When the city hots up and holiday season is in full swing, sunning yourself on the top deck of a Big Bus tour becomes an (even more) popular pastime. We’ve got all the hints and tips you need to beat the crowds and make the most of your time with Big Bus London.
1. West is best in the morning
Our ‘Best of Central London’ Red Route Stops #4 (Marble Arch) and #1 (Green Park) are particularly busy between 09:30 – 11:00, so begin your Big Bus adventure on the ‘Best of West’ Blue Route instead to avoid the first rush. The Blue Route departs from both of these stops also. Simply hop on and enjoy recorded commentary in a choice of 12 languages while passing by some of the best museums London has to offer, Royal Parks, Palaces and Hyde Park, all en route.
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2. Royal Walking Tours
Included in every ticket is a Royal Walking Tour. An excellent addition to your open top bus experience, our guide will take you on a journey along The Mall to see Buckingham Palace, the official London home of Queen Elizabeth II, and St. James's Palace, the home of the Royal Court. And on the days when the Changing of the Guard ceremony is taking place (see website for details), our walking tour offers you a prime position for observing the spectacle. So warm up your day of sightseeing with a walking tour to not only skip the morning crowds, but to end up at Victoria where you can hop on easily to continue your day.
3. Short hop to Piccadilly
Green Park is a busy stop in a busy area. A smart way to beat the queues is to make your way to Piccadilly Circus (Stop #7) where you can connect to the ‘Best of Central London’ Red Route a little further along. It’s an easy 10 minute walk with photo opportunities in front of the famous Ritz and Fortnum & Mason. And if you feel compelled to pop in for a spending spree, we take no responsibility for any damage caused to your bank balance...
4. Take to the river
The London Eye (Stop #11) and the Tower of London (Stop #16) are two of London’s best attractions, so everyone includes it on their sightseeing itinerary. Which is when you're free River Cruise comes in handy... At the London Eye, hop across the river to Westminster Pier to catch the boat to and from the Tower. Then simply pick up the ‘Best of Central London’ Red Route at the other end. And remember, with a Premium and Deluxe ticket you can go even further to the beautiful Royal Borough of Greenwich and return.
5. From Tower to Tooley
When the Tower of London (Stop #16) is crowded, take a wander across the river enjoying the amazing views of the City as you go. St. Paul’s, HMS Belfast and the river itself make the perfect backdrop to your selfies. Then re-join the ‘Best of Central London’ Red Route at Tooley Street near London Bridge (Stop #15) where it’ll be much quieter. And if you’re in the mood for a foodie adventure, Borough Market is just a further 10 minute walk and worth every additional step.
6. Explore King’s Cross
King’s Cross today is a buzzing, vibrant district not to be missed. And it’s no coincidence that we’ve mapped out our Green Route to get you here from Covent Garden. With Covent Garden being a tourist hotspot, this gives you the perfect opportunity to explore further. Be sure to walk to Granary Square where you can explore the many shops, bars and cafes, as well as see the beautiful Regent’s Canal.
7. A morning stroll
The north side of the ‘Best of West’ Blue Route (along the top of Hyde Park to Paddington) gets busy first thing with delays on the roads also. If you’re on Praed Street (Stop #33), don’t waste time waiting in line, take the 15 minute stroll and hop on the ‘Attractions Loop’ Orange Route at Baker Street (Stop #34). The Orange Route offers recorded commentary in a choice of 12 languages and an excellent way to arrive at the London Eye (Stop #11) before connecting with the ‘Best of Central London’ Red Route.
If you follow our 7 hints and tips to beat the crowds this holiday season, you’ll be making the most of every minute of your Big Bus London adventure. And if you happen to get caught in the crowds, simply take the moment to look around and appreciate what a magnificent city it really is. For ideas on what to do when you hop off, check out our guide on How to Spend Summer in London.