Original Tours London

London has witnessed the sightseeing buses of The Original Tour ply its roads for over six decades now! The double-decker buses with the Union Jack plastered all around it is a typical sight in London and is a popular choice for tourists who wish to explore London. 

The Original Tour has 6 routes that cover over 80 bus stops and all the top landmarks and attractions in the city. The company has a modern WiFi-enabled fleet that has recorded commentary in 11 languages and a special kid’s commentary. 

You have a choice of buying 24 hour, 48 hour and 72 hour tickets and explore all the top spots ranging from Kensington Gardens to the Tower of London. The Original Tour London HOHO Bus promises convenient transportation with an array of perks!

The Original Tour London Hop On Hop Off

The Original Tour is named so for a reason; it was the UK’s first sightseeing tour bus company. Its origins date back to 1951 when it started as a sightseeing bus for visitors who were in London for the Festival of Britain. 

Since then, it has a lot of firsts to its credit, it was the first one to introduce hop on and hop off bus service, first to bring in live guides and recorded commentary. It was also the first bring in open-top double-decker buses in London, introduced 24 hour tickets, and added the walking tours and river cruises. 

With over 65 years of excellent customer service, modern fleet, and convenient routing, the Original Tour is undoubtedly the best choice for a Hop-on Hop-off sightseeing bus tour in London.

Original Tour London Hop On Hop Off - Advantages

1. Overview of the city

The Original Tour London HOHO has six routes that cover an expansive area that stretches from West London to Central London and the City of London area. More than 80 bus stops service these routes that cover all major attractions in the city. 

If you are short on time you can simply choose to take the non-stop loop trip and whiz through all the attractions. Just by covering two main routes – Yellow and Orange – you would have viewed all the major landmarks and will have a sense of satisfaction of having seen the city as much as possible. 

2. Ease of getting around

London has a wonderful public transport system but when you are on a short trip to London you don’t want to spend time in figuring out which Underground stations are closest to attractions, buy tickets and wait for the train or bus to arrive. 

Instead, with the Original Tour HOHO Bus you can go on a conveniently routed plan that will drop you at bus stops mere feet away from the attractions. The Original Tour is also a part of the RATP, which manages London’s public transportation system.

3. Various routes to choose from

The Original Tour has six routes which are suitable for various aspects of your itinerary. The Yellow Route is the longest and takes you around maximum attractions including Westminster and the Tower of London. 

The Blue Route is known as the Royal Borough tour and takes you through Kensington Gardens and the museums. The Orange Route is suitable for traveling from King’s Cross and Euston to the centre of the city, and also to visit the British Museum. 

The Red Shuttle is short and ideal for visiting Madame Tussauds and connects Regents Park and Hyde Park.

The Purple Route and Grey Morning Route shuttles are convenient for reaching the main HOHO routes from your hotel.

4. Informative commentary

The Original Tour was the first HOHO bus company to introduce live commentary on tour buses. The Yellow Route will have an engaging local guide taking you through the sights of the city. 

All the routes also have a pre-recorded commentary in 11 languages including English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Portuguese, Mandarin, Arabic and Brazilian Portuguese. Another unique feature of the Original Tour is the kid’s commentary which narrates in a child-friendly manner with interesting tidbits and humour to keep them engaged. 

5. Savings

By choosing to go on an Original Tour HOHO you will end up saving both time and money. First, the savings on transportation are immense, because just a one-way Underground ticket from King’s Cross to Tower of London costs £4.90. To roam around the city you will have to purchase multiple tickets hence saving big on ticket costs by buying the pass. 

You also get perks like free river cruise, which would otherwise cost you upwards of £10.75. The biggest saving is on time, you don’t have to spend time in planning itinerary, or stand in queues to buy transport tickets, adding that precious time to sightseeing agenda! 

6. Entry ticket discounts

The Original Tour London HOHO has special partnerships with attractions across the city. You can avail up to 20% discount on ticket prices and also get some perks like skip the line entry tickets at a few of the attractions. 

The attractions where you can get a discount with your entry ticket are Coca-Cola London Eye, London Dungeon, SEA LIFE London Aquarium, Shrek’s Adventure! London, Madame Tussauds, The Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, The Royal Observatory, The View from the Shard, ZSL London Zoo, and Kensington Palace. 

7. Freebies 

The Original Tour package both a river cruise and walking tours with their tickets. The Thames River Cruise offers cruises from Westminster Pier, Tower of London Pier, London Eye Pier and Greenwich Pier depending on the kind of ticket you have purchased. 

All through the year it also has the Changing of the Guard tour which is a 90-minute tour through Buckingham Palace and surrounding area. Come spring, two other walking tours – Jack the Ripper and Rock ‘n’ Roll – will also be added to the roster. 

