used by former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, top government ministers, and military planners to conduct meetings and develop plans during the country's war effort during World War II. Known as the Cabinet War Rooms, this clandestine spot was used daily during the war, until August 16, 1945. Or experience that stomach drop feeling by walking the glass floors at Tower Bridge. Set nearly 138 feet above the Thames, the views are both terrifying and impressive. Tickets cost under $16 per adult. 

Skip The Sherlock Holmes Museum And Visit The Sherlock Holmes Pub

We don't recommend visiting the Sherlock Holmes Museum unless you have a detective-obsessed kid who doesn't realize that the famed character is fictional. Set inside a Georgian townhouse at 221B Baker Street in Marylebone, this four-story museum has been open since 1990. Inside lie antique furnishings mentioned in the books and pretty creepy-looking mannequins. Tickets cost over $21 which isn't exorbitant, especially for London, but considering you won't be there long (the museum's quite small), this seems a bit of a waste.

Instead, head to The Sherlock Holmes  in St James. Self-described as a "Victorian-themed public house," this watering hole features a recreated version of the famed fictional detective's apartment upstairs. The entire pub is dotted with references to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's beloved books, making it easy to feel as if you're within the pages. Plus, there's a beer garden –- the museum certainly doesn't have one of those.

Skip The SEA Life London Aquarium And Visit The London Zoo

You'll find everything you'd expect to see at the SEA Life London Aquarium. From penguins to sharks to turtles, they're all there. And as far as aquariums go, this is a pretty good one. But when you're in one of the world's greatest cities that lies on the banks of a river, not an ocean, there are plenty of better things to see. Standard tickets to the Sea Life London Aquarium cost $24 online or $51 at the door. Again, that's pretty on par for London attractions, however, it's a steep price to pay for a tourist trap. 

Instead, visit London Zoo in Regent's Park. The oldest scientific zoo in the world, this family-friendly attraction was opened in 1828 for fellows of the Zoological Society of London. In 1847, the public was invited to visit. Today, the zoo is home to 14,0000 animals including a giant, 425-pound silverback gorilla, Sumatran tigers, and Linne's two-toed sloths. While tickets aren't cheap (an adult will cost about $40 to visit on a weekday), it's easy to spend a whole day here. Or, if you aren't willing to part with that much cash, visit the smaller, and lesser-known, Battersea Park Children's Zoo . Adult tickets are more reasonably priced, at $16. There are over 100 animals at this little zoo, including wallabies, meerkats, otters, and lemurs, and plenty of opportunities to interact with animals like coatis, donkeys, and goats.

Skip The Shard And Visit Level 10 At The Tate Modern

There's no denying that The Shard is impressive. In fact, it's one of the most spectacular buildings in the world . The viewing platform was opened by the queen on February 1, 2013, with the main restaurants (Aqua, Oblix, and Hutong) following suit that summer. Set across the Thames from another bucket-list-worthy London building, the Gherkin, this engineering masterpiece towers 1,016 feet above the city and boasts 11,000 glass panels. 

Dubbed a "vertical city," there's plenty to do inside, like spend serious coin on a meal with a view, or zip up one of the 44 elevators to the viewing platform. That 360-degree view will cost you, though -- about $36, or more if you add a glass of champagne. And if you visit on a day that's rainy or misty (honestly, London is often both of those things), you're basically paying for a ride in a lift.

Instead, head to Level 10 at Tate Modern, where you can enjoy a drink or snack (including sandwiches and salads) while ogling the impressive view of the Thames, St. Paul's Cathedral, the BT Tower, and Blackfriar's Bridge. You won't have to pay a thing unless you choose to grab a bite or a warm cuppa. The Skygarden at 20 Fenchurch Street is another must-visit for a free skyline vista. The highest public garden in London, this leafy space is as stunning as its views are remarkable.

Skip The London Eye And Visit Hamstead Heath

We are well aware that some of you will disagree with this addition to our list of tourist traps to avoid when traveling to London, but hear us out. Yes, the London Eye is iconic. Yes, it offers fantastic views of the city. And yes, it's deemed a top London attraction you won't want to miss . That said, visiting this popular landmark can cause more headaches than enjoyment. First created as a temporary point of interest, this 443-foot-tall, "cantilevered observation wheel" is the largest of its kind in the world, according to its website . And if you catch a ride on one of its 32 pods on a sunny day, you can see up to 25 miles in all directions. The problem is that thousands of others have the same idea, which means you could stand in line for more than two hours on a particularly busy day. Standard tickets start at over $32 online or more than $57 for a walk-up.

Instead, visit Hampstead Heath for a unique city view you probably never knew existed. Parliament Hill stands over 321 feet tall, making it one of the highest natural points in the city. If the weather is ideal, you can see to the Gherkin, St. Paul's Cathedral, and the Houses of Parliament. Speaking of the Gherkin, it's another great spot to enjoy unparalleled views. Grab a drink and snack at Iris Bar at Searcys at the Gherkin , then relax with a side order of stunning vistas.

