What sort of tour would you like? A red double-decker bus? How about an open-top or hop-on hop-off bus? Even a riverboat tour? A duck tour? Or a walking tour for sunny days? Whatever sightseeing you’ve planned for you trip to London, here are some more ideas.
Hop-on, Hop-off tourist buses
The Original Tour and Big Bus Tours offer hop-on hop-off tours on open-top, double-decker buses. and each has an experienced guide leading the way. These tours are perfect if you prefer flexibility, and want to be a bit more in control of your schedule and route. Each ticket includes a free river cruise and walking tour. Tours are available in different languages and the under 5s go free on all of these tours.
Double Decker bus tour
It doesn’t get more ‘London’ than riding around on a big, red, vintage Routemaster. With Premium Tours, the sight-seeing last 3.5 hours and includes a short trip on the Thames in a river boat, as well as the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. The tour is available in ten different languages, with prices starting at £30* for kids and under 3s go free.
Black Taxi tours
Black cab drivers know London like the back of their hand (they have to pass a test to prove it) so who better to show you round the sites of London? A two-hour tour starts from £110* but you can stop to take photos and buy souvenirs. Basically, you’re in control.
Several companies offer this tour: London Cab Tours, Black Taxi Tours, Top Class Black Cab Toursand Black Taxi Cab Tours.
London Duck tours
A bus and boat tour in one. These amphibious vehicles provide lots of fun and amusement for all the family, starting at The London Eye, covering Parliament, Westminster Abbey, No. 10 Downing Street, St James’s, Buckingham Palace and more, before driving straight into the Thames. The tour takes roughly one hour and 15 minutes and tickets start at £16* for kids (under 1s go free), but they sell-out pretty quickly, so best to book in advance online.
The London Bicycle Tour Company, Alternative London and Tally Ho! Cycle Tours are just three of the many guided cycling tour companies in London. They all offer a variety of routes and provide bikes for hire. The groups are often limited to small numbers and the guides take you along cycle lanes, riverside pathways and through parks. Tickets start at around £17* for a child (under 18).
A rickshaw tour is a fun and environmentally friendly way to see the sights. We advise booking through an official company such as London Rickshaws instead of picking one up off the street .
There’s no shortage of brilliant walking tours in London. London Walks is one of the biggest and best companies, and they offer a variety of routes and themed walks day or night. The great thing about these tours is not just the price (£9* and kids under 15 go free, so long as they’re accompanied by an adult), but also that you don’t even have to book. You just turn up at the designated meeting spot at the set time. Tours are seven days a week and take roughly two hours.
Helicopter tours are the ultimate luxury. They might be expensive but they’re a truly unforgettable experience. The London Helicopter and British International Helicopters are good places to start, with both departing from the heliport at Battersea. Prices start from around £135* per person and the ride lasts between 12 and 20 minutes. They seat six people per helicopter and cover all the major sights. Check the website for details of how to book for a truly panoramic tour of London.
*Prices correct as of January 2015. Please check websites for more details.