THE 5 BEST Washington DC Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours

Hop-on hop-off tours in washington dc.

  • Sightseeing Tours
  • Night Tours
  • Historical & Heritage Tours
  • Hop-On Hop-Off Tours
  • Up to 1 hour
  • 1 to 4 hours
  • 4 hours to 1 day
  • 4.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 3.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 2.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • The ranking of tours, activities, and experiences available on Tripadvisor is determined by several factors including the revenue generated by Tripadvisor from these bookings, the frequency of user clicks, and the volume and quality of customer reviews. Occasionally, newly listed offerings may be prioritized and appear higher in the list. The specific placement of these new listings may vary.

on off bus tour washington dc

1. Washington DC Hop-On Hop-off Trolley Tour with 15 Stops

on off bus tour washington dc

2. Hop-On Hop-Off 21 Stop Trolley Tour + Arlington Cemetery

on off bus tour washington dc

3. Washington, DC: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

on off bus tour washington dc

4. Arlington National Cemetery Hop-On Hop-Off Tour with Guide

on off bus tour washington dc

5. Best LED Guided Night Tour - Downtown DC Hotel Pick up included

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6. Washington DC Morning or Night-Time Express Sightseeing Monuments Tour

Keep the fun going with other experiences in the area.

on off bus tour washington dc

Historic Annapolis Food Tour

on off bus tour washington dc

Fells Point Food Tour in Baltimore

on off bus tour washington dc

Self-guided Waterfall Hiking Tour through Great Falls National Park

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Historical Fredericksburg SmartPhone App Self Guided Walking Tour

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Baltimore Walking Foodie Tour in Fells Point

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Luxury Tours of Mount Vernon

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Private History of Old Town Alexandria Walking Tour

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Crime Solving Detective Experience Ashburn & Sterling

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Baltimore Harbor Tour

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Amazing Alexandria Scavenger Hunt

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Amazing Annapolis Scavenger Hunt

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Haunted Fredericksburg Self-Guided Walking Tour

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Chesapeake Region Wine Tour

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Annapolis Scavenger Hunt: Red Bricks & Blue Views

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Fun City Scavenger Hunt in Baltimore by Crazy Dash

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Axe-Throwing

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Historic Battlefields Self-Guided Driving Tour Bundle

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Baltimore Harbor Moonlight Sail on the Summer Wind

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Baltimore Ghost Hunt: Baltimore's Best Haunts

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Escape Room Live Alexandria: 60-Minute Adventures

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E-bike Rental Along the Potomac River

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Alexandria Scavenger Hunt: Old Town Made New

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Virtual Experience: Guided Tour of George Washington's Mount Vernon & Alexandria

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Nutty National Harbor Scavenger Hunt

What travelers are saying.

seana10112019

  • Washington DC Hop-On Hop-off Trolley Tour with 15 Stops
  • Hop-On Hop-Off 21 Stop Trolley Tour + Arlington Cemetery
  • Washington, DC: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour
  • Arlington National Cemetery Hop-On Hop-Off Tour with Guide
  • Washington DC Morning or Night-Time Express Sightseeing Monuments Tour
  • Elevated Tours
  • WeVenture Washington DC Tours
  • Washington DC Experiences
  • DC Limo and Tours
  • Old Town Trolley Tours Washington DC
  • Big Bus Tours
  • RSN Tour Bus

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Big Bus Tours Washington, DC

Explore the nation's capital on big bus tours, the official tour of the national mall..