Original Tour London Hop On Hop Off - Ticket Options

24 Hour Ticket

The London 24 Hour Ticket is the perfect ticket for those in the city for just a day. It gives you 24 hour access to the six bus routes of the Original Tour HOHO Bus. 

  • Hop across more than 80 stops across London that are in close walking distance to landmarks and attractions
  • Enjoy a one-way river cruise departing from Westminster Pier to Tower Pier, or vice versa 
  • Witness the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace followed by a walking tour that lasts for 90 minutes
  • Pick up free activity books for kids from the Original Tour Visitor Centre and get them to hear a special kid’s commentary while on the bus
  • Enjoy live commentary in English on the Yellow Route and pre-recorded commentary in 11 languages on all the routes

48 Hour Ticket

The London 48 Hour Ticket is ideal to explore the city’s landmarks over a weekend or at a more leisurely pace. It gives you 48 hours access to the six bus routes of the Original Tour London HOHO. 

  • Hop-on and hop-off open-top double decker buses at more than 80 stops across London, that are in close proximity to the top attractions and landmarks 
  • Relax and soak in the sights on a river cruise between Westminster Pier and Tower Pier, with an extended cruise to Greenwich Pier
  • Keep the kids engaged with free activity books, and special kid’s commentary on the buses
  • Go on a 90-minute walking tour of St. James Palace, The Mall and Buckingham Palace and watch the Changing of the Guard
  • Enjoy free Wifi aboard the bus and live commentary with an entertaining guide on the Yellow Route

72 Hour Ticket 

The London 72 Hour Ticket is the ultimate ticket pass to visit and enjoy London’s landmarks and attractions at your own pace. It offers 72 hours access to the six bus routes of the Original Tour London HOHO Bus. 

  • Enjoy free transport as you hop on and off at over 80 bus stops across London that are close to the top attractions and landmarks
  • Cruise on the Thames in a river cruise between Westminster Pier and Tower Pier, with an extended cruise to Greenwich Pier
  • Get the expert services of a local guide who will take you on a 90-minute walking tour of St. James Palace, The Mall and Buckingham Palace to watch the Changing of the Guard
  • Enjoy traveling with happy kids who get free activity books and an exclusive kids commentary on the bus
  • Benefit from up to 20% discounts on attractions like Coca-Cola London Eye, London Tour, Madame Tussauds and more

Original Tour London Hop On Hop Off Routes

The Original Tour London has five routes that criss-cross London and cover all the popular landmarks and attractions in the city. Here is an overview of each of the routes –


Yellow Route

The Yellow Route is the most popular amongst the Original Tour London Bus HOHO tours. It covers a majority of the attractions through 19 bus stops. 

  • The Yellow Route starts from Grosvenor Gardens (Bus Stop No.1) and covers landmarks like the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Piccadilly Circus, Tower of London and the Houses of Parliament. It also covers the four bridges – London Bridge, Westminster Bridge, Waterloo Bridge and Tower Bridge. 
  • The first bus on the yellow route of Original Tour London HOHO leaves at 8:30 AM and the last full bus leaves at 5:00 PM. The full loop takes around 2 hours 30 minutes. 
  • The Yellow route overlaps with other routes at stops 2, 3, 4, 9, 18, and 19 from where you can catch buses from other routes on the Original Tour bus HOHO.

Blue Route 

The Blue Route covers the upscale and beautiful neighbourhoods of Kensington and Chelsea. It covers museums, gardens, and landmarks across 25 bus stops. 

  • The Blue Route also known as the Blue Royal Borough Route starts from Bressden Place and covers attractions like Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Royal Albert Hall, Victoria & Albert Museum, Science Museum, and Natural History Museum. 
  • The first bus on the Blue Route leaves at 9:00 AM and the last full route bus leaves at 5:20 PM. The full route loop takes about 2 hours 30 minutes. 
  • The Blue Route bus overlaps with other routes at 4, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30 and 32 from where you can catch buses from the other routes on the Original Tour HOHO buses. 

Orange Route

The Orange Route is a convenient transport route that will help you get from transport hubs like Euston Station and King’s Cross to the centre of the city. It also has several important attractions that can be accessed through its 12 bus stops. 

  • The Orange Routes starts from Woburn Palace and covers Eurostar Arrivals terminal, King’s Cross and Euston Station. It also connects landmarks like British Museum, Trafalgar Square, ChinaTown and Leicester Square from where you can head to Covent Garden. 
  • The first bus on the Orange Route of Original Tours London HOHO leaves at 8:35 AM and the last full route bus leaves at 5:30 PM. The full route loop takes about 1 hour 10 minutes. 
  • The Orange Route connects to only the Yellow Route at stop 55 (Aldwych) which is stop 9 on the Yellow Route. 

The Red Shuttle Route

The Red Shuttle Route is the shortest route on the Original Tour London HOHO Bus Route and has only 5 stops. 

