Gray Line Ottawa
About
Hop aboard on one of authentic London style double-decker turn of the century double decker bus. The excitement begins daily at the corner of Sparks and Elgin Street and runs in a continuous circle from 10 am to 4 pm. The bilingual guided tours will let you "hop off" at the sites you want to explore and "hop back on" as many times as you would like throughout the day to resume your adventure tour. Visit all the important sites including museums, parks, galleries, the Byward Market, the Canadian Parliament buildings and lots more during this fun, historical and educational tour.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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Tours and Tickets by Gray Line Ottawa
Travelers talk about
(5 reviews)
(6 reviews)
(6 reviews)
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.0
241 reviews
Excellent
97
Very good
69
Average
36
Poor
22
Terrible
17

Colleen C
2 contributions
May 2022
The 90-minute Ottawa City Tour provided me with an excellent overview of the city and its environs. Ottawa is a jewel amid extensive parkland! The young guide was well-informed, timely, and courteous, and the driver, skillful. I only wish I'd had change on hand to thank them with a tip!
Written May 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Syed Anser N
Dublin, OH36 contributions
Mar 2018

A great convenient way to have a general understanding of main points of interest, geographical layout, get a convenient transport between these points. Great, thanks.
Written April 1, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Crumbsta
Singapore, Singapore196 contributions
Jun 2019 • Couples
We took the tour yesterday following an excellent experience in Montreal. We sadly were disappointed with the experience. Although once again it’s a fantastic way to see the city - there are many things Ottawa could learn from Montreal.
1. The bus travels too fast...this is a problem for a bilingual tour as there isn’t time to take in what is being said. It also means you are unable to hear the guide clearly due to air movement.
2. The guide (unlike Montreal) was late to the tour, there was no personal touch - eg taking time to ask where people were from. This could have also allowed the guide to determine that everyone was English speaking and therefore there was no need to provide a bilingual tour...in Montreal the tour was in English until there was a need to change.
3. The guide and commentary felt very scripted. This felt robotic and lacked personal touch ...additional information - which was a shame.
4. Unlike the Montreal tour...nearly everything in Ottawa felt like it was on the Right hand side of the bus...so therefore a tip for future customers - sit on the right hand side!

So overall it was disappointing...which is a shame. If we had come to Ottawa first we would not have taken the tour in Montreal...so we are pleased we did it the other way round.

Tips for Ottawa Greyline...take a Montreal City tour with Robert Costa...

Written June 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kate B
1 contribution
Aug 2021 • Family
We live in Ottawa but our toddler LOVES this event! We have done the round trip tour a few times and it’s as exciting for everyone each time! We’ve learned so much about our own city!
Unfortunately, last week we rode the tour with friends from out of town. In the first quarter of the tour, the engine overheated and we pulled over.
We were told a mechanic would be 15 minutes, and if needed a new bus would come in 45! No problem, these things happen.
Given that it was 38 degrees, we asked if we could walk to the next stop which was about 1 km away. By doing this we could grab a refill on water, use washroom, keep toddler out of the sun and pray the bus wouldn’t be long as many moms know a day with a 2 year old requires scheduling!
We hauled to the next stop running at times in the event the mechanic fixed the bus, we didn’t want to miss.
40 minutes later a packed bus arrived at the next stop. Our previous bus couldn’t be fixed so the bus was full of the scheduled sold-out tour plus all the people from the broken bus. Still, no big deal these things happen!
We sandwiched into the bottom level, windows were open, was so hot, holding toddler in arms and everyone wearing masks. The first stop we could get off as we went back toward downtown we go off. This meant another 25 minute walk to get our car and we had now missed nap. Still, no big deal!
I called Greyline offices and explained the situation, the girl asked if I wanted to book for the next day or following day or wanted a refund.
I explained our friends were leaving so they would likely want a refund but I would be happy with a credit. We love the tour but with a weekend of rain ahead and scheduled activities, I would be happy to take a credit that could be used later, or a refund if easier ( because I’d still be booking again,same difference).
The girl took my information and said someone would call back within 24 hours.
2 days later I received an email to review the experience and wrote back explaining the issue and lack of response stating that we always had a good experience but believed the broken bus/ incomplete tour/ headache of the experience should be rectified with a complimentary invite to ride again.
*Keep in mind the entire ordeal was 2 hours with 15 minutes of a bus ride. I think that is more than fair to request a complimentary ride. In fact, I’m happy to ride toward the end of the season when the busses are still running and empty. I don’t have to take a prime seat in tourist season*

I never received a reply. I initiated the situation be rectified on 2 occasions and am disappointed with follow up.

