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Hop-On-Hop-Off Los Angeles Bus Tours

Which Tour Is Best?

Updated: August 16, 2023
 By Mel

This post provides details about each of the hop-on-hop-off Los Angeles bus tours available to you, including ticket prices and discounts.


If you’re considering this type of bus tour, there are a few factors you might want to keep in mind before buying your ticket.

This section will provide some of the pros and cons of using a hop-on-hop-off bus service.

Starline Tours Los Angeles


These bus excursions allow you to set your own schedule. You can hop off at any stop and stay as long as you wish before hopping back on to continue the tour.

The tours cover must-see spots such as the Hollywood Sign, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Venice Beach.

They also offer flexibility with a 'free cancellation' policy and a 'full refund' for unexpected plan changes.

Ticket prices are fairly reasonable at an average of $50 for adults and they are usually available every day of the week! 

Big Bus Tours

This is one of the most popular hop-on-hop-off tour companies in the world, with operations in San Francisco, NYC, Chicago, London, and many other cities.

Big Bus Los Angeles Tours

Big Bus offers two different routes, one covering the Hollywood area and another that takes you to the beaches of Santa Monica.

There are more than 20 stops included across both routes, giving you the opportunity to jump off and explore the area at your leisure.

Big Bus Route Map Los Angeles

The tours themselves are available in 9 different languages and there are live guides on all buses.

Bus tours run daily from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (17:00), giving you plenty of time to explore the city at your own pace.

The prices below reflect the additional 10% - 20% discount you receive for purchasing directly through their website.




  • Ticket Price: $80/Adults | $64/Kids
  • 48-Hour Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Excursion
  • TCL Chinese Theatre Walking Tour
  • Celebrity Homes Tour
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

TIP: You can save an extra 5% off using Tiqets!

NOTE: The classic ticket is included with more than one Los Angeles tourist pass. To find out more, please read our combo deals and discounts section.

With prices, this low, Big Bus Excursions has actually undercut some of its competition.

That said, some of their competitors offer more bus routes, so you may still want to consider another service depending on where you want to go and what you want to see in Los Angeles.

Starline Tours

If this name sounds familiar, it’s probably because Starline Tours has been around for almost 90 years!

Although they started out simply by touring the homes of the rich and famous, today they provide several additional services – including this hop-on-hop-off bus tour.

With a total of 3 bus lines stretching from Downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica, there will be plenty to do and see on this trip around the City of Angels.

Tours run daily from 9:00 am until 7:00 pm (21:00). 

Completing every circuit would take at least 5-6 hours, and chances are that you won’t be able to finish that in one day.

Therefore, we recommend choosing either a 48 or 72-hour ticket for the best possible value.

TIP: You can actually get the 48-hour ticket for less with a combo package which includes admission to Madame Tussauds. Check our combo deals & discounts section for more details.

Although Starline is a bit more expensive than its competitors, they also offer more bus lines connecting you to some of the most popular locations in the Los Angeles area.

If you’re looking to visit Downtown Los Angeles, this is currently the only hop-on-hop-off bus excursion in the city that will take you there.

Ultimately, this company provides more bang for your buck, but only if you’re interested in doing some sightseeing downtown.


The following section covers each of the discounts available on the Los Angeles hop-on-hop-off bus excursion.

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

Tourist Passes

If you’re planning to do more than just take a tour while visiting Los Angeles, a tourist pass could save you a lot of money.

There are currently three different types of tourist discount passes in this city, and most of them include at least one hop-on-hop-off bus excursion.

Big Bus Tours

Starline Tours

The easiest option will be to build your own pass, as this service allows you to save up to 20% off when you purchase at least 4 passes.

Although it’s not the biggest discount in the world, it’s helpful if you don’t want to get carried away and/or some of the locations you want to visit are already quite affordable.

An all-inclusive option will provide admission to dozens of different activities for a specific amount of time (1, 2, 3, 5, or 7 days).

This service is best for visitors who want to enjoy a lot of attractions in a short amount of time, as they will save the most money – 50% or more!

Alternatively, you can also get a flex pass which allows you to pay one flat price for a set number of attractions (3, 4, 5, or 7).

Although this is a great option for expensive activities, it’s not so good for passes that are already cheap.

No matter which pass you choose, you should be able to save anywhere from 10% - 50% off general admission prices.

Some passes also include skip-the-line entry at certain locations, making it easy to save both time and money.