  • The Red Shuttle Route starts from the Marble Arch and mainly connects Regency Park and Hyde Park, two of London’s biggest and most beautiful parks. It covers Baker Street where you can visit Madame Tussaud’s. 
  • The first shuttle leaves at 9:00 AM and the last full route bus leaves at 4:30 PM. It takes about 16 minutes to complete the route loop. 
  • You can get on to the buses of other routes of Original Tour London HOHO at stops 4 and 5 which are on opposite sides of the road at Marble Arch.

Download the FULL ROUTE MAP and BUS TIMINGS here.

Original Tour London Hop On Hop Off - Suggested Itineraries 

1 Day Itinerary 

Start your day at the Original Tour Visitor Centre from where you can embark on the Changing of the Guard walking tour. After the tour you can get on to the Yellow Route and hop on and hop off at attractions like The Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and the Houses of Parliament. After the last bus, you can take a river cruise from Westminster Pier or Tower Pier. This way you will cover the main highlights of London and avail both the walking tour and river cruise and have gotten a glimpse of the city. 

2 Days Itinerary 

Day 1

Start your day with taking the Blue Route, where you will cover attractions like the Kensington Museums and attractions like the Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. You can then head on to the Red Route Shuttle that will take you to Madame Tussauds. You can end the day with a river cruise from Westminster Pier. 

Day 2

Today, head first to the Original Tour Visitor Centre for a walking tour. After the tour head on to the Yellow Route and explore all the major landmarks in the city including Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Tower of London.

3 Days Itinerary 

Day 1

You will have more than enough time to explore the city and even spend more time in the attractions. Start with going on the Blue Route and visit the Royal Albert Hall,Victoria & Albert Museum and the Science Museum. Then get on to the Red Route Shuttle for Madame Tussauds and Baker Street. Finally, end your day with a relaxing river cruise from Westminster Pier and go all the way to Greenwich. 

Day 2

Start your day with a walking tour of Changing the Guard and follow up with a visit to Buckingham Palace and St. James Palace. Then, take the Yellow Route and cover all the attractions like the view from the Shard, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Finish your day by getting down at Covent Garden and catch a show at West End. 

Day 3

Today is all about fun! Spend the day on the Yellow Route around London Eye and visiting attractions like Sea life London, London Dungeon and go up to the London Eye. If time permits take the Orange Route Shuttle and go up and see the British Museum.

Original Tour London Hop On Hop Off Tips

  • The HOHO Bus tickets are valid for a number of hours instead of calendar days. For instance, if you validate the 24 hour ticket at 10:00 AM on a Saturday, it will be good till 10:00 AM on Sunday. Thus, activate your ticket depending on the duration you are in London. 
  • The Original Tour Visitor Centre is located at Trafalgar House, 17-19 Cockspur St, St. James's. You will get information about various bus tour timings and route map at the centre, so plan to start your trip there. Also, the walking tour starts every day at 10:00 AM from the centre. 
  • The best way to use the River Cruise ticket is after the last bus timing. This way you will maximize your time traveling on the HOHO bus exploring the attraction and then finish with a relaxing river cruise.
  • The Original Tour HOHO Buses do not have enough luggage space for large suitcases. In case you are in transit you can store your luggage for a fee at BagBnB, LuggageHero, or Stasher, which have locations at popular stops like Trafalgar Square, King’s Cross and Marble Arch from where you can get onto the HOHO Buses
  • London is known for its moody weather and while the upper deck of the open-top double decker buses has a canopy roof, it is best to dress up in rainproof wear. Also, umbrellas are not allowed for safety. 
  • Plan your days in advance as all the attractions have various timings and closing days. You should schedule shopping and other walking tours before or after the bus schedule, to make the most of the HOHO Buses.
  • It is advisable to carry food and water as you might not find places to stop for a snack enroute. This is especially ideal if you are traveling with kids and taking a route loop and don’t want to get down in between. 
  • Make sure you pre-book tickets to attractions as much as possible to avoid waiting in queues. Headout has incredible discounts and cashback on tickets to various attractions. 

Original Tour London Hop On Hop Off Reviews

We were in town for a week and bought the72 hour ticket to pack in all our sightseeing. The Original Tour HOHO gave us a lot of options, the routes are fixed properly so you don’t waste time in planning too much which route to take. I travelled with two kids and they loved listening to the kid’s commentary, they didn’t find it tiresome at all. - Eva Johnson

I spent a lot of time comparing the various HOHO offerings, I found Original Tour to have the best rate and the most convenient routing. I also liked that they had good frequency of buses, in fact for the Yellow Route I don’t remember waiting for more than 10 minutes for a bus. - Jason Mercado

I travelled with my wife and we had just a day in London. I bought the 24 hour ticket and we explored all the attractions on the Yellow Route, and took the river cruise and walking tour. I quite enjoyed the commentary, but if you are finicky about headphones get them from home. Go there early as you can get a seat on the upper deck. - Herschel A.