We took the BigBus tour in DC this past weekend. While it gives you acces to a lot of the city, the Green loop, which goes to the zoo and the National Cathedral is not run very well. The driver could barely get the trolley running and had no idea how to run the pre-recorded tour information. He arrived late at one stop and told us they'd be back within the hour. We returned to the drop-off spot in less than an hour (with other patrons) and the bus didn't show in the next 35 minutes. We called the 800 number and were told that trolley had just left the previous stop and should be there in 7 minutes. 20 minutes later, he showed. I asked the driver to have his supervisor meet us at the next stop and he rudely handed up a pamphlet and told us to call the 800 number. By the time we got back to the main loop, all the museums we had planned to visit were closing. Nice job. We'll use OldTime Trolley next time.
We found this system a lot more client friendly than the tours we did in New York. The commentary was clear and concise and the system was easy to use
We enjoyed the first day of our tour but because we were told it was good for 24 hours we made plans to catch one the next morning (November 19th) We were told by your representative at the kiosk in Union station that the yellow tour would start at 9 am. This was also noted in the brochure we were given on the bus.
After waiting 25 minutes in the cold and wind, I called the 1-800 #. This cost me $12 because we are from Canada and don't have roaming. The woman I spoke to on the phone said that bus does not arrive until 9:30. I told her what we were told and read and she said - "Oh the brochure has not been updated"
I don't think this is very good customer service, and it left a bad taste in our mouths.
The tours we took were fun and informative.
Very worthwhile for a first time visitor to Washington to get orientated and see the major sites and at a reasonable price.. It could be improved if there was a published schedule for each stop to avoid waiting around. On the Capital Hill stop we had to wait 45 minutes when we were ready to leave. The on bus commentary was very good and easily heard. We found the staff both on the buses and at the main stops very helpful - at the White House they even pulled us out of the cafe when the bus was coming!
This tour is the best way to see DC. Although the prices are a bit ridiculous, it is still a great tour. It's easy to find the bus stops if you get off and decide to explore on your own, as they clearly marked.
Overall, great experience and recommend it to any first time Washington DC visitor (as walking is too much for anybody). May I suggest that the prices be a little more reasonable, $29 per person for the cheapest tour is almost a deal breaker for a family of 5.
The wait time for busses long and the customer service is lacking. Tried to find out the schedule between stops. Never got an answer. Just rude comments about we do not know. Take a taxi to locations. It costs about the same as their overpriced tour.
It was a great tour. Your company is amazing. The tour was worth every penny because my family and I were so happy with the service we are looking forward to booking again with you guys when we go to Europe.
Time effective to get on and off at many locations and onto different lines. Staff friendly, helpful and funny but finding a few locations were difficult. Also the mobile app did not work on my iPhone 4S. Highly recommend it though.
What a wonderful way to see as much of a city as you can in a day. The sightseeing was great except for the beginning of the tour. They rerouted us to our first stop and we didn't get any information from either the recording or the driver. It would have been nice if they would have given us a heads up because we thought the whole tour was going to be like the first leg. After the initial start, the recordings and tour people were very informative.
The BigBus tours was great; we really got to see all the historic monuments and special locations in Washington, D.C. We also enjoyed the tour guide on the yellow; she was excellent and had a vast knowledge of all the locations.
It was a great experience.
I have taken Bigbus Tours in other cities and they have always been wonderful. The staff was very helpful and the tour is enjoyable, if you stay on the bus. We like to hop on/off and wander and this is very hard to do in DC. If you go from building to building you end up walking extremely long distances to get to another stop and then we waited atleast 20-30 for the next bus. I would definately do another tour, but not in DC or do the night tour and explore DC during the day. The city buses and trains are the best way to get to and from without all the walking.
Convenient stops at various hotels and wonderful routes through the city. The drivers and other staff are professional and courteous. The tours make it easy to see all of the great attractions without any hassle. See something you want to explore like the Museum of Natural History or the Lincoln Memorial? Just hop off, look around, and hop back on the next bus when you are done. On my last day in the city I lost my wallet. A driver found it on the bus and his supervisor delivered it to me in person at my hotel. Now that is some impressive service!
It was delightful, we took the night tour which was so beautiful seeing the monuments all a glow at night. We then took the 2 day Hop On Hop Off. It was so easy and the tour guides were so informative.
The tour covers almost all of the places in DC... but the problem is most buses do not have a tour guide. A tape recorded instruction/description is played on each spot as the bus moves along... to me it felt as monotonous and it was like in a history lecture hall... But the night tour was superb... fortunately we had a canadian tour guide(old guy - forgot his name) was really good... All in all it was acceptable... Buses were in excellent condition... no problems there... the bus schedule was spot on.... only if they had an actual tour guide it would have been an fantastic... i would recommend the 48hr+night combo coz there is so much to see in DC... i would ask big bus to have a 72hr loop so we can convenient pace ourselves in going around...