The open top bus visits the City's most iconic landmarks and allows unlimited access to hop-on and -off for 1 or 2 days. Classic Panoramic: Experience all of the sites from a safe vantage point above the trees. Red Loop: The National Mall visiting the City's iconic landmarks. Blue Loop: Cross the Potomac to visit Arlington Cemetery. Yellow Loop: Visit the White House Gift Shop and the National Geographic Museum. Ticket inclusions available depending on ticket: Access to all of the Loops. Walking Tour. Live English-speaking Tour Guides (Night Tour Only) or recorded commentary in the following languages: English,Spanish, German, Italian, French, Mandarin, Japanese, and Brazilian Portuguese. Deluxe (2-Day) Ticket Inclusions: Access to all of the Loops. Free Walking Tour Free Night Tour . Night Tour: Experience the Capitol's standout landmarks beautifully illuminated after dusk. Accompanied by your knowledgeable guide, you will be able to hop off the bus to discover more about Washington's iconic landmarks. Your guide will explain the history of these national monuments and reveal the perfect position to capture the most impressive photos.

  • Foreign Language Guides
  • Guided tours available
  • Private Tour
  • Open to public
  • ADA compliant

Additional Information

Attraction rates, length of tour, service type.

FIT/Voucher Program, Group Charter, Handicapped Accessible, Handicap Accessibility, Incentive Programs, Multilingual Guides, Multilingual Tours, Regular Scheduled Tours, Step On, Student Tours

Affiliation Discounts, Coupon Discounts, Membership Discounts, Season Pass, VIP Cards, Voucher Program, Military Discounts, Show Your Badge, Consumer Campaign

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Hop On Hop Off Washington DC - Bus Tours

Pull off a monumental vacation with a hop-on hop-off Washington DC tour! With your tickets, you make the rules! Hop off our open-air, double-decker busses and check out the attractions that pique your special interest. Then, hop back on and veto the ones you don’t. With Washington DC hop-on hop-off, sightseeing vacation has never been so streamlined! Take the Big Bus to cover all major attractions comfortably or invest in the Washington DC Sightseeing Flex Pass to save massive on your choice of attractions. Take your pick!

Washington DC Sightseeing Bus Tours

( ) experiences found.

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Big Bus Washington DC: Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour

Top Customer Reviews

Grace jorgensen, regan wesley.

lot of buses , minimal waiting time at the stops.

Alex Chelmis

easy to buy but in our days this should not be a question

About Paris

Experience Washington DC in Hop On Hop Off Bus Tours

The capital of the US is known for its neoclassical monuments and iconic buildings with three major easily recognizable landmarks – the White House, the Supreme Court, and the Capitol. If you happen to visit the Capitol, look out for the popular marble baths. Also, there are underground tunnels and a crypt made for George Washington. Did you know that Washington DC has the busiest subway system in the country? That’s why an open bus trip is the best bet to explore the capital city.

See the White House, Capitol Building, and the Supreme Court! Then, stop by the Smithsonian Institution Lincoln Memorial and the National Mall. You can even pair your tour with admission to other attractions. For additional savings, why not combine your tickets with a trip to Madame Tussauds, Newseum, or the International Spy Museum with a Flex Pass? Additionally, you can also choose from an array of curated 15 experiences including the Monuments & Memorials Bike Tour, International Spy Museum, Potomac Water Taxi, George Washington's Mount Vernon and more. Setting a manageable budget is what to do in Washington DC!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: what is the best time to book a washington dc hop-on hop-off tour.

The best time to visit Washington DC is during the autumn months which offer respite from sweltering heat for convenient sightseeing. September to November and March to May mark the high season so be ready to expect heavy crowds. The weather is pleasant and changing leaves add to the beauty of the monuments. If you are looking to save bucks and avoid the worst crowds, we recommend visiting in February. You might be able to find great deals on accommodation in the low season.

Q: What are the key attractions covered in the bus tour?

The key attractions and landmarks covered in the sightseeing bus tour include Union Station, Botanical Garden, WWII Memorial, Ford’s Theater & Madame Tussauds, Vietnam War Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, Lincoln North, White House, US Marine Corps War Memorial, National Zoo, Washington Monument, and so on.

Q: Where can I find a list of all the stops and a map of the various Hop-On Hop-Off Washington DC tour routes?

You can visit the relevant product page and check the Useful Downloads section to find the latest information as routes, stops, and timings change frequently.

