16 Most Scenic Double-Decker Bus Rides in the World (#10 Is a Hidden Gem)

Climb aboard for a two-story journey through history and culture on these top bus rides.

Smiling friends traveling by tour bus
Updated May 28, 2024
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When you think of a double-decker bus, your mind may automatically jump to London's famed two-floor, red buses — and rightly so. But there are many other incredible double-decker bus tours, where guests can sit in an open-air top floor worldwide. 

You may not be aware of the fun things you can get up to and the amazing sights you can see on these tours all over the world. So step up your travel game and climb aboard these 16 famous double-decker bus tours from around the world.

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Barcelona Bus Turístic – Barcelona, Spain

Vivid Cafe/Adobe tourists in a tourist bus

Barcelona's Bus Turístic is one of several popular double-decker bus tours in the city that lets riders hop on and hop off at dozens of incredible sites.

Audio guides are available in more than a dozen languages (headphones are provided on the bus), and riders can take in everything from La Sagrada Familia to Camp Nou football stadium.

Booking with Bus Turístic on one of your first days in Barcelona can help save money on travel by narrowing down which spots you can devote more time to.

City Sightseeing Cape Town – Cape Town, South Africa

Rob/Adobe sightseeing in Cape Town Western Cape

City Sightseeing’s Cape Town bus tours give passengers access to three different routes, with the hop-on, hop-off buses passing through several major tourist destinations.

Audio tours are available in 15 languages, and the bus loops stop at breathtaking attractions like Table Mountain’s cableway station and the Camps Bay Strip, where riders can check out the stunning beach.

Big Bus Chicago – Chicago, USA

Heorshe/Adobe double decker bus at Chicago

Big Bus is not the only hop-on, hop-off double-decker bus option in the Windy City, but it’s one of the more popular choices.

The tour stops at major attractions throughout the city, like the Chicago Riverwalk, Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), Millennium Park (home of The Bean), and Navy Pier.

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Big Bus Dubai – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

EdNurg/Adobe big bus tour in dubai marina

Big Bus also has an option to explore Dubai on one of their double-decker buses.

Choose from a 24-hour, 48-hour, or five-day hop-on, hop-off ticket and visit the city's stunning landmarks, including Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building), Heritage Village, and Palm Jumeirah.

DoDublin – Dublin, Ireland

mark_gusev/Adobe capital crest on a lamp post

DoDublin’s hop-on, hop-off bus tour is one of the most popular in Ireland’s capital city. Riders can book 24- or 48-hour passes and check out several of the city’s famed landmarks.

A tour guide will give riders the low-down as they visit top tourist destinations like Trinity College and the Book of Kells, the Guinness Storehouse, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and more.

Edinburgh Tour – Edinburgh, Scotland

Peter de Kievith/Adobe college in edinburgh

Edinburgh Tour takes passengers on a big, green bus to many of Scotland’s capital city’s most stunning landmarks — from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

The tours begin at Waterloo Place and feature a live guide. Passengers are free to hop on and off at any time while their ticket is active or ride for the duration of the tour (about an hour).

Big Bus Hong Kong – Hong Kong, China

maya1313/Adobe asian tourist holding a map

Big Bus also offers hop-on, hop-off tours of Hong Kong that hit all the major sites — from Victoria Peak and Lan Kwai Fong to Victoria Harbour.

Riders can listen to pre-recorded commentary (available in 10 languages) and choose a 24-hour, 48-hour, or night tour ticket, which includes a stunning nighttime view of the Kowloon Peninsula.

Big Bus Las Vegas – Las Vegas, USA

AmeriCantaro/Adobe big bus las vegas

Big Bus’s Las Vegas tours take riders to all the major sites — from the Strip and the Bellagio fountains to the Downtown District — in their open-air, two-floor buses.

These hop-on, hop-off tours also feature live guides, so riders can be entertained and educated about the area. Riders can buy 24-hour, 48-hour, or night tour tickets.

