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6 Best Bus Tours in San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is a city rich in culture and history. There are plenty of things to see and do in this vibrant city, but if you want to see as much as possible quickly, a bus tour is the way to go!

San Antonio is a popular tourist destination for a reason – there’s so much to see and do! Consider taking one of the many bus tours available to make the most of your time in the city. This way, you can sit back and relax while someone else drives. Check out our list of the best bus tours in San Antonio and start planning your trip today. You won’t be disappointed!

You’ll also learn about the city’s history and attractions from your knowledgeable tour guide. Here are the best bus tours in San Antonio:

Best Bus Tours in San Antonio, Texas

1. San Antonio River Walk Cruise Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

If you’re planning a trip to the vibrant city of San Antonio, consider embarking on the San Antonio River Walk Cruise Hop-On Hop-Off Tour, as it ranks as one of the best bus tours in the city.

This tour combines a delightful boat cruise along the world-famous San Antonio River Walk and an explorative hop-on hop-off bus tour. Included in your package, you’ll have 24-hour access to the hop-on hop-off double-decker bus that has numerous stops around major attractions.

Despite receiving mixed reviews, this tour offers a unique city perspective. The river cruise is widely praised for its amazing views and informative guides, providing entertainment and education on your journey. However, some users criticized different aspects of the bus tour, such as the absence of wristbands, unclear bus stops, and long wait times.

The tour’s route begins at the Welcome Center (Stop 1) located in Alamo Plaza, well-known for The Alamo. From there, you’ll venture into the river walk district while catching glimpses of the charming historic neighborhoods before crossing over to The Pearl, where the historic Pearl Brewery used to reside.

Along this route, expect stops at famous landmarks like the Spanish Governor’s Palace, Cathedral Theater District, and Tower of the Americas, to name just a few.

With a bus arriving every 20-30 minutes at each stop, there is plenty of time to disembark and explore these landmarks up close before continuing your journey. Remember to keep your ticket handy each time you board!

For those intent on relaxing onboard and taking in the views from above, a full rotation without disembarking takes approximately 60 minutes. Savvy explorers can use their tickets with the flexibility to hop on and hop off bus ticket again several times throughout two days, truly making this a customizable experience tailored to individual interests.

A word of advice: plan your day well by considering restaurant timings and stops en route that offer chances for delectable free samples! This way, you can make your tour around San Antonio an experience filled with unforgettable sights, sounds, tastes, and memories.

See Related: How to Take the Bus from San Antonio to Houston

2. City Sightseeing San Antonio Hop-On Hop-Off Double Decker Bus Tour

City Sightseeing San Antonio Hop-On Hop-Off Double Decker Bus Tour
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There’s no better way to immerse yourself in the city’s rich history than a trip aboard the City Sightseeing San Antonio Hop-On Hop-Off Double Decker Bus Tour.

Operated by City Sightseeing Tours, a notable, trustworthy company in the tour industry since 1998, this flexible and engaging tour is perfect for those who love the freedom to explore at their own pace. The service runs from 8:40 am to 5:30 pm, with buses available at 19 designated stops every half hour.

As part of your experience, you can choose from 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, or even a 4-day pass with GoCity, allowing you to tailor the journey to your travel plans truly. And for those who are always on their phones, don’t worry! Both printed vouchers and smartphone vouchers are accepted.

  • The Alamo: One cannot travel to San Antonio without visiting The Alamo. Located at Alamo Plaza, it’s conveniently the starting point of your journey.
  • San Antonio Museum of Art House: This stop offers an emporium of culture and history ranging from Egyptian artifacts to contemporary art. San Antonio Museum of Art is known as one of the best museums in Texas.
  • Hipolito F. Garcia Federal Building: Historic building with eye-capturing Beaux-Art architectural style.
  • The Pearl: This former brewery has become a culinary and cultural destination.
  • Spanish Governors Palace: A historic adobe from the Spanish Texas era turned museum.
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 76: Visit the oldest VFW post in Texas.

To make your tour even more interesting, an onboard audio commentary will educate you further about this fascinating city. Relish in the panoramic views from atop the open-top double-decker buses, and learn about San Antonio’s unique blend of cultures and historical sites while enjoying some Texas sunshine.

