Driving around Trafalgar square on our Big Bus Tour London, my 8-year-old’s face pushed up against the side of the seat while my 10-year old tried to hold the camera steady, for “just one more photo”. One row ahead a similar scene was playing out with my kid’s grandparents both squishing in together and sharing their excitement for the sights and sounds that they were surrounded by.
All of this from the top of the Big Bus Tour London, and we were only 10 minutes into our grand London adventure!
Big Bus Tour London Company
Big Bus Company is known as the largest company of open-top bus tours in the world that operates in 23 cities across 4 continents. They offer flexible hop-on, hop-off bus tours of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Hop on, enjoy the sights and stories of the city from pre-recorded audio that is provided through complimentary headphones for use during the tour.
Hop off at designated stops and explore the city even more! They were founded in 2011 when Big Bus Company Ltd based in London and Les Cars Rouges based in Paris joined forces. Starting off with just 3 busses they have since grown into a worldwide company with hundreds of busses and serves over 4 million tourists per year. Big Bus Tours can be found in Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Oman, Singapore, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.
My husband and I have a tradition of arriving in a city and hopping on the first Big Bus Tour we see. We love being able to tour around and see the major sites as well as orient ourselves to where we are in the city. From there we can then loop around and figure out what we want to go back to as well as where we want to stop and explore more.
Mom Tip: Start your tour mid to late morning. That way you can stretch your one day pass over two days and get the most value out of your ticket!
Family-Friendly Fun on Big Bus Tour London
I love that I can take my whole family, from my kids all the way to the grandparents on the big bus tour and everyone can have a good time. Those looking to take in the scenery and learn are excited for the rolling commentary sharing the stories behind the local scenes as we pass by. My kids loved being able to tune in to the tour guide, but equally take off their headphones when they needed a conversation break.
Mom Tip: Let the kids embrace their own experience. My older daughter loved listening to the commentary and soaking in the history whereas my son wanted to talk about what he was seeing. Don’t worry that they will miss out if they aren’t listening to every single word, let them be emersed in the experience.
Eats and Treats on Big Bus Tour London
Travelling with kids means two things, being adaptable and always having food! I always take a lunch kit loaded with healthy treats so when the kids are hungry we can fuel them up. I also ensure that there are some desirable treats (aka chocolate) to add to the fun environment of exploring a new city.
Mom Tip: Book accommodations that have a kitchenette (hard to find but worthwhile). This will allow you to save money on midday lunches and give you more time for exploring the city.
Sights and Sounds on Big Bus Tour London
The biggest attraction of the Big Bus Tour is the ability to see all of the city’s top attractions in a short period of time. From the London Eye, to the Tower of London, to Buckingham Palace, and everything else on our Top Ten Things To Do In London List. Getting to see all the big attractions and deciding which ones you want to visit first is the way to ride the Big Bus Tour!
Mom Tip: Don’t try to do it all in one day! With a city filled with so much to see it’s easy to try to get it all in, but you’ll burn out your whole family. We let everyone choose their top two things they wanted to see and sure enough, by the end of the trip, they all worked their way into our itinerary.
5 Things You Need to know about Big Bus Tour London:
- Pick your Pass – There are a variety of passes, from 1 – 3 days available so plan your trip around how many days you need. We typically need one or two days and then head to our favourite attractions after that.
- Take the Ferry! From The Tower of London, you can take the Big Bus Ferry down the Thames river back into downtown!
- Choose Your Language – From live guides to pre-recorded messages in multiple languages, there’s a station for everyone!
- Buy Online – You can buy online and save money when you bundle up with other attractions.
- Have FUN! The kids loved taking the iconic double-decker bus!