The Original London Tour

Hop-on hop-off open top double deck sightseeing bus tour of London

Original London Tour Open Top Sightseeing Bus

Tour highlights: The Original Tour has routes to major sights and free cruises

Original Tour hop-on hop-off

Over forty years ago the company who ran London's red buses decided to create a special open topped conversion of some of London's famous double deck red buses and run them on a circuit of London's main attractions with the facility to hop on and hop off.

Today the Original London Tour is still going strong in London and has been refined to a sightseeing product so very popular with first time visitors to London.

The Original London Tour - what is included in your ticket:

  • Unlimited travel for 24,48 or 72-hours on the Original London Tour's sightseeing bus network that visits all major attractions in Central London plus walking tours and river cruise

  • Discount for buying tickets in advance on-line from the official website plus money saving attraction combination tickets

  • 7 high frequency daily open top sightseeing routes that feature live, English speaking guides and/or pre-recorded commentary in 11 languages.

  • A short river cruise on the River Thames to see major sights from a different perspective.

  • 3 guided walking tours covering hidden parts of London the bus cannot reach.

Comparison table of London's hop-on bus prices 2019

Original London Tour Tickets


The Original London Tour deal

Original London Tour tickets

You can buy tickets for the Original London Tour service in 24, 48 and 72-hour durations.

So, if you buy a 48-hour ticket, the ticket is valid 48 hours from the time you activate the ticket by boarding the bus.


Original London Tour also offer a separate product called the City Sampler, full details further down the page. This ticket is for one calendar day and is cheaper than the 24-hour ticket but you have no access to the river cruise or walking tours.

Original London Tour advance discounted tickets - how it works

Although you can buy tickets on the day from staff at the bus stops or from hotel concierges and visitor centres you can save yourself money by purchasing from the Original London Tour official website (see banner link above.)


You pay for your tickets on the web site in advance to receive the discount. The payment is by credit/debit card at the time of purchase.

Tickets are flexible and are valid for 6 months from the date of purchase.

You can either have the tickets e-mailed to you as a voucher, you can collect them in London or have them posted to you. If you opt for postal delivery there is an extra charge.


If you go for the most popular option having a voucher e-mailed to you, you print out the voucher and walk up to any Original London Tour bus stop in London.


On boarding the bus or with the Original London Tour representative at the bus stop you exchange your voucher for your Original London Tour tickets that start immediately.


Save money with Original London Tour London

As well as the discount for buying on-line from the Original London Tour official website, there are other ways you can stretch your sightseeing budget with Original London Tour.

Original London Tour + attraction combination tickets

You can save money during the ticket ordering process by purchasing tickets to major attractions like the London Eye and Madame Tussauds.


As well as saving money, the really popular attractions in London like these two have very long waiting lines so this option can save you time as well as money.

Original London Tour & Attraction Packages

Original London Tour Windsor and Thames Boat Tour

Explore Windsor from two points of view with a hop-on hop-off bus tour combined with a cruise on the Upper River Thames. This package includes a 24-hour ticket on The Original Tour's sightseeing buses together with a 40-minute round-trip on the Thames.

Winter hop on hop off sightseeing tour promotions

In the winter months, November to March, historically all three London hop on hop off sightseeing services have offered a very good promotion along the lines of an extra day free or 2 days for the price of 1.


It is not guaranteed to happen, but as soon as one company starts offering this promotion the others follow suit.

So, if you are travelling outside the peak summer months, keep your eyes open for this promotion.

The Original London Tour's City Sampler Ticket

The City Sampler ticket is a cheaper alternative to the 24-hour ticket. The difference is that the City Sampler is valid for for 1 calendar day, not 24 hours (the ticket expires at the end of the day that you ride).


You only have access to the Hop-on and hop-off bus services, not the river cruise or walking tours.


Original London Tour Tickets


Original London Tour routes and buses

With your Original Tour ticket, you have access to 7 bus tour routes around London. Five of these routes, Yellow (T1 and T2), Blue, Orange and Red are sightseeing tour routes, and buses run at a 15-30 minute frequency. Many of the routes duplicate each other in large parts of the city resulting in a bus coming along every 5-10 minutes at many bus stops.


