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Open Topped Buses

There’s nothing quite like hopping on an open topped bus and exploring the city. To many it might seem like poor design given the capital’s tendency towards showers and gloom, but to eager visitors its a chance to see the sites in an engaging and unique way. It’s hard to fully explain the attraction but one can’t help but feel more involved with what they’re seeing when they aren’t looking at it through a pane of glass. Even staring at things like Big Ben from afar seems more unique when it’s done on an open topped bus.

The key to enjoying the experience is definitely to secure a good guide. Left alone to your own devices, or given a guide who simply points out attraction, the experience is ok but nothing special. Get paired with some that knows their stuff though and it can be a real highlight of any trip. Good tour guides bring out the magic in the city, turn it from a collection of buildings into a compelling narrative, full of interesting little tidbits that you won’t find in your mass produced guide book.

Of course, these red buses are an iconic sight of London in and of themselves. Having your picture taken with one of these vehicles is an essential part of the entire experience and one that dominates tourists’ photographs and postcards to the point of utter ubiquity. Despite being so incredibly popular and overdone though, there’s still a certain charm to it, a dewy eyed enthusiasm that cuts through even the most bitter of cynicism.

(Please note that there are a wide range of bus tours available in the city. For this article, we have linked to the address and website of the most popular generic tour, though many other specialised are available to those interested. To see more, please check the guides section of our site)

Address : 17-19 Cockspur St,  Trafalgar Square, London, SW1Y 5BL

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