How to see London's best sights from the top of a red bus

Merge bus routes for the ultimate sightseeing experience

A red London bus is driven over Westminster Bridge past the Houses of Parliament in central London on January 16, 2019. The British pound firmed against the dollar and euro Wednesday, and London stocks dropped, as traders awaited a confidence vote on British Prime Minister Theresa May's government after parliament voted massively against its Brexit deal. / AFP / Tolga AKMEN
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When it comes to sightseeing, the famous red buses of London are more than just a means of transport; they are a quintessential part of the cityscape that can turn your expedition into an immersive cultural experience.

Many of the bus routes of central London pass some of the most popular tourist destinations.

With a little preparation, it is possible to travel on a few routes to take in the best sights London has to offer. You do not have to travel the entire route and you can design your own trail across the city.

And the cost? £1.75 for a single ticket or £5.25 for an all-day pass. A sightseeing bus will set you back between £30 to £58.50 a day.

And the best part – you do not need to stay on one bus route from start to finish. You can hop on and hop off to make the most of your day and spend more time where you wish.

Hop on bus No 11

Starting from Liverpool Street Station, bus No 11 cruises through the heart of the City of London, so keep your cameras ready for the Bank of England, a monument of financial history.

Next, it passes St Paul's Cathedral, built in 1675 and a venue that has hosted numerous royal occasions, including coronations, and the funerals of national figures.

From here, the bus makes its way towards the Horse Guards Parade, a centre of royal tradition. The military parade has been held since 1660 at events to celebrate a monarch's birthday, as well as during the presentation of honours and the arrival and departure of foreign dignitaries.

Next, stop at Whitehall, home to the political nerve centre of the country.

Bus No 159

Make your way to Westminster Station and board Bus No 159, which reveals the towering London Eye where you can see stunning views of the city, including the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and St Paul's Cathedral.

You can disembark at County Hall station if you wish to take a ride.

Then the journey leads you to Piccadilly Circus, before moving on to Oxford Circus Station and the retail therapy experience of Oxford Street.

Bus No 274

You can catch bus No 274 at Marble Arch Station. This route unveils a greener side of London as it winds its way through Regent's Park.

While here, do not miss the London Central Mosque's stunning design, a testament to the city's diverse cultural fabric.

Further on, the bus passes by Lord's Cricket Ground, a site steeped in sporting history, before arriving at the London Zoo.

The final stop is Camden Town Station, a locale teeming with a bohemian spirit.

Bus No 9

For those starting from Trafalgar Square, bus No 9 presents an alternate route, guiding you past famous landmarks.

The tour starts at Trafalgar Square – where you can hop off to see the Houses of Parliament, and Big Ben – and travels along Piccadilly, close to Buckingham Palace, home to the king and queen.

The bus also travels through Hyde Park and Knightsbridge, and stops at Harrods and the Royal Albert Hall, which was built in 1871 as a memorial to Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, and is one of the most famous concert halls in the world.

You can hop off at Oxford Circus, switch to bus No 14 for a voyage through the culturally diverse districts of Soho and Chinatown.

Bus No 24

Hop aboard bus No 24 from Piccadilly Circus, leading you towards Regent Street, a haven for shopaholics.

The route drives past some of London's most popular tourist destinations, including Trafalgar Square, Westminster Cathedral and City Hall, as well as Westminster Abbey and the Horse Guards Parade.

A quick stroll from Green Park station brings you to Buckingham Palace.

Time your visit right and you might just witness the Changing of the Guard, a centuries-old tradition that gives the public a chance to see the Household Cavalry, one of the most famous regiments in the British Army.

Bus No 27

Bus No 27 cruises through a series of noteworthy landmarks.

Start your journey at Hammersmith Station as the bus zips past the creative centre that is the Design Museum, home to a collection of over 40,000 objects, from furniture and fashion to product design and architecture, before reaching the bustling High Street Kensington Station.

As it continues, you will be treated to the picturesque scenery of Kensington Gardens and then dropped off at the bustling Notting Hill Gate Station.

Disembark here and saunter over to the famous Portobello Road Market, where vibrant stalls offer a unique shopping experience. It is one of the world's largest antiques markets and one of the oldest markets in London, with a history dating back to the 18th century.

The journey concludes at Paddington Station, another convenient point to alight and navigate on foot to the verdant expanse of Regent's Park.

The bus also makes a stop at Camden Town Station, an ideal hop-off point for those interested in exploring the quirky charm of Camden Market.

Hop on and off for an epic adventure

Your London sightseeing adventure is as grand as the bus routes you choose.

Each bus route will take you to a new adventure. Remember, you do not need to stay on each route from start to finish.

The red buses of London not only link the city's most prominent landmarks but they also connect you to the vibrant pulse of one of the world's greatest cities.

So hop on and make the city your own!

Updated: October 05, 2023, 12:38 PM