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An excellent introduction to the city
City Sightseeing Buses
Member Name: slbhill
City Sightseeing Buses
Advantages: Frequent, hop on/hop off, ticket lasts 2 days, a little info about lots of places
City Sightseeing is a large chain, and I should start by saying I've only done one of their tours - in Glasgow. There are two main tour providers in Glasgow, and they go from the same stance. Watch out for the two competing sales teams on the pavement near the bus stop (north side of George Square), they are very competitive!
We had a live guide, giving the commentary in English. I was surprised at how easily we could hear almost all of it given we were on the open top bit in the rain and passing traffic. There were headsets available to plug in and get the commentary in a variety of other languages (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish).
The cost was £11 for an adult or £9 for a concession, and tickets can be bought from the driver. If you're planning ahead there is a £1 discount if you buy online. It seems very expensive but it is about an hour's tour and you can hop on and off all day if you like - and the next day as well (the ticket covers 2 days).
Speaking of planning ahead - don't go on a Monday if you want to visit all the museums as recently (summer 2010) Glasgow City Council started closing all their sites on a Monday to save money!
The tour takes just over an hour and passes most of the main tourist sites in the city - telling you a bit about them, and helping you get your bearings. You can pick up a free leaflet at the tourist information office (on the south side of George Square) which includes a map of the route. A good hint is to take a pen & note down the places you want to go to as the guide mentions them - we didn't & couldn't remember where we wanted to go by the time we got back!
The guide gives you a little bit of information about all the museums, galleries and shopping streets, and gives you plenty of notice as you approach each stop so that you can listen out for the place you want to go to and get off there.
In general these tours are a good introduction to a city, and I thought this was the case here with the Glasgow City Sightseeing tour. I've worked in Glasgow for years but never really explored it, the bus helped me find quite a few places I'd like to go back and visit. But I would say plan ahead to get full use from your money - ideally over 2 days if you're here long enough. For one round trip it's expensive but for 2 days of hop on and hop off it's excellent value.
Oh - and take a coat with a hood or hat, this is Scotland after all!
Summary: Plan ahead to get full use and it's great.
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