For additional details, please read our post covering Los Angeles tourist passes.

Combo Packages

There are several combo deals available which include Starline’s hop-on-hop-off bus service.

If you’re interested in taking this tour, these packages will allow you to save money on multiple activities by paying one flat price for both!

24-Hour Bus Tour + Movie Stars Homes Tour

48-Hour Bus Tour + Warner Bros. Studio Tour

48-Hour Bus Tour + OUE Skyspace

48-Hour Bus Tour + Malibu Stars Homes Tour

48-Hour Bus Tour + Madame Tussauds

NOTE: While some of these are a great deal, you might be able to get a better deal with a tourist pass. 

For instance, while the 48-Hour Bus Tour w/ Madame Tussauds ticket actually costs less than their regular service, the 48-Hour Bus Tour w/ Warner Bros. Studio Tour isn’t actually that big of a discount.

The Go City Los Angeles Card includes both a hop-on-hop-off bus tour and the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, and you can get a 1-day pass for less than $100.

Just keep this in mind before you purchase a combo package instead of a tourist pass.

Discount Sites

If all else fails or you just don’t feel like paying for any other activities, sites such as Groupon and Living Social usually provide discounts on Los Angeles hop-on-hop-off bus excursions.

Depending on when you’re traveling to Los Angeles, you could save anywhere from 10% - 50% off these bus tour pass.

These discount sites also frequently offer additional coupon codes allowing you to save up to an extra 25% off local activities.

Make sure to check both the top and bottom of the page for banners that may include coupons you can use to save even more money.


Great Overview

If you’re looking for a general overview of Los Angeles which provides some of the more significant details about the city, this type of bus excursion should do the pass.

Take Your Time

With the opportunity to hop off at dozens of notable locations, you can explore the city at a leisurely pace and hop back on to finish the tour afterward.

If you want to take a bus tour that will allow you to take your time, it’s hard to beat this service.

Live Tour Guides

Most hop-on-hop-off bus excursions include live guides who will provide a variety of details about the city.

This is a great opportunity to ask questions that might not otherwise be answered on pre-recorded audio.


Although there are a lot of great reasons to take a hop-on-hop-off bus tour, this service isn’t for everyone.

Before you purchase a ticket, take a look at our list of cons.

Not Very Detailed

These bus excursions do provide a general overview of the city that can be very helpful and informative, but they don’t go into a lot of detail about the history of Los Angeles.

If you’re looking for a more in-depth experience, consider another type of bus tour instead.


One of the drawbacks of hop-on-hop-off bus excursions is that they aren’t very efficient.

Since you’ll be making stops at dozens of different locations, this isn’t as quick of a ride around the city as it could be.

If you’re looking for a faster tour, check out our post on other Los Angeles bus tours.

No Assigned Seating

While most fully guided tours will include assigned seating, a hop-on-hop-off bus tour is first come, first serve.

Depending on when and where you hop on, you might not even get a seat!

If you want to make sure you’ve got somewhere to sit, consider another kind of bus tour in Los Angeles.

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

Is Los Angeles a walkable city?

Los Angeles has sprawling cityscapes, so it's not typically classified as a walkable city; however, areas like Beverly Hills, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Downtown LA offer pedestrian-friendly routes.

Is a hop-on hop-off bus tour a good way to get around Los Angeles?

Yes, a hop-on hop-off bus tour is a convenient and flexible way to explore Los Angeles. It provides opportunities to visit various landmarks from the Santa Monica Pier to the Sunset Strip at your leisure, while a live guide provides insightful commentary.

What is the easiest way to get around Los Angeles?

Opting for an open-top bus or hop-on hop-off tours is one of the simplest ways to navigate Los Angeles. These tours eliminate the need for personal navigation or parking hassles, letting you focus on attractions like the Dolby Theatre, Staples Center, Rodeo Drive, and Union Station.

Public transportation is used mostly by locals, so a tourist might look out of place. There is a metro system, but it won't get you everywhere you might want to go. It does make sense to rent a car to get around if you don't want to use a hop-on hop-off bus.


About The Author


Mel loves to be a tourist in her own city. With a background in performing arts, tourism, and photography, giving tours and being a story-teller comes naturally to her. She loves traveling, food, and theatre. Mel splits her time between Chicago and Los Angeles (#theatrelife) and leads tours and manages both cities!
Updated: August 16th, 2023
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