Hop-On-Hop-Off London Bus Tours

Updated: März 22, 2023
 By Margaret

This post will provide details about each of the hop-on-hop-off bus tours available in London.

We will also include information about any discounts or deals available on tickets.

Let's get started!

Disclosure: We think you should consider our free tours, but we have also provided other options. While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.


If you’re looking for a great way to see all the major sites in London, a hop-on-hop-off bus tour can be a great option.

That said, there are a few things you may want to consider before purchasing tickets.


Here are a few reasons you may want to think about taking a hop-on-hop-off bus tour in London.

Live and Recorded Commentary

These bus tours typically include both live and recorded commentary about the most historic and notable landmarks in the city, and the audio tour is often offered in at least 5-10 different languages.

Which Are the Best London Bus Tours

Jump Off and Explore

In addition to the tour itself, you’ll also have the opportunity to jump off at any stop you want and take a closer look for yourself.

Once you’re done looking around, just hop back on and resume your guided trip!

Great Overview of the City

This is a great way for visitors to become more familiar with the city and where everything is located.

Each hop-on-hop-off bus tour includes a map that can make it even easier to find your way around town.

Additional Services

Depending on which type of ticket you purchase, you could also enjoy free walking tours, cruises, night tours, and other things to do.

This is a great way to save money on activities you may already be considering.

Reasonable Prices

Considering that you’ll receive transportation, a tour, live and recorded commentary, a map, and even additional activities, the ticket prices are pretty reasonable at an average price of £35-£50 per person.

TIP: We have a section on discounts and deals below so you don't have to pay full price!


Although a hop-on-hop-off bus tour can be very useful for most travelers, there are some reasons that you may want to consider another service.

Best London Bus Tour

Simplistic Commentary

It’s nice that these tours typically include both live and recorded commentary about the city, but they don’t usually go into a lot of detail about all of the landmarks and historic locations you will see.

If you want more in-depth commentary, consider a different type of London bus tour instead.

Or, consider our public bus hop-on-hop-off route. In addition to audio on the bus, we also have clips for walking around at select stops (learn more here).

Not Very Efficient

Whether you don’t have a lot of time in London or you just want to save some time, a hop-on-hop-off bus tour isn’t very efficient.

This service is more about taking your time and exploring each location of interest.

Visitors who want a quicker, more efficient experience should consider a different kind of London bus tour.

No Assigned Seat

While you can get an assigned seat on other bus tours and assure that you’ll always have a place to sit, there is no such guarantee on these hop-on-hop-off bus tours.

All seats are first-come, first-served.

If you want to make sure you’ve got a good seat with great views of the city, another type of London bus tour will probably suit you better.


This section will cover each of the 3 main London bus tour companies that allow you to jump off and explore each stop at your leisure.

We will provide details about ticket types, hours, prices, and other important factors.

And again, you also might consider our free, hop-on-hop-off tour on the public bus 11 route, which comes with GPS-enabled audio.

Big Bus Tours

Big Bus Tours considers itself the premiere hop-on-hop-off tour bus company and the reviews appear to agree.

The purchase of a multi-day ticket also includes a free river cruise as well as a booklet filled with vouchers for various London attractions.  

You can also combine a Big Bus ticket with several popular attractions for a combo discount.

Ticket Prices

Classic Ticket (24 Hours)

NOTE: Included for free with boat cruise with the London Explorer Pass and the London Pass.

Premium Ticket (48 Hours)

Deluxe Ticket (72 Hours)

TIP: There is a multi-day ticket for a few pounds more that allows you to use your ticket on non-consecutive days.

Times: 8:10 am - 7:00 pm. Tours run every 10-20 minutes. Big Bus also offers a night tour.

Where to Purchase Tickets

Purchase tickets here. Tickets are cheaper when purchased online in advance.

Or you could get them from Central Departure Points. These points are at Marble Arch, Green Park, Victoria Station, Baker Street, and Trafalgar Square. Onsite tickets are a bit more expensive.

Commentary Languages and Type

Live commentary in English.

Recorded commentary in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Polish, Arabic, Hindi, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, and English.


