Golden Tours (Gray Line) hop-on hop-off open top bus tour

Hop-on hop-off double deck open top sightseeing bus tour with tickets for 24, 48 or 72-hours

Golden Tours London hop-on hop-off open top sightseeing bus

Cruise around London with Golden Tours hop-on buses

Golden Tours London hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour

The Golden Tours London hop-on hop-off service is one of the three main London hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tours operating in London.

Unlike the other two London hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus operators, Golden Tours also offer a broad range of guided coach tours from London to places like Windsor, Stonehenge and Oxford.

You can even choose to combine your Golden Tours hop-on bus ticket with the popular Warner Bros Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter by selecting the option using the banner below.

Golden Tours are currently the only tour operator to consistently offer a fully live-guided tour on their 1.5-hr Express ticket (not hop-on, hop off).

BOOK GOLDEN TOURS HOP-ON BUS TICKETS   What's included   About Golden Tours ticket options   Routes and buses   With Warner Bros Studio Tour   With Merlin attraction pass   River Cruise   Walking tours   Add-ons to Golden Tours tours & themed tours   Golden Tours included with London Pass   Golden Tours compared with Tootbus & Big Bus   Covid-19   Hop-on buses price comparison table  

Golden Tours hop on bus London tickets


London Golden Tours hop on bus tours

Hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus London

Choice of 1-day, 24, 48 or 72-hr tickets • Free one-way Thames river cruise (if selected) • Two walking tours • Free Wi-Fi on board • Audio in 11 languages • London in your Pocket app access

Golden Tours hop on bus London - what's included in your ticket

Golden Tours hop on bus - top deck
Golden Tours offer a range of hop on bus tickets
  • Unlimited travel for 24, 48 or 72-hours on the Golden Tours London sightseeing bus network that visits all major attractions in Central London

  • Free one-way river cruise included with ticket

  • Free walking tours - Coronation and/or Jack the Ripper

  • 4 open top sightseeing routes with pre-recorded commentary in 11 languages

  • 90-min open top bus tour featuring English speaking guide

  • Cancellation policy - up to 24 hours beforehand to get full refund

  • Free Wi-Fi on all buses

Comparison table of London's hop-on bus prices 2023

What you need to know about Golden Tours London tickets

Golden Tours hop on bus London
Choose from a number of ticket options

The basic format of the Golden Tours sightseeing bus is the same as for its two competitors, Big Bus London and Tootbus: a hop-on, hop-off bus service stopping at all the major tourist attractions supplemented by a one-way river cruise.

Golden Tours tickets

You can buy tickets for the Golden Tours service in 24, 48 and 72-hr durations. So, if you buy a 48-hr ticket, the ticket is valid 48 hours from the time you activate the ticket by boarding the bus.

Tickets can also either be purchased with or without the Thames river cruise.

There is a best price guarantee if you purchase direct from the Golden Tours website, see banner link above.

Golden Tours advance tickets - how it works

You pay for your tickets on the website in advance, by credit/debit card at the time of purchase.

A confirmation ticket is sent to you immediately by email which you need to print out.

You can join the tour from any Golden Tours bus stop, exchanging your email voucher for your tickets. Your tickets start from the time when you board the first bus.

Golden Tours routes and buses

Golden Tours view from top deck hop on bus
Enjoy terrific views from the top deck

Golden Tours offer 4 routes that between them cover all the major sights in London. You can switch from one to another as you please if you buy the hop-on hop-off ticket.

The Classic Tour (Blue route): Covers all the main Central London sights and visits London’s Museum Quarter.

The Essential Tour (Red route): Passes Madame Tussauds and Kings Cross, as well as Hyde Park and Regents Park, two of the prettiest parks in London.

The Morning and Evening Drop off Service (Yellow and Green routes): Operating in the morning and late afternoon, this route travels from the popular hotel districts to Central London.