Q: Is the Washington DC hop-on hop-off tour worth it?

Hop-On Hop-Off Washington DC bus tour covers all major attractions of the city with strategically placed stops. Add to that, you can also combine your sightseeing bus tour with a Flex Sightseeing Pass. These tours also include free guided walking tours, dining options, biking tours, and immersive audio commentary. You can enjoy live commentary in several languages such as English, German, French, Spanish, Cantonese, Japanese, Italian, and Russian to ensure that you don’t miss a thing.

Other Hop On Hop Off Destinations

  • New York City
  • San Francisco
  • Washington DC
  • Los Angeles
  • Johannesburg
  • San Antonio
  • Reykjavik Iceland
  • St-Petersburg
  • Benalmadena
  • Thessaloniki
  • Kristiansand
  • BUENOS AIRES
  • Hop On Hop Off Bus Offers and Deals

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on off bus tour washington dc

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Which Washington DC Bus Tours Are Best?

Big bus hop on hop off and more.

on off bus tour washington dc

This post compares the various Washington, DC bus tour options available to you.

We included hop-on-hop-off tours, more premium shuttle bus services, and even a free, self-guided option. Let's get rolling! 

  • Hop-On-Hop-Off
  • Guided Sightseeing Bus Tours
  • Arlington Cemetery Trolley
  • Night Bus Tours
  • Mt. Vernon, Gettysburg, and Other Day Trips

Self-Guided Bus Tour

  • Pros and Cons of Bus Tours

Disclosure:  While we think you should take our  free walking tours , we understand they may not be best for everyone. Therefore, we have compared available DC bus Tours.

While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the  full text .

HOP-ON-HOP-OFF DC BUS TOURS

There are a lot of great services in Washington DC which offer commentary and transportation to all of the most popular and historic sites in the area.

These bus tours allow you to jump off at any stop and get a closer look at any landmark you want to see.

These services typically provide both reliable transportation and either live or pre-recorded commentary (in up to 11 languages).

Hop on Hop off Bus Washington DC

Prices start at about $40-$50 for an adult ticket and $25-35 for children.

Each ticket is available for either 1 or 2 days, and the 2-day tickets often include additional attractions or activities.

Old Town Trolley

These open-air but covered historic trolley cars take you around the city with a driver/guide narrating the entire way.

They provide plastic window coverings for less-than-ideal weather, and some of the newer trolleys are raised so you’re sitting above the cars.

From this vantage point, it’s a lot easier to see all of the notable sites around Washington, DC!  

Hotel Shuttle Service is provided at select hotels and times.

Tours are only in English however, they offer a foreign language app where visitors can listen to narration in Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese.

While the main tour will take you around the National Mall to see all the memorials and downtown DC, they also offer a tour that is essentially a shuttle providing transport to and from Arlington National Cemetery.

Old Town Trolly DC Route Map

If you opt for their gold pass this includes the tour of Arlington National Cemetery, whereas the silver pass is their standard DC tour.

For more on how to visit Arlington National Cemetery once you’re there, check our Guide to ANC .

They also offer a 2.5-hour Memorials by Moonlight tour that begins at Union Station.

1-Day Ticket Prices

$49/Adults | $33/Children (note prices are more expensive if you book last minute!)

  • Includes 24-hour access to the blue loop.

Purchase tickets or learn more .

2-Day Ticket Prices

As of Summer 2023, Old Town Trolley is not offering 2 Day Passes.

1-Day Ticket + Arlington National Cemetery

$60/Adults | $40/Children

  • Includes Arlington National Cemetery tour.

You can also upgrade to include the tram tour of Arlington National Cemetery and can also add on a cruise during the summer months.

  • 9 am - 5 pm from Thursday - Sunday
  • Buses run every 30 minutes
  • 9 am - 4 pm (Oct-Mar)
  • 9 am - 6 pm (Apr-Sept)

This tour company has earned a 4 ½ out of 5 stars rating on TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide. ( read the reviews )

Thousands of passengers have had an excellent trip while on the Old Town Trolley, and that’s definitely a good sign.

