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Which Los Angeles Bus Tour Should You Take?

Best Hollywood Bus Tours and Day Trips

Updated: March 7, 2024
 By Mel

Sometimes when we're leading one of our Los Angeles walking tours, one of our guests will ask about which bus tour they should take.

The problem is we never know which one to recommend, because a lot of them are very good!

With that in mind, this post compares the various different bus tour options available to you in Los Angeles.

We summarize the public reviews to help you decide which company and tour are best for you.


This is the most popular type of bus tour in Los Angeles, as it allows you to visit several different locations in and around the city.

If you’re interested in visiting Hollywood, Santa Monica, Downtown LA and more, a hop-on-hop-off bus tour will offer an excellent opportunity for sightseeing.

In addition to providing a general overview of the city, these tours also allow you to jump off wherever you want and explore at your own leisure.

When you’re done looking around, you can hop back on and continue the tour!

Big Bus Los Angeles Tours

Most Los Angeles tourist passes include a hop-on-hop-off bus tour at no additional cost, and there are also several combo packages that combine these services with other activities and attractions.

If you’re curious about this service, please read our post covering Los Angeles hop-on-hop-off bus tours for more details.


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 has a route that runs through Hollywood.

If you’re looking for a service that will provide frequent stops and chances to hop off, this could be a great option.

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.

Hollywood City Tours

This company offers shaded, open air buses and make stops at designated hot spots in Los Angeles.

Their Hollywood & Celebrity Homes Tour makes a stop at both the Beverly Hills sign and a great location to see the Hollywood Sign.

They also take you down Rodeo Drive to see some of the notable sites in that area.

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.

Star Track

If you’re looking for something a little cheaper, this is another well-known company in Los Angeles that provides Hollywood bus tours.

Star Track Tours Hollywood

Guests can expect to see and learn about locations like the TCL Chinese Theater, the Walk of Fame, Sunset Strip, Beverly Hills, Mulholland Drive and more.

In addition to seeing these sites, you’ll also have an opportunity to discover a variety of filming locations and even some celebrity homes.

TIP: This service is actually included with the Los Angeles Sightseeing Pass. Learn more about this deal in our deals section.

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 $40-$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.


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.

NOTE: This tour is included with multiple Los Angeles tourist passes. Learn more about these services in our deal section.

Big Bus Tours

If you’re looking for an alternative, Big Bus Tours has its own version of this excursion which includes a stop to see 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.

TIP: You can save money on this outing with a Los Angeles tourist pass. Check our deal section for additional information.

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 $55-$65 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.


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.

Hollywood City Tours

This company offers what they call the Grand City Tour, which includes a look at Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica.

There are 4 different stops, including a 1-hour lunch break at an outdoor farmer's market.

The total tour is approximately 7 hours long, giving you plenty of time to experience a variety of sites.

You can expect to see locations such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman's Chinese Theater, the Dolby Theater, the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Observatory, and more.

Running from 10 am - 5 pm, this bus tour provides a pretty extensive look at the city as a whole, so it’s an excellent option if you’re looking for a service that covers more than just Hollywood.

A Day in LA Tours

Described as a comprehensive tour of the city, this 7-9 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 Rodeo Drive.

Discover sites such as the Hollywood Sign, Santa Monica Pier, and more.

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 that 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.


It's not uncommon for tour companies to offer deals on their services.

Sometimes these deals come in the form of a promo credit, 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.

Los Angeles Tourist Passes

If you’re planning to enjoy several different activities and attractions in Los Angeles, you could save a lot of money by using a tourist pass.

Most Los Angeles tourist passes include at least one bus tour, and some actually offer more than one of the services listed on this post.

The following Los Angeles bus tours are included with at least one tourist pass:

  • Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tours
  • Starline Celebrity Homes Tour
  • Starline Movie Location Tour
  • Star Track Hollywood Bus Tour

There are three different types of pass that include LA bus tours: all-inclusive and flex passes.

If you’re looking to save the most, an all-inclusive pass includes admission to dozens of activities for a specific amount of time (1, 2, 3, 5, or 7 days).

A flex pass allows you to pay one flat price for a set number of attractions (3, 4, 5, or 7) that you can visit over the course of 30 days. 

While this service isn’t as limited by time restrictions, it’s also a bit more difficult to save money.

Even at its best, you’ll be paying more than $31 per attraction, so it wouldn’t make sense for cheaper activities.

Here are a few of the more popular activities and attractions included with these services:

Depending on which tourist pass you choose, you could save anywhere between 10% - 50% off ticket prices.

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

Combo Packages

In addition to tourist passes, there are also several combo deals which include Los Angeles bus tours. 

These saving opportunities combine two or more activities for one flat price, allowing you to save some money on a few fun things to do.

If you’re interested in a hop-on-hop-off bus tour, check this list of combo packages available with those services.

Movie Star Homes Tour + Warner Bros. Studio Tour

  • Tickets: $99/Adults | $79/Children
  • Availability: Daily
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Not currently available

Movie Stars Homes Tour + Madame Tussauds

  • Tickets: $59/Adults | $49/Children
  • Availability: Daily
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Not currently available

Movie Stars Homes Tour + Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour

  • Tickets: $79/Adults | $49/Children
  • Availability: Daily
  • Duration: 24 hours
  • Not currently available

Movie Stars Homes Tour + Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour + Warner Bros Studio Tour

  • Tickets: $155/Adults | $125/Children
  • Availability: Daily
  • Duration: 48 hours
  • Not currently available

Deal Sites

In addition to all the other opportunities to save money, you can also find Los Angeles bus tours on popular sites such as Groupon and Living Social.

On top of all the deals you can find using these deal sites, they also provide additional promo credits that you can use to save another 10% - 25% on average.

Make sure to check the top and bottom of each page for banners which may include these promos.

Tips From Locals and Travelers

Although we do our best to provide all the details you'll need to choose the best Los Angeles bus tour for your interests, there's always a chance we might forget something.

It's also just a good idea to get a wide variety of opinions and perspectives, because everyone has a bias.

That's why we have a Los Angeles Travel Tips group on Facebook where you can ask any question you might have and find out what other people think about these bus tours.

As you can see, group members are always asking for recommendations about which bus tour to take, and there are always a wide range of interesting answers.

When it comes to Hollywood and celebrity home tours, Starline is probably always going to be one of the biggest names in Los Angeles, and most travelers swear by the quality of their services.

That said, Surf City is also quite popular, and they usually come very highly recommended. Star Track is also typically popular, although there aren't as many positive comments about their tours.

A Day in LA is another bus tour that frequently gets mentioned in our Facebook Group. Most travelers feel they offer a good overview of the city.

In addition to all the specialty bus tours, the hop on hop off tours are also quite popular. Some even suggest getting a 2-day ticket to make sure you can experience every location on the outing.

For more helpful advice, make sure to check our Los Angeles Travel Tips group on Facebook. Consider leaving a comment of your own if you can't find the answers to your questions!


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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: March 7th, 2024
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