Which Los Angeles Bus Tour Should You Take?

This post compares the various different bus tour options available to you in Los Angeles and summarises the public reviews to help you decide which company and tour are best for you.

 

 


HOP-ON-HOP-OFF BUS TOURS

These bus tours 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.

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.

Classic Ticket

Premium Ticket

With prices this low, Big Bus Tours has actually undercut some of their 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.

 

Starline Tours Los Angeles

 

With a total of 6 bus lines stretching from Downtown Los Angeles to Venice Beach, 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 8 hours, and chances are that you won’t be able to finish that in one day, so we recommend choosing either a 48 or 72-hour ticket for the best possible value.

  • 24-Hour: $49 for Adults | $30 for Children | $132 for Family (2 Adults + 3 Children)
  • 48-Hour: $64 for Adults | $40 for Children | $178 for Family (2 Adults + 3 Children)
  • 72-Hour: $79 for Adults | $50 for Children | $220 for Family (2 Adults + 3 Children)
  • Click here for more information

 

Starline's map of service routes in Los Angeles. Image Source: City-sightseeingLA.com

 

Although this is one of the oldest and most popular Los Angeles bus tours, their ratings on TripAdvisor are fairly mediocre with a total score of 3 ½ out of 5 stars.

Most guests agree that this tour company provides a valuable service, but there are several complaints suggesting that they could probably do better.

Some customers offer tips on how to improve the tour experience, indicating that they had a good time but enhancements could be made.

Ratings on other sites (read reviews here) are better, with reviewers describing the tour as an excellent way to familiarize yourself with the LA area.

Families and couples were most likely to leave a positive review of Starline Tours.

 


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HOLLYWOOD BUS TOURS

There are a wide variety of bus tours available in the Hollywood area. Some of them are on an open-top, double-decker bus, but others are on a smaller open-top mini-buses.

It’s worth noting that each of the hop-on-hop-off bus tours have a route which runs through Hollywood. For example, the image below shows Big Bus’s Hollywood route.

 

Big Bus Hollywood Route Map

 

In addition to their hop-on-hop-off service, Starline Tours also offers a 1-hour Hollywood Trolley Tour which includes admission to Madame Tussauds for just $20.

If you’re looking for a short and simple trip around Hollywood, this is an affordable option that you might want to consider.


Surf City Tours

This company uses open-air vehicles that will provide cover from the sun as the breeze blows by on your drive around the city.

This Hollywood tour includes highlights such as Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the Sunset Strip and Rodeo Drive. Much like their competitors, they make a stop near the Hollywood sign for photo opportunities.

Offered daily and running 2 hours in duration, this may be a good option for visitors who are short on time.


LA City Tours

This company offers open-top buses and make stops at designated hot spots in Los Angeles.

Their Hollywood Grand City Tour makes a stop at both the Beverly Hills sign and the Griffith Park Observatory (one of the best locations to see the Hollywood Sign).

This trip around the city includes narration provided by professional tour guides who will point out some of the more important sites in the area. This tour is also available via mini-bus, which may be more comfortable for some visitors.


Additional Hollywood Bus Tours

Whether you’re looking for a longer tour or a more private experience, chances are you’ll find a Hollywood bus tour that fits your needs and expectations.

Most of these services stop at locations such as the Hollywood sign, the Sunset Strip, Grauman’s Chinese Theater and more. Prices range from $35-$70 per person and each tour runs for between 2 – 4 hours on average.

If you’re in the market for a different kind of tour, check this list of Hollywood bus tours for a service that fits your needs.

 


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CELEBRITY HOME TOURS

If you’ve ever wanted to see the homes of the rich and famous, there are several bus tours that will take you to some of the most notable mansions in Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

Most of these services take place on a small open-top mini-buses which allows them to traverse the smaller, winding roads of these neighborhoods.


Starline Tours

In addition to their hop-on-hop-off bus service, Starline Tours still provides the original tour that made them famous – their celebrity home tour. During this 2 hour drive around the homes of the rich and famous, you’ll see and learn all about the lives of notable movie stars.

Instead of being packed onto a large open top bus, you’ll be escorted to each location in a comfortable 13-seat vehicle which ensures a more personalized experience.


LA City Tours

If you’re looking for an alternative, LA City Tours has their own version of this excursion which includes a stop at the Hollywood sign. Over the course of 2 hours, you’ll see the homes of rich and famous movie stars who live in the Los Angeles area.

