Bought the 48hour ticket online because there was a 30% discount offered and I liked the sound of the walking tours that were offered. Upon arrival, however, it was difficult to find out how and where to get the online ticket converted to a proper one as there were no instructions on the online ticket and the markings on the busstops are very subtle. Main reason for choosing a HopOn HopOff bus (as I've done successfully in other cities) rather than just taking the normal public buses was the promise of commentary, but this was the most disappointing aspect of all. The first live commentary was so soft, we could barely hear it and the second so loud we ended up getting off the bus to escape it. After that, we tried the buses with the recorded commentary, but that merely of consisted of long stretches of "Land of Hope and Glory" interspersed with a few comments on selected sites while being stuck in traffic for most of the time and wondering what all the other interesting buildings were. Downloading one of the numerous free guided walking tours from the internet and reading it ourselves or even paying to join one of the professionally-organized ones would have been a lot less frustrating, particularly since the weather was nice. Ironically, we missed all but one of the free walking tours offered with the ticket because we were continually stuck in traffic! The river boat cruise was a lot of fun and definitely worth it and the main saving grace of the ticket. However, this can be booked separately with City Cruises directly. We also appreciated the tip of pre-ordering the tickets for the London Eye from the person who converted our online ticket to a real one and then collecting them on the day we visited it, as this saved us waiting in a long line to get tickets, while still giving us the flexibility to choose when to go. In general, the BigBus staff are helpful and friendly, but using buses is simply not the best way to see London. Walking, using the river boats or the Underground (or a combination of all three) and then buying yourself a guidebook is a much better option, particularly when the weather is nice.
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