The guide to sightseeing in London

The guide to sightseeing in London

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to the best sightseeing tours in London! With so many incredible landmarks and attractions to discover in this bustling city, finding the perfect tour can be a daunting task. That's why we've compiled a list of the most popular tours, from classic bus tours to unique walking tours and everything in between. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveller, our guide will help you find the perfect tour to explore the vibrant culture and rich history of London.

In this guide
  1. Walking tours – A wide range of different walks
  2. Tourist England – London Sightseeing Day Tour
  3. Golden Tours – Hop-on hop-off bus tours
  4. The Ghost Bus Tours – Get to know London's darkest secrets
  5. Black Cab Heritage Tours – Build your own six-hour tour
  6. See London by Night – Night has its own charm
  7. City Experiences – Hop-on hop-off on the river
  8. Thames Limo – Cruising in style
  9. London Transport Museum – Hidden London
  10. Thames RIB Experience – The fastest boats on the Thames
  11. London Bicycle Tour Company – Tour de London
  12. Wingly – Bird's eye view of the capital
  13. Ghostsigns – The ghosts of shops past
  14. Eating Europe – Eat your way around London
  15. The Secret City – Entertaining exploration
  16. Livelo – Guided road bike tours
  17. Tootbus – London Bar Bus
  18. Get Your Guide – London Christmas Lights Tour

Walking tours

A wide range of different walks

London is a big city, but that doesn't mean you can't get around on foot, and many of its most famous sights are within walking distance of each other. It's no surprise then that there's a large assortment of walking tours to choose from, including themed tours, self-guided tours, walks with locals, and even drinking tours. Check out our dedicated guide to walking tours for some of the best ones.

Tourist England

London Sightseeing Day Tour

The London Sightseeing Day Tour takes you to some of the most famous sights in the city – Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul's Cathedral, London Eye – and throws in a River Thames cruise on top. You'll be led around by a professional guide in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle, and all the entry fees are included in the price. You can even upgrade your experience with afternoon tea during the river cruise. Tourist England also offers many other tours.

  • Price: from £99 per person
  • Duration: 10 hrs
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Golden Tours Paddington Golden Tours Victoria
Golden Tours Paddington
goldentours.com
Golden Tours Victoria
goldentours.com
Golden Tours Paddington Golden Tours Victoria

Hop-on hop-off bus tours

Craft your own tour around London with the Golden Tours hop-on hop-off buses, which operate along four routes connecting the city's major sights. The open-top double-decker buses provide an unobstructed view of the city, and you can get on and off at any stop as many times as you like throughout the duration of your ticket. The buses include entertaining English guides or audio guides in eleven languages, and some of the ticket options also include a river cruise.

  • Price: from £32 per person
  • Duration: 24–72 hrs
  • 145 Praed St, Paddington 7 Belgrave Rd, Westminster
    Golden Tours Paddington
    145 Praed St, Paddington
    Golden Tours Victoria
    7 Belgrave Rd, Westminster
  • Golden Tours Paddington
    goldentours.com
    Golden Tours Victoria
    goldentours.com
    Golden Tours Paddington
    020-723 370 30
    Golden Tours Victoria
    020-723 370 30
  • Golden Tours Paddington Golden Tours Victoria

The Ghost Bus Tours

Get to know London's darkest secrets

Discover a unique side of London with this entertaining blend of comedy and horror as the Harry Potter Knight Bus collides with The Addams Family. Step aboard a classic 1960s Routemaster bus, decked out in midnight-black livery and adorned with antique lamps and plush velvet curtains. Accompanied by talented actors, explore the city's major landmarks including Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral, as they reveal the spookiest secrets lurking within.

  • Price: £25 per person
  • Duration: 75 min

Black Cab Heritage Tours

Build your own six-hour tour

Black Cab Heritage Tours offer exclusive private tours in the iconic London taxis that can fit up to six people at a time. With help from the company, you can build your own itinerary, taking in the sights that are the most important to you in the comfort of your own chauffeured black cab. The standard tour lasts six hours, but shorter options are also available, along with themed tours and day trips out of London. The company picks you up and drops you off at your accommodation.

