Whether it’s your first time in London or you’re just short on time, a dedicated sightseeing tour is one of the best ways to see as many sights as possible.
London is crammed full of showstopping sights, from Buckingham Palace to the London Eye. But it’s a huge city too, and getting from one place to the next is not as easy as you might think. A sightseeing tour solves this problem by combining transportation – by boat, bus, taxi or on foot – with insights into the capital’s best-loved landmarks. There are hundreds of sightseeing tours to choose from, but they can differ wildly in the itinerary, but they can differ wildly in price and itinerary. To help make the choice easier, we’ve cherry-picked five of the best London sightseeing tours, taking into consideration the number of stops, value for money and customer reviews.
Landmarks Guided Walking Tour
This whistlestop tour ticks off most of the capital’s main sights in just two hours, making it the perfect option for those looking for an introduction to London’s most iconic landmarks. Tours depart from Trafalgar Square, with stops outside Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, St James Park, Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Palace. Tours are led by a knowledgeable guide who will be happy to share tips on the best places to eat, drink and visit after your tour too. For extra insights, you can download a dedicated sightseeing app, which includes complimentary self-guided tours of London. From £11.77 per person.
River Thames Hop-on Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise
For an alternative perspective on London’s iconic monuments, why not take to the water? This experience includes a 24-hour river pass that enables you to hop on and hop off at any of London’s main destination piers, including Westminster, Greenwich, London Eye and the Tower of London. As well as enjoying panoramic views of the sights, passengers can listen to a lively commentary of the attractions they pass, from the Houses of Parliament to the Globe Theatre. Boats are all-weather friendly and kitted out with a bar serving onboard refreshments. From £23 per person.
Big Bus Open-Top Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Tour
The Big Bus Sightseeing Tour offers one of the most convenient ways to hit London’s top landmarks without making your legs weary. Passengers can choose between a 24-hour ticket and a 48-hour ticket covering three specially designed routes covering as many as 45 sights. The Blue Route is the most comprehensive route, covering all of central London from Kensington Palace in West London to the Tower of London in East London. As well as offering a bird-eye view of London, passengers can immerse themselves in the history of the city with an engaging audio commentary in a choice of five languages. From £40.50 per person.
London’s Top Sights: Walking Tour with Local Guide
This highly-rated walking tour ticks off more than 30 London sights in a four-hour walking tour. Led by an enthusiastic guide, the tour stops at iconic landmarks, including the Globe Theatre, the Shard, London Bridge and Buckingham Palace. It even includes a brief pause to see the Changing of the Guard at Horse Guard Parade, an impressive traditional ritual representing the formal handover of responsibilities between guards in bearskin caps, accompanied by a band. Most of the tour guides have lived in central London for over 20 years and are brimming with fascinating facts and entertaining anecdotes about the capital. From £47 per person.
London Full-Day Tour by Black Cab
If you’re short on time and want to tick off as many sights as possible without joining a huge tour group, this private tour is an excellent option. Travelling in an iconic black cab, passengers are treated to more than 2,000 years of history told by some of the most knowledgeable drivers in the city. Each driver is also a registered Blue Badge, City of London or City of Westminister Guide, the most rigorous tourism guide qualification in the UK. Tour prices include pickup from your hotel or location of your choice and whizz around the most famous sights, as well as some of London’s more hidden attractions. From £639 per group of up to 6.