Top Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Tour guide helping a group of tourists

    Where can I buy a ticket for the tour?

  2. Where can I buy a ticket for the tour?

    You can purchase tickets either on this website, on the bus, from a uniformed member of Big Bus Washington DC's staff, at most hotels, or by calling us directly.

  3. Father and son on a Big Bus Washington DC

    What time do tours start and how often do buses run?

  4. What time do tours start and how often do buses run?

    Red Loop - Official Tour of the National Mall:
    First Bus: 9:00am from Stop #1: Union Station
    Last Full-Circuit Tour: 3:00pm from Stop #1: Union Station
    Last Bus: 5:00pm from Stop #1: Union Station
    Full Circuit Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes (approx.)
    Bus Frequency: every 15 minutes.

    Blue Loop - Heroes Tour:
    First Bus: 9:00am from Stop #22: Lincoln Memorial North & Vietnam War Memorial
    Last Full-Circuit Tour: 4:00pm from Stop #22: Lincoln Memorial North & Vietnam War Memorial
    Last Bus: 5:00pm at Stop #22: Lincoln Memorial North & Vietnam War Memorial
    Full Circuit Time: 55 minutes (approx.)
    Bus Frequency: every 20-30 minutes.

    Yellow Loop - Historic Neighborhoods:
    First Bus: 9:00am from Stop #27: Lincoln Memorial North & Vietnam War Memorial
    Last Full-Circuit Tour: 3:00pm from Stop #27: Lincoln Memorial North & Vietnam War Memorial
    Last Bus: 5:00pm at Stop #27: Lincoln Memorial North & Vietnam War Memorial
    Full Circuit Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes (approx.)
    Bus Frequency: every 30 minutes.

    Panoramic Night Tour:
    First Tour: 7:30pm from Stop #19: White House (departs from outside the Willard Hotel)
    Last Tour: 7:30pm from Stop #1: Union Station
    Full Circuit Time: 2 hours (approx.)
    Please Note: Arrive in good time to secure your seat. Please note that the Night Tour is not a hop-on, hop-off tour. Tour times are subject to traffic, weather and other events, so please contact us or check with a member of staff for the most up-to-date scheduling information.

  5. Couple looking at a Big Bus tour map

    Where can I start the tour?

  6. Where can I start the tour?

    You can hop on our bus tours from over 40 different bus stops. Please click here to find a bus stop.

  7. Passengers on an open-top Big Bus sightseeing tour

    How long does the tour take?

  8. How long does the tour take?

    Red Loop - Official Tour of the National Mall: 1 hour, 40 minutes (approx.)
    Blue Loop - Heroes Tour 55 minutes (approx.)
    Yellow Loop - Historic Neighborhoods: 1 hour, 20 minutes (approx.)
    Panoramic Night Tour: 2 hours (approx.)

    Please Note: Arrive in good time to secure your seat. Please note that the Night Tour is not a hop-on, hop-off tour. Tour times are subject to traffic, weather and other events, so please contact us or check with a member of staff for the most up-to-date scheduling information.

More Questions & Answers

Tell me about the Big Bus Tour of Washington DC?

Big Bus Tours Washington DC offers unmissable sightseeing tours of the nation's capital city on open-top, double-decker buses. Passing all the most famous landmarks and attractions, Big Bus Tours also feature entertaining and informative commentary, provided by experienced guides or via pre-recorded commentary, available in several languages through complimentary headphones distributed when you board the bus. You can hop on and off the bus as much as you like, from over 40 different stops. Big Bus Tours Washington DC is also the authorized interpretive transportation services concessioner of the National Park Service and National Mall & Memorial Parks. As the official sightseeing tour of the National Mall & Memorial Parks, Big Bus Tours gets you closer to the monuments and memorials that are meaningful to you and the nation.

What can I see and visit?

Hop on to discover, and hop off to explore. Big Bus Tours Washington DC gives you a unique, top-deck perspective on iconic landmarks like the White House, Smithsonian Castle, Arlington National Cemetery, and many more. You're free to hop off at any stop to visit the city's magnificent monuments, museums and memorials, or you can stay on board for the entire tour circuit to experience it all in one go! Learn more about what to see and do in Washington DC over on our Discover Washington DC page.

What is the child ticketing policy?

Child tickets are available for children aged between 5 and 15 years. Children aged 4 years and under may travel free of charge. Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied by an adult. Strollers and pushchairs must be folded and stowed on the lower deck.

Do I need to specify a date for travel?

No, you can use your ticket on any date. If you purchase a 2-day or 3-day ticket you must use it over consecutive days.
You're welcome to buy your ticket on the day from a Big Bus Tours staff member, but please note that discounts offered online are not available for same-day purchases.

Is there a discount available for groups?

Yes, discounts are available for groups of twenty or more. For more information on group sales please email us at SalesDC@bigbustours.com.

What time are the first and last buses?

Red Loop - Official Tour of the National Mall:
First Bus: 9:00am from Stop #1: Union Station
Last Full-Circuit Tour: 3:00pm from Stop #1: Union Station
Last Bus: 5:00pm from Stop #1: Union Station
Full Circuit Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes (approx.)
Bus Frequency: every 15 minutes.

Blue Loop - Heroes Tour:
First Bus: 9:00am from Stop #22: Lincoln Memorial North & Vietnam War Memorial
Last Full-Circuit Tour: 4:00pm from Stop #22: Lincoln Memorial North & Vietnam War Memorial
Last Bus: 5:00pm at Stop #22: Lincoln Memorial North & Vietnam War Memorial
Full Circuit Time: 55 minutes (approx.)
Bus Frequency: every 20-30 minutes.

