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Bus Tours

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Part of almost every traveler's itinerary in any given destination is a tour of the place - after all, even the most intrepid travelers need to get their bearings somehow, right? There are lots of different styles of tours, from guided trips through individual museums to themed jaunts through a city, but if you want a good overview of a place that lets you relax, sit back, and figure out what points you want to spend more time on, bus tours are the ideal way to go.

Many cities the world over offer some excellent bus tours, many of which allow you to get on and off as you wish. This way, you can either stay on board for one whole circuit - making mental notes of the parts of the city you want to go back to later and see more of - or you can jump off one bus to visit a museum or monument right then and get back on the tour when the next bus comes along. These so-called "hop-on hop-off" bus tours are not available in every city, but they are an excellent option if you find one available in the city you are touring.

Another feature of many bus tours is an audio guide. This can usually come in two forms - either you will have someone on your bus who is telling you what important things the bus is passing, or you will have a pre-recorded audio track you can listen to. Having a real, live human being can make a tour much more interesting and dynamic, as the guide can respond to questions and really engage the group, but if there are language barriers this can be a problem. Generally a live tour guide will only be giving the tour in one language, so if you think you will be missing out on too much you should look for a bus tour with a pre-recorded audio guide - these will be available in multiple languages.

In addition to the city bus tours you can find around the world, you may also want to look into bus tours that are day-trip excursions into smaller towns or a particularly picturesque countryside surrounding a larger city. These kinds of bus tour day trips can be great for budget travelers who do not want to rent a car, but who want to get outside the city to a place that the train does not go.