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