Yellow Loop - Historic Neighborhoods:
First Bus: 9:00am from Stop #27: Lincoln Memorial North & Vietnam War Memorial
Last Full-Circuit Tour: 3:00pm from Stop #27: Lincoln Memorial North & Vietnam War Memorial
Last Bus: 5:00pm at Stop #27: Lincoln Memorial North & Vietnam War Memorial
Full Circuit Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes (approx.)
Bus Frequency: every 30 minutes.

Panoramic Night Tour:
First Tour: 7:30pm from Stop #19: White House (departs from outside the Willard Hotel)
Last Tour: 7:30pm from Stop #1: Union Station
Full Circuit Time: 2 hours (approx.)
Please Note: Arrive in good time to secure your seat. Please note that the Night Tour is not a hop-on, hop-off tour. Tour times are subject to traffic, weather and other events, so please contact us or check with a member of staff for the most up-to-date scheduling information.

Is it possible to hire one of the open-top buses for a private event?

Yes, buses are available for private hires. Please have a look at our Private Hire page to find out more, or contact us to discuss your requirements.

How will I know where to get off?

Our live guides and pre-recorded commentary will communicate upcoming stops.

For more information on routes and times, and what to see and do at each stop location, you can download our free app, available from the App Store or on Google Play.

On which days does the tour operate?

Big Bus Tours Washington DC operates every day of the year. Occasionally, service may be affected by roadworks, city events, poor weather and other unpredictable circumstances. Please check our Service Information page for up-to-date news, or contact us.

What is the policy on bringing pets?

No pets are allowed on board the bus, with the exception of ADA service animals.

What is the food and drink policy?

No food or alcohol is permitted on board the bus. Please feel welcome to bring non-alcoholic drinks in screw-top bottles.

Are accommodations available for persons with disabilities?

Yes, we operate wheelchair accessible vehicles with lifts that can accommodate weight up to 650 pounds. Please be advised that our entire fleet in Washington DC is not wheelchair accessible. If you or your travelling partner(s) requires an ADA accessible vehicle, please contact us no less than 48 hours prior to your planned tour commencement. We can then arrange for a suitable vehicle to be available at the time and location required. If you require a different type of accommodation, please still contact us no less than 48 hours prior to your planned tour commencement so we can make arrangements for an accommodation. Please note that messages left on the office general voicemail do not constitute confirmed arrangements. Please also note that passengers with mobility impairments may not be able to access the upper deck on our buses. We cannot guarantee the accessibility of the various attractions along the tour.

What is included within the ticket?

All tickets include a number of exclusive seasonal offers and discounts at local shops and restaurants. Please visit our Tickets & Passes page to compare ticket inclusions.

Is there commentary available in my language?

Our Red Loop and Yellow Loop tours offer a pre-recorded commentary, broadcast via complimentary headphones.
Commentary is available in the following languages:
  • English
  • Portuguese
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
  • Mandarin Chinese.


Live, English-speaking guides are in place on Red Loop buses, and all Blue Loop buses.

There are no buses running due to weather conditions, what do I do?

Firstly, check the validity of your ticket. If you have bought your ticket online and have yet to have this scanned by our of our on-street representatives – it will still be valid for use for up to 6 months from the point you have purchased. If your ticket was bought on-street or has already been scanned by one of our on-street advisors, and we have cancelled our services due to weather conditions, you will be able to apply for a refund. Check out Term & Conditions for full details.

How can I find the stop nearest to me?

Download the Big Bus Tours app and you’ll be able find your nearest stop and better still, check to see if a bus is heading your way thanks to real-time bus tracking. Don’t forget you’ll need to enable location services and data on your mobile device (please speak with your mobile / cell provider regarding data roaming costs).

I bought the ticket but it’s for someone else. It has my name on it, is this ok?

You're all set! Simply show your voucher(s) to any member of on-street staff who will scan the QR code and hand over your yellow Big Bus Tour tickets. Don't lose them, they're like gold (cash) and cannot be replaced.

Can I buy tickets on the bus?

The easiest place to buy our bus tickets are in advance by booking online or from the Big Bus Tours app. If you want to buy when you’re in city and in person, Big Bus representatives are located at the majority of our stops. They will be able to sell you a ticket before you hop-on to the bus.

Where does the tour end?

You can hop-on and off at any of our stops (unless it’s a panoramic ‘non-stop’ tour). Download the Big Bus Tours app to discover all of our routes, stops and nearby landmarks & attractions.

Does one ticket cover all routes?

For the majority of our tickets, that’s a BIG YES. Look out for this when you’re booking your ticket online or buying in person. Each ticket will state how many routes are included. Typical exclusions are one-loop tours such as Night Tours which are usually panoramic ‘non-stop’ tours.

I bought my ticket but now can’t make that date, can I use it on another day?

Bus tour tickets purchased online or via the app are typically valid for six months up until the point of the ticket being scanned (redeemed) – then the clock starts ticking and you’ll need to enjoy your tour within the time purchased. This is usually, one, two or three days.

Can I use a two or three-day pass on different days?

You’ll need to enjoy your pass across consecutive days, so a two-day pass redeemed on Monday means your pass is valid Monday and Tuesday.

How do I know when the next bus is coming?

Download the Big Bus Tours app and you’ll be able find your nearest stop and better still, check to see if a bus is heading your way thanks to real-time bus tracking. Don’t forget you’ll need to enable location services and data on your mobile device (please speak with your mobile / cell provider regarding data roaming costs).

I am waiting at a stop and can’t see any buses, what do I do?

Hang in there! BIG cities like to throw all sorts of challenges at our drivers, who are doing their best to get to you as quickly (but safely) as possible. If you haven’t already, download the Big Bus Tours app to see if a bus is heading your way thanks to real-time bus tracking.

Contact us

For general enquiries, please get in touch using our contact form. For more specific answers please select one of the options below.