The Original Tour FAQs
We can’t wait to have you onboard The Original Tour! If you have any questions about your tour or attraction tickets, have a look through our FAQs to find the answer you are looking for.
Your tickets are valid for the length of time of the ticket you have chosen, once you first redeem them.
For example, if you validate your ticket at 11am on a Monday, the ticket will be valid for our bus tours, walking tours and river cruises until:
24 hour tickets: 11am on Tuesday
48 hour tickets: 11am on Wednesday
72 hour tickets: 11am on Thursday
Our City Sampler tickets are valid from the beginning of service until the end of service on one calendar day. All of our bus tickets need to be used in one consecutive time frame.
All of our buses are wheelchair-accessible. We have space for one Class 1 or Class 2 ‘reference wheelchair’ which fits within the following dimensions: 3'11” (L) X 2'4" (W) X 4'5"(H). Additional Class 1 wheelchairs are allowed on board if they are folded and stored in the designated space. It may be easier for wheelchair users to board at our Victoria or Piccadilly Circus departure points as we have additional staff on hand to help.
Once you have your prepaid eVoucher, you can board our buses at any of our 80+ stops around London. If you have bought an Original Tour bus ticket through a third party agent, you may need to redeem your ticket at our Visitor Centre.
You can bring pushchairs and small prams on the bus but you must fold them before boarding. If it is available, you can store prams or pushchairs in the wheelchair space but wheelchair users will have priority.
Guide dogs and service dogs are more than welcome on our buses. Any other, well-behaved, pets may be allowed onboard at the driver’s discretion if there is enough space available.
You can see all of our routes and timetables here and download our map to help you plan your route around London. Check out our main departure points here for more details about our manned bus stops.
You can only purchase single tickets for children if you have already purchased an adult ticket. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
You can purchase tickets for our 24, 48 and 72 hour bus tours from the bus drivers but you will need to pay in cash. You can also buy tickets from our uniformed street staff with cash or card.
All sales are final and we are unable to exchange tickets or offer monetary refunds. We can only look for a solution if The Original Tour is specifically at fault. Read our full Terms and Conditions here.
Yes, you can use your bus tour and attraction vouchers on different days. You will have 6 months to redeem your bus tickets in London from the date you purchase them. You’ll have 7-30 days to use your attraction vouchers once you have redeemed them but this varies depending on the attraction.
Guide Dogs and service dogs are welcome on our buses and on the river cruise. We kindly ask that dogs do not obstruct the walkway on the bus or distract the driver.
You can go on the walking tours or river cruise at any time whilst your bus ticket is valid.
A free Thames River Cruise is included with our 24, 48 and 72 hour tickets. You can cruise between Westminster Pier and Tower Pier as many times as you like for the duration of your bus ticket and even go as far as Greenwich with 48 and 72 hour tickets.
Our City Sampler ticket does not include a free Thames River Cruise.
Unfortunately, we cannot reprint tickets if they are lost or accept receipts as proof of purchase. Please keep your tickets safe.
If you would like to complete a full loop on any of our routes, the approximate tour times are as follows:
Yellow Route: 2 hours 30 minutes - 3 hours
Red Route: 16 minutes
Blue Route: 2 hours 30 minutes
Orange Shuttle Route: 1 hour 10 minutes
Purple Shuttle Route: 1 hour
Grey Shuttle Route: 30 minutes
Tour times may vary depending on local events or road conditions which are out of our control, but you can check our latest service updates here.
You need to redeem your ticket by presenting your ID and eVoucher before beginning your bus tour. You can validate your eVoucher with any of our staff on the street, at our Visitor Centre and on board some buses if you have a QR code from The Original Tour.
Check the specific instructions on your voucher as they can vary by tour. Vouchers purchased on our website will have a QR code so as long as this is available to scan, you shouldn’t need to print it.
However, if you have bought your tickets through a third party, you will probably need to print them. If you are still unsure, it is always best to print your voucher.
If you have bought your Original Tour tickets on our website, you can show these on your mobile phone or tablet. You will need to connect to WiFi or access a 3G or 4G network to download your tickets from the link we send by email.
Show your voucher to a member of our staff and they will scan the QR code and give you your tickets.
We have live guides on a bus every 45-60 minutes on our main sightseeing Yellow Route to entertain and educate you with fun facts about London. Our live guides provide commentary in English.
Look out for 'English Live Guide' on the front of the bus.
We will have no tour hosts on 25th December, 26th December and 1st of January.
We offer The Changing of the Guard guided walking tour free with your 24, 48 and 72 hour bus tickets.
We sure do! There is free WiFi on board all of our buses so you can stay connected throughout your tour.
Yes, we do. Our 48 and 72 hour tickets include unlimited hop-on hop-off access to all of our bus routes for the duration of your ticket. You can also take our 3 free walking tours and complimentary Thames River Cruise from Westminster to Greenwich.
We have a number of fast-track entry tickets for some of London’s top attractions. You can buy your attraction tickets with us online, at our Visitor Centre or with a member of our street staff.
We have group bookings available for groups of 10+ and our buses are also available for private hire and non-stop tours. Contact us here to arrange a group tour.
