The most affordable option for last minute travel to London last Saturday was the overnight Megabus, which I booked without a second thought – I have no issues with spending 12 hours on a bus or going overnight. Once I had completed my booking, a pop up encouraged me to check out Megasightseeing, their newest London venture. I had seen Megasightseeing advertised before and I was definitely curious – I’m both a Megabus fan and of tour bus’s. When I opened up the Megasightseeing site (it’s separate to Megabus’s booking website) I got drawn in by the £1 tickets still available for some of the tours. I had no idea how my day at the Ideal Home Christmas Show would pan out, so I opted for a £1 ticket just after lunchtime, telling myself it wasn’t a big loss if I didn’t make it…but I did!
So first up, let’s talk about cost.
I got my ticket for £1, the cheapest available, but it’s always worth remembering with all things Megabus that they slap you with that sneaky 50p booking fee. So I guess my ticket cost £1.50, not £1…sorry for the clickbait title! Not everybody can get a ticket for £1 though – there are only a certain number for each bus at that price, then they start getting a little bit more expensive. So far the most expensive tickets I have seen on the website, however, have been £9 – and that was for weekend prime time. Seeing the whole of London for under a tenner? Still pretty good I would say.
So next, let’s discuss the route.
Megasightseeing is a non-stop (apart from the two pick up points) tour – what this means is that you can’t hop on and off at your leisure like you can with many other tour busses. I would say that this is one of the downsides, but I guess that’s one of the ways that they keep their costs down. The route takes in London’s key points including Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Parliament, Fleet Street and Picadilly. I would say that at some point on the tour you would get to see all of the touristy things, so the route seems pretty good to me. The only downside is that we spent some time stuck in traffic, which I feel is probably just a peril of being on a bus in London on a Saturday afternoon. There are a few places where you feel a little deja vu – and it’s probably true since the bus back tracks on itself a few times for the route, but it all makes sense in the end.
The route takes approximately two hours.
So is it just a bus around London?
No! It’s a bus with commentary! I have been to London a few times (although this was my first time their alone) and I found the commentary to be quite interesting. It’s maybe not quite as indepth as some tour busses, but it was certainly an interesting mix of history, current events and pop culture. The commentary is provided by Sid (you know, the big cheery driver on the side of every Megabus!) and his tour guide friend Marilyn who certainly knows her stuff. The commentary is quite fun while also getting all of the information across – the only downside for some maybe be that the commentary is only currently available in English.
Is it an open-topped bus?
Kind of – the top deck of the bus is half open and half covered.
Where can I get the bus?
The main stop is the London Eye, but I actually ended up asking a rep for a different tour bus if he knew where the stop was because I couldn’t find it. It’s not the same ‘London Eye’ stops used by many of the other tour companies, it’s actually on the other side of the London Eye to them. I would say that the main stop is quite tricky to find unless you’re in the right place and London, being London, is crowded so I would recommend giving yourself plenty time to find the bus. If you miss the bus, your ticket isn’t valid on another bus so you want to make sure that you get the one you booked on to, especially if you only had to pay £1!
There are a few other pick up points, however these seem to chop and change depending on the time of year so it’s definitely worth checking out the options for your dates on their websites.
I don’t quite think that Megasightseeing has taken over from my love of a hop on hop off tour bus, but I also know that there are people who buy tickets for hop on hop off busses and then never actually leave the bus, they just sit there and do the whole route. For people like them, this tour is ideal. This tour might also be perfect for people who have just arrived in the city and want to get a taste of everything before planning out a more in depth itinerary. I would certainly recommend Megasightseeing to friends – I think it’s an unbeatable service for that price!
Have you ever tried Megasightseeing? How do you like to do your sightseeing when you’re in a new city? Let me know in the comments below, I’m always looking for new inspiration!