Best London bus tours: from Harry Potter to private tour experiences to try in 2023
Experience a day out in London like no other with these 10 unforgettable bus tours.
There’s no shortage of ways to get around London. Whether it be by land, water or underground, the city always feels connected.
But what you might not know is that despite the usefulness of public transport, there are far more interesting ways to get around the Big Smoke.
Bus tours are not only brilliant for sightseeing, they’re also a chance to have a fun-filled day out centred around your favourite hobby. Whether you love a particular film franchise, a music era or a specific beverage, you can enjoy a bus tour perfectly tailored for you.
What you’ll discover below is a list of bus tour experiences where London landmarks and nerdy interests intersect. From Harry Potter lovers to fans of true crime, this collection will have something for you.
We’ve also included a few days out where you can eat, drink and relax to your heart’s content, all the while riding around the top deck of a classic Routemaster.
So, hop on board and check out this list of best London bus tours.
For more trips around London, look at our list of best London boat tours and London art exhibitions. Check out our guide to the best Coronation souvenirs and memorabilia to celebrate the crowning of King Charles III.
Best London bus tours at a glance:
- Paddington Afternoon Tea Bus Tour for Two Adults, £140
- James Bond Themed Bus Tour of London for Two, £75
- Afternoon Tea Bus with Panoramic Tour of London, from £38.25
- Wizards London Bus Tour for Two, £70
- Haunted Jack the Ripper London Vintage Bus Tour for Two, £84
- Vintage Bus Tour of London and Thames Cruise for Two, £84
- QI London Myth-Busting Bus Tour for Two, £178
- Gin Afternoon Tea London Bus Tour for Two, £130
- Swinging Sixties Private Bus Tour of London for up to Six People, £250
- See London By Night Tour for Two, £49.99
Best London bus tours to experience in 2023
Paddington Afternoon Tea Bus Tour for Two
Live the life of everyone’s favourite marmalade-eating bear with the Paddington Bus tour and afternoon tea. Snack on scones, biscuits and a very specific sandwich, all while cruising around London’s biggest landmarks. For an hour and 45 minutes you’ll sip on either coffee, hot chocolate or tea and watch an animated Paddington tell you all about his adventures with Mrs Bird.
Buy Paddington Afternoon Tea Bus Tour for Two for £140 at Virgin Experience Days
James Bond Themed Bus Tour of London for Two
Sneak around London with a spy expert who can tell you all about the world of James Bond, both fiction and reality. On this tour, you’ll see the real headquarters of MI6 and hear tales of true espionage. Then, you’ll drive around to see the sets from some of 007’s biggest missions, including GoldenEye, The World Is Not Enough, and Spectre.
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Buy James Bond Themed Bus Tour of London for Two for £75 at Virgin Experience Days
Afternoon Tea Bus with Panoramic Tour of London
Climb aboard the candy-coloured bus and experience a day of indulgence with this afternoon tea bus tour. The menu features sandwiches, scones and a selection of sweet treats which you can wash down with a cold glass of Prosecco. There are also vegetarian and gluten-free options available, and prices depend on where you choose to sit – the lower deck, upper deck, or premium spot.
Buy Afternoon Tea Bus with Panoramic Tour of London from £38.25 at Golden Tours
Wizards London Bus Tour for Two
London is a magical place, largely thanks to all the filming done throughout the Harry Potter franchise. From the entrance to Diagon Alley and Gringotts Bank, to the Ministry of Magic and Platform 9¾, the city is steeped in witchcraft and wizardry. Learn about these locations and some behind-the-scenes facts from all eight films on the Wizards London Bus Tour.
Buy Wizards London Bus Tour for Two for £70 at Virgin Experience Days
If you're a fan of the wizarding world, check out our guide to the best UK Harry Potter tours.
Haunted Jack the Ripper London Vintage Bus Tour for Two
Draw back the curtain on London’s dark past with a haunted bus tour. See the spot where King Charles I was beheaded and learn of the ghosts who roam Westminster Abbey. The evening then gets even more sinister when your bus follows the bloody trail of serial killer Jack the Ripper. Perfect for horror fans and true crime viewers, this tour is frighteningly good.
Buy Haunted Jack the Ripper London Vintage Bus Tour for Two for £84 at BuyaGift
Vintage Bus Tour of London and Thames Cruise for Two
If you grew up in London, you might still remember the old-fashioned Routemaster buses. If you didn’t, you’ll definitely recognise their iconic design. On this classic tour of Old London Town, you’ll go from bus to Thames Clipper and see the city’s grandest buildings, from the Tower of London to Buckingham Palace.
Buy Vintage Bus Tour of London and Thames Cruise for Two for £84 at BuyaGift
QI London Myth-Busting Bus Tour for Two
Riddle me this: what’s better than a London bus tour? A QI-themed London bus tour! Guided by a professional quizmaster and historian, this tour will change your view of the capital city with a series of unique facts and myth-busters. Throughout, your guide will engage you in a quiz and even take you for a pub lunch.
Buy QI London Myth-Busting Bus Tour for Two for £178 at Red Letter Days
Gin Afternoon Tea London Bus Tour for Two
A bus tour and a drink with a twist, this day out includes the sites of London, a plate of scones and Three Slingsby's Gin cocktails. On the tour with Brigit’s Bakery, you’ll be refreshed and entertained while the bus’s friendly staff see to all your needs.
Buy Gin Afternoon Tea London Bus Tour for Two for £130 at Red Letter Days
Swinging Sixties Private Bus Tour of London for up to Six People
For those looking to get groovy on their tour of the big city, this '60s-themed bus tour is the perfect day out. Groups up to six can hire out a private bus (which won’t be hard to spot) and look around some of London’s most iconic music venues.
You will also venture to King's Road in Chelsea, London's first psychedelic boutique and the place where Mary Quant began building her fashion empire. You can listen to the tales from your expert driver and sing along to some of the best hits from this swinging era.
Buy Swinging Sixties Private Bus Tour of London for £250 at Red Letter Days
See London By Night Tour for Two
See the city sparkle with the London by night tour. From Big Ben and Tower Bridge to Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus, you’ll get to see the capital at its best and get to truly appreciate how the grand buildings twinkle.
Buy London By Night Tour for Two for £49.99 at BuyaGift
For more pop culture-themed experiences, read about our list of film studio tours. Or if it's vehicles you're interested in, you might like this list of best F1 experience days.