Yes, we have lots of tickets available for London’s top attractions and you can use them on a different day to your bus tour. When you combine bus and attraction tickets, you can make great savings and have fast track entry to some attractions.
We run 7 days a week all year round and tour times vary depending on the season. We also run a special Christmas Day tour which you need to book in advance and tickets for this are valid on the 25th and 26th of December. You can view our full timetable here.
The complimentary river cruise is available with 24, 48 and 72 hour tickets. When you redeem your bus ticket with us, you will also receive a river cruise ticket which can be redeemed at Westminster Pier or Tower Pier with a member of City Cruises staff.
You can hop-on and off City Cruises as many times as you like for the duration of your bus ticket.
Simply download our map which shows all of our tour routes and bus stops which are all numbered. Main roads and popular attractions are also labelled on our map to help orientate yourself.
You can redeem your tickets within 6 months of buying them. On the day you want to begin your tour, you need to bring with you some ID and the email voucher we sent when you booked your tickets. Present your ID and eVoucher to a member of The Original Tour staff to validate your tickets and begin your tour.
We offer 30% discounts to disabled customers and their registered carer on all of our standard bus tour tickets.
You will need to send supporting documents to our head office at least 3 days before your tour to redeem your discount. You can send your documents by post or email and should include your contact details so we can call you to process your ticket and send your eVoucher via email.
We have audio commentary in 11 different languages on all of our routes. Available languages include: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Portuguese, Mandarin, Arabic and Brazilian Portuguese.
You can travel on all of our tour routes with just one ticket and swap between the 6 different routes as many times as you like for the duration of your ticket.
Please contact our marketing team, who manage all of our media and PR enquiries - firstname.lastname@example.org
There are a number of places in London where you can safely store your luggage and you can find out more about them here. Unfortunately, we do not have space on board our buses for storing large items such as suitcases.
Children under 5 travel for free on our bus tours and on the river cruise when accompanied by a paying adult.
You may need to purchase attraction tickets for under 5s, but this will depend on the attraction as age restrictions and policies may vary.
Following the statement given by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 16th March, The Original Tour has made the decision to suspend their sightseeing bus tours of London from Tuesday 17th March until further notice.
The safety of both our colleagues and our guests is of the utmost importance to us and we feel this is the right decision to make under the circumstances.
Our customer service team will remain contactable during this suspension.
We will continue to closely monitor the advice of the UK Government and relevant Health Authorities. We intend to re-commence our service when we consider it is safe to do so, however we do not believe this is likely prior to 21st April.
Definitely! With over 65 years of experience, we are the most popular open-top bus tour in the world. Choose from our different bus tickets and enjoy 7 routes, walking tours, a river cruise and attraction deals.
The Original Tour operates all year round, come rain or shine. Many of our buses have a canopy roof at the front of the upper deck but our commentary can also be heard on the lower deck.
Umbrellas are not allowed on the upper deck as they can be a safety risk, so we advise you to dress appropriately so you can stay comfortable for the duration of your trip.
Because The Original Tour operates in one of the world’s busiest cities, our service can sometimes be affected by traffic or events in London which are out of our control. During these times we may operate on a diverted route, so please see our latest service updates or speak to staff for more information.
We make every effort to maintain a frequent service but at busy times, you might enjoy our free walking tours or Thames River Cruise included in your 24, 48 or 72 hour bus tickets.
The City Sampler ticket is valid for one calendar day. You can swap between our 7 different tour routes and hop-on and off as many times as you like on the day of your tour. Our walking tours and river cruise are not included with the City Sampler ticket and you can buy them online, from our Visitor Centre and from our street team.
Our timetable varies depending on the route and time of year and you can view all of our tour timetables here.
The river cruise is provided by City Cruises and it varies throughout the year. You can see their full cruise timetable here.
Our tour timetables vary, depending on the route and the season. Check our timetable for bus times and service updates for any changes to your route.
If you have bought your bus tickets directly with The Original Tour, you can start your tour by redeeming your vouchers on board any of our buses, at our staffed bus stops or in our Visitor Centre. Tickets bought through third-party agents may need to be redeemed at our Visitor Centre.
There are lots of fun things to see from our bus tour of London and we’ve made it even more exciting for kids. The Original Tour is the only tour operator to offer audio commentaries specifically designed for children. This is available in English on our Yellow Route. We also have activity books at our Visitor Centre which are free with your Original Tour tickets so you can all have fun on the tour.
Look out for ‘The Original Tour’ marked on the bus stop to see if we stop there. You should be aware that there are some bus stops we no longer use so you should check our sightseeing bus map for the bus stops we currently stop at.
Definitely. It’s hard to miss our buses as the majority are decorated with a huge print of the Union Jack surrounding the bus. However some buses maybe wrapped in adverts, but they will always feature the Union Jack logo on the side above the door/drivers window. You can also use the London City Tour buses.
You can hop-on and off at over 80 of our bus stops in London as many times as you like for the duration of your ticket.
Definitely! We have 7 different sightseeing routes around London which pass over 150 historic buildings, landmarks and attractions.
If your question still hasn’t been answered, please get in touch with us by phone, email or post and we’ll be happy to help you.