Bus Tour vs Walking Tour:
Which One Is Better for Visiting London?
London is a fascinating city to visit particularly due to its rich history, magnificent infrastructure, accommodative culture, and extremely hospitable people. But the question at hand here is this… Bus tour vs. walking tour: Which one is better for visiting London? Well, the best way of answering this question is to look at the two options separately and then at the end pick out the positives and the negatives of each. Let’s do this.
1. Touring London by Bus
Your bus tour options in London are two: The Big Bus London or the Golden Tours Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tour. Both options give you the chance of touring the big city conveniently, affordably, and quickly. You are able to see the city’s most iconic sites at the comfort of your bus seat for an entire day. All you will need for this to happen is a London Pass that indicates which of the bus options you will be boarding, either the Big Bus London or the Golden Tours. You will need to choose wisely because you cannot be allowed to change buses mid-tour.
These buses take a total of nine routes around the city and have up to 110 stops all around the city for tourists to hop in or out. They also have audio tour guides that are in more than seven languages from Western Europe as well as the Russian and Chinese languages from the East.
Which are the Main Hop-on and Hop-Off Stops?
- Tower Bridge: Stop by this iconic bridge and witness one of the greatest architectural wonders the world over. Also, this bridge is well elevated to give you an unbeatable view of the city.
- Tower of London: Across the street from the Tower Bridge is the Tower of London; London’s most historic prison and armory. This is the building where you will acquaint yourself with the British deepest history.
- Buckingham Palace: This is a no-brainer. Who wouldn’t want to see the home of Queen Elizabeth II, the custodian of British royalty?
- London Eye: Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Royal Festival Hall, and The British Film Institute are all found here, among other great landmarks.
- Trafalgar Square: The undisputed cultural hub in London is home to the breathtaking art galleries- the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery. If you love culture and art, you will fall in love with this place.
Pros and Cons of Touring London by Bus:
- You will see most of the city’s landmarks within a day.
- The probability of language barriers is eliminated by audio guides.
- There are two bus options for you and many routes to choose from.
- You cannot change bus operators mid-tour even if you are dissatisfied by your initial choice.
- The routes are kind of fixed so you don’t have much freedom to choose what you want to see.
- It is a little more expensive than walking tours.
2. London Walking Tours
Walking tours are more fascinating than bus tours because you get to interact more with the natives, their culture, and their food. Some of your options include:
- Harry Potter Walking Tour: If you are a movie enthusiast, you will definitely enjoy following the trail of the legendary wizard, Harry Potter.
- The Changing of the Guard Tour: Your guide will take you to palaces and everything royalty. You will interact with the royal guard and get your questions about royalty answered.
- London Bridge and Borough Market: Here, you will get the chance of experiencing London’s most beloved dining cultures.
- Pub walking Tour: Your guide will take you to London’s ancient drinking dens and the finest historic pubs.
- London Grim Reaper walking tour: For two and a half hours, learn everything you need to know about London’s depraved past. Your tour guide will explain to you things that no history class in the world will ever teach you. You will visit the East End streets, the most dreaded crime hub in the history of London, at least in the 20th century. You will also have a chance to learn about the Black Death of the St Katharine Docks.
Almost all of the above are paid tours, that’s why I would recommend checking Strawberry Tours which offers free walking tours in London and covers most of the places mentioned above.
Pros and Cons of London Walking Tours:
- Their exploration is more customized and into great details.
- Cheaper than bus tours. There are even some free walking tours for you.
- You get more in touch with the city and its people.
- They are time-consuming. You won’t see much in a day.
- It is exhausting and physically demanding.
Clearly, both options have some positives and limitations. To answer our initial question, therefore, would require your understanding of what you want to see in London. If you have the money but your time is limited, perhaps you would want to tour the city by bus. If, on the other hand, you have the time and willingness to delve deeper into the city’s hustle and bustle, then you will definitely love the walking tours.