Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing buses

This item appears on page 15 of the February 2009 issue.

My wife, Jane, and I traveled to Copenhagen for the first time in 2006. We went to the town square to find a sightseeing bus and boarded one which had “Hop On-Hop Off” prominently displayed on the side. We rode for two or three stops and then hopped off at a palace that had been made into a museum.

After visiting the museum, we returned to the bus stop and within five minutes another bus appeared. We hopped on and went to see the Little Mermaid for the photo op. Another bus picked us up within 15 minutes.

This bus line had three circular routes plus transfer points so people could ride all three routes and get a very comprehensive view of the city. The bus provided a narrative about the stops in four languages via headphones. (In 2009 the fare for a one-day pass is DKK150 [about $25] adult or DKK70 child. Purchase on site or online at www.sightseeing.dk.)

On the same trip we stopped in Oslo and purchased two day passes on the sightseeing bus there. The cost for the second day was less than half the cost for the first day. There was a stop within a block of our hotel and we used the bus almost like a taxi. (In 2009 the 2-day pass costs NOK140 [$20] adult or NOK70 child; phone 40 00 59 31, fax 40 77 97 80, www.visitoslo.com.)

In 2008, we took a river cruise on the lower Danube. On the way home we arranged for a 4-day stop in Paris. On our first day there we took a river cruise on the Seine. The boat also had an on-and-off system, but it was late in the day so we didn’t use it. The boats are not as frequent as the buses, but they have a schedule and you can time your visits to meet the next boat.

Later we used a sightseeing bus there with the same arrangements as the others and it was wonderful. (Bus and boat on-and-off privileges come with purchase of the Paris A La Carte card, which is good for two days, costs E39 [near $49] and can be purchased online at www.city-discovery.com/paris; click on “hop on and off tours.”)

We must admit, however, that the Métro system in Paris is excellent and can take you anywhere quickly and inexpensively.

We think these on-and-off sightseeing buses are the way to go!


Cleveland, OH