One of my favorite ways to explore a new place, especially when time is limited, is to do a hop-on hop-off bus tour.
I love doing these tours and it’s usually the very first thing that I do when I arrive in a new place.
There are so many great reasons to go on a Hop On Hop Off bus tour. If you’ve never done one on your travels before, here is everything you need to know.
A Fast, Efficient Way To Sightsee
A hop-on hop-off bus tour is often my go to for exploring a new place if my time there is restricted, or I’m trying to do a lot during a short stay.
As these bus routes usually take no more than an hour or two per route so it’s a quick, efficient way to learn about a new place.
Tour Route Planned For You
With these bus tours, you get the best of both worlds in that the tour route is planned for you, but without prescriptive times and someone leading you everywhere. For those of us who want to travel with ease and simplicity, these tours save a lot of time figuring out where to go when to see the key things.
Navigate Big Busy Cities Without Stress or Overwhelm
For big cities or places with tons to see and do like New York City or Rome, I find that it can feel a bit overwhelming or daunting at first so the bus tours help me to see everything at a glance. I find it much easier to navigate around a big city after I’ve done a bus tour.
A Really Safe Way To See The Sights
For a solo traveler, I always feel very safe on hop-on hop-off buses so if you are travelling alone these kind of tours are a really safe way to sightsee.
Easily Plan Your Visit
You can easily map out an itinerary based on the bus route and be strategic about what attractions you go to and in what order. Personally, it saves me a lot of precious time on Google figuring out times to walk between attractions.
It also just helps generally to get bearings quicker so you’re less likely to get lost. A bonus if you are like me and not the greatest at navigation and reading maps.
Learn About The City While Onboard The Bus
The hop on hop off tour buses usually include a onboard audio tour providing interesting facts, stories and helpful tips about the city you are touring.
Save Money On Your Sightseeing Tour
It’s usually much cheaper than paying for an organized tour or a ‘city sights’ style shore excursion. I saved quite a lot of money on my recent cruise by opting to do Hop On Hop Off for some ports instead of the shore excursions.
No Local Transit Required
If you don’t want to figure out local transit, or just want it to be easy, it’s the best way to get around a place. You will also avoid the risk of taking local transit incorrectly and getting a hefty fine (It happens and it’s very expensive).
Convenient Way To Visit Attractions
One of my favourite things about doing hop on hop off buses is that they are just so convenient for visiting main attractions because the bus stops are usually a very short walk from each attraction. So if you are wanting a more relaxed, less strenuous way to see a lot of attractions, these bus tours are a smart option.
Explore Attractions At Your Own Pace
Usually these hop-on hop-off buses run all day from around 9am or 10am until at least 5pm, and they are at every bus stop in 15-20 minute durations. So unlike more structured tours, you can actually explore attractions at your own pace which is more flexible and enjoyable that on a structured tour where you every minute is planned for.
Discounts On Key Attractions
Usually you can take advantage of discounts and special offers at attractions, restaurants and shops along the route. I’ve saved quite a lot of money on my vacations this way in the past so it’s always worth checking what deals are available with each hop-on hop-off company as often they have slightly different offers.
Free WiFi On Board
This can be really handy if you are not using a local sim card or portable wifi, and need to do a few things online. The wifi is usually pretty good too.
Charge Your Phone On The Go
Most hop-on hop-off buses have charging outlets which are so helpful and have saved me from having a dead phone on numerous occasions.
FAQ’s About Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours
What Is A Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour?
A Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour is a type of sightseeing tour where visitors can get on and off the bus at any of the designated stops along the route. Typically, these tours include stops at major attractions and landmarks, allowing visitors to get a comprehensive tour of a city or region. The tours are usually operated by a tour operator and provide commentary along the way. Some of the benefits of taking a Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour include the flexibility to customize your sightseeing experience, the convenience of not having to worry about transportation, and the ability to learn more about the sights you’re seeing.
How Does A Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour Work?
A hop-on hop-off bus tour is a great way to explore a city! It’s a flexible, convenient way to see a city’s sights without having to worry about navigating on your own. The bus will make stops at various points of interest, and you can hop on and off as you please. You can purchase tickets ahead of time which will allow you to ride the bus for a set period of time. You can usually buy tickets for 1 day, 2 days, 3 days, and sometimes even longer. This type of tour is great for those who want to explore an area at their own pace, but also want the convenience of a guided tour.
Where Can You Get A Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour?
You can get a hop-on hop-off bus tour from many different tour operators depending on your location. Many companies offer city-specific tours that take you around popular sites and attractions. You can usually book these tours online or through local tourist information centers.
You can also do a quick Google search for “hop-on hop-off bus tours” in your city to find the best option for you.
Is it cheaper to buy hop on hop off tickets in advance?
Yeah tickets are usually cheaper when you buy them online in advance.
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Gemma Lawrence is the creator of This Brits Life. Born and raised in England, she has been living in British Columbia, Canada as a permanent resident since 2016. A solo traveler for the past 9 years, she hopes to inspire and help others to enjoy solo adventures too. As someone who has always struggled with her self-confidence and mental health, she also shares tips and inspirational stories relating to self-love, self-care, and mental health.