Although some guests have left negative feedback, a few of their complaints indicate a common problem that anyone should be concerned about.

A majority of reviewers have said that their guides provided a wealth of valuable information and made the journey very enjoyable.

Big Bus Tours

Big Bus, which operates double-decker, open-top brown buses, is a company you may have seen in other cities throughout the world.

This tour has three different loops around the city depending on which areas you want to see.

There are many connection points that will allow you to hop on and hop off any of the lines!

The red loop is their official tour of the National Mall, including stops at all the major Smithsonian museums, monuments, and memorials. 

This loop features pre-recorded commentary in 9 different languages.

The black loop is an evening tour, featuring the monuments illuminated at night.

The yellow loop goes to Georgetown and even further Northwest to the National Zoo and National Cathedral. (this route is currently suspended, but we offer Georgetown walking tours ! )

Commentary is only available in English. Click on the map for a larger view

on off bus tour washington dc

There are a few different ticket options for the Big Bus Tours.

Passes come in 1, 2, or 3 days versions. All passes include discounts on ARTECHOUSE tickets and bike rentals.

Ticket Prices

Discover Tour: $54/Adults | $45/Children

  • 1-day hop-on-hop-off bus tour.
  • 50% off 2-Hour Bike Rental.
  • Included in Go DC tourist discount pass.
  • Free for kids 4 and under with a parental figure.

Essential Tour: $63/Adults | $54/Children

  • 2-day hop-on-hop-off bus tour.
  • $5 off ARTECHOUSE tickets.

Explore Tour: $72/Adults | $63/Children

  • 3-day hop-on-hop-off bus tour.

Night Tour: $58/Adults | $50/Children (Fri-Sun in Summer Only)

  • 9 am - 5 pm daily
  • Buses run every 1 hour.

With a 3 ½ out of 5 stars rating on TripAdvisor, it’s fair to say that Big Bus Tours is a bit of a mixed bag for most customers. 

This rating, while lower than the previously mentioned competitor, is aligned with what most hop-on-hop-off tours receive worldwide.

GUIDED SIGHTSEEING BUS TOURS OF DC

Hop-on-hop-off bus tours are not for everyone, especially if you don't like waiting for buses or you only have a short amount of time in DC.  

This section compares the various tours available in DC, from a small group (less than 11 passengers) to bus shuttle tours (up to 25-33 passengers) and coach buses (up to 55 passengers).  

Washington DC Bus Tours

Sometimes, the tours are what is referred to as driver-guide, where your driver doubles as your tour guide, which means that you will explore each attraction on your own while the driver remains with the bus.

Other tours offer both a driver and a guide , where the guide will get off the bus with you at each stop and conduct a guided walking tour. 

Many of the options here include hotel pick-up and you will have the same bus and the same driver (and maybe tour guide) for the entire tour.

One of the biggest advantages of these types of tours is that they are usually more in-depth than traditional hop-on-hop-off tours.

They could be of great value if you are short on time, as it will take you much longer to see the same number of sights with the hop-on-hop-off buses.

This may not be the best option for those who do like to take their time at an attraction.

DC by Foot's Private Guided Bus Tour

We can combine our highly rated tour guides with a vehicle size of your choosing to create a custom private tour.

Family of 4 in a luxury SUV to a corporate group of 50 on a coach, we work with great drivers and bus companies to offer hotel pick up and drop off and develop a custom itinerary for you.

You'll get a driver to stay with the vehicle and your items and a guide who will hop off with you at locations.

Since its a private tour, you can choose what to see and how long to spend at each sites.

EMAIL US TO BOOK

Rates start at $700 for a small vehicle, driver and guide.

