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The Easiest and Best Ways to See London

  • Monday September 18th 2023
  • Big City Saver
  • Secret London, Seeing London, London Tours

People on Big Bus tour bus touring London

The Easiest and Best Ways to see London

• Introduction: Looking for the easiest and best way to see London?

• City Tours in London

• London River Cruises

• Seeing London from the London Eye

• The best ways to see London

• FAQs about the easiest ways to see London

Introduction: Looking for the easiest and best way to see London?

The city of London: a bright and bustling metropolis that sees millions of people pass through its long (and sometimes cobbled) streets every day. From regular commuters to London locals and international travellers, London prides itself as a multicultural hub for both work and play. Known for its historical treasures, architectural wonders and world-class attractions, we can’t think of a better way to spend a day (with friends or family) than seeing the sights and enjoying everything this modern capital city has to offer.

And with so much to see (and do), getting around London, whether it’s by car, on foot or on public transport, can seem a bit overwhelming at first, especially first thing in the morning with the commuters out and about. But don’t fret, there are three slightly easier and more fun ways to see all the things that London has to offer. From taking a relaxing cruise atop the River Thames, enjoying a guided tour on one of London’s famed double-decker buses, or simply marvelling at the city’s skyline from the top of the London Eye, we’ll explain the best ways to see London. Let’s get started:

City Tours in London

For many, London resembles a vibrant concrete jungle, packed with miles of winding roads, an abundance of life above the treetops and a new adventure at every turn. So, it’s probably best to have someone who knows the jungle well to guide you around it. That’s why our first recommendation is a guided bus tour. An open-top bus tour is an ideal introduction to the city and takes much of the long-winded planning out of your day out in the nation’s capital. With the wind in your hair and an expert audio tour in your ears (most are pre-recorded in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian for visitors), you’ll get to learn about much of London’s history in a fun and informative way.

During your trip, you’ll pass by many of the city’s most famous monuments and historical landmarks, from the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace to Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, Regent Street and the beloved London Eye. And if you want to see each one of these cultural treasures ‘up close and personal’ (and maybe say a gentle good morning to one of the King’s Guard - don’t expect much of a response), many bus tours, like our Big Bus tours (who have up to 50+ stops around London), operate a ‘Hop On, Hop Off’ policy. This means that you can get on and off the bus at a variety of dedicated stops, as many times as you want; you can also rejoin the tour at any point once you’re back on the bus. We also offer travel passes that include entry to the amazing Madame Tussauds and/or the London Eye. In fact, we’ll be discussing how South Bank’s well-known ‘cantilevered observation wheel’ is an equally great way to get to know London later on in this guide.

So, for a real experience of the nation’s capital and one where you’re mostly sitting down whilst you soak up the atmosphere, jump on a guided bus tour of London. Perfect for children and adults alike, this is a great way to see the city and take advantage of all it has to offer, without having to navigate the underground. But remember, the best London bus tours are popular, so book in advance to guarantee you and your party have a seat. Then, all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy an informative, moving tour of the nation’s capital. You can also take a London night bus tour or one of the city’s famed river cruises (there’s one right next to the London Eye) if you’re looking for a look at London from a totally different perspective.

London River Cruises

The River Thames: iconic as it is beautiful (especially on a crisp morning or on a warm midsummer night’s eve), many visitors often forget how it can also be the perfect way to get to know the city. Sitting right in the heart of London, a river cruise through the nation’s capital is a wholly unique way to learn about its most sought-after landmarks.

Whilst you’re enjoying the scenic views of London, you’ll cross paths with the world’s most famous clock in all his splendour, Big Ben (the name actually given to the 13-tonne bell housed in the clock tower itself), who was lovingly renamed the Elizabeth Tower in honour of the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee; the London Eye, a triumph of modern engineering and now the UK’s most paid-for visitor attraction; the marvellous Globe Theatre, inspired by Shakespeare’s original ‘wooden O’ theatre, it is a 360-degree auditorium with no roof, with shows going ahead come rain or shine; the great Tower of London, a World Heritage Site best known today for housing His Majesty’s Crown Jewels and for the nightly Ceremony of the Keys (that’s remained largely unchanged for 700 years); the iconic St Paul’s Cathedral perched atop Ludgate Hill, synonymous with British strength (after it survived the Blitz), history (its first iteration was constructed in the 11th century) and monarchy (it hosted the marriage of King Charles and Princess Diana).