Red Route (2 hrs 30 min):

The best of London from Green Park to Victoria Station. Includes Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, Big Ben, Mayfair, London Bridge, and much more.

Big Bus London Map

Click on the map for a larger view

Blue Route (1 hrs 15 min):

As above, plus Kensington Gardens, Knightsbridge, Paddington, Notting Hill, Regents Park, and more.

NOTE: The Blue Route is not currently available.

Green Route (1 hr 15 min):

Temple Church, The Mall, St James’s Park, British Museum, Churchill Museum, Downing Street, National Portrait Gallery, and much more.

NOTE: The Green Route is not currently available.

Reviews of Big Bus Tours London

With a 4 out of 5-star rating on TripAdvisor, Big Bus Tours has clearly received quite a few respectable reviews from their customers.

Most passengers felt like this was a great way to learn about London and see many significant landmarks.

Unhappy reviews tend to increase during the early summer season as buses becoming more crowded, so be sure to temper your expectations.

The TootBus Sightseeing Tour (formerly the Original London Sightseeing Tour)

The TootBus Sightseeing Tour, also known as the Original London Sightseeing Tour company is almost identical to Big Bus Tours and their reviews are about equal.

As their name hints, they are the original hop-on-hop-off London sightseeing bus tour.

Original Bus Tour London

Tootbus also offers opportunities to combine a bus ticket with tickets to popular attractions to save on both. 

Extras: 24-hours and 48-hours tickets include a free river cruise, 3 free walking tours, and a booklet filled with vouchers for various London attractions.

Also for children, a free activity pack is included.

The 3 free walking tours are: Changing of the Guard, Rock N Roll London, and Jack the Ripper.

Tootbus also offers a nighttime bus tour and a kids bus tour as well.

Ticket Prices (with 15% discount included)

24 Hour Ticket Price

  • Adult – £26.35
  • Child – £15.30
  • Family – £80.00

48 Hour Ticket Price

  • Adult – £28.90
  • Child – £17.85
  • Family – £89.00

72 Hour Ticket Price

  • Adult – £31.45
  • Child – £20.40
  • Family – £98.00

Purchase tickets or learn more.


Yellow Route

  • Mon - Thur: 9 am - 4:35 pm
    • Buses run every 20-35 minutes.
  • Fri - Sun: 9 am - 5:10 pm
    • Buses run every 15-30 minutes.

Blue Route

  • Daily: 9 am - 4 pm
  • Buses run every 20-30 minutes.


Yellow Route  – The Original Tour (T1 and T2)

  • Tower of London, Trafalgar Square, St Paul’s Cathedral, London Eye, The Shard, Tower Bridge and Leicester Square.National Gallery, and more.
  • T1 – Live commentary in English.  T2 – Recorded commentary in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Portuguese, Mandarin. PLUS special commentary specifically for children.
  • First bus: 8:30 am. Frequency: every 5-20 mins.
Original Tour Map

Blue Route – The Royal Borough Route (T4)

  • Harrods, Victoria & Albert Museum, Science Museum, Natural History Museum and the Design Museum and more. 
  • Multilingual commentary.
  • First bus:  8:00 am. Frequency: Every 15-20 mins.

Orange Route  – The British Museum Tour  (T5)

  • British Museum, British Library, Chinatown, Shaftesbury Avenue, and more.
  • Multilingual commentary.
  • First bus: 8:35 am. Frequency: Every 20-30 mins.

NOTE: This route is not currently available and we don't know when they will bring it back.

Reviews of Original London Sightseeing Tour

Much like their competition, The Original London Sightseeing Tour has received a 4 out of 5-star rating on TripAdvisor.

Reviews for their hop-on-hop-off bus tours are mostly positive, but they have had some unhappy customers from time to time.

Some guests complained that they didn’t learn a lot and the trip took too long, but many others were pleasantly surprised by everything they experienced.

Several visitors were very impressed by their drivers and the additional walking tours that they offer for free.

Golden Tours

Although this service is worth mentioning, it’s important to note that Golden Tours has only been given a 3 ½ out of 5-star rating on TripAdvisor, but 4 out of 5 stars on Get Your Guide (see the reviews).

