On-and-off buses

We’ve found the “hop on/hop off” buses in the larger cities not only one of the best buys but an economical way to see the city.

We’ve done this in Auckland, New Zealand, as well as Washington, D.C., and Boston, Massachusetts. More recently, in May ‘06, we did it in Dublin and Cork, Ireland, and London, England.

The Dublin Bus Service cost us €25 (about $32), and the London “Big Bus” cost £40 (about $75). That’s for two! Yes, London is expensive, but compared to taxi fares this is a buy. We used the “Big Bus” for three days.
You can buy your ticket at most hotels. With the ticket you get a map of the many routes. The ticket is good for 24 hours, so if you get on at 1 p.m. you’re good until 1 p.m. the next day.

Another plus is the commentary (recorded or live on the bus) that not only gives you the sights to see at the next stop but includes history and humor over an ongoing broadcast.

We find the “on and off” buses a good substitute for shore expeditions on a ship cruise, if you just want a real introduction to the port. It beats city tours not only for information but especially on price.

Colville, WA