While the Big Bus Tours of London charge passengers a hefty £24 ($50) each, visitors to London can see much of the city's most notable landmarks for just £1.45 ($3.00) if they board a regular bus.
So ditch the overpriced tour option and ride with the locals to get an authentic experience of this iconic city. Sights include the Bank of England, Big Ben and Victoria Park. Here are five of the best routes for London sightseeing on a budget.
Beginning among the Regency houses of Pimlico, the 24 route uses a Thomas Heatherwick-designed Routemaster, which itself is a sight to behold. The route cuts through St James's Park, with views of Buckingham Palace (the only way to see it by bus as the vehicles are not allowed to run on the Mall).
It then runs towards Parliament Square with great views of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament before heading for Trafalgar Square and Nelson's Column, with the backdrop of the National Gallery.
Later on the route, see Camden Town’s lock market from above and climb towards Hampstead, passing the grade II-listed Roundhouse (the site of The Doors only UK performance in 1968). End at the Royal Free Hospital, perched on the south end of Hampstead Heath - the perfect place to begin a walk.
This service offers views of the greatest sights of the city for a bargain fare. Hop on at Liverpool Street Station and head down through the city and towards the Bank of England.
See St Paul’s Cathedral; Fleet Street, famous as the former home of many of Britain’s newspapers; and Somerset House, home of London Fashion Week. Other highlights include The Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand (blink and you’ll miss the Savoy), Charing Cross Station, Whitehall, Victoria, Sloane Square and the King’s Road.
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The RV1 is a great way to see the Thames and its surroundings. Beginning at Tower Hill, pass the Tower of London before crossing Tower Bridge.
Pass City Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and Waterloo Station before crossing the river for a second time on Waterloo Bridge, with great views of the South Bank and the London skyline. End the route at Aldwych, home to the Aldwych Theatre, the Waldorf Hilton and Bush House, the former building of the BBC World service.
Make sure you get a top deck seat for this journey, which begins at Victoria Station. Travel up Park Lane and see the Dorchester Hotel with views of Hyde Park on the left hand side.
Afterwards, enjoy the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street without being bumped around in the crowds (arguably the best way to see the shopping strip). After turning off Tottenham Court Road, see the British Library and grade I-listed St Pancras Station. Jump off after passing Angel Station at leafy Islington Green for a coffee and something to eat.
The 388 is a whistlestop tour through East London. Beginning at Blackfriars, head up through the city and towards Shoreditch, passing the top of Brick Lane, home to vintage shops and numerous Indian restaurants.
After riding through Bethnal Green, the route cuts through leafy Victoria Park and heads towards Hackney Wick, known for warehouses full of arty types. Moving towards the park, see a distant view of the Zaha Hadid Aquatics Centre and the Accelor-Mittal Orbit as you approach the end point of the journey at Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park.
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This article was written by Rhiannon Edwards from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.