Reviews for their hop-on-hop-off bus tour are very mixed, and several customers have come to the conclusion that the service was not very good.

Some guests complained about their bus driver while others were displeased with how infrequently the buses ran.

Those who enjoyed their trip felt that it was a great value which made it a lot easier to explore London. 

24-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Ticket Price

  • Adult – £39
  • Child – £22
  • Family – £109
  • Includes boat ride & walking tour

48-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Ticket Price

  • Adult – £45
  • Child – £24
  • Family – £128

72-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Ticket Price

  • Adult – £50
  • Child – £26
  • Family – £142

Purchase tickets or learn more.

NOTE: The 24-hour ticket is included for free with the London Explorer Pass and the London Pass.

Commentary Languages and Type: Live commentary in English. Recorded commentary in German, French, Spanish, Italian Japanese, Russian and Brazilian Portuguese.

Route Duration: 1 – 3 hours

Extras: FREE riverboat cruise. FREE Royal or Beatles walking tours.


  • Red Route – Standard Route – Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace.
  • Yellow Route – Standard Route plus Kensington --- Harrods, V&A Museum, Royal Albert Hall, etc.


  • 10:00 am to 5:55 pm
  • Buses run every 10-20 minutes.


Many of the above-mentioned bus tour companies offer night bus tours, and we will detail those services below.

Most of these are not hop-on-hop-off tours, but they do take place in the same open-top double-decker buses that are used during the day.

Be sure to also check out our post on night tours of London for walking, bike, boat, and Segway tours.

There is also a Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes night bus tour.

The TootBus Night Tour (formerly the Original London Night Tour)

This company offers its yellow route as a night tour, and it includes a variety of popular landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, and more.

Unlike other companies, this is essentially just an extension of their hop-on-hop-off bus tour during the day, but the night bus tickets are only valid after 6:30 pm.

Think of it as a discount ticket for the end of the day.

That said, this night bus tour does not include any of the additional activities that you can get with other services provided by the Original London Sightseeing Tour.

Regardless, being able to hop on and off at your own leisure will make this a much better option for anyone who wants to get some good pictures after the sun goes down.

Ticket Prices (with 15% discount)


  • The last full tour starts at 9 pm
  • Tickets become valid at 6:30 pm
  • Tour lasts for up to 2 ½ hours

In addition to offering the opportunity to jump off and explore at your leisure, this is also the most affordable night bus tour in London and it’s available year-round!

Original London also offers a nighttime bar bus tour as well as a bus tour specifically for kids.

London By Night

A double-decker bus tour of London after the sun goes down.

The tour route takes visitors through the most famous sites in London, all lit up, including the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, London Eye, Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square, Harrods, and more!

This company has received an overall 4 out of 5-star rating on TripAdvisor and a 4.7 out of 5-star rating on Get Your Guide (see the reviews).

An overwhelming majority of reviewers were very pleased with their service, some going so far as to say that this was an excellent experience.

Although they have been given a few negative reviews, none of them indicate any serious issues with the tour bus.

Ticket Prices


  • 19:30, 20:00, 20:30, 21:15, 21:45, 22:15 in Summer (Apr-Sept).
  • 19:30, 21:20 in Winter (Oct-Mar)
  • Tours last around 1 hr 15 min.

Location: Tours begin from Green Park next to the Ritz Hotel, Piccadilly.

Commentary Type and Language: Live commentary in English.

Big Bus Tours

This night tour will take you past notable and historic sites such as Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and the London Eye after the sunsets.

The tour is offered three times per night and you can start the tour at one of three different stops. Hotel return service is provided at the end of your outing.

Pre-recorded commentary is available in 12 languages, as it is on their hop-on-hop-off bus tours.

Ticket Prices


  • From the London Eye: 7:30 pm, 8 pm, 8:30 pm
  • From Victoria: 7:45 pm, 8:15 pm, 8:45 pm
  • From the Marble Arch: 8 pm, 8:30 pm, 9 pm

This night bus tour is only available for a limited time from April – September. That said, you can purchase tickets ahead of time and use them on any day within 6 months of purchase.


