Hop On Hop Off London

I had the opportunity to do my first ever hop on hop off bus tour during my trip to London early last month. I know some people frown at this and call it touristy, and maybe it is, but I really feel that it’s okay. In fact, I highly suggest the hop on hop off tour if you want to see a city but are running short on time.

I took off with the company “Big Bus Tours” and they have two main routes the red being a bit shorter and with live commentary, and the blue route which is longer but only has audio commentary. (All routes include commentary in 8 languages and free headphones).

I first hopped onto the blue line bus (the longer route) and though it was chilly, it was really fascinating to see the different streets throughout the city. What I particularly liked about this route was that it goes through Notting Hill which I wouldn’t have had time to see otherwise. Also since it was within a week of Princess Charlotte being born, seeing Kensington Palace, albeit briefly, was quite exciting.

Once the blue line bus got to the Big Ben, that’s the only place I hopped off as I was still feeling a bit queasy from the day before (read about that here). I was in awe of what I saw. For me, I love finding amazing places off the beaten path for sure, but when I see an iconic symbol of a country, that’s when it seems to hit me that ‘yes this is real life and not just a dream’. So I ventured around from Big Ben and Parliament, over to Westminster Abbey and sat with a hot chocolate to warm up marvelling in the sights around me. I continued to spend some time walking around on smaller surrounding streets then I hopped back on a bus, however this time it was a red line bus I decided to hop as it was now following the same track as the blue. This way I also had the opportunity to experience the live commenter. Having the live commenter was a lot of fun. He was upbeat, funny, and entertaining. I found that I learned a bit more from having him versus the audio.

Another thing I liked about the bus tour was getting a different angle on things. You see different places from a whole new perspective and I thought that was a lot of fun.
I may have played tourist for the day, but I have to say it was such a wonderful experience, and it’s a great way to not get over tired as you can rest in between your places of interest while learning about the history of the area around you. I will be doing hop on hop off trips again in the future! #Shameless

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  • Reply
    24 hours in London - Amber Primdahl
    January 22, 2016 at 1:14 am

    […] highly suggest a hop on hop off bus tour such as Big Bus Tours. You can read more about them in my previous review post.  I know that some people are against this method of sight seeing since it is very […]

  • Reply
    June 16, 2015 at 10:57 am

    I’m so glad to see you were able to get out and see some of the sights in London! I didn’t try a hop on/off bus while in London, but I did try a double decker and I agree that it gives a different view than from the street! Did you spend some time inside Westminster Abbey? I think I spent most of my time in there with my eyes glued to the ceiling and the floor!

    • Reply
      Amber Primdahl
      June 25, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      I didn’t end up riding a double decker, but I would like to next time to have a more local experience! I hope you enjoyed your experience with that 🙂
      I didn’t get a chance to get into Westminster, and I realllyyyy wanted to. But by that point I realized I loved London enough to definitely come back, so next time I’ll spend more time going inside to discover beautiful interiors of the beautiful buildings!

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