Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours in London

The Ultimate Guide to Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours in London

City sightseeing is the ideal way to get the best out of a destination in the least possible time, and hop-on hop-off bus tours are the best way to do it.

You might have encountered those unique double-decker buses in London used for public transport. These double-deckers are also widely used in sightseeing tours as hop-on hop-off buses.

But what exactly is a hop-on hop-off bus tour? Is it really worth the hype? The article discusses everything you need to know about Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours in London:

What is the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour?

A hop-on hop-off bus tour is a convenient sightseeing service best for a flexible experience of visiting London’s main attractions. A sightseeing tour bus follows a specific itinerary, covering all the capital’s famous landmarks. But what makes this tour unique is the “hop-on hop-off concept.”

You can hop off the bus at any stop and spend time exploring the attractions around that stop. Once you’ve explored enough and are ready to move, get to the nearby hop-on hop-off bus stop and get back on the bus to continue the trip.

Why Choose a Hop-On Hop-Off Tour in London?

A hop-on hop-off tour allows you to explore the capital at your own pace. Enjoy the excellent convenience of sightseeing London’s top landmarks right from the comfort of a bus. A hop-on hop-off tour absolutely stands out compared to any other sightseeing trip in London. Here’s why:

  • Flexibility: Hop off at any stop, spend time as much as you want there, spot the tour bus at the nearest stop, and get back on to continue the tour. It’s as flexible as that!
  • Sophisticated Routes: The routes and itineraries are carefully designed in hop-on hop-off tours since they are basically sightseeing adventures. Rest assured, you’ll get to sightsee or visit almost every major landmark of Westminster and the City of London.
  • Live Commentary and Guides: Most hop-on hop-off bus tours include additional features like live commentary from professional guides. You’ll hear lovely stories about every attraction that passes by.
  • Versatility: Whether you prefer a cosy covered bus or an open-top double-decker bus for photo opportunities, you can always choose the bus type that best suits your needs.

Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour Routes and Stops

Hop-on hop-off bus tours generally offer a sophisticated itinerary covering the city’s significant landmarks. The two most common routes for any bus tour include “The Main Sightseeing Tour” and “The Museum and Gallery Tour.” The former covers significant areas of Westminster and the City of London, while the latter takes you to the Kensington Borough for museum visits.

Here’s a general tour route for the leading sightseeing tour:

Here’s a general tour route for the museum tour:

  • Kensington Palace
  • Notting Hill
  • Natural History Museum
  • Science Museum
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Harrods
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Baker Street (Sherlock Holmes Museum)

Top 3 Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours Providers

Several worldwide and local tour operators offer hop-on hop-off adventures based on their particular features. Although the general tour itineraries are the same, the experience may vary with the specific tour theme, bus type, or combined tours of sightseeing and entry tickets to some attractions.

1) City Sightseeing: The Open Top Bus Tours

City Sightseeing is a worldwide tour operator of hop-on hop-off city tours that covers significant cities largely considered tourism hubs. For London, City Sightseeing’s Open Top Bus Tours stand out for their unique combination with other adventures.

  • Combine city sightseeing with a cruise tour over the River Thames.
  • Get entry tickets to the Tower of London with a Bus + Tower of London tour.
  • Get a fast-track entry to the London Eye with a Bus + London Eye tour.
  • Enter Madame Tussauds while sightseeing other landmarks nearby with a Bus + Madame Tussauds tour.

2) Tootbus London (Previously known as The Original Tour)

Tootbus London is one of the immensely popular hop-on hop-off bus tours, best known for its themed tours. For instance, on a historical-themed tour, you can travel to London’s famous attractions and have a walking tour of each one. Likewise, the night-themed and kids-themed tours are specialized for particular experiences.

3) Golden Tours

Golden Tours offers similar themed tours as Tootbus. However, Golden Tours is largely known for its comfortable, air-conditioned buses, which are available as open-top and covered buses. The best options for Golden Tours include Harry Potter-themed bus tours and London-By-Night bus tours for a non-stop evening adventure.

Where to Get Hop-On Hop-Off London?

Almost every tour operator offers an online booking option via the website or an application. You can see the tour itinerary, inclusions, details, and online booking options. You would also be able to track your location in real-time and see an interactive map to understand routes. Every time you’re ready to board the bus after hopping off, a simple scan via your phone will get you a quick entry inside the bus.

Is Hop-On Hop-Off London Worth It?

London’s hop-on hop-off tours are definitely worth it for their convenience and flexibility, not to mention the ultimate comfort of sightseeing. They’re a perfect combination of sightseeing and transport to popular landmarks. The themed bus tours offer an adventure centred around a particular story, history, or film. All in all, they’re a perfect way to explore the best of the capital in the least time.


A hop-on hop-off bus tour is an ideal way to sightsee the famous attractions of London. Find the best tour operator and choose a particular tour type, from the themed trips to the general tours in Westminster and the City of London. Be sure to check the detailed routes, inclusions, and restrictions for a desirable experience.


Are Hop-On Hop-Off bus tours wheelchair accessible?

All hop-on hop-off bus tours are wheelchair accessible and friendly for disabled individuals. These tours have low-floor buses with wheelchair ramps for each boarding.

Are audio guides provided on Hop-On Hop-Off bus tours?

Guided hop-on hop-off bus tours accompany multilingual tour guides for live commentary for every landmark your bus passes by.

Can I purchase tickets for a Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour in advance?

It’s best to purchase tickets for hop-on hop-off bus tickets in advance. Purchasing online in advance may also come with specific discounts. Look out for special deals on bank holidays and festivals.

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