I'm heading to London next month for some sight-seeing, and plan to take a traditional tour bus journey.

Do I need to book these in advance, or are they quite commonly available? I know with the thames boat tours, you can just get a ticket on the day, but I'm not certain where I'd find the tour buses.

If I need to book in advance, what are some recommended companies to use?

  • You don't need to book in advance, but the 'tourist buses' are not good value for money. Consider travelling by regular bus instead. More info: tfl.gov.uk/maps/visitors-and-tourists
    – A E
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 17:40

2 Answers 2


City bus tours are commonly known/called Hop On Hop Off in London and the UK. There is no need to book the tickets in advance, you can find the tour company representatives near most of the tourist attractions. But on of the advantages of booking the tickets in advance is, you might get them cheaper. Couple of tour operators that I recommend - The Original tour and Big Bus tours

And on a side note since we are talking about London sight seeing, you can avail London 2 for 1 vouchers, if you travel by train within London. Using these vouchers will bring down your expenses when visiting/paying for the tourist attractions (that's assuming you are not travelling alone).

  • Cheers this is exactly the answer I was after!
    – Curtis
    Commented Mar 20, 2012 at 9:33

You can get the ticket at the boarding point (there are many throughout the city), right before you get on the bus. There are also several different companies and several different lines for these tours, I don't think they differ much, and they all cover more or less the same areas. I took it once, nice for a shallow and wide coverage.

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