Guess what? I’m one of those people that like to get on that huge double decker bus and hit the tourists spots. I know it seems cheesy, but I’ve loved it since taking my first over ten years ago in Miami. Of course, this does not apply to all the spots you want to see that are off the beaten path. I like to do that as well, but have to venture on my own to get to those.
What I like most about the Hop On Hop Off Bus is that it’s a way to see multiple attractions, without paying for travel to each one separately. The concept is that you buy a ticket, for however many consecutive days. I usually do 2 to 3 days, depending on how long I’m at a location. You get a map of the route listing the stops, and can listen to a recording while riding that gives information about each (usually in at least 3 languages). You hop off the bus at the desired stop and explore for a few. If you find that it’s worthy of you coming back and spending more time, take note. On the next day, hop back on the bus to that stop and hang out as long as you wish.
At some places, you can also buy a city pass along with the bus ticket, for an additional fee. The pass includes free entry into some of the attractions on the route. There is a booklet with the ticket that tells you what attractions are not included in the freebie list. You also get ’skip the line’ access for some sites as well. The skip-the-line feature is well worth the price of the pass itself. Imagine going to the Louvre Museum in Paris during peak season (or any season for that matter). No standing in that line that zig zags in the front for hours. Walk up to the fast lane and go in almost immediately (using your Paris Pass).
The Hop On Hop Off Bus also provides a great vantage point for photos. I have taken great shots from the top deck that I wouldn’t normally get from the ground. It’s also a great way to give my feet a break, if I walked a lot the previous day. Most locations that offer this bus have at least two routes, with a cross point at one particular stop. You must keep your ticket with you at all times, as you show the driver or aid each time you board the bus on each day. I have taken the Hop On Hop Off Bus in France, Spain, Singapore, Panama, and Morocco, and a similar company in Cuba. I’m sure they offer them in other places as well, usually in downtown areas of the city.
If you want an economical, time-saving way to see multiple tourist sites, give the Hop On Hop Off bus a try. Throw in a city pass also, to amp up your experience and get a bigger bang for your buck.