Golden Tours route map London 2023

Frequencies are every 5-10 minutes at the main tourist points where routes overlap and 10-20 minutes at the outer reaches of the network. The main routes start up about 8.30am to 9am and start to wind down around 5pm.

Guides and audio guides

Golden Tours offer the most languages of all the hop on bus companies on their audio guides, currently 11. These are: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Brazilian Portuguese, Indian, Japanese and Arabic.

No live guide is available currently on any of the hop on hop off bus routes, but there is a continuous 90-min route that does have an English speaking guide, called the Open Top London Bus Tour With Live Guide.

Golden Tours 4-hr hop on bus + Warner Bros Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter

Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Golden Tours with hop on busLondon
Combine the magical Warner Bros Studio with hop on bus in London

Experience the magic of Harry Potter at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.

This tour gives your great value: a 4-hr hop on bus tour seeing all the major sights in London plus return transportation and entrance tickets to the Warner Bros Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter.

At the Studio, you will get to adventure through The Great Hall where Harry Potter, Hermione and Ron were chosen for Gryffindor, see Harry’s bedroom, discover spells at the Ministry of Magic, step onto Platform 9 ¾ and wander through the Forbidden Forest.

Click the link below to step back into Hogwarts...

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter - what to expect



Combine Big Bus hop on hop off bus tour with London attractions

Combine Harry Potter Studio with Golden Tours hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus package

• 4-hr Hop-on Hop-off London Bus Tour - all routes • Transport and entrance tickets to Warner Bros Studio Tour London

Golden Tours 1 day or 24-hr hop on bus, river cruise + Merlin attraction pass

Merlin Magical London with hop on bus
The Ultimate London Experience

The Ultimate London Experience

With this pass you can be fully flexible. Choose to combine a 1-day or a 24-hr hop on bus tour of London with a combination of three different Merlin attractions, or all five - it's up to you.

Plus - your hop on bus pass also comes with a FREE Thames river cruise.

A great bundle of top London attractions.

Big City Saver (aka Merlin's Magical London) pass - more details

5-in-1 Merlin's Magical London Pass


5-in-1 Merlin's Magical London Pass

HUGE SAVINGS: Buy a 3 or 5 attraction pass
for top 5 London attractions plus hop-on bus & river cruise


• 1-day or 24-hr hop on bus tour London • Thames river cruise • London Eye • Madame Tussauds London • London Dungeon • Shrek's Adventure! London • SEA LIFE London Aquarium

Adult from £88. Child (age 3-15) from £71

Free river cruise with Golden Tours

Thames River Sightseeing cruise with Golden Tours hop on bus tour London
Free Thames cruise included with your hop on bus ticket

Free Thames river cruise with Thames River Cruising

Enjoy a complimentary river trip included in your Golden Tours hop-on, hop-off bus ticket. The river service that the Golden Tours ticket covers runs from the Westminster Pier by Big Ben to the Greenwich Pier in the east, with several stops along the way.

Cruises are for one-way only.

Frequencies are approximately every 20 minutes in the summer and every 30-40 minutes in the winter.

Note - the river cruise is not included in the one calendar day ticket.

Free walking tours with Golden Tours hop on buses

Golden tours hop on buses also include a free Jack The Ripper Walking Tour and/or the Coronation Walking Tour.

The Jack the Ripper tour offers you the chance to explore the locations where vital clues were found and play detective in trying to solve this morbid mystery.

Alternatively, you can choose the Coronation walking tour: a majestic 2-hour stroll through the capital uncovering spectacular Royal sites. Learn more about coronations past and present as well as quirky facts such as where The Queen Mother bought her cigarettes and Queen Elizabeth’s favourite off-licence.

Golden Tours hop on bus alternatives and top London attractions

Golden Tours 90-min non stop bus with live guide
Take a 90-min ride through London with your live guide

As well as the traditional hop-on bus services from Golden Tours, there are also a range of other services to choose from.

