I've been planning to use buses on several days of our next stay. (Mainly buses 11, 15, 9, and 8.) I thought it would be nice to see stuff while getting somewhere. From the posts I am seeing, complaining of long waits, inconvenience, I'm wondering if I am making a poor decision. How about some bus riding advice?
What country are you talking about? It doesn't do much good to tell us what bus numbers if we don't know what country or city you might be talking about. When is your trip?
If you are talking about London, busses are a scenic way to travel; they also are easier if you are going across the traffic flow (ie not toward or away from the City)however because they travel on the streets, they can be very slow and frustrating at rush hour. When i am trying to get somewhere in a hurry- or by a certain time, I use the tube. If the weather is good, and I have time, I hit the busses and aim for the front window on the top deck. If you are going to do enough travel get an Oyster card or the travel card which allows for travel on busses, tube, and even some trains (not my area of expertise, as I prefer walking). Generally visitors tend to find it easier to use the Tube, whereas busses are preferred by seasoned locals
If you're talking about the London bus routes and you're going soon, there are some bad disruptions at the moment to buses between the City and West End: Threadneedle Street in the City is closed for roadworks with long and slow detours, and Oxford Street is closed going east near Bond Street station for railway station construction work.
IMHO ..... London ..... mon-fri TUBE ... sat-sun BUS. Roger
Sorry....I should have been clearer. We'll be in London for three weeks in May. Thanks for the warnings about construction. We'll try buses and, if we get frustrated, we can always retreat to the underground. Thank you, again.
On TripAdvisor's London Forum there is a regular with the username of TPTravler. She is extrememly knowledgeable about London buses. She can tell you bus #, routes, even specific stop locations. She even know which routes still have some of the old fashioned "route master" double deckers that allow more "sightseeing" from the upper deck. If you post a question with specific starts and stops, (ie want to get from hotel xxx at ........ to destination yyy ) she will give you specific instrucitons.
When my wife and I visited London in September, 2008, the first thing we did on our first morning in London was to take the bus from South Kensington to the British Museum (we got off a couple blocks from it). The bus took us right through Piccadilly Circus, and we could sit in the front row on top for a great view!! It was very exciting!! We took the bus all the time and never had to wait more than 5 minutes for one, and could always find a seat (though not always together). The only time we had to wait a long time was when I wanted to ride one of the Heritage busses, and finally we had to give up and take a normal one. Ride often, is my advice! You don't have to go underground to get on a tube when the bus is right there beside you, going your way!
Only 2 routes with any Routemaster activity. They are 9, between Kensington High Street or the Albert Memorial to Trafalgar Square, and 15 from the Tower to Aldwych or Trafalgar Square. They only run between the rush hours. Both are interleafed with modern driver only doubledeckers. Take the 8 (recently rerouted - get a current map - no longer goes to Green Park, etc)., to Brick Lane and get a fantastic Salt Beef from the Original Biegel Bakery. Just don't go expecting white tablecloths. Or any tablecloths. Or tables. Good food though. Ask for mustard. Actually, don't she'll put it even if you don't ask. And the spelling's correct.
Routemaster Buses are being introduced in April on the Harrods Tour, a new hop on, hop off bus service that starts and finishes at Harrods. There is a also another routemaster sightseeing service started last year in traditional red London transport colours. The only difference to the classic buses is that their roofs have been cut open to be open top sightseeing buses.
This service was quite a success by all accounts last year and is being expanded this year and was partially behinf Harrods starting their own routemster buses.