As you travel through notable neighborhoods such as Bel-Air, Beverly Hills and the Sunset Strip, you’ll see where celebrities spend most of their time. Discover their favorite places to eat and have fun.

This tour also includes a stop at one of the best viewing locations for the Hollywood sign.


Additional Celebrity Home Tours

If you’re looking for something cheaper or more exclusive, there are quite a few Celebrity Home tours to pick from.

Each service takes you to various locations throughout Beverly Hills and the Hollywood area to find locations where celebrities are either currently living or once lived.

Prices are usually $45-$50 per person and you can expect the average tour to last about 2 hours.

For even more options, make sure to check this list of Celebrity home tours to find a company that meets your expectations.

 


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LOS ANGELES IN ONE DAY TOURS

If you’re in the market for a more personalized trip around Los Angeles, you may want to consider a minibus tour. These services focus on smaller groups of people, giving you the chance to ask more questions and potentially even learn more about the city.

These tours visit numerous neighborhoods and areas and allow you to efficiently see the highlights of Los Angeles, which are spread out over great distances.


Starline Tours

Take a trip around Los Angeles on Starline’s minibus to see all of the major landmarks and neighborhoods. Avoid the large crowds and enjoy a more personalized experience with the help of their professional tour guides.

In addition to visiting a lot of notable celebrity homes and mansions, you’ll also see sites such as the Hollywood sign and Grauman’s Chinese Theater. This outing also includes a trip to communities such as Venice Beach, Santa Monica and Downtown LA.


LA City Tours

Described as a comprehensive tour of the city, this 6-hour Los Angeles bus tour includes a visit to neighborhoods such as Santa Monica and Venice Beach. Additionally, you’ll also have the opportunity to see Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and the Downtown area.

Discover sites such as the Walk of Fame, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Marina Del Rey. Due to the length of this outing, a stop will be made during the lunch hour so that you can refuel at the halfway point.


Additional LA In A Day Tours

Not interested in any of the services we mentioned? No problem! There are quite a few companies who offer LA In A Day tours which cover a variety of subjects and neighborhoods. While some of these outings only last 4-6 hours, others will take up an entire day.

Ticket prices are a bit more pricey at $60-$100 on average, but considering the personal attention you’ll receive and the length of each tour, that’s actually a pretty good deal.

If you’re looking for a shorter trip or something a bit less expensive, take a look at this list of Minibus tours in Los Angeles for additional options.

 


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COMBO PACKAGES & DISCOUNTS

It’s not uncommon for tour companies to offer discounts on their services. Sometimes these deals come in the form of a coupon code, but you’ll usually find a better rebate by taking advantage of a combo package.

In some cases, you can even save up to 50% off of various activities — including Los Angeles bus tours! If you want to save money during your trip around the City of Angels, consider some of the following bargains.


Go Los Angeles Card

This tourist attraction discount pass includes a variety of bus tours at a discounted price. In addition to working with Starline, they also offer Hollywood bus tours at a discount.

The Go Los Angeles card is available as an all-inclusive pass, but you can also build-your-own pass and receive a lower price when purchasing more than one tour or activity at a time.

Save anywhere from 20%-50% on average while enjoying an interesting selection of tours and attractions.

 

 

For more information about Los Angeles Tourist Discount Passes, read our detailed review of all the various options. Below are some of the bus options included on the tourist passes.

All Inclusive Pass

The following bus tours are available with this pass:

  • Starline Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Tour (Yellow Line)
  • Rockin’ Hollywood Bus Tour
  • Malibu Celebrity Homes Bus Tour

Ticket Prices:

  • 1 Day: $94 for Adults | $73 for Children
  • 2 Days: $146 for Adults | $115 for Children
  • 3 Days: $258 for Adults | $222 for Children
  • 5 Days: $340 for Adults | $293 for Children
  • 7 Days: $399 for Adults | $352 for Children
  • Click here to purchase this pass.

Build-Your-Own Pass

The following bus tours are available with this pass:

  • Starline Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour (Multilingual)
  • Starline Movie Location Bus Tour
  • Hollywood Movie Star Homes Bus Tour
  • 1-Hour Hollywood Trolley Tour
  • Malibu Celebrity Homes bus Tour

Purchase two or more attractions/tours and receive 20% off each ticket. Click here to learn more about this pass.

Other Discount Options

Some Los Angeles bus tours offer discounted tickets through services such as Groupon.

 


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