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Looking for the best London bus tours? Well here are 14 London sightseeing bus tours that will help you see the city from a new perspective. From Afternoon Tea to Jack the Ripper these bus tours have it all
London is a large and historical city that has so much to offer tourists. This massive metropolitan is known for its overflowing abundance of landmarks, monuments, and attractions. From Westminster Abbey to The Shard, this is a city made for sightseeing.
While there are tons of walking tours around London, if you don’t have much time in London, you can see so much more of the city, in less time, with a bus tour!
London tour buses take you to the city’s famous landmarks and attractions, and while living in London, I always tell my friends who visit me to take a couple of them to make the most of their time in the city.
They’re a hassle-free option that takes care of all the planning and navigating for you.
So you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your time in England’s buzzing capital city.
Best London Sightseeing Bus Tours
If you’re looking for the best London sightseeing bus tours, here are my top picks.
You’ll find everything from the likes of Big Bus Tours London and more niche London Bus Tour Packages!
1. The Original London Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour London
If you’re looking for the most convenient way to take a sightseeing bus in London, this is the quintessential hop-on-hop-off bus London route, covering most of the city’s top attractions.
Tickets to this popular double-decker red bus can be purchased in increments of 24, 48, or 72 hours, and are valid for a 24-hour period.
The tour also includes a multi-language audio guide and free Wi-Fi onboard. You can listen to insightful commentary about London as you are conveniently transported to your next site.
Another great perk of your bus ticket is that it includes three guided walking tours of London. If you’d like, you can hop off the bus to stretch your legs for a while. Choose from three types of walking tours, namely:
- Changing of the Guard
- Rock ‘n’ Roll
- Jack the Ripper
This is the original tour of London that travels to all the city’s top attractions, with well-placed stops all over the city.
Enjoy convenient transportation and hop-off at sites like the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, and much more.
London Vintage Bus Tour
See the city in style as you travel via this London open-top bus tour. You’ll cruise around London’s lively streets on a stylish 1960s vintage bus.
For 75 minutes, you’ll discover the city’s top attractions. Popular sites you’ll pass include the Tower of London, the Shard, and the Houses of Parliament.
Enjoy an entertaining witty tour guide who will narrate your journey and point out London’s major attractions as you cruise by.
You’ll also see images, video clips, and music throughout your trip that explores London throughout the ages.
The buses feature high-definition screens and state-of-the-art sound systems. This will provide an all-around entertaining experience.
Discover London through the decades with this insightful and informative bus tour.
3. Harry Potter Film Location Bus Tour
On this 3-hour Harry Potter bus tour, you’ll travel by mini-coach to the top London attractions used during the filming of JK Rowling’s highly successful series. Follow in the footsteps of your favourite wizards and warlocks.
Travel to Platform 9 ¾, 12 Grimmauld Place, the location used for Gringotts Bank, and the locations used to resemble the Leaky Cauldron.
These sites are scattered across the city, which makes a bus tour the most convenient and hassle-free way to discover these areas.
You will also pass by many other iconic London landmarks along the way, from St. Paul’s Cathedral to the London Eye.
Learn more about the series, including plenty of lesser-known facts. Test your Harry Potter knowledge along the way.
Guests will also have the chance to hop off the bus at several stops to take pictures and see the locations up close.
This is hands-down the best London bus tour for fans of Harry Potter.
4. London 007 James Bond Bus Tour
On this London bus tour, you’ll dive into the excitingly wild world of James Bond and other secret agents.
Travel to over 12 important James Bond film locations used during the series, as well as sites linked with the author of James Bond, Ian Fleming.
See the different Whitehall buildings used for the offices of the movies London HQ – Universal Exports.
Stand where the traffic wardens were splashed in the Bond movie “The World is Not Enough”. See the St Petersburg Square Bond visits in “Goldeneye.”
You’ll also visit actual spy locations associated with the real world of espionage. Learn more about how the films were made and take part in trivia about the James Bond characters.
This tour provides great insight into the movies and trivia about behind-the-scenes events. You’ll learn so much more about the movies on this London bus tour.
5. 3-Hour Open Top Golden Tours London Bus
Are you visiting London but a bit short on time? If so, this London bus tour is perfect for you! It’s one of the best London hop-on hop-off buses!
For 3 hours, you’ll cruise around the city hitting all the highlights.
Enjoy a great introduction to the city as you pass the top sites onboard a panoramic open-top bus, similar to the famous Tootbus in London, but even better!
