We love London buses around here. The hopper fare lets you make unlimited bus journeys made within an hour of tapping. But travelling by bus isn't just great for cheapo-travel. It\u2019s also one of the best ways of sightseeing in the city. Many of the city\u2019s bus routes offer the chance to get great views of major landmarks. So, rather than pay for a tourist-trap, open-top bus tour \u2013 grab your Oyster card or contactless payment and read our guide to London sightseeing by bus for nature, architecture and historical landmarks. If you want a bit of background and commentary while you travel, you can download a for Historical landmarks: Bus No. 11 Travel southwest to east (or vice versa), ideally skipping the Fulham-Victoria bit if you\u2019re pushed for time. Starting at Victoria will get you into some prime sightseeing territory. Hop on at Victoria Station\/Grosvenor Gardens (Stop S) and take a top-deck tour through Westminster. \u00a0Make sure to nab a window seat to get the best view of Parliament Square, The Houses of Parliament, Horse Guards Parade, Westminster Cathedral and Big Ben. After Westminster comes Whitehall and Trafalgar Square, enjoy the vantage point of seeing one of London\u2019s busiest public areas from up high. Then wave goodbye the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery as you head for your next area: Aldwych. Aldwych is home to The famous Strand Station, one of London\u2019s 27 defunct Underground stations and the impressive, Gothic architecture of The Royal Courts of Justice. Now you\u2019re on infamous Fleet Street, a\u00a0former hub of the British Newspaper industry, the\u00a0birthplace of 17th Century diarist Samuel Pepys and the\u00a0scene of the murderous antics of fictional villain Sweeney Todd. Moving away from Fleet Street is St Paul\u2019s and this is also where can The Royal Exchange \u2013 Bank of England (one of the oldest in the world). History and modernity merge as you drive closer to the City of London. The final destination is Liverpool Street, but don\u2019t let the suits and harassed commuters put you off\u2014take a wander to Spitalfields and the buzz of Brick Lane. The Culture and Heritage route: Bus No. 9 (Aldwych to Hammersmith) The number 9 from Aldwych to Hammersmith is one of the oldest bus routes in London. And at five miles, it\u2019s also one of the shortest. But, there\u2019s plenty to see in that stretch, so hop on at the charmingly-named Aldwych Bus House (Stop H), perhaps once you\u2019re done with Number 11, and you\u2019ll be greeted by London landmark Somerset House. From there, the bus will head down the Strand to Trafalgar Square, and you should spot Hyde Park and Green Park as you pass along Piccadilly too. This route takes you through some of London\u2019s poshest areas, including Knightsbridge. But if Mayfair excess and Harrods aren\u2019t your bag \u2013 Kensington Gardens and Holland Park are some beautiful green spaces that are worth seeing. Keep a look out for Green Parakeets circling above too. You\u2019ll end up in Hammersmith, and while King Street isn\u2019t particularly exciting, the rooftop at the Lyric and the pubs along the riverside are great on sunny days. Fancy Riverside to Leafy Heath: Bus No. 24 (Pimlico to Hampstead Heath) This one is a fairly long route, taking just over an hour (excluding rush hour). But, the middle section goes through Westminster so if you're seeing sights there on the Number 11, you might want to make use of the hopper fare, and just do parts of the route. Pimlico is a rather fancy neighbourhood, and it\u2019s also home to the Tate Britain, which is free to visit \u2013 so it\u2019s worth popping in before you hop on the 24. And if you\u2019re there around lunchtime, visit the legendary Regency Caf\u00e9 round the corner. Once you\u2019ve seen all you want to see in Pimlico, hop on the 24 at St George\u2019s Square \/Pimlico Station (Stop F) and head to the upper deck to look over Victoria, Westminster Abbey and Parliament Square. The middle section will take you through central London\/the West End including Cambridge Circus, Denmark Street and Tottenham Court Road. From there, it\u2019s onwards to Camden, and then once you get past the bustle of the high street, the bus will probably empty out a bit. The final stretch becomes more leafy as you make your way through the streets of Kentish Town and Gospel Oak before getting off at The Royal Free Hospital (Stop Z), where you can grab a cuppa and make your way for an afternoon stroll on Hampstead Heath. Riverside Views and Abbey Road: Bus No. 139 (Waterloo to St John\u2019s Wood) Waterloo is another great area to explore for sightseeing and things to do from strolling along the South Bank where you\u2019ll see landmarks including The National Theatre, BFI Southbank, and The Royal Festival Hall. So, depending on what you want to do when you get off the bus, it might be worth starting your journey from the opposite direction, getting on at St John\u2019s Wood Road\/Lord\u2019s Cricket Ground (Stop H). But, if you start in Waterloo, you can hop on Waterloo Bridge (Stop P) for lovely views as you cross the river. You'll pass through The Strand, where you\u2019ll see The Savoy, and then travel up Regent Street and Oxford Street which is great for people watching, otherwise it\u2019s mostly department stores. Once you\u2019re past the main shopping areas, you\u2019ll pass along the leafier streets around Baker Street, close to Regent's Park and then on to St John\u2019s Wood where you can see Lord\u2019s Cricket Ground and take a photo at Abbey Road (and, yes, walk that famous zebra crossing like the Beatles too). Central London to the City of London: Bus No. 8 Head east from the centre of town with great views of the City of London as you go. The full route goes all the way from St Giles High Street (Stop W, near Tottenham Court Road) to Bow Church, beyond Bethnal Green. But the most interesting stretch for bus sightseeing and ground level exploration is between St Giles in the West End to Brick Lane, which takes around 45 minutes, depending on London traffic. What makes this route so interesting is the variety of things to see along the way. Starting on the edge of Theatreland, you\u2019ll make your way down High Holborn towards Fetter Lane, which is part of London\u2019s legal district (the area is home to some famous Inns of Court), after Holborn Circus, pass St Paul\u2019s Cathedral before heading through Bank and the City of London. From there, you\u2019ll pass the financial district around Liverpool Street and make your way through Shoreditch. You can get off at either Shoreditch High Street or Brick Lane, as they\u2019re round the corner from each other, from there there\u2019s plenty to see and do including checking our street art at pavement level, browsing in second-hand and vintage clothes shops,or grabbing a legendary Brick Lane Bagel. Got a sightseeing head for heights? Read our article on cheap and free views of London. This article was first published in September 2018 and updated October 2022.