As for the experience in past times, we loved.
We would be very happy to see this past situation handled appropriately in a timely manner.
Written August 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Shweta R
Toronto, Canada1 contribution
May 2018 • Family
Sorry about the Long Review!!
A hop off hop off bus tour is something we always do as its a quick way of discovering the city. So it was a no brainer that we would do the same in Ottawa.We visited Ottawa during the Tulip Festival and understand it is a busy period for the city but that considered:
1 There were no signs at any of the stops and no volunteers to help guide us
2 There were never enough seats for the tickets holders
3 The bus frequency was once every hour which is very limited for the amount of passengers
4 Inspite of the limited frequency, the bus arrived an half hour late than the scheduled time. We were advised that we should be at the stop 15 mins before the scheduled time, so ended up being at the stop for an hour in hope that we might get a seat to sit.
5 No one at the office at 3:30 pm picked up the phone when we were stranded and trying to locate the stop.
6 Finally, Inspite of the "No Refunds" signs posted everywhere, We felt it was necessary to give feedback and there was no apology from Joslin the manager, all we got was a argument about how we should always board the bus from where we got off to avoid any confusion about where the stop is and she felt that it was our job to understand that it was a busy weekend. Not hers that we spent CAD 160 for nothing much in the end but pain.
I know this is the only service in the city but felt necessary that you are aware of what you are signing up for.
Written May 15, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John K
1 contribution
Jul 2015 • Couples
My wife and I hopped on at one of the pick up points in Gatineu. We hopped off at the Byward Market, shopped and then waited to be picked up at the next scheduled departure time from there. When I asked the bus driver whether this tour bus or the next tour bus would allow me to hop off again at the Gatineu pick up point, the driver didn't know so we asked the tour guide who said NO, you need to find another mode of transportation back. We got off, then took the water taxi across the river. I thought when we purchased our tickets we would get a round trip somehow. What a rip off.
Written July 6, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
As per the city tour you took on July 6, 2015with Gray Line, we are so sorry you did not enjoy it. If the tour was taken at 6 pm it is understandable as per our schedule that you wouldn't be able to get a ride back because the last tour of the day is at 6 pm. If you would have taken the tour at an earlier time we would have gladly taken you back to your pick-up point and you would have seen the rest of the tour. Thank you for your comments.
Written September 8, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Paula W
St. John's, Canada1 contribution
May 2015 • Family
We decided to take a hop on tour of the city as my husband and I had taken one in Toronto and loved it. This was quite the opposite experience. My daughter booked the tour online the night before and when we arrived the next morning it was like the guides and operators were confused on how to accept our online booking. We had no opportunity to print the reservation but had it all showing on our iphone. After it was finally accepted as a method of payment we boarded the bus after 20 minutes. The tour started and I thought it was odd that there was no description on how it actually worked. There was no info shared on how the hop on/hop off worked and how long before the bus would return etc. I was totally confused after having taken this tour in another city before and it was so easy to follow. Ottawa was a disappointment. We also found the driver of the bus rude. We left the tour and went on our own. I definitely would not recommend this to anyone in Ottawa. Toronto yes, but certainly not there. My daughter and I spent four days in Ottawa and loved it. This was the only black spot thankfully. Your drivers need to be more patient and the guides need to adivse people on how it actually works. A total waste of money for us and we will never do it again.
Written May 17, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
I would like to extend my apologies for the confusion. Although we try to keep up with technology, I have to say, you surprised us that morning! As we aim to be helpful, and give the best customer service, your review is welcome and will be taking into consideration for training purpose. Again, my sincere apologies, and I hope you enjoyed your stay in our beautiful city.
Written May 30, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ingridvoyages
Terrebonne, Canada5 contributions
Jul 2018 • Friends
It was a nice tour of the city and the guide was funny. The hop-on, hop-off is interesting for those who want to do some further museums. I learnt a lot about the city and tourist attraction. Buy the combo with the canal cruise if you want to do both, it's a little bit less expensive.
Written July 29, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

OntarioSunsetter
Ontario110 contributions
We hosted friends from B.C. and Florida on the bus tour. It was great that we were able to select an English tour vice a French tour as our guests were very limited in French.
Unfortunately the English speaking tour guide was from France and her English was heavily accented with her native language. Our friends had difficulty understanding the verbal descriptions of the various sites passed on the tour.
Gray Line should ensure that the guide be clearly understood in the advertised language.
Written May 20, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Karenj21941
Minneapolis, MN4 contributions
Oct 2015 • Couples
We took the first tour of the day and stayed on the bus for the entire circuit. Upon returning to the starting point, we did some walking by the Parliament buildings and back down to the market area, where we lunched. Hopped back on the bus there and rode it to a museum across the river. Our hotel was nearby, so it fit our plans perfectly. Our morning guide was particularly good. She had a pleasant voice and was very knowledgeable. Wish I remembered her name. Would definitely recommend.
Written October 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Gray Line Ottawa - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go