USA GUIDED TOURS

This company provides a variety of high-quality bus tours that will take you around Washington, D.C. in shuttle buses (up to 33 passengers).

All of their tours include both a driver as well as a tour guide, and your tour guide will get off the bus and give you walking tours of each stop, while your bus and driver wait for you.

In a sense, these are premium tours. Having both a driver and a tour guide means more cost to the company, and this is reflected in their prices.  

For some, this enhancement is well worth the premium paid, especially considering the reviews.  

With the exception of their night tour, most of their tours are 5 hours or longer.

TIP: They also offer tours in New York City  and you are entitled to a discount if you book tours in both cities.  

Reviews of USA Guided Tours DC

When we said these tours were high quality, we weren’t lying: this company has a 4 ½ out of 5 stars rating on TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide. 

Having the tour guide to guide you through the memorials is by far the biggest hit.

DC Highlights Tour

This is their base tour. It begins at 10 am daily and lasts for 4 hours.  

This part-bus, part-walking tour includes guided stops at the U.S. Capitol Building, the White House, Washington Monument as well as the Lincoln and MLK Memorials and the Vietnam War and Korean War Veterans Memorials.  

They also offer a combination of this tour with a tour of Arlington National Cemetery for an additional $25/adult.

  • $59 - Adult | $49 - Child (3-12)
  • Members of the Military receive $10 off.
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance.
  • Click here for the night-time version .
  • Click here for their Arlington Cemetery Tour add-on .
  • Find out how to get 20% off this combo tour .

Discover DC

If you want to explore pretty much every notable monument and landmark in D.C. and take a 1-hour cruise on the Potomac River, then consider the Discover DC Tour.

This 6-hour tour will take you to all locations listed on their Highlights Tour plus: the World War II Memorial, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.  

There is a lunch break included on the tour as you are cruising on the Potomac, this is only offered March - September.

  • $89 - Adult | $79 - Child (3-12)
  • More info and to book .

DC Bus Tour

Skyview Convertible Bus Tour

On this convertible minibus - think open-top minivan - you get to experience a guided tour with panoramic views without the glare of a window in the photos!

A 6-hour guided bus tour takes you through the highlights of Washington DC including Georgetown, Embassy Row, and some of Northern Virginia.

  • $99 - Adults & Children | $89 - Students & Seniors
  • Time: 10 am - 4 pm
  • Starting / Ending Location: Navy Memorial, Pennsylvania Ave NW
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
  • Purchase your Skyview Convertible Bus Tickets .

SIGNATURE TOURS

Similar to USA Guided Tours, this well-reviewed tour company offers a shuttle bus with both a driver and a tour guide.   

With good reviews come higher prices. This company offers a 3-hour as well as a 6-hour version of a highlight tour.

They also offer free cancellation up to 24 hours before your tour.

3 Hour Morning Tour (daily at 10:30 am)

  • $66 per person
  • More info or to purchase

6-Hour Day Tour

  • $84/youth (3-11)
  • More info or to purchase .

Reviews of Signature Tours

The tickets are one of the more expensive for this type of tour, but Signature Tours has one of the highest ratings of all the services on this list.

With 4.7 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide ( read some of the reviews ), you can feel fairly secure about a ticket purchase from this tour company.

ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY TROLLEY

Arlington Cemetery Tours (operated by Historic Tours of America) is the only company permitted to offer vehicle tours of the cemetery.

They offer both open-air trams and enclosed vehicles for varying weather conditions.

Several tour companies listed above also offer combination tickets that include an ANC tour. 

If you choose a bus tour ticket that doesn't include the cemetery, then consider taking our walking tour as well as reading our GPS-enabled audio tour . 

Ticket Prices:

  • $19.50 for Adults
  • $10.75 for Children (4-12)
  • More information or to purchase tickets .

Reviews of Arlington Cemetery Trolley

It looks like most of the guests who have taken this tour enjoyed themselves, as the company currently has a 4 out of 5 stars rating on TripAdvisor. 

