3 Affordable Hop on Hop off / Bus Tours in Washington DC


A compact city it may be, but Washington DC’s array of attractions can still be a little daunting to get around on foot, with hop-on hop-off bus tours offering a popular – and affordable – alternative.

(Photo: Big Bus Tours / Courtesy GetYourGuide)

The US capital is characterised by imposing neoclassical monuments and buildings, many of which are connected to the city’s status as the political heartland of America. One of the most convenient and cost-effective ways to explore Washington is by booking on to a hop-on hop-off bus tour that lets you board and disembark at various designated stops around the city. We’ve picked out 3 of the best cheap bus tours of this kind currently available.

Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour by Open-top Bus

This hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour is run by renowned global tour operator Big Bus. Available as 24 or 48-hour ticket options, you can enjoy panoramic views of DC from an open-top bus, with the choice to hop off at any stop around the National Mall to visit famous DC sites. All passengers are given a map of Washington, headsets for informative and entertaining onboard commentary about the city’s rich history, real-time bus tracking via a dedicated app, and free onboard WiFi. At any time of your choosing over the course of your valid ticket, you can also embark on a self-guided 1-hour cycle tour with your bike rental included in the tour price. From $58 per person.

Book at GetYourGuide

Old Town Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley City Tour

(Photo: Historic Tours of America / Courtesy GetYourGuide)

Offered by Historic Tours of America, this hop-on hop-off trolley tour is available for a choice of 1 or 2 days. It allows you to stop off at your own pace at up to 15 renowned attractions, landmarks and places of interest dotted across the city. There’s a downloadable app with pre-recorded commentary in 7 languages and GPS bus tracking so no waiting around for buses. You can also upgrade to include a tram tour of historic Arlington National Cemetery, which honours those who lost their lives defending the United States of America. From $50 per person.

Book at GetYourGuide

Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour & Sightseeing Water Taxi Cruise

(Photo: Big Bus Tours / Courtesy GetYourGuide)

This combo tour involves exploring DC both on land and water, with the addition of a scenic cruise down the Potomac River included in the price. As with our previous Big Bus recommendation, the hop on, hop off bus section of the tour is valid for three days, allowing you to spread your exploration over 72 hours and avoid packing everything in. The open top double-decker takes in iconic monuments and memorials including the White House, Capitol Building, Washington Monument, and Arlington National Cemetery, as well as stops at the Smithsonian National History Museum, Air & Space Museum, Library of Congress and the International Spy Museum. From $88 per person.

Book at GetYourGuide

By Paul Joseph