Bus Tours of Seattle

This post covers each of the Hop on Hop off Bus Tours available in Seattle, including details about the landmarks you’ll see, additional activities that they may offer, and how to save money on tickets.

 

 


OVERVIEW

While Hop on Hop off bus tours are an excellent service for most travelers, they may not be perfect for everyone. With that in mind, let’s break down some of the pros and cons of taking this type of tour.


Pros

Although there are several reasons that you might want to consider taking a hop on hop off bus tour, here are a few benefits that most people will find especially useful.

Easy to Get Around

Seattle isn’t always the easiest city to navigate, and their public transport can be confusing for new visitors. Hop on Hop off bus tours make frequent stops at all the most popular and historic sites, making it much more simple to get around the city.

Discover Seattle at Your Own Pace

One of the best things about these tours is that you can jump off whenever you want and take a look around. After you’re done exploring that area, you can get back on the bus and continue your tour!

Excellent Overview of the City

Visitors who aren’t familiar with the history of Seattle will find these tours quite useful as an overview of the city, providing a lot of interesting information about each of the landmarks you will pass.


Cons

Although most people will find several good reasons to take a Hop on Hop off bus tour, they aren’t always the best way to experience a city. Here are a few factors that you may want to consider before buying a ticket.

Not Very Extensive

The information provided on these bus tours is great if you’re just looking for a basic overview of the city, but visitors who want a more in depth experience should consider another type of tour.

Inefficient Touring

While most people would rather take their time exploring the city, the fact is that you can take a more extensive tour in a shorter amount of time elsewhere. Visitors who are short on time or looking for a more efficient outing might want to think about taking a different tour.

No Guaranteed Seat

Hop on Hop off bus tours offer first come, first serve seating, which means that you never know when you’ll be able to find a good place to sit. If you want a guaranteed seat, consider a closed circuit guided bus tour instead.


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CITY SIGHTSEEING

With popular services all over the world, this company has clearly made a name for themselves as one of the premiere Hop on Hop off bus tours.

Their Seattle tour includes 16 stops such as the Space Needle, Chinatown Gate, Pioneer Square, the Sky View Observatory, Pike Place Market, Capitol Hill, and many other notable locations.

Tickets are offered for either 1 or 2 days at a time, and you’ll pay less per day by getting the longer ticket.

In addition to the Seattle Hop on Hop off bus tour, you’ll also receive a free self-guided walking tour with admission.


Ticket Prices

  • 1-Day Ticket: $43/Adult | $25/Child
  • 2-Day Ticket: $55/Adult | $31/Child
  • Availability: Daily from May – Oct
  • Hours: 10 am – 4 pm each day

Purchase City Sightseeing Seattle tickets or learn more.


Tour Route

City Sightseeing only offers one route in Seattle and it includes 16 stops at popular landmarks throughout the city covering roughly 1 mile of ground. It’ll take roughly 1 – 1 ½ hours to complete the entire route.


Things to Consider

If there is any major flaw with this service, it is the fact that their audio guide is only available in English and they do not provide the tour in any other language.

This means that visitors from other parts of the world may have a difficult time actually interpreting the tour, and that could be a problem for some travelers.

Another issue is that this Hop on Hop off bus tour only operates from May – October, so if you plan to visit Seattle at any other time of the year, you can’t actually use this service.

That all said, this is still a great way to get around the city with ease, so anyone who does understand English and plans to visit during the warmer months will likely find the tour quite useful.


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NIGHT BUS TOURS

In addition to their daily Hop on Hop off bus tours, City Sightseeing also has a bus tour you can take after dark. This outing is closed circuit, which means that you won’t be able to hop off and explore at your own pace.

Although it doesn’t stop at every location you see, it does stop for about 10-15 minutes at several of the most popular sites, so you can get off and take pictures and then get back on to continue the tour.  

This panoramic bus tour lasts for approximately 2 hours and includes highlights such as the Space Needle, the Great Wheel, the waterfront and many other notable landmarks.  It also has live narration, and some entertaining guides. 