You’ll get to see London’s most beloved attractions and locations. These include Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and much more.
Dive into London’s intriguing history with onboard audio commentary – available in many languages.
Learn more about the city’s gory secrets. Hear tales of the Tower of London’s brutal history, the ghosts of Buckingham Palace, London Bridge’s gruesome head displays, and much more.
You’ll have four bus routes to choose from that cover different areas of the city. Whether you’re looking for London bus tours from Paddington Station or wherever else, you’ll find a route that covers the area you’re keen on seeing.
6. London Afternoon Tea Bus Tour
With this bus tour, you’ll travel around Central London on a double-decker bus while enjoying afternoon tea. Sightsee around the city while enjoying a traditional London experience.
For 90 minutes you’ll sit back, relax, and indulge in High Tea. You’ll also be served an array of tasty sandwiches and delectable cakes and pastries.
Learn more about the city with an English audio guide that will narrate your trip.
Pass iconic London landmarks, including Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St James’s Park, Hyde Park, The Royal Albert Hall, Downing Street, and much more. Sip on your tea as you enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of London.
Vegetarian, pescatarian, halaal, vegan, and gluten-free options are also available for guests with specific dietary requirements.
7. London Vintage Bus Tour and Cream Tea at Harrods
Explore the very best of London with this half-day (4-hour) vintage bus and boat tour combo.
You’ll start your trip travelling across the city on a restored 50-year-old bus. See sites like the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, and more.
Enjoy a break for some cream tea at Harrods. Take some time to refresh and enjoy a freshly brewed cup of England’s most precious commodity.
Next up, you’ll head to the waterways and enjoy an iconic Thames River cruise! You’ll pass sites like Shakespeare’s Globe, Cleopatra’s Needle, and London Bridge.
Discover even more of London’s top sites from a different perspective.
With this boat tour and open-top bus, London’s top sites will be easily visible. It’s a fun tour that covers a lot of ground.
8. London Night Bus Tour
Explore the lively city of London after hours with this nighttime London double-decker bus tour.
Seeing London by day is one thing, but at night, it transforms into a whole new city. Climb aboard an open-top bus and discover the city lit up with colourful sights and an exciting night-time buzz.
Enjoy an informative and entertaining 90-minute guided tour. You’ll learn lots of new facts about the city, both historical and cultural. Pass by famous sites, like Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, Harrods, and the London Eye.
See the famous Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus at night, lit up and buzzing with tourists.
Admire the imposing Tower of London and the Tower Bridge with a backdrop of the night sky. See the twinkling and magical lights of Harrods.
For a unique way to sightsee the city, this is one of the best London bus tours.
9. Comedy Horror Show: London Ghost Bus Tour
Looking for a unique big bus London tour? Why not combine comedy, horror, and sightseeing on a London ghost bus tour?
For 75 minutes, you’ll travel around London and learn about the city’s most sinister locations.
Your creepy conductor will provide you with comedic commentary while you travel around some of the city’s most haunted locations.
Dive deep into the haunted history of places like Westminster Abbey, Fleet Street, London Bridge, the Tower of London, and more.
You’ll gain a thrilling insight into some of the more horrific histories of London’s most iconic landmarks. Learn the lesser-known history of the city as well.
You’ll ride around on a spooky-themed tour bus. The inside of the bus features unique decorative elements, including vintage lamps and window curtains.
London is known for its famous monuments, historic past, and dry sense of humour. This tour combines all three of the city’s best aspects.
10. Full-Day London Bus Tour with Lunch
Are you looking for a comprehensive London bus tour that showcases the amazing highlights of this English capital? If so, this full-day London bus tour is for you.
For 10 hours, you’ll ride around the city and explore London. You’ll get clear panoramic views as you pass sites like Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament.
Step off the bus for a more in-depth look at several key sites. Go inside St. Paul’s Cathedral and discover the beauty of this massive cathedral. Ride the London Eye and see the city from an amazing vantage point.
Watch the traditional Changing of the Guard ceremony take place at Buckingham Palace.
You’ll also visit the Tower of London and take a leisurely boat ride on the River Thames. Plus, you’ll learn about the impressive history of the city from your live tour guide during your entire trip.
Guests of this bus tour can also choose between a royal walking tour or a Beatles London walking tour.
Whether you’d prefer to learn more about England’s Royal Family, or Beatlemania, these walking tours are insightful and very informative.