Fortunately, few of the complaints had anything in common, so it’s not likely that these issues are indicative of a larger problem.  

We also offer walking tours of the cemetery that allow you to take in these hallowed grounds at a leisurely pace and understand the stories of those resting here. Our professional guides also make sure that you're in the best place at the right time for the changing of the guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier - something the trolley tours do not do!

Searching Availability...

If you're hoping to experience both Mount Vernon, this company offers a combo tour that includes travel and entrance.

Clocking in at a total of 5 hours, the trip begins with a journey to George Washington's estate and finishes off with a guided walk-through of ANC. 

Prices are a lot higher than a trolley ticket, but you'll also get a lot more bang for your buck.

  • $84 for Adults
  • $74 for Children (3-12)
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours before the tour
  • Purchase tickets here .

USA Guided Tours currently has an overall rating of 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor. The majority of reviewers absolutely adored this trip to Mount Vernon and Arlington.

Some guests even indicated that their tour guides managed to keep younger visitors entertained throughout the excursion.

This combo package is especially popular among families and couples.

Sadly, DC Duck Tours has closed!

NIGHT BUS TOURS OF DC

There is something truly beautiful about seeing the famous monuments and historic locations in Washington, DC all lit up at night. 

We think our walking tours of DC are the best way to experience the National Mall and other neighborhoods, but sometimes you just want to sit.

Thankfully, there are a lot of night bus tours offered by the services listed above. For those that we have listed above, we won't repeat the company overviews.  

Tours range from large group double-deck open-top buses to smaller, more intimate (and more expensive) shuttle buses.  

USA Guided Tours is one of the better-reviewed bus tour companies in DC.

The DC at Dusk Tour has both a driver and a tour guide and your tour guide will join you for guided strolls through each stop, which is helpful as sometimes the sights cannot be fully experienced from the road. 

This is a premium service with a maximum of 30 guests per tour and is thus reflected in the prices.  

The tour stops at and includes guided walking tours at the following locations:

  • US Capitol Building
  • White House
  • World War II Memorial
  • Jefferson Memorial
  • Martin Luther King Memorial
  • Korean War Memorial
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • Vietnam Memorial

You can meet your tour at the Naval Memorial conveniently located downtown on Pennsylvania Ave NW - there is a Metro station right there on the Green/Yellow lines.

  • 3-hour tour departing at 7:30 pm.
  • Members of the Military save $9 on tickets.
  • $58 for Adults (additional fee for hotel pick up)
  • $48 for Children (additional fee for hotel pick up)
  • Purchase your tickets here .

BIG BUS DC NIGHT TOUR

This two-hour tour begins just after the sun goes down, allowing you to see what the nation’s capital looks like after dark.

Unlike their other offerings, the Big Bus Night Tour includes a live guide that will explain the significance of every landmark on your journey.  

The night tour is not a hop-on-hop-off tour like their day tours, rather you will see most of the sights listed on their page from the bus.

However, the tour does include  1 stop where your tour guide will accompany you to the Lincoln, Vietnam, and Korean War Memorials.  

Reviews of Big Bus's night tour are better than the company as a whole.

This is probably due to the fact that passengers are guaranteed one bus for the entire evening and will not have to wait for the next bus, as they do with the daytime hop-on, hop-off tours.

2 Hour Tour

  • $59 for Adults
  • Check the Big Bus website for more details .

OLD TOWN TROLLEY MONUMENTS BY MOONLIGHT TOUR

In addition to their hop-on-hop-off National Mall and their Arlington National Cemetery trolley services, Old Town Trolley also offers a night tour.

Professional guides will lead you around the city and provide a plethora of information about the history of our nation.

This is not a hop-on-hop-off tour, rather you will make 3 stops with your tour guide, as opposed to Big Bus's 1 stop, including a stop at the Iwo Jima Memorial.  

