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Gray Line Ottawa

#29 of 89 Tours in Ottawa
Ottawa, Canada
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About Gray Line Ottawa
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.
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Tours and Tickets by Gray Line Ottawa
Overview
See the best of Ottawa without the stress of public transit and taxis on this hop-on hop-off guided bus tour. With your 1-day pass, hop aboard the double-decker, open-top bus for a panoramic sightseeing excursion. Great for kids and adults, your ticket offers the chance to see over 75 sites at more than a dozen strategically placed stops. Hop off at every stop, or just take in views on the full city loop.
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Tom H wrote a review Dec 2019
Cranbrook, Canada543 contributions146 helpful votes
We took the hop on hop off tour this past July. I have given it a 4 rating despite not finding all of the experience OK. But most of that was because this was our first hop on hop off experience. The sign in spot was right at the foot of the Sparks street pedestrian mall by the War Memorial. No problems checking in and the felllow gave us a guide for when the buses make their stops at the hop off spots or which there are about 12. You can do the tour as just a bus tour (ie/ you don't have to get off) and I think that takes a couple of hours. If you do this be aware that the photo opportunities are quite limited from a moving bus, even if you sit on the open top deck which we did. If you do the tour this way it does give you an excellent overview of the Ottawa/Gatineau sights. The tour is narrated in English and French and at times seems a bit rushed because there are many things to talk about. Having said all that we took advantage of a few of the hop off spots and this worked out very well. The whole thing was very well organized and the buses showed up for pick up bang on the times that showed on the schedule. Cost for the 2 of us was $75 total. Glad we did this and knowing what we do now we might have opted for the 2 day pass which you also get at discounted rate compared to the one day. That way we might have taken advantage of some of the other stops.
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Date of experience: July 2019
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Topkoppite wrote a review Oct 2019
Bromsgrove, United Kingdom1,955 contributions645 helpful votes
We had one and half circles on this. One to see everything and a part circle to get to the RCMP HQ. Our guide was Marcel and Driver was Pete. Enjoyed, good commentary – saw all the sites you would expect. Be aware, some of the outlying stops are some distance so be prepared for some long intervals between stops and some attractions are not always open everyday. Also, as the tour only ran every hour you couldn’t hop off at every site and be back on the bus to do every attraction in one day.
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Date of experience: September 2019
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Tortoise2202 wrote a review Sep 2019
The Hague, The Netherlands24 contributions33 helpful votes
I took this tour to get familiar with Ottawa city and it was useful for that purpose, although a little overpriced. Like other reviewers I think it would be good if the bus made specific stops so that photos could be taken. It was towards the end of the tour that the guide referred to the how the original name of the city was changed to Ottawa. In essence we were told (with a laugh) that it was because the drunken Irish labourers (who were former prisoners brought over to dig the canal) turned the town into a lawless area and the name was change to try to remake the reputation of the town. I have since researched this and discovered that it is only partly correct - following the end of the construction both French and Irish workers formed gangs and fought for dominance. It seemed to me that omitting the French involvement and referring only to the Irish is a poor representation of the history (albeit on a light touch bus tour) and I left with the impression that the guide was pandering to French tourists on board as the expense of stereotyping the "fighting Irish". In my research since I have found no reference to Irish labourers having been convicts however I am open to correction.
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Date of experience: September 2019
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Rick W wrote a review Sep 2019
Independence, Missouri79 contributions10 helpful votes
This post is from an avid amateur photographer's point of view, so please take that into consideration when you read it. If you go to the red Gray Line Hop-On-Hop Off kiosk to book a bus ride, they attendant will also try to sell also sell you on purchasing tickets on the Dive Lady, a large floating bus water tour. If you are making this booking to take semi-serious photos (I don't like taking photos from moving vehicles...either hand-held or with a tripod), I would suggest looking elsewhere. The bus rarely stops, so you'll be taking photos off of the top level, if you take any at all (I didn't take even one). Still, the 1.5 hour bus trip is informative, if nothing else. But...the Dive Lady tour, which is one hour long, consists of about fifty minutes on the road (during which you are seeing the SAME things that you saw on the bus tour, and being told the same things that you were on the bus tour) and ten minutes in the river. The river trip consists of a very short loop past the Legislature Building and a couple of bridges...then, it's back out of the water and onto the road (the first road session covers the Quebec/French side of Ottawa and the second road session covers the Ontario side of Ottawa). An even bigger issue is the fact that the Dive Lady bus/boat has sliding windows but NO OPEN AREAS from which to take photos. My suggestion, if you want to take photos from a water perspective, is to book one of the open boat canal tours. The Dive Lady doesn't even come close to going into the canal.
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Date of experience: September 2019
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SAROJA R wrote a review Sep 2019
Hamilton, New Jersey154 contributions57 helpful votes
We took the tour and though there was no time to actually hop off or hop back in after a full round, it was still a pleasant experience. The tour is a little overpriced but is less than 2 hours. It does swing by local sites/tourist attractions but never makes any stops for pictures. The guide did a good job of explaining the sites but overall the experience could have been better.
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Date of experience: September 2019
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