The Classic Tour – London, England

Sergii Figurnyi/Adobe modern red double decker bus

Naturally, there are many incredible bus tours in London, home of the famed red double-decker buses. The Classic Tour, which packs riders onto a vintage 1960s double-decker Routemaster, is a fan favorite.

The tours feature hilarious live guides and take riders through the city’s top tourist destinations — from Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London to St. Paul’s Cathedral.

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New York Iconic – New York, USA

Lana/Adobe tourists enjoying views of New York City

There are many hop-on, hop-off bus tour options in New York City, but a relatively lesser known, yet still highly rated, option is the big, orange New York Iconic bus tour.

The company offers different tour options — like a Downtown tour, an Uptown tour, or an All City Express tour (that hits hotspots like Grand Central Station and the Plaza Hotel). Many tours also come with a live guide.

France Tourisme – Paris, France

rh2010/Adobe woman enjoying a beautiful view

A two-hour tour where riders can listen to commentary in one of five languages, France Tourisme’s Paris double-decker takes passengers to some of the City of Light’s most stunning landmarks.

Riders will be able to enjoy the beauty of the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Élysées, and the Louvre Museum — and learn about the city’s rich history while doing so.

I Love Rome – Rome, Italy

rh2010/Adobe blurred tourist bus

I Love Rome’s hop-on, hop-off bus tour takes passengers on a hot pink bus to some of the ancient city’s most popular and stunning landmarks.

The open-air bus stops at the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, Vatican City, and more. And with buses running every 15 to 20 minutes, passengers can spend as long as they like at each stop.

Big Bus San Francisco – San Francisco, USA

bennymarty/Adobe san francisco bus tour

Big Bus San Francisco offers several options for tour enthusiasts visiting the Bay Area.

They offer the classic 1- and 2-day hop-on, hop-off tours (which hit the city’s hot spots), options to add a visit to Alcatraz into the ticket price, or a wine tour that takes riders to several Napa Valley wineries.

FunVee – Singapore

Tanya Keisha/Adobe multi-lane highway with traffic

Those looking for a fun weekend excursion in Singapore should consider the FunVee bus tour, which offers incredible views of Singapore’s skyline.

The double-decker bus tour runs on Saturdays and Sundays and takes riders past stunning sites like Sri Mariamman Temple, Merlion Park, Marina Bay Sands, and Gardens by the Bay.

Big Bus Sydney – Sydney, Australia

arliftatoz2205/Adobe big bus sydney

Big Bus also offers several packages for riders in Sydney. Each tour covers the city’s most well-known landmarks — like Darling Harbour, the Sydney Opera House, and Bondi Beach.

Some packages include extra excursions, like a pass for the company’s hop-on, hop-off harbor cruise, or admission to attractions like the Sydney Tower Eye.

City Sightseeing Toronto – Toronto, Canada

JHVEPhoto/Adobe Toronto Eaton Centre

City Sightseeing offers a great Toronto double-decker bus tour where riders can hop off at more than a dozen prime locations throughout the city.

The bus stops at sites like the Royal Ontario Museum, the famed CN Tower, Queen’s Park, the Hockey Hall of Fame, and more. Consider booking your bus tour with a travel credit card to earn travel rewards while you explore.

Bottom line

Geber86/Adobe woman using a smartphone while commuting

A city bus tour is a smart way to get your bearings when visiting somewhere new since you’re paying for transportation to many top tourist destinations in one shot.

The great thing about many of these tours — aside from the very flexible hop-on, hop-off options — is that they’re one of the best smart travel hacks that can save you money. 

Visit one of the tours on this list next time you're visiting one of these terrific locations worldwide. 

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Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore

Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore is a seasoned freelance writer who also teaches writing courses at Rutgers University. She's based in Jersey City and enjoys travel, live music and, of course, spending quality time with her pup.