We waited for the bus to pick us up at the Lincoln Memorial for over half an hour. During that time we saw one bus pass us by and go around the back of the memorial instead of coming to our stop. We chased down a second bus only to find he was off duty. When I called to find out when the next bus would be coming, they said a bus had been at our stop 15 minutes prior. The bus was not marked Bigbus. Apparently Bigbus uses other double decker buses that say GrayLine on them. No one informed us of this fact. I was told the next bus wouldn't be there for another 20 minutes. instead of waiting in the cold we took a cab to the Capitol.
As we came down to meet the waiting bus at the designated stop, it was clear the driver saw us. However, instead of stopping she drove away. Other tourists even yelled for the bus to stop. My son and I had to run about a 1/4 mile to the next stop in order to catch it.
while big bus did drive us around in a double decker bus, you're paying a lot and could have taken a cab. one bus had a tour guide which was really nice and worth money. but otherwise, take a taxi. it will probably be cheaper.
I truly recommend the Big Bus Tour if you want to see and enjoy Washington DC. My husband and I did the 48 hour hop on/off plus a night tour and loved every moment. The buses were easy to spot in the city as were the bus stops. The buses were clean and the tour staff very knowledgeable about the sights, but were also humorous with their delivery. From the top of the bus, you have a great view as the driver either slows down or stops to allow you to take photos, which is great for those not getting off the bus or if you have limited time available. I thought the tickets were reasonably priced with extras into a few museums included.
My only negative is that when you book your tickets, you can select the date that you want the tour to start, but not the time. In our case, the tour started at the same time that we made the call to book them, but on the following day. Given that it is a timed ticket, the option to select a start time would be more convenient. I still rate the tour highly and would recommend to any visitor to DC.
In general was a good tour. The music was disgusting,
We had to pack a lot of sightseeing into a short time. This is a great way to see D.C. and saves lots of walking. Really made seeing Arlington Cemetary possible plus the White House, many monuments easlier.
Bigbus official needs to interview/accompany first-time tourists regarding how to find the stop points for the Bigbus. The pick-up.drop-off stops need to be pointed out on your map (or did I miss that?)
Very polite and knowledgeable Bigbus tour guides.
Buses could use heaters for people downstairs. 41 degrees in a moving bus gets pretty nippy.
I'll be back to DC and take the Bigbus again.
We purchased 48 hour passes and we were picked up in National Harbor. The driver, Marc Gage was so helpful and extremely nice. He provided his cell phone number to insure you wouldn't miss the return trip. The other employees Lenny Walker, Ta Ta Lamboni were so friendly and helpful also. Kudos to Leon Jones for his expansive knowledge of the city of DC, we learned so much information from him and his personal experiences. I would highly recommend Big Bus Tours.
Good route, stops at all the monuments, as well as surrounding points of interest. Didn't like that it only comes by every 30 minutes. We ended up doing more walking because we had just missed the bus. The first one we were on had an excellent speaker, telling us about the things we passed, but then the next bus there was no one speaking and they just had a crackly pre-recorded message. We had non-English speakers with us and they didn't understand anything. We later learned that you could get free earbuds and listen in different languages.. but they didn't work on the bus we were on.
Over all, still a good idea to get the free ride around the city, but you really need to watch the time and make the most of it.
Your Bigbus Tours are a great way to get an overview of Washington DC's great treasures. Every time we have company from out of town, we always start off their visit by taking them on your bus tours. Recently, on the red tour, you had a live human being commenting on the sights that we were seeing, and he added so much to the tour. He not only told us about the history of the buildings we were passing, but he also added some humor to the trip. My relatives from Germany loved that tour most of all!!! I would hightly recommend that you try to get more live commentators, rather than just relying on your recordings.
My wife and I had a great time viewing the city on the Big Bus....The only thing I would recommend is to have a live commentator on each bus...We were on many buses and only 2 had live people instead of recorded words......Big Miss, if you ask me..
We selected the 48 hours. Took the first day to just ride all routes and became familier with Washington DC ( even had time for a few stops). Then on the second day we stopped at all the places we wanted to see. Enjoyed the personal tour guide much more than the recorded guide. We went during off season and had to wait longer than we liked for the next bus. Police blocks also caused our stop locations to change, which added difficulty and the drivers did not have good knowlede of connection points and times.. Because of the riding on the Big Bus, we had become familier with DC an never felt lost in our days following. We would recommend this to anyone. Had a great time !!
Our first driver (and possibly one in training or the one that was SUPPOSED to be) picked us up at the Washington Hilton. The one that was an employee seemed to have slept most the time he was on the bus. This was an automated tour guide, not like the "real guide" we got on the Red line. None of the drivers were very friendly but the guide was funny and knowledgeable on the Red line.
Firstly I would like to say I used the bigbus tour company in Philly and it was brilliant. however in DC we had only one day and planned to do the different coloured routes in rotation. the first tour the bus broke down and we were sitting on the side of the freeway for 40 mins. we were transfered onto another bus but the audio didnt work. in the end we eventually completed one of the tours but were so annoyed we couldnt enjoy it.