Options include:

  • Night tours
  • Christmas lights tours
  • Add on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter
  • 90-min non stop open top bus ride with a live guide doing the commentary

Click on the banner below for more details.

In addition to these options, Golden Tours have also bundled many of their top London attractions with a hop on bus service.

Choose from:

Tower of London with hop-on bus

View from Shard with hop-on bus

Westminster Abbey with hop-on bus

St Paul's with hop-on bus

SEA LIFE with hop-on bus

The London Dungeon with hop-on bus

Madame Tussauds with hop-on bus

London Eye with hop-on bus

Shrek's Adventure! London with hop-on bus


Golden Tours hop on bus London tickets


London Golden Tours hop on bus tours

Hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus London with add-ons

• 90-min bus tour with LIVE GUIDE option • Option to add on WB Studio - Harry Potter • Evening tours • Christmas lights tours

London Pass - Golden Tours included (or Big Bus)

Big Bus or Golden Tours hop on bus included with London Pass
Big Bus hop on bus included with London Pass

The London Pass is a flat rate sightseeing pass to many (but not all) of London's main sightseeing attractions. You can buy a London Pass for 1, 2, 3, 6 or 10 day durations

The London Pass gives you entry into more than 60 London tourist attractions and a river cruise on the River Thames.

The London Pass also now includes use of either Golden Tours or Big Bus hop-on hop-off bus for one calendar day, whatever the duration of the London Pass.

Key points of the London Pass Ho Ho bus offer

  • You can choose to ride on the Golden Tours or Big Bus hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus for one calendar day. Tootbus (Original London Tour) is not covered.

  • The Ho Ho bus offer is for one calendar day not for 24 hours.

  • Most people use the Ho Ho facility on the first day of their London Pass, but there is nothing stopping using it on another day when the London Pass is valid.

  • The Ho Ho bus offer with London Pass doesn't include the walking tours and river cruises included in the standard tickets issued by the Ho Ho companies concerned, only the bus tour (but you do get a river cruise included in the London Pass separately anyway)

  • You show your London Pass to the driver or tour guide of the first bus you board. They will scan your London Pass and issue you with a separate ticket for the bus company concerned valid for the rest of the day. You cannot switch to the other bus company once you have made your first journey.

London Pass more details

Golden Tours v Big Bus v Tootbus

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

Live guides

Currently only Golden Tours offer a regular service operating with live guides - however this is not a hop-on-hop off bus but a fixed duration of 90 minutes (the price is nearly the same as the hop-on bus price).

Otherwise all three companies use pre-recorded commentaries for their hop-on bus services (they vary on the number of languages offered).

However, during special 'promotional periods' Tootbus sometimes put on a special service with an expert live guide. These tours are based on a first come first served basis and cannot be guaranteed (although they do run hourly).


All operators offer tickets with 24 and 48-hr validity periods; Tootbus and Golden Tours also offer 72-hr tickets.

In addition Tootbus offer a 1.5-hr Bar Bus ticket, while Golden Tours offer a fully guided 1.5-hr Express ticket (see above).

Evening Tours

All three operators offer evening tours. Big Bus also include a separate evening tour with their Premium and Deluxe tickets.

See websites for more details.

Walking Tours

Both Golden Tours and Big Bus offer highly regarded professionally guided walking tours included with your ticket (selected tickets only).

With Golden Tours you can choose from a Jack The Ripper Walking Tour or Coronation Walking Tour.

Big Bus offer THREE FREE TOURS with their Essential and Explore tickets: Changing of the Guard Walking Tour, City of London Walking Tour and a Jack the Ripper Walking Tour. Each tour is 1.5 hours long.

In addition Big Bus are currently offering a Royal themed hop on bus tour - 'A Big Royal Adventure'' together with a 45-min Royal Walking Tour.

Tootbus do not offer guided walking tours but instead give you the chance to download "Tootwalk" to your phone: a choice of three self-guided walks.

River cruises

Two different river cruise operators are used, City Cruises and Thames River Sightseeing.

