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4 Tips for Bus Tours & Travel

When traveling to a new city or country, choosing the best way to see the sights can be overwhelming. Do you walk, take a taxi, or rent a car? While all of these options have their merits, I’ve found that taking a bus tour is often the best way to get a comprehensive overview of a new place.

An Open City Tour open topped bus. The sightseeing bus tour operates in more than 100 cities globally, is taking tourists to the major landmarks.
Joseph M. Arseneau /

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Bus tours? Aren’t those for tourists who don’t know any better? But hear me out. Bus tours can be a fantastic way to see a new place, especially if you’re short on time or don’t want to deal with the hassle of navigating public transportation.

One of the best bus tours I’ve ever taken was in Barcelona, Spain. I was only in the city for a few days and wanted to see as much as possible. So, I signed up for a hop-on-hop-off bus tour. The tour took me to all of the major sights in the city, including Park Güell, La Sagrada Familia, and the Gothic Quarter.

But what made the tour special was the commentary. The guide was incredibly knowledgeable about the city’s history, architecture, and culture. He shared personal anecdotes and insider tips that I would never have learned. Plus, he had a great sense of humor, making the tour fun and engaging.

Of course, not all bus tours are created equal. Some can be overcrowded, impersonal, or just plain boring. So, how do you choose the right one? Here are a few tips:

1. Do your research. Look up reviews online and ask for recommendations from friends or locals. Make sure the tour you choose has a good reputation and covers the sights you’re most interested in.

A lady making findings on her travel destination

2. Consider the timing. Some bus tours run all day, while others are shorter and more focused. Think about how much time you have and what you want to see.

travel time zone

See Related: Venice: Waterbus and Mainland Bus Pass

3. Look for a knowledgeable guide. A good guide can make all the difference in your tour experience. Look for someone who is passionate about the city and has a deep understanding of its history and culture.

An illustration of travel guide

4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’re curious about something, speak up! A good guide will be happy to answer your questions and share their knowledge.

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