Ticket Prices

  • $38/Adults | $25/Children
  • Availability: Nightly from Jun – Sept
  • Hours: 7 pm – 9 pm each night

***If you book before March 31st (2020), you can save 10%***

Purchase the City Sightseeing Seattle Night Bus Tour or learn more.


Things to Consider

This service does not include all of the stops that you’ll enjoy during the Hop on Hop off bus tour, but it’s an excellent way to see most of the well-lit landmarks in the city after the sun goes down.


If you’re interested in experiencing Seattle from a different perspective, this night bus tour is a great opportunity. The only major issue is that this outing is only available during the summer months, June – September.

Anyone visiting the city during another time of the year will need to consider another option if they want to see Seattle at night.


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“RIDE THE DUCKS”

These tours take place on amphibious buses, which means that they can actually drive right off the road and into the waters surrounding the Seattle city center.

 

 

If you’re looking for a more family-friendly bus tour which also includes a trip on the water, it’s hard to beat a duck tour for efficiency and fun!

This closed circuit bus tour covers a lot of notable sites and landmarks including the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, the Great Wheel, the Seattle Aquarium, Gasworks Park, and more.


Ticket Prices

  • $38/Adult | $23/Child (4-12) | $5/”Duckling” (0-4)
  • Jan. – Mar. Availability: Daily from 11 am – 3 pm
  • Apr. – May Availability: Daily from 11 am – 4 pm
  • June Availability: Daily from 10 am – 5 pm
  • July – Aug. Availability: Daily from 10 am – 6 pm
  • Sept. Availability: Daily from 10 am – 5 pm
  • Oct. – Nov. Availability: Daily from 11 am – 3 pm
  • Dec. Availability: Thur. – Mon. from 11 am – 3 pm
  • Duration: 1 ½ hours

Purchase Ride the Ducks tickets or learn more.


Things to Consider

While these tours are available year round, the weather is often either too cold or rainy to even consider taking a cruise or a bus tour during the winter months.

The information provided on these outings usually isn’t very in depth, and it’s more about the fun of riding around Seattle and sightseeing.

It’s also worth noting that the tour route for this service covers a bit more ground in some areas than their competitors.

Ride the Ducks is located right across the street from the Museum of Pop Culture, so it’s easy to combine both and enjoy each activity in one day.


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DEALS AND DISCOUNTS

The following section will cover the best ways to save money on Seattle Hop on Hop off bus tours, including details about combo packages and discount sites.


Combo Packages

If you’re looking for a way to save money on multiple tours in Seattle, this is probably your best bet. Combo deals allow you to pay one flat price for 2-3 activities or attractions.

City Sightseeing currently offers a combo package which includes the following 3 tours:

  • 1 or 2-Day Hop on Hop off Bus Tour
  • Scenic Panoramic Bus Tour
  • Self-Guided Walking Tour
    • 1-Day Premium Ticket: $63/Adult | $35/Child
    • 2-Day Premium Ticket: $75/Adult | $40/Childr

Purchase City Sightseeing Premium Seattle Tour tickets or learn more.

This company also offers a combo package which includes both their Hop on Hop off bus tour and tickets to the Sky View Observatory.

  • 1 or 2-Day Hop on Hop off Bus Tour
  • Admission to Sky View Observatory
  • Self-Guided Walking Tour
    • 1-Day Ticket: $60/Adult | $41/Child
    • 2-Day Ticket: $70/Adult | $46/Child

Purchase City Sightseeing Bus Tour + Sky View Observatory.

In addition to that deal, they also have a combo ticket with their Hop on Hop off bus tour and admission for a Seattle harbor cruise.

  • 1 or 2-Day Hop on Hop off Bus Tour
  • Admission to Seattle Harbor Cruise
  • Self-Guided Walking Tour
    • 1-Day Ticket: $69/Adults | $40/Children
    • 2-Day Ticket: $88/Adults | $49/Children

Purchase City Sightseeing Bus Tour + Seattle Harbor Cruise.


DISCOUNT SITES

Every now and then you can find some deals for Hop on Hop off bus tours using discount sites like Groupon or LivingSocial. These sites also typically offer additional coupon codes for an extra 10% – 20% off or more.

Before you make a purchase, check both the top and bottom of each page for banners which may contain coupons you can use to save even more money!


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