Skip Harrods And Visit Peter Jones And Liberty

Harrods is to London as the Colosseum is to Rome -– a historic icon that's become synonymous with the city. The world's most famous luxury department store, this Knightsbridge institution is impossible to miss -– it's eight floors tall and an entire block long, not to mention over one million square feet in size. Inside, you'll find 20 restaurants, a beauty salon, a bank, and 300 separate departments selling over 5,000 brands. You'll also see price tags so high you might suffer sticker shock. Due to its notoriety, Harrods is often packed with tourists, making it difficult to enjoy the plush interior.

If you're hoping to shop during your London holiday, there are plenty of excellent places to visit instead. Sloane Square is home to the Peter Jones & Partners department store. Owned by John Lewis, this vast shop is filled with enough enticing merchandise that you'll find it tough to leave empty-handed. Grab a bite at The Top Floor Restaurant (on the 6 th floor) for captivating views of Chelsea and beyond.

Liberty is another recognizable landmark located on Regent Street. A heritage-listed building; this stunning Tudor-style store is as beautiful outside as it is indoors. Built between 1922 and 1924, it is worth a visit, if only to admire the impressive architectural features (the price tags here are also quite shocking).

Our Ranking Methodology

Having lived in London for six years with two young children, I visited pretty much every tourist attraction the city has. From renowned points of interest like the Tower of London to remarkable museums, I've seen the top sightseeing destinations multiple times, including many kitschy tourist traps I wish I'd skipped. To create this list, I used my experiences at these attractions to determine which locales are tourist traps that should be avoided and I included alternatives that are more than worthy of your time and money. I also consulted reviews from other locals and travelers, as well as their tips, to ensure the list is solid.

Read the original article on Explore .

Tourists and Houses of Parliament

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COMMENTS

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    A hop-on hop-off tour on an open top bus, is the number one way to sightsee in London. You can select either a 1 day, 24, 48 or 72 hour ticket to make the most out of your time in London. Taking you to all the main Central London landmarks, the Classic Tour passes the London Eye, Tower of London, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, the Shard, St ...

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  9. London: Panoramic Open-Top Bus Tour

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    Price per Adult. £76.00. Price per Child. £51.00. View Details. Enjoy our hop-on hop-off, open-top sightseeing bus tour of London and discover the landmarks and stories of this dynamic and historical city. Book now with Big Bus Tours!

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    The Big Day Out - London Eye Ticket, London Hop-on Hop-Off Tour & River Cruise. If you're in for an entire day of London sightseeing, the Big Day Outshould be your go-to. For £62.50, you get a two and a half hour bus tour, a London Eye ticket, anda River Cruise on the Thames. That's one great three-for-one!

  12. London Panorama Open Top Bus Tour with Audio Guide

    Please note tour can take up between 90 to 120 minutes (subject to traffic on the day). Buses Depart Hourly: From 10:00am to 5:00pm on the Day Tour and at 7:00pm and 8:00pm on the Night Tour. Departure Points: London Eye, Belvedere Road, Tourist bus stop, London, SE1 7NA (nearest tube and train station is Waterloo, 2 minute walk).

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    Our hop-on, hop-off London bus tour gets you closer to the city's best landmarks and attractions. Discover London's rich 2000-year history on our carefully designed sightseeing route. ... Discover central London on our hop-on, hop-off open-top bus tours. Operates: 08:15-18:00. Frequency: 10-20 mins. See Full Timetable. Blue Route. Hop on to ...

  21. London bus tour

    Discover London's iconic landmarks on our tours. Enjoy a 4m-high open-air experience for a unique perspective on famous sights and monuments. ... London themed bus tours: discover the city from a different angle-10% ONLY IN MAY. ... Daytime hop-on hop-off bus tour + evening bus tour. 1, 2 or 3 days; 3 daytime bus routes. 1 night tour.

  22. London Bus Tour on an Open Top Double Decker from £52

    Enjoy great views of the capital's iconic sights, both old and new, including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, St. Paul's Cathedral, London Bridge & the London Eye. The Vintage Double Decker Bus Tour includes a photo stop at Westminster Abbey, burial place of Britain's monarchs and the host for coronations and many ...

  23. The Classic Tour

    Discover The Top London Attractions in 75 minutes. The Classic Tour is a wonderful vintage double decker bus tour and sightseeing experience like no other. Hop on board our carefully restored classic 1960s double-decker Routemaster bus, for your open-top ride through the best attractions in London. Our hand-picked, highly trained, entertaining ...

  24. UK Open Top Bus Tours

    London. Big Bus Tours - Hop On Hop Off London Bus. Duration Approx.: 24 hours. Explore London at your own pace with a Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour. Discover the capital's main sights with over 46 bus stops across 3 bus routes. Cruise down the Thames River for a new perspective on the city. Book Now.

  25. Windsor Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

    Explore the royal town of Windsor on an open-top bus and see the best it has to offer! Take a Windsor Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour with The London Pass®. See Windsor Castle, the Long Walk, Eton College, Holy Trinity Church and more. Complimentary audio guide to listen to along the way. Free Wi-Fi onboard. Enjoy a whistle-stop tour of Windsor on an ...

  26. Avoid These Tourist Traps In London And Visit These Destinations ...

    If the tour is based in London, you can expect to pay over $50 per adult for a one-day pass. Instead, board a London bus, which will cost less than $7 for a day of travel. Bus fare for one ride is ...