To see all of these and more, we recommend stepping aboard the Silver Bonito with the London Eye River Cruise. Departing every 45 minutes and seating up to 250 passengers, you’ll be treated to an exciting guided 40-minute tour of London (with refreshments). Taking the river cruise is the perfect introduction to London (whether you live in England or you’re just visiting) and also gives you the perfect starting point (right next to the London Eye) to explore the many famous attractions that surround London’s renowned South Bank.

Seeing London from the London Eye

Speaking of perfect starting locations, the view from the top of one of the London Eye’s 32 climate-controlled pods (numbered 1 to 33, with the number 13 missing for good luck) is one of the best and easiest ways to see the entire of London. With a circumference of 424 metres (1,392 feet), this marvel of modern ingenuity is ideal if you’re pressed for time or want a particularly unique experience with you friends or family.

The London Eye allows you to see up to 40 kilometres in all directions (on a clear day, that’s as far as Windsor Castle) and is renowned the world over for having the best views of London. Of the many ways there are to see the city, this is the only way that you’ll get to see all of the above mentioned in this guide and London’s stunning skyline in all its glory. With 30-minute day and evening rides available (later rides are recommended if you want to see the way the city lights up at night), you can also turn your ride into a party with the London Eye’s champagne experience, which includes a glass of chilled Pommery Brut Royal Champagne (served by a private host) and Fast Track boarding through a dedicated entrance.

With its perfect location in London’s cultural hub, the South Bank, the London Eye is the best place to start if you want to visit an array of other attractions , including tasty restaurants and food markets, the London Eye River Cruise (as we mentioned earlier), the stunning SEA LIFE London Aquarium, the thrilling London Dungeon and the never-ending fun of Shrek's Adventure! London.

Friends pointing at attractions from the London Eye

The best ways to see London

In conclusion, whichever unique way you choose to see London, you’ll have some unforgettable memories of the nation’s capital. On a guided bus tour of London, getting from A to B is easy, so you can really make the most of your sightseeing tour in the city. There’ll be no need to prioritise one spot over another with the ‘Hop On, Hop Off’ system, and you’ll walk away knowing a lot more about the history of the city than most. If you take a cruise on the river, you’ll get the opportunity to see the heart of London in a way quite unlike any other. As a great introduction to London in under 40 minutes, you’ll have plenty of time to head into port and pick your favourite part of London to go and visit. And finally, if London’s modern skyline from 360 degrees is really what you’re looking for, then you’ll be thrilled by a ride on the London Eye. Located in London’s sweet spot, the South Bank, this is a perfect way to get a genuine look at London if you’re pressed for time or looking for something a little more special on a single day in London.


FAQs about the easiest ways to see London

Prices for tour buses can range from £50 to £120 in London. Our Big Bus tour passes include entrance to the famous London Eye at £50 (when purchased online) and £70 for entrance to both the London Eye and Madame Tussauds (when purchased online).

Although the ‘Hop On, Hop Off’ bus services are not free, they are very affordable. Our Big Bus tour passes include entrance to the famous London Eye for £50 (when purchased online) and £70 for entrance to both the London Eye and Madame Tussauds (when purchased online). You can also reschedule for free.

From the top one of the London Eye’s 32 climate-controlled pods, you can see up to 40 kilometres in all directions, which includes the Houses of Parliament, the famous Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge and, on a clear day, Windsor Castle.

The best view of the London Eye is from nearby to the wheel itself or on the London Eye River Cruise boat, the Silver Bonito. Both vantage points give you a wholly unique view of the London Eye and can be quite quiet depending on the time of day.

As London’s public transportation is so popular and busy, we recommend exploring London via one of three options: on a guided bus tour, on a dedicated river cruise or starting from atop the London Eye in South Bank and then exploring from there by one of the two previously mentioned modes of transport.