3. Gray Line San Antonio Sightseeing Tour

Striving to experience the lively city of San Antonio from a local’s perspective? Look no further than the Gray Line San Antonio Sightseeing Tour. Being one of the oldest and most trusted tour companies, Gray Line offers the quintessential taste of this vibrant place.

With its proven history dating back to 1910, Gray Line has been a trusted provider of memorable experiences and sightseeing tours. Their tours are particularly curated by on-the-ground experts who know what travelers would love to see. You will have a personal driver guide showing you around the city, unraveling its wonders and adventures. The tour is custom and private, ensuring an intimate experience tailored to your interests.

The company offers an extensive selection of tours. You can soak in authentic Texan culture with their Texas Hill Country & LBJ Ranch Tour or explore history with mission tours showcasing beautiful landmarks like Missions San José Concepción, San Francisco de Espada, and San Juan Capistrano.

The robust and diverse itineraries offered by Gray Line encapsulate the essence of San Antonio. Their popular Texas Hill Country & LBJ Ranch Tour takes you through the picturesque landscapes of Central Texas, providing glimpses into President Johnson’s life. Lunch at Fredericksburg town is a favorite part for many travelers.

Another highlight tour is the Missions tour. It usually encompasses four ancient missions: Missions San José Concepción, San Francisco de Espada, and San Juan Capistrano. These historically rich sites portray architectural marvels embedded with profound cultural significance.

Moreover, if you sign up as a Gray Line insider, you can access exclusive deals, discounts, and contests. With Gray Line, not only do you uncover comprehensive sightseeing opportunities, but you also get the chance to blend into local life seamlessly.

4. Alamo City Ghost Bus Tour

The Alamo City Ghost Bus Tour is a thrilling and spine-tingling experience that is sure to send shivers down your spine. This popular bus tour in San Antonio takes you on a journey through the city’s most haunted places, allowing you to explore the rich history and eerie tales surrounding them.

From the iconic Alamo, where the spirits of fallen soldiers are said to linger, to the historic Majestic Theatre, rumored to be inhabited by ghostly performers from its past, and the eerie San Fernando Cathedral, believed to be the oldest church haunted by restless souls, this tour is a must for those seeking an unforgettable adventure.

So hop on board and prepare yourself for an unforgettable night of ghostly encounters and hair-raising stories as you delve into the dark side of San Antonio’s history.

5. Shabby Bus Wine Tours

One way to explore the booming wine scene in San Antonio, Texas, is through Shabby Bus Wine Tours, a highly-rated local touring company. They offer pleasurable wine-tasting tours to some famous wineries in the Texas Hill Country.

Shabby Bus Wine Tours has professional tour guides providing safe and on-time transport services. Not only do they offer timely pickups, but also drop-off services ensuring you enjoy a fantastic experience without inconvenience.

Personalized packages offer the luxury of enjoying a wine tour with friends or family and creating memories. You get to experience tailored tour service making your experience more insular and personal.

Customers often applaud Shabby Bus Wine Tours for their attention to detail and excellent customer service, with a friendly and knowledgeable guide who ensures you get informed insights about every vineyard visited.

  • Hill Country Wineries:  The tours highlight some standout wineries in the Texas Hill Country, often considered the wine destination in Texas. You can soak in the local culture, savor delicious wines, and learn about wine production methods.
  • Tasting Tours: Visit rare cellars or tasting rooms for a close-up experience with tastemakers. You even have the opportunity to sample some pre-release or exclusive wines not available generally.
  • Vineyard Experiences:  Besides tasting the wine, this tour lets you stroll around beautiful vineyards, allowing you a literal taste of where the magic happens – from grape vines to fermentation.
  • Educational Experience: With expert guides at your disposal, expect to learn about the varietal characteristics of regional wines as well as nuances of Texas winemaking history and evolution over time.

6. San Antonio Zoo Bus Tour

The San Antonio Zoo is a popular destination for locals and tourists, offering various animal exhibits and attractions. The bus tour is a convenient and informative option among the many ways to explore the zoo. By hopping on the zoo’s bus tour, visitors can enjoy a comfortable ride while getting an up-close view of the incredible animals housed in the zoo.

From majestic lions to playful monkeys, the tour takes you through the different exhibits, allowing you to marvel at the animal kingdom’s diversity. Along the way, knowledgeable guides provide fascinating insights into the lives and behaviors of the zoo’s residents, shedding light on their natural habitats and conservation efforts.