Over all I enjoyed my experience using Big Bus Tours. My one comment would be that when I first tried to access the bus I was at Arlington and there were no clear markers for accessing the bus. It would have been nice to have a more definitely (even if it is just an approximate time schedule.) It is a great way to see a lot in a little bit of time though, and to not have to rent your own car to get to some of the more remote places. overall it was a good experience and I would do it again.
We used the Big Bus Tour while in DC from Oct 31, 2013 - Nov 5, 2013, it helps you get around faster I will give it that, but on our way back from Arlington we asked our driver about getting back to Union Station, he told us to get off at the Washington Monument to pick up the "Red Loop" bus. We did as he instructed & went to wait for the bus at the correct stop; 90 minutes later we were still waiting. The bus never showed up, it was getting darker by the minute & we were in an unfamiliar city. So we did the only thing we could do, start to walk, well my husband did, I'm in a wheelchair! We were at the correct location, the company sign was there stating it was their stop. There are 2 reasons I am writing this review, one is because I very upset what happened & the other is to warn you.....don't always trust your driver.
We also took the night tour, they told us the bus left at 6:30, we got on it at 6:00 so we could get a good seat. Right after we got on the bus left, I'm glad we got on when we did. During the tour they stop twice, the guide told everyone not to worry because she walks slow so people can keep up....I would hate to see her fast!! We weren't planning on taking a tour so I didnt have my chair..we missed the second stop along with a few other people because we couldn't keep up with her.
In general it was a good tour and a good experience, but Washington was rainy for four days in a road, not a fault from Bigbus of course, but maybe a flexible option to change the ticket to a different day to a better day would be a good option, since site seeing from inside of a foggy bus is not the best option. But the routes are good and the tour is good too!
My husband and I took the tour while visiting DC and we both had an amazing time. Falion and Dave were great!!!! Falion was very knowledgeable and very informative. I learned a lot of history that I didn't know thanks to this tour. I will be taking my 16 year old son and his friends here next year when it warms up. This is by far the best tour in DC!
I have been on other city bus tours, and I thought this would be a good way to see Washington. However, the trip was done using a loud speaker system, meaning that there was no personal content at all. We could have been watching a documentary. There were also problems with the recording, and we heard bits of it repeatedly.
The bus stopped for 15-20 mins at stops in the cold weather. We tried to catch a second bus later in the day, and no further buses arrived, even though the App said that there should have been 2-3 more before the close of the day. All-in-all, it was an expensive one way bus ride into the attractions.
I work for the US Postal Service and have had to visit the HQ office at L'Enfant Plaza many times over the years but never got to see any of the sights, monuments or museums.
I wanted to be able to get as memorable an experience as possible without a lot of work, so after looking at the value that Big Bus Tours offered it was a no brainer.
My wife and I had 3 days including driving to and from NY, so we bought the 48 hour ticket including the night tour. This is the option I recommend to anyone that has at least 48 hours to spend in DC and doesn't want to waste time or energy getting to know the city.
Everything was great the stops were very convenient. All of the BIg Bus employees are great and very courteous (especially Jeff on the night tour). Unlike some of the reviews we read, I had no trouble identifying the buses or the bus stops on any of the routes.
Only 1 somewhat negative thing to say. It was the time we were told the night tour began. We were told it started at 6:30 when it actually started at 7:30. The problem with this was that we rushed out of the Crime and Punishment museum to get the Willard Hotel for pickup in time, and found out we had to sit around and wait for an hour. I guess I should have called and double checked the leave time, so I take partial blame for that one.
Nevertheless, I would strongly recommend using this service as we had a great time and now know exactly where to go and what to do next time we're in DC.
First of all I am not really a tourist type person but this tour allowed me an opportunity to tour as much or as little as I wanted to and I done all that I could do. I originally bought a 24 hour ticket ( all routes-hop on hop off tour ) which included 2 walking tours and a ticket to Madame Tussauds which I upgraded to the 48 hour tour because it was the better deal. The 48 hr included that of the 24 hour plus (1) ticket to Crime and Punishment Museum (1) ticket to the DC Aquarium and a 50 min boat ride around Georgetown.There were schedule conflicts with my friends so I went on this tour alone although I was a little apprehensive about finding my way back to the pick up point because I am a little directionally challenge. I found that I had absolutely nothing to worry about : I was given a map that had clear indicators of the pick up and drops points Secondly, the staff were superb they were ready, willing and able to assist at anytime. In the 48 hours I was able to use all my tickets and enjoy the boat ride. Please be advised that the bus runs from 9-6:30 daily which means it is really not as many hours as one would think because the night tours begins at 7 or 730PM . Plus you have to factor in the time to transfer from one route to another although they come around every 15-20 minutes. There also the time it takes to sell walks on their tickets( It seems like there could be a better process) in addition, You are also given this long paper ticket( like a gas receipt) that you are expected to keep up with the whole tour and there are not any replacements. There is no way that you would be able to see all 50 sites because there are so many things to see and so little time. I just rode by and listened to the narrator for a lot of the sites. The next time I will be able to actually see more sites. All in all I had a great time and I would do it again.
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