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“Spent more time waiting for a bus than on one!”

The Original London Sightseeing Tour
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The Original London Sightseeing Tour: Hop-on Hop-off
Ranked #93 of 692 Tours in London
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Experience the best of London aboard The Original Tour's famous red open-top buses. London's most popular sightseeing tour offers its guests the ultimate introduction to the capital and includes entertaining English-speaking guides, an unrivalled fleet of superb modern buses, three main tour routes, two of which offer full multi-lingual commentary, 3 fascinating free walking tours, a fantastic free Thames Hop-on Hop-off river cruise pass, and an exclusive Kids' Club. All hop-on hop-off tickets are valid for 24-hours or 48-hours across over 80 conveniently located stops
Lincolnshire, UK
Level Contributor
68 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Spent more time waiting for a bus than on one!”
Reviewed July 9, 2013 via mobile

I went on a day trip to London with a couple of friends and we decided to get a hop on hop off bus so we'd get to see more of the city than we would on the tube. Unfortunately it proved to be a huge waste of money. The time we did spend on the bus was very informative and interesting and I have no doubt that for someone visiting the city for the first time it would be a great insight. However, to get your money's worth, you really need to stay on the bus for the entire route without hopping off!
The day we went was very busy with long queues and stand-still traffic (which I know can't be helped) but this unfortunately meant that we didn't get anywhere very quickly and spent most of the time being stationary. When we eventually did get off the bus at the first stop we wanted, that was the end of the tour for us. We spent an age waiting at bus stops and they just didn't turn up, or if they did, it wasn't the route we wanted which was very frustrating.
All the waiting around meant that we didn't get to see much at all which was very disappointing and we also ended up paying for tube tickets on top making the day quite expensive. We ended up paying £28 for what was probably a half hour bus ride, so I definitely wouldn't do this again.
If you have a limited time in London with lots of places you want to see, save time and money by getting a tube pass. If you have more time, or don't want to/aren't able to walk around, this could be a good option for you.

Visited July 2013
Thank Carolyn82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Okay tour; don't buy online”
Reviewed July 9, 2013

Once we finally got on a yellow line tour bus, we enjoyed the experience. The guide was informative and entertaining. It was disappointing to not be able to see some of the attractions (i.e., Buckingham Palace), but the views of St. Paul's and other sights were breathtaking.

We made the mistake of buying tickets online to save a few pounds. The instructions said to go to certain spots to get the tickets validated. We took a taxi to one of the spots and waited for at least a half hour for a bus to show up. We finally saw one of the buses on a cross street several blocks away, so set off walking. We came to a stop with a staffer sitting on a wall by the stop. He said to go further along the road to the petrol station. So we continued walking. I finally ducked into a hotel to ask the concierge, who gave us more specific instructions. When we got to the "right" stop, the staffer still couldn't validate our ticket, and put us on a connector bus to the Baker Street ticket kiosk. After nearly 30 minutes on this bus, and stopping at our hotel to pick up passengers on the way, we arrived at the ticket kiosk, where we finally validated our ticket, grabbed some lunch, and got on a red line bus.

The red line uses recorded commentary, which we didn't want. The driver dropped us off in the middle of a blocked-off sidewalk at Speaker's Corner and told us to walk back a block (in the road!) to get on a yellow line tour. By this time, half of our day was gone and we had seen very little. We ended up only having time to do one tour before their schedule ended. While not a total waste, it was a frustrating - and expensive - day.

Visited July 2013
2 Thank Laurie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Francisville, Louisiana
Level Contributor
40 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Perfect way to see London for the first time!”
Reviewed July 8, 2013

We were in London with the family for the first time and were very glad we did this. It is an economical way to travel around the city (hop on hop off). The onboard tour guides make the trip fun. It also came with a free river cruise.

Visited July 2013
Thank JMiles100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
st louis
Level Contributor
65 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Great way to see London”
Reviewed July 7, 2013 via mobile

We really enjoyed this tour - had no issues waiting for busses. The tour guides were really good and knowlegable. Though we traveled at the peak high season we never felt llike it was too crowded or that we waited that long. I would definitely recommend this tour! It's a great way to sit back enjoy the great sites and get your bearings.

Visited July 2013
Thank ravegan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Unorganized - don't buy tix online!”
Reviewed July 7, 2013

I bought 2 tix for this tourbus online because you save a bit of money. You print out your bus tickets with instructions to have them validated at one of a few different locations before you board the bus. A couple options to have your tix validated are Trafalgar Square or Piccadilly Circus.

NO ONE had any idea who or where to go to validate our tickets and because of this we couldn't board the bus. We were given the royal runaround - go over here, go over there, walk 2 minutes that way and meet a man in front of McDonalds. We wasted a good part of our one day in London trying to get our tickets validated. When we approached the bus and said 'LOOK, we paid for the tickets and NO ONE will validate them', the bus driver just said 'sorry love, can't let you on.' Everyone just wanted us out of their hair. We spent money on the tube we hadn't planned on spending to get places we wanted to go and only saw a fraction of the things we wanted to see.

Avoid this tour like the plague!

Visited June 2013
2 Thank jbw328
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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