12 Cities to Explore on a Big Bus Tour

September 8, 2014 by

Asia, Bus Tours, Europe, North America, Places to Go, Things to Do

Travel can be frenetic, hurried and confusing when you’re new to a big city. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Consider making the most of your time in your chosen destination and discover the city in comfort and with convenience. Big Bus tours offer you just that. From open-aired roofless double-decker busses to big, red, air-conditioned British trolleys that fill a postcard, Big Bus Tours offer the convenience of hop-on hop-off location points with informative guides and the unique and charming Big Bus experience.

Here are 12 cities worthy of the Big Bus tour:

New York City

So much to see in this great city.

So much to see in this great city.

The Big Apple is the pinnacle of modern American industry. While no tour of N.Y.C. could hope to encompass all there is to see and do in the city that never sleeps, the Big Bus tour of New York City is a great way to see a good chunk of the city, including the famous neighborhoods of Greenwich Village, NoHo and Chinatown. You’ll also get a chance to see some of the world famous landmarks recognizable the world over – Rockefeller Center, the 9/11 Memorial Museum, the Empire State Building and Madison Square Garden.

A Big Bus tour of N.Y.C. keeps you above ground (and if you’re on the top floor, above eye-level), and so offers you a unique vantage point from which to get your bearings in this incredible city.

San Francisco

Come to this glistening city by the sea and you’ll see why so many have left their heart in San Francisco. While only 49 square miles, there’s a surprising amount of history and culture in these seven hills, and precious little time to see it all. That’s where the Big Bus tour of San Francisco comes in.

See the Golden Gate and find out why it’s not really golden, swing by the Embarcadero and the Frisbee throwers on the lawn, spot Alcatraz, see the Palace of Fine Arts, and bark at the sea lions on Pier 39 – San Francisco is a whiz of a town, and a Big Bus tour of the town makes sure that you see it all without hiking up and down the city’s infamous hills.


Home to British royalty, some of the most iconic modern and classic architecture (including castles, towers and dungeons) in the world, and 400 years of imperialism and the corresponding spoils of plunder, London is a sightseer’s dream. One problem – the tube can be confusing at first blush, and messing with your Oyster pass (what they call the subway pass in London) is a hassle best left to the professionals.

The hop-on hop-off Big Bus London tours give you the chance to see the bustling Piccadilly Circus (think Time Square with a London twist), Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park, the British Museum and almost two dozen other monuments – all from the comfort of the iconic Big Bus. What’s more, you’ll see what many Londoners themselves never see – the whole city above ground.

Hong Kong

History, Cantonese tradition, and perhaps the biggest skyline in the world – Hong Kong has more than enough to entice and dazzle the passing traveler, and with the Hong Kong Big Bus Tour you can be dazzled amongst the best and brightest of the Hong Kong skyline.

On these tours, you’ll be provided with a map to explore your immediate hop-off surroundings which include the Hong Kong Space Museum, Soho, the world-renowned Hong Kong Cultural Center, historic colonial sites, contemporary shopping centers, a coveted ride across the Victoria Harbor via ferry and a tram ride to and from Victoria Peak.

A Hong Kong by Night tour is another chance to see the famous sites of Hong Kong, but this time they’re all lit up! Hong Kong’s amazing skyline by night is truly wondrous to behold, and on this tour you can see Kowloon like few other tours let you.


On this Big Bus tour of Shanghai, you’ll see the best of Shanghai’s bustling metropolis. Always a city in flux, Shanghai is for those who thrive on energy, and a Big Bus tour of Shanghai lets you make the most of it. See the Jade Temple, the Nanpu Bridge, the Bund, and more than 21 other stops as you learn what makes Shanghai the historic, modern and indispensible city of China’s east coast.


A great way to see the many sights of the Strip.

A great way to see the many sights of the Strip.

Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas. The city of sin is, without doubt, a city of fun and excess, and a Big Bus tour of Las Vegas puts you in the heart of the action. On these tours, not only will you skip the taxi cab lines and the scorching Las Vegas heat, you’ll hear all about Las Vegas mob origins, its underground aquifers, and its routing of gambling laws, as well as seeing some of the best of Vegas, including the Atomic Testing Museum, the Premium Outlets, the iconic hotels of the Las Vegas Strip and so much more.


Beautiful beaches, distinctive neighborhoods, Cuban food, salsa dancing, Little Havana, you name it, Miami’s got it. And with a hop-on hop-off Big Bus tour of Miami you can see it all.

Choose the Beach Loop and see some of the most iconic beach sites, as well as get your bearings on where to stretch in the sand later (like the famous Art Deco of South Beach or South Pointe Beach), or head to bustling downtown to see the Coconut Grove Station, the Venetian Pool, Little Havana and some of the best Cuban eateries in all of the world.

Washington, D.C.

In a city loaded with historical sights, you've gotta be able to get around quickly to see them all.

In a city loaded with historical sights, you’ve got to be able to get around quickly to see them all.

If London is the monument capital of Europe, then D.C. is the monument capital of the U.S. There are more museums and monuments here than in any other city in the U.S. – and that’s saying a lot. Combine that history that dates back to the colonial era, and you’ve got yourself the perfect combination for a Big Bus tour.

The hop-on hop-off Big Bus tour of Washington, D.C. features the highlights of any trip to the nation’s capital. See the White House, the Smithsonian, the U.S. Capitol, the Washington Monument, and over 50 more attractions. There are literally so many things to do and see in the capitol that you can’t do it all in one day – luckily your Big Bus Washington, D.C. tour is good for 48 hours!


From the Sacre Coere in Montmarte to the Louvre and the Seine, the bountiful beauty of Paris is second to none, and on the Paris Big Bus tour you can see it all. With an open-air double decker bus, you will be whisked around the city of love while an informative guide highlights the finer points of the Champs-Elysees, the Grand Palace, the Louvre, the Opera Garnier, the Eiffel Tower and more. Did you know, for example, that the Eiffel Tower was sold not once, but twice? Well you do now. You’ll learn more tidbits like this on the Big Bus tour of Paris.


Perhaps the pinnacle of Big Bus tours is the Big Bus tour of Budapest. Budapest is a city of contrasts – distinctly its own, but also marked by centuries of rule by the Ottomans, Romans and Habsburgs it teeters on the line between western and eastern European ideals. But it is nothing if not an impressive city, filled with towering gothic structures, the beautiful and mysterious Danube and the Szechenyi Baths – all accessible and walkable via a hop-on hop-off Big Bus tour of Budapest.


The Museum of Fine Arts, one of the many amazing stops on this tour.

The Museum of Fine Arts, one of the many amazing stops on this tour.

Vienna has stood the test of time in regards to capturing the hearts and minds of travelers. With distinctive architecture, an uncanny appreciation of the arts (and pastry making), and easy access to the Alps, Vienna is, in many ways, the best of Europe wrapped up into one tidy city. And with over 15 stops and over 45 different attractions, the unique milieu that is Vienna is best seen via the hop-on hop-off Big Bus tour of Vienna.

See the National Theater, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Mozart Memorial, the Imperial Burail Vault and learn about Vienna’s oft-misunderstood varied history.


Istanbul – the great city that straddles the East and West and two continents. Millennia of history has passed through Istanbul and its serpentine streets. With the Black Sea to the north and Marmara Sea to the South, Istanbul has long been a trade hub. Nowhere is this more apparent than the Grand Bazaar – the oldest open market in the world. See this, the Blue Mosque, the Eye of Sophia, Taksim Square, and the beautiful water that surrounds this amazing city – all at your convenience with either a 24- or 48-hour ticket for the hop-on hop-off Big Bus tour of Istanbul.

 –– Contributed by Hudson Hornick

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