Like Big Bus, Old Town Trolley's night tour gets good overall reviews. Complaints seem to be the chaotic boarding processes and plastic windows, but the vast majority rate this tour from very good to excellent.

2 ½ Hour Tour

  • $58 for Adults (can be more expensive if you book last minute)
  • $38 for Children
  • Children under 4 ride for free

BI-PARTISAN TOURS

DC Bus Tour

Epic Evening Bus Tour

NOTE: This tour has currently halted operations and they are not offering bus tours as of August 2023.

Discover all of the most significant locations in DC during the evening!  There are a few good points for this tour.

  • First, it's a small group (up to 11 people) tour.
  • Second, Bi-Partisan Tours is one of the highest-rated tour companies.
  • Third, this night tour visits the Air Force Memorial, which most other companies don't do, and this stop is a real treat at night.

However, this is a driver-guide-only tour, so there is no tour guide to accompany you through the memorials which can be a negative if you have any questions while at the sites since many sites cannot be seen from the coach.

With that said, none of the reviewers seem to have any issues with this aspect and the guided bus portion seems to make up for it.

They do offer hotel pick-up and drop-off.

As the tour is a small group, they do allow flexibility with the itinerary and are sometimes are able to incorporate a specific request like Embassy Row or the Kennedy Center.

BUS TOURS TO MOUNT VERNON AND OTHER DAY TRIPS

Several DC bus tour operators offer bus tours to Mount Vernon Estate, the home of George Washington, which lies 16 miles (25 km) south of the District of Columbia.  

Other tours will visit Thomas Jefferson's Monticello as well as Gettysburg Battlefield Park .

Additional popular day trips from DC include Yorktown, Colonial Williamsburg, Harper's Ferry, NYC, and vineyard and winery tours.

Bus Tours to Mount Vernon Estate

There are a few bus companies with regularly scheduled tours from Washington, D.C. to Mount Vernon.  

Expect the tour to last 5 - 6 hours round trip, unless the tour includes a stop in Arlington National Cemetery, which will add 2 hours to the trip.  

Most tours pass through Old Town Alexandria for a quick view.  

Be sure to read our guide to Mount Vernon Estate before you go.  

It is also possible to take mass transit to the estate as well as a boat cruise.

NOTE: Entry to Mount Vernon is included for free with the purchase of the Explorer Pass, a tourist attraction discount pass.  

USA Guided Tours

There is still one option for a private luxury bus or minivan half-day tour that includes Mount Vernon and Old Town Alexandria.

This tour includes transportation to and from Washington DC with stops in Old Town Alexandria and Mount Vernon.

You'll have a live guide and an entrance ticket to tour inside the mansion at Mount Vernon.

It has great reviews about the cleanliness of the bus, the professionalism and knowledge of the guide, and the quality of the tour stops.

Purchase your tickets here.

Use our  Guide to the Circulator's National Mall  route as a self-guided bus tour of the memorials and museums.

Are Bus Tours a Good Way to Travel?

Washington, DC is a very walkable city if you're looking to explore the main sites, but some guests prefer to look into bus tours.

If you're looking to explore some of the further afield sites like the Iwo Jima Marine Corps Memorial (which is accessible by Metro and walkable from our Arlington Cemetery tour) or the US Air Force Memorial, a bus tour is a great idea.

Something to note is that on the National Mall , having a bus doesn't actually save you any walking!

Due to the location of WWII, Vietnam, Korean, and Lincoln Memorials and their designated pick up/drop off locations for buses, you'll still need to walk around the memorials just as much as you would on a walking tour of the National Mall.

Some of the DC Bus tours do offer double-decker buses and there is hop on hop off options.

These can be a great way to get around the city between tourist attractions.

PROS OF A BUS TOUR

You can get to locations that are further away.

Climate controlled vehicles.

A hop-on hop-off bus tour can save you time and money on transportation costs.

CONS OF A BUS TOUR

Pre-recorded commentary (unless you get a guided bus tour!)

Not