You’ll also receive a complimentary pack lunch. If you’re pressed for time, this bus tour is a great way to see the highlights of London for just one day.
11. Luxury Dinner Bus Tour – Bustronome London
Hop aboard a luxury coach and see London’s major landmarks and attractions right from your dinner table. Feast on a gourmet 6-course dinner as you cruise around the city in style.
During your 3-hour tour, you’ll enjoy a freshly prepared meal cooked on board. Indulge in the very best of British and French cuisine.
After meeting your host, you’ll be seated at your own table on the top deck of a glass-roofed coach.
Learn about London’s history with an interactive audio pen, available in many different languages
See sites like St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, and more. You’ll also have the option of adding a wine pairing. Each wine is selectively chosen to compliment each dish’s flavour.
12: A Ticket to Ride Beatles in London 50th Anniversary Tour
With this mini-bus tour, you’ll travel back in time to 1960s London for a vintage London bus tour. For 2.5 hours you’ll experience London just like John, George, Paul, and Ringo would have.
The London sightseeing bus tour visits more than 35 sites associated with “Beatlemania” from 1962 – 1970.
These include where they wrote their songs, played their famous concerts, and posed for pictures. See where they played gigs in their early years, including the St James Club.
Step into the art gallery where John met Yoko. You’ll also get to walk across the iconic Abbey Road Crossing.
Your tour includes live commentary from a knowledgeable Beatles guide. They will retell the history of the Beatles, recreating Beatlemania in London with music and film footage.
There will be plenty of stops and chances for photo opportunities along the way. If you’re a fan of The Beatles, this is the best bus tour London has to offer.
13. London Jack The Ripper and Sherlock Holmes Bus Tour
If you’re a fan of haunted history and mystery, climb aboard an open-top vintage bus and prepare for an evening tour of excitement. For 3 hours, you’ll tour London’s most iconic haunts.
Some of the things that you’ll experience on the tour include;
- Hear tales of the men and women buried at Westminster Abbey.
- See the house where Charles I was executed by beheading.
- Journey through the empty Smithfield Market. This was the site of former public executions and where Braveheart was tortured.
- Travel back in time to Victorian London and learn about England’s most infamous serial killer, Jack The Ripper. The tour has a walkthrough of his infamous trail of death and visits actual murder sites.
You’ll be entertained with spine-chilling stories from your local guide during your whole tour. Learn about body-snatching, arsenic, poisoning, murder, seances, and more.
The tour ends in the warmth of the Sherlock Holmes Pub, where you can admire a large collection of Holmes memorabilia, grab a drink or two from the bar, and indulge in some traditional English cuisine.
14. Gin Lovers Afternoon Tea London Bus Tour
If you’re looking for a more adult-themed bus tour in London, then a gin lovers’ afternoon tea tour is for you!
Combine a traditional British experience with a few drinks and ‘London by bus’ sightseeing. What could be more fun? For 1.5 hours you’ll travel through the city on a vintage 1960s bus.
Enjoy three refreshing gin cocktails while soaking up the striking sights of London. You’ll pass iconic landmarks throughout the city, including Westminster Abbey, Nelson’s Column, and the Marble Arch.
As is custom with afternoon tea, you’ll have a nice selection of finger sandwiches, traditional scones, and scrumptious cakes to accompany your cup of freshly brewed English tea.
Gluten-free, vegetarian, and halaal options are also available for guests with dietary requirements.
For adult travellers looking to unwind and take part in a fun sightseeing experience, this final tour of the best London bus tours is the perfect option.
Final Thoughts: Best London Bus Tours for Sightseeing
London is a city made for sightseeing and choosing to book one of the Best London bus tours provides an easy way to see the city in a shorter amount of time!
If you’re looking for the best bus tour for the value, each one of these options includes different perks and provides a unique way to see the city.
The most iconic tour for first-timers is the Original Open-Top London Bus Tour. It takes you to the top attractions throughout the city.
But you can also take a themed tour, such as the;
- Harry Potter Film Locations Bus Tour
- Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes Bus Tour
- Beatles Minibus Tour
These tours combine seeing the top attractions with some of the most exciting pop-culture and historical figures to come out of London.
Whichever one of the London sightseeing bus tours you choose, you’re guaranteed to see the highlights of the city and learn plenty of fascinating local insight.
If you’re looking for more on London or planning a trip to the Big Smoke then read my London travel tips guide.