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TootBus vs City Sightseeing London

tootbus and citysightseeing open top  buses


In this post, we are looking at two very similar tour operators. You are fairly safe in choosing either of these two, but if you want to find out more information,please scroll down. Each tour has unique features that might help you decide on a clear winner.

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infographic on tootbus vs citysightseeing

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1. Brief overview of the open-top bus tours

The dynamics of the open-top tour operators scene in London changes quite frequently, and this is evident with these two tours. Tootbus is a rebranding of the famous The Original Tour, while City Sightseeing is a merger with City Tour, a company that operated in London for a few years.

Based on their past performance, I would say that Tootbus has a slight edge, if we consider the period before these changes.

2. Head-to-head comparison of Tootbus vs City Sightseeing London

  • Route: additional stops

  • Attractions: you can purchase fast track attraction tickets from their staff

  • Frequency: they run a tight schedule, their frequency is more stable over time

  • Eco-friendly: their buses run on alternative fuels

  • Affordability: slightly more affordable

  • Commentary: special kids commentary

  • Walking tours: Tootbus app has 3 free self guided walking tours

  • Commentary: additional languages

  • River Cruise: currently the only tour operator that offers a cruise to Greenwich on the 48 hr ticket

  • Bus tracking: more accurate bus tracking app

Let's delve into more detail:

Frequency: The difference between these two tour operators is not significant. Sometimes, you may see more buses from Tootbus, while at other times, City Sightseeing takes the lead.

Route: Their main route, yellow for Toot and red for City Sightseeing, is almost identical. The difference is in the blue route. Tootbus route is more complex and it covers more places, such as Notting Hill and Paddington.

Attraction Tickets: While City Sightseeing offers a few combo tickets, Tootbus provides many more options for attractions. After purchasing your tickets, speak with their staff members, and they can arrange discounted or priority entry tickets to various attractions.

Walking Tours: Tootbus has done a great thing here, offering 3 free self guided walking tours for it's customers and not only. Anyone can download their app and use these great tours.

Occupancy: Tootbus is a clear winner since their buses tend to be longer, hence offering more seats upstairs. The other company is also more popular so it tends to get overcrowded.

Commentary: City Sightseeing offers twice as many languages as Tootbus, making it an easy choice for those whose primary language is not available with Tootbus. However, if you are traveling with kids, don't forget about the Kids Commentary that Tootbus provides.

River Cruise: They both offer the same cruise with one single exception. If you choose the 48 hrs ticket with City Sightseeing, the cruise takes you all the way to Greenwich. If you ask me, it's totally worth it, Greenwich is a lovely place, especially during summer.

Price: The prices are very similar. During the week, you might find cheaper tickets with Tootbus, but on weekends, the difference is negligible.

3. User reviews

City Sightseeing has 4 stars on TripAdvisor with 500 reviews, while Tootbus has 3.5 stars with 7,000 reviews. To compare them properly, more time needs to pass, as City Sightseeing is fairly new to the London market.

To save you some time, most of the negative reviews about Tootbus are about the commentary, while those for City Sightseeing are about crowded buses and delays. Most of these issues can be overcomed with a bit of planning.

4. Summary

I wouldn't stress too much about choosing between the two. If one of the buses has a feature that suits you better, go for it. Otherwise, they are very similar. My main concern is getting seats upstairs on City Sightseeing during busier times. If you plan to travel on the weekend and intend to hop on and off frequently between 11:00 and 16:00, choose Tootbus.

lf you want to ride the bus later in the evening, Tootbus is a better option. However, be aware that the frequency of the buses drops considerably after 16:00-17:00.

I hope this comparison of Tootbus vs City Sightseeing London helps you choose the best option for your London tour experience.


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