  • Price: around £490 per cab (6 people max)
  • Duration: 6 hrs

See London by Night

Night has its own charm

As the night descends, London comes to life with an array of colours and neon signs that give the city a distinct and lively vibe. Aboard this open-top tour bus, you can witness London's iconic landmarks like the Tower of London and Tower Bridge amidst the energy of the crowds and neon lights, creating a truly unforgettable sightseeing experience. Each bus is accompanied by a knowledgeable English guide, and audio guides in various languages are also available.

  • Price: £29 per person
  • Duration: 90 min

City Experiences

Hop-on hop-off on the river

City Experiences offer a range of river cruises, letting you taking in the sights as you cruise gently down the Thames. The boats stop at four piers and, depending on your ticket type, you can hop on and off at whichever you'd like, letting you explore the nearby land-based attractions to your heart's content. Dining cruises and special themed cruises, for example a Jazz Cruise, are also available.

  • Price: from £12.85 per person
  • Duration: up to 24 hrs
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Thames Limo

Cruising in style

Thames Limo offers luxury boat hire for special occasions and sightseeing in Central London. Their fleet of vessels can accommodate different group sizes and requirements, with bespoke cruises tailored to your preferences. The boats feature luxury interiors, attentive service, and amenities such as comfortable cabins, mini-bars, wifi, smart TVs, and music systems. Additional services and packages are also available, including sunset cruises and dining experiences with a personal chef.

  • Price: from £970 per boat
  • Duration: 1 hr

London Transport Museum

Hidden London

The London Transport Museum operates various Hidden London tours, taking you deep into the city's underbelly to discover abandoned tunnels, lost Tube stations, subterranean shelters, and other attractions that are concealed beneath the capital's streets. Check their website to see what's on, as the tours change regularly. If you aren't a fan of cramped, dark spaces, they even offer virtual tours.

  • Price: around £40 per person
  • Duration: 1.5–2 hrs
Thames RIB Experience Embankment Pier Thames RIB Experience Tower Pier
Thames RIB Experience Embankment Pier
thamesribexperience.com
Thames RIB Experience Tower Pier
thamesribexperience.com
Thames RIB Experience Embankment Pier Thames RIB Experience Tower Pier

The fastest boats on the Thames

If you're looking for an exciting activity, consider the Thames RIB experience. You can travel at high speeds on a high-powered RIB, which is London's fastest speedboat. The experience includes various routes to see the sights of the city, and a powerful PA system ensures that you don't miss anything on the way. At the end of the experience, you can take home a souvenir photo. It's also possible to hire an entire boat for private events.

  • Price: from £48 per person
  • Duration: 45 min or more
  • Victoria Embankment Tower Millennium Pier, City of London
    Thames RIB Experience Embankment Pier
    Victoria Embankment
    Thames RIB Experience Tower Pier
    Tower Millennium Pier, City of London
  • Thames RIB Experience Embankment Pier
    thamesribexperience.com
    Thames RIB Experience Tower Pier
    thamesribexperience.com
    Thames RIB Experience Embankment Pier
    020-324 511 77
    Thames RIB Experience Tower Pier
    020-324 511 77
  • Thames RIB Experience Embankment Pier Thames RIB Experience Tower Pier

London Bicycle Tour Company

Tour de London

Since its establishment in 1991, the London Bicycle Tour Company has been the first and foremost provider of bike tours in London. With a diverse selection of privately owned bicycles, they offer numerous guided tours daily, while also providing all the essential safety equipment. Different routes and experiences are available, including a sunset tour and a seasonal Christmas light tour, taking you around London's major attractions.

  • Price: around £35 per person
  • Duration: 3–3.5 hrs

Wingly

Bird's eye view of the capital

Wingly offers a range of helicopter tours and flyovers of London, providing a unique perspective and arguably the best views of the urban jungle possible. You can book different routes, experiences and helicopters, with most aircraft departing from one of the airfields in the surrounding countryside. Flying at an average altitude of 1,000 ft, you'll be able to take in the Houses of Parliament, The Shard, the London Eye and many other iconic landmarks.