The following section will cover all of the different ways you can save money on a hop-on-hop-off bus tour.

We include information about tourist passes, combo packages, and more.

Tourist Attraction Passes

Most of the tourist attraction discount passes available to you in London include free tickets to at least one hop-on-hop-off bus tour, but not all of these services are the same.

Each of these tourist passes includes a variety of attractions for one flat price, allowing you to save up to 55% depending on the card that you choose.

They can also save you time by allowing you to skip the ticket queue at select tours and attractions. 

With that in mind, this section will provide a breakdown of which bus tour is offered by each tourist pass.

Big Bus Tours (24-hour ticket)

  • The London Pass
  • London Explorer Pass
  • London City Turbopass

Golden Tours (24-hour ticket)

  • The London Pass

Make sure to read our full post about which London City Pass is best for you for more details about how to use these services.

Combo Packages

All of the 3 major hop-on-hop-off companies offer tickets that combine various durations of their bus tickets with popular attractions in London.

The TootBus Sightseeing Tour (formerly the Original London Sightseeing Tour)

This company offers a combo deal which includes both their hop-on, hop-off bus tour and a cruise on the river Thames.

If you're interested in both of these activities, this is a great way to save money on tickets by paying one flat price instead of paying for tickets individually.

  • 24 Hour Tickets: £34.20/Adults | £19.80/Children
  • 48 Hour Tickets: £41.00/Adults | £25.00/Children
  • 72 Hour Tickets: £44.00/Adults | £28.00/Children

Big Bus Tours

This service currently offers a variety of combo packages, and they also work with Madame Tussauds to provide discounts through a special London attraction package.

The following deals are available directly from Big Bus Tours:

  • Classic Ticket + St. Paul's Cathedral
    • £58/Adults | £37/Kids
  • Premium Ticket + St. Paul's Cathedral
    • £74/Adults | £53/Kids
  • Classic Ticket + Madame Tussauds
    • £74/Adults | £61/Kids
  • Classic Ticket + Harry Potter Exhibition
    • £57/Adults | £42/Kids

Purchase combo packages or learn more.

Golden Tours

Much like their competitors, this company also offers a plethora of different combo deals which include their hop-on-hop-off bus tour and at least one additional attraction.

Purchase tickets or learn more.

Here are the deals they currently have available:

  • 24-Hour Bus Tour + London Eye
    • £62/Adults | £48/Kids
  • 24-Hour Bus Tour + Tower of London
    • £59/Adults | £32/Kids
  • 24-Hour Bus Tour + Madame Tussauds
    • £59/Adults | £45/Kids
  • 24-Hour Bus Tour + View From the Shard
    • £58/Adults | £47/Kids
  • 24-Hour Bus Tour + Westminster Abbey
    • £59/Adults | £32/Kids
  • 24-Hour Bus Tour + St. Paul’s Cathedral
    • £41/Adults | £22/Kids
  • 24-Hour Bus Tour + London Dungeon
    • £54/Adults | £40/Kids
  • 24-Hour Bus Tour + London Eye + Madame Tussauds
    • £101/Adults | £79/Kids
  • 24-Hour Bus Tour + London Eye + Tower of London
    • £95/Adults | £65/Kids
  • 24-Hour Bus Tour + SEA LIFE Aquarium
    • £54/Adults | £40/Kids
  • 24-Hour Bus Tour + London Eye + Madame Tussauds + SEA LIFE
    • £86/Adults | £71/Kids

Purchase tickets or learn more.

While some of these combo packages are an excellent deal, you may want to compare prices for a few of them to the Madame Tussauds Attraction Package and other combination discounts.


About The Author


An American simply by accident of birth, Margaret moved to London over 16 years ago and hasn’t looked back since! With a keen interest in History – and a BA degree to match – Margaret prides herself on her knowledge of the amazing city she calls home and she's been guiding here now for nearly a decade. Social history is her real expertise, with sound understanding of the day-to-day lives of Londoners over the past centuries. Read More...
Updated: März 22nd, 2023
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