It’s not just about entertainment – the San Antonio Zoo is committed to conservation, and the bus tour offers an opportunity to learn about its mission to protect and preserve endangered species.

Other Best Tours in San Antonio

1. Historic Downtown Walking Tour

This walking tour is a great way to explore downtown San Antonio. You’ll learn about the city’s rich history as you stroll through its picturesque streets. The tour includes stops at some of the city’s most notable landmarks, such as the Alamo and the San Fernando Cathedral.

2. Segway Tour of Pedestrian Bridge

This Segway tour takes you on a unique tour of the city’s Pedestrian Bridge. The bridge spans the San Antonio River and is one of the city’s most popular attractions. On tour, you’ll learn about the bridge’s history and enjoy stunning views of the river and downtown San Antonio.

3. Haunted pub crawl

San Antonio is home to some of the most haunted pubs in Texas. On this pub crawl, you’ll visit three of the city’s most haunted bars – The Stag’s Head, The Maverick, and The Black Swan. You’ll hear stories of ghosts and other paranormal activities while enjoying a few drinks along the way.

4. Bike Tour of the River Walk

The River Walk is one of the most popular attractions in San Antonio. On this bike tour, you’ll pedal through the scenic downtown area, viewing the river and skyline. You’ll also learn about the history of the River Walk and how it has become such a beloved part of the city.

5. San Antonio Food Truck Tour

San Antonio is home to some of the best food trucks in Texas. On this tour, you’ll visit three of the city’s most popular food trucks, where you’ll get to sample a variety of delicious food. You’ll also learn about the history of food trucks in San Antonio and how they’ve become such a popular dining option.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Bastrop, Texas

6. Ghost Hunting Tour

This tour takes you to some of the most haunted places in San Antonio, where you’ll use ghost-hunting equipment to try to spot some spirits. The tour includes stops at the Alamo, the Majestic Theatre, and the San Fernando Cathedral. If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, this tour is for you!

What Are The Famous Tourist Destinations In San Antonio?

Downtown San Antonio at Sunset

San Antonio is a popular tourist destination for a variety of reasons. The city is home to the Alamo, one of American history’s most famous battle sites. In addition, San Antonio is also home to the River Walk, a series of walkways and bridges that wind through the city center. Visitors can also enjoy various shopping and dining options in San Antonio, as well as a number of museums and art galleries. 

With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that San Antonio is a top destination for tourists worldwide.

Factors To Consider While Choosing A Bus Tour In San Antonio

Sightseeing double decker bus moving
Philip Lange /

When choosing a bus tour in San Antonio, several important factors must be considered. One of the most important is the size of the group. While some tours are designed for large groups, others are more intimate and better suited for smaller groups. 

Another important factor is the length of the tour. Some tours last only a few hours, while others can last all day. There are also half-day and full-day options. 

Another factor to consider is the type of tour. Some tours focus on history and culture, while others focus on sightseeing or attractions.  Food and wine tours, shopping tours, and even ghost tours. With so many options available, it’s important to choose a tour that best suits your interests and needs.

What Is The Cost Of A Bus Tour Ticket In San Antonio?

Tourist standing in front of Ghost tour bus
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Prices for bus tours of San Antonio vary depending on the company and the length of the tour, but they typically range from $25-$50 per person. 

For example, Old Spanish Trail offers a two-hour tour of the city for $25 per person, while San Antonio Grand Tours offers a four-hour tour for $48 per person. Some companies also offer discounts for seniors, students, and military personnel. 

Of course, a bus tour ticket cost is just one aspect to consider when planning your trip to San Antonio. Other expenses, such as lodging, food, and activities, must also be considered. But with a little planning and research, you can find ways to save money and still have a great time in this historic city.

Which Places Can Be Visited On A Bus Tour In San Antonio?

Bus parked on Street allowing tourists to board
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Bus tours are a great way to see a city’s sights without worrying about the logistics. In San Antonio, there are a number of different bus tour companies that offer a variety of different itineraries. 

Popular stops on bus tours of San Antonio include the Alamo, the River Walk, and the Witte Museum. Of course, no visit to San Antonio would be complete without sampling some of the city’s delicious food. 

Luckily, many bus tour companies also offer food tours, so you can taste your way through the city while learning about its rich history and culture. Whichever type of bus tour you choose, you’ll have a great time exploring all that San Antonio has to offer.

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