You are probably familiar with those eye-catching double-decker buses with open top full of tourists, mainly running in the major cities. Well, these tourist buses turn out to be a great introductory to any capital, big city or tourist destination.
The bus will take you to the all major attractions and sites of the city. With one ticket you’ll get a free ride at least for one whole day not worrying furthermore about the transport. It is a good way to get around and learn about the city. You’ll soon become confident about the city and thus more relaxed. You are free to hop on or off the bus at any station you like. Very convenient and time-saving option whether you are a first-time visitor or not. You’ll definitely make the most of your visit.
Hop-on, hop-off means you can get on the bus or off as many times as you like. There are multiple stops, in some cities there can be 18 in others up to 40 or more. You can rejoin the routes from any stop. But you don’t really need to get off the bus if you don’t want to either. You can simply stay on board and enjoy the view. Perfectly designed to give you a flexible way to discover the city. You’ll have a full city experience from the comfort of a double-decker bus. So, you can freely sit back and relax as the guides will walk you through the history of all the sights and views.
You can choose a seat in the enclosed deck on the lower level, or on the open-air top deck for that perfect view. You’ll surely get that great clear shot from the upper deck with a perfect and unobstructed view from up high. Which explains why most of the people on board will take so many photos.
It is a quite informative tour with an onboard pre-recorded commentary about the history and sites available in multiple languages. You’ll be able to hear it with the complimentary headphones that you be given to on the bus. You’ll probably hear some fun anecdotes from the professional guides about the landmarks too. With a free WiFi on board, you can plan your itinerary as you go. But maps and brochures are also included in the price of the ticket.
If you decide to explore some of the sites up-close, you can hop-off at any stop along the route and catch the next bus when you’re ready. You’ll have unlimited access to the bus. So, you can explore the city at your leisure. They usually run on every 15-30 minutes, but depending on the city and destination that can change too. One thing to be sure of is that every stop will be safe for tourists.
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It’s a good idea to take a city sightseeing bus as soon as you are in the city. Even better: take the full loop first, which will last about an hour or two, and then decide where to hop off the bus and what to see further. So, take the whole tour and then go back to the places that looked most interesting to you. It will be easier for you with that picture in your head when you see all the locations to decide where to go next. They provide a really good overview of the city, neighborhoods and historical sites. Buses are frequent and you can get off the bus at any of the stops and take as much time as you like to explore. Depending on the city there might be more than just one route.
A hop on hop off bus ticket is valid at least for 24 hours from the time of its first use. Depending on the city and the offers you can book a ticket for multiple days as well. For example, in Oslo, you can have a free ride with the bus valid for 24 hours while in Paris you can buy a ticket for 1-3 days. These multi-day passes may include skip-the-line or discounts on some of the attractions or free walking tours and river cruisers. They don’t run at the same hours in all the cities either. In some cities, you’ll get a better price with the bus running 11 hours a day. While in other cities the ticket can be more expensive and the bus will drive fewer hours during the day.
Arriving in a big city such as Paris or London for the first time can be confusing and even stressful when you have to face all that traffic and overcrowded streets. The traffic can be so awful in the big cities. Even if you prepare well and do the research before your trip when you finally arrive there it is a different thing. Figuring out the transport on your own in a new and big city can be quite challenging. You’ll have to work out how to get to all those sights in the city and find all the metro or bus stations on your own. Most likely you’ll lose your energy out there on the streets and call it a day way earlier than planned. And probably you’ll be concern about safety as well. Finally, you’ll have to spend money on public transport anyhow. In a peak season expect that the buses will be crowded. And in the big cities, there will be a lot of traffic.
Subways are probably the fastest way to move around in big cities such as London, Paris or New York. They run underground where there isn’t any other traffic involved. So you can’t get stuck in lines waiting. A superb option for people that live there and have to go to work and school. But as a visitor, you’ll want to see as much of the city as you can. And you can’t really do that in subways since you have to be on the city streets for that. You’ll see more of the streets, the architecture, people, rivers or parks as the bus drives its route. If you plan on traveling underground obviously, you won’t have a chance to see the city while traveling. That won’t be a bad idea if the weather isn’t good.
Hop on, hop off bus has its own route and every stop is in front of some popular attraction. It is a part of a city tour. It may cost more than the regular public transport but if you want to tour the city for a day or two it’s the most convenient and time efficient way. When the weather is good it’s very nice to travel on the open deck, to capture photos from up high and enjoy the panoramic views of the city. Even if the bus gets stuck, waiting in the traffic, you’ll have much time to observe around and admire the architecture, the modern buildings of the city or people watching. That can be quite interesting too, especially if you are a first time visitor.
Lastly, these bus routes will introduce you to the all must-see sites of the city with guided commentary on the way. They give you total freedom of exploring the city and the attractions at your own pace. Start your day early as soon as the first bus departure to make the most of it. The real discovery starts when you get off the bus so choose your hop off stops wisely.