Golden Tours and Tootbus both offer tickets which are cheaper because they do not offer the river cruise. River cruises come standard with all Big Bus tickets.

All river cruises are for one-way only.

Add-on attractions or alternative tours

Golden Tours offer a range of attractions as add-on to the basic 4-hr hop-on bus ticket.

You can buy discounted bundles of Big Bus and top London attraction through Discount London.

In addition, through the Big Bus official website you can also add on tickets to: Madame Tussauds, Tower of London and London Eye Fast Track.

Tootbus don't currently offer any add-on attractions but they do offer alternative tours such as a Windsor hop-on bus tour and a very popular Kids tour.

Click through on the banner for a thorough discussion on the differences between companies.

London's hop-on buses - discussion comparison

Golden Tours hop on bus London tickets


London Golden Tours hop on bus tours

Hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus London

Choice of 1-day, 24, 48 or 72-hr tickets • Free one-way Thames river cruise (if selected) • Two walking tours • Free Wi-Fi on board • Audio in 11 languages • London in your Pocket app access

Golden Tours safety measures during COVID-19

Currently there are no real restrictions in London.

If you are worried, then travelling in the open air and distanced from other passengers will help ensure your experience is a safe one.

Visit Britain has put together safety guidelines which reputable companies like Golden Tours has signed up to. You can see what procedures have been put in place on this "Good to Go" safety video.



Online advance ticket price adult/child/family


*24 hrs or 1-day no cruise

**24-hrs or 1 day with cruise

*48-hrs or 2 days no cruise

**48-hrs or 2 days with cruise

*72-hrs or 2 days no cruise

**72-hrs or 3 days with cruise

London Evening tour

Tootbus (Original Tour) Adult
Big Bus Adult
N/A £38.00
N/A £54.00
N/A £63.00
Golden Tours Adult
N/A £40.91
N/A £45.45
London's hop-on buses - 3 hop on buses compared

All prices (except family prices) are those offered through Travel Compendium unless otherwise stated, using banners on this page. Travel Compendium aim to be price-competitive, offering you the best value price (against the hop-on bus company's own permanently discounted online prices, which are between 10 - 15% off their walk-up prices).

To be sure you are getting the best possible price it is advisable to check our prices above against the hop-on bus companies' websites as they occasionally run sales throughout the year:

Tootbus official website

Big Bus official website

Golden Tours official website


* Golden Tours and Tootbus offer cheaper tickets, which are bus only, no river cruise. Tootbus offer this for a 24, 48 & 72-hr ticket and call theirs 'London Discovery'. Golden Tours offer the bus only option for either 24 hours or a 1-day period only.

All other Tootbus and Golden Tours tickets are for 24/48/72-hour periods, unless stated otherwise.

** Prices for Tootbus here use official Tootbus link, Big Bus and Golden Tours prices use our links.

Family hop on bus tickets and other tour options

Family prices for all companies can be found through the operator's own websites (above).

For a big range of Golden Tours hop on plus attraction tickets see: Golden Tours hop-on bus plus attractions


London Eye Amazing panoramic flight on the world's highest observation wheel. » Fast track tickets available.
The Shard Tallest building in Western Europe with viewing of London from the top. » Fast track tickets available.
St Paul's Cathedral Cathedral of the Diocese of London, venue for royal weddings. » Pre-book to guarantee entry.
Westminster Abbey Along with St Paul's, England's main religious building.» Pre-book to guarantee entry.
Tower of London Home of the Crown Jewels and a rich thousand year history. » Fast track tickets available.
Madame Tussauds See wax statues of the most famous people in the world. » Fast track tickets available.
London Dungeon The creepiest attraction in town, the London Dungeon. » Fast track tickets available.
Hampton Court Palace   Henry VIII Medieval Palace set in vast grounds. » Pre-book to save money.
The London Zoo World class zoo in the centre of London. » Flexi tickets available.

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.