The Purple route operates as a shuttle service and connects you with our sightseeing tours from the train stations and popular hotel districts of the capital.

With some seasonal variations the routes start up around 8.30am and start running down around 5pm.

On the T1 yellow route you'll enjoy live, English-speaking guides as well as informative digital commentary, available in 11 languages and broadcast via complimentary headphones. On other routes just the audio guides are made available.

The audio commentary is available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Polish, Arabic, Japanese, Mandarin and Russian. There is also a kids audio channel in English.


The two main routes, the Yellow  (T1 & T2) and Blue route (T4) cover the east and west of the Capital with good connections - the routes run in opposite directions in the busy areas of Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square and Westminster.


The Red route (Red Shuttle) covers the key central areas of Hyde Park, Marble Arch and Regents Park. The Blue route (T4) is known as the Royal Borough Route and covers the popular shopping districts of Harrods and Harvey Nicholls as well as the Victoria and Albert Museum, Science Museum and Natural History Museum.


The Orange route is The British Museum Tour (T5) and includes the British Library, Chinatown, London's theatreland and of course the British Museum. It also covers Kings Cross, St Pancras and Euston train stations.


The Purple route (T6) is the Capital Connector and useful if you are staying in Bayswater, Notting Hill, Holland Park or Lancaster Gate. It connects with the yellow Route at Marble Arch. For the full route map just click on our link above.

In common with all hop on sightseeing buses there is no evening service included in the standard ticket.

Note, route changes happen relatively frequently and there are always events in London (especially Sundays) where roads are closed that impact on the operation of all the tours.

So do check the Original London Tour web site just prior to travelling which will highlight known issues in advance.

There is free Wi-Fi across the entire fleet of Original London Tour.

Free river cruise with City Cruises

Enjoy a complimentary river cruise included in your Original London Tour ticket.


City Cruises offers customers of Original London Tour a free cruise on the River Thames.

The cruise includes live commentary and enables you to see London and its attractions from a different perspective. Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, Shakespeare's Globe and the Tate Modern art gallery are some highlights that line the riverside. City Cruises depart from Westminster (Big Ben), Waterloo (London Eye) and Tower of London.

The River Cruise between Westminster Pier (Big Ben) and the Tower of London departure times vary, but are about every 20 minutes in the summer and every 30-40 minutes in the winter.

City Cruises River Boat In Front Of The Tower Of London

Daily walking tours

Your Original London Tour London Sightseeing Tour includes a choice of three daily walking tour. The walks are led by a friendly Original London Tour guide.


Each walking tour is around 90 minutes long and are spread throughout the day so you can access each if you wanted to.


Tours are themed around Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard, Rock n Roll London and a Jack the Ripper walk.


Original London Tour Tickets


Big Bus v Original London Tour v Golden Tours

Comparison of London's Sightseeing Buses

There are three London hop on hop off sightseeing buses all offering a very similar product in very similar buses. However, there are differences beyond small differences in price.

In terms of London coverage all three HoHo sightseeing bus operations visit the same areas and all the main London attractions.

There is some difference in ticketing, some have their standard ticket on calendar days, some on 24-hour blocks.


One operator operates a one lap of the main sightseeing route product with no hop-on, hop-off facility for those who just want to get orientated with London, its layout and main sights.

There are differences in the walking tours offered, and two different river cruise operators are used.

Outside the core bus routes, each operator has their own unique differences which may sway one operator over another. Click through on the banner for a thorough discussion on the differences between companies.


Online advance ticket price adult (child)

1 day‡
Bus only

or 1 day

or 2 days

or 3 days

Original Tour





Big Bus





Golden Tours





Every effort is made to keep all our information correct and the advertised prices up to date. We endeavour to be as accurate a source of information as possible but Travellers Toolkits cannot be held responsible for any price differential between our stated prices and those of the companies supplying the product or accuracy of information provided on our sites.