  • Price: from £120 per person
  • Duration: 1 hr

Ghostsigns

The ghosts of shops past

Ghost signs are old hand-painted advertising signs that have been left on a building, slowly fading over time. Local ghost sign expert Sam Roberts has put together three tours of ghost signs in different areas of London – Clapham, Stoke Newington and Bankside – that can be enjoyed on the street or virtually. The fee for each tour (the one in Clapham is free) grants you up to 30 days of access to the routes with audio and text commentary.

  • Price: free or £4.99 per tour
  • Duration: 1 hr

Eating Europe

Eat your way around London

London is renowned for its diverse and delicious culinary scene, and one of the best ways to fill up on all the flavours is with a food tour. Eating Europe offers immersive cultural experiences with its award-winning food tours, with guides in the know taking you around vibrant foodie hotspots in the East End, Soho and Borough Market. Don't expect to be leaving on an empty stomach.

  • Price: from £79 per person
  • Duration: 3–3.5 hrs
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Entertaining exploration

The CityDays treasure hunts offer a fun and engaging approach to uncovering various hidden gems scattered throughout London. Once you've reserved your preferred tour and set out on your adventure, you'll begin receiving a sequence of enigmatic clues via mobile phone, expertly leading you through the tour. With each puzzle you unravel, you'll uncover distinctive locations and captivating insights about the city.

  • Price: from £15 per person
  • Duration: 1.5–3.5 hrs
  • High Street Kensington, Kensington Piccadilly Circus St. Paul's, The City/City of London Oxford Circus, Soho The Cutty Sark, Greenwich St. Paul's, The City/City of London Piccadilly Circus Old Street, Shoreditch
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    High Street Kensington, Kensington
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    Piccadilly Circus
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    St. Paul's, The City/City of London
    CityDays A Rift in Time
    Oxford Circus, Soho
    CityDays Greenwich Guile
    The Cutty Sark, Greenwich
    CityDays The City
    St. Paul's, The City/City of London
    CityDays A Forbidden Fayre
    Piccadilly Circus
    CityDays Shoreditch Shuffle
    Old Street, Shoreditch
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    CityDays Secrets of the Squares
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    CityDays All Gone South
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    CityDays A Rift in Time
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    CityDays Greenwich Guile
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    CityDays The City
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    CityDays A Forbidden Fayre
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    CityDays Shoreditch Shuffle
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  • CityDays Mysterious Mews CityDays Secrets of the Squares CityDays All Gone South CityDays A Rift in Time CityDays Greenwich Guile CityDays The City CityDays A Forbidden Fayre CityDays Shoreditch Shuffle

Livelo

Guided road bike tours

Livelo is an international bike rental service that specialises in performance road bikes. They're especially convenient for visitors, as they drop off and pick up your bike at your accommodation. The company also offers fully personalised guided road bike rides in small groups. The rides are fully flexible when it comes to start times, terrain types and routes.

  • Price: from £83 per person
  • Duration: 2 or 5 hrs

Tootbus

London Bar Bus

London's most original rooftop bar, the London Bar Bus, offers a unique way to see the city's sights while enjoying al fresco drinks. The bar bus provides ever-changing views of Trafalgar Square, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, St. Paul's Cathedral and other headline sights. With floral decor, banging tunes, and drinks available for purchase onboard, the bar bus provides a quirky and fun way to spend time with friends, on a date, or with visitors to the city. Two drinks are included in the price.

  • Price: from £40
  • Duration: 90 min

Get Your Guide

London Christmas Lights Tour

Get into the festive spirit by exploring London's Christmas lights and decorations on a vintage 1960s Routemaster bus. Your tour guide will entertain you with humorous commentary as you journey along a specially designed route, revealing the best seasonal decorations across the capital. Take in the iconic landmarks of London such as the Harrods department store and bathe in the festive sparkle of Oxford Street's shop windows. This tour is available only during the festive period

  • Price: from £28 per person
  • Duration: 90 min

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Editors

At Thatsup, we have extensive experience of guiding our readers to a city’s hidden gems. Since 2008, our editors have been writing insightful guides covering restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels, and hairdressers, among other things. Our guides consist of carefully selected tips based on our local knowledge and are regularly updated with the help of our focus group, where we collectively discuss selections and content. We are constantly working to inspire and provide you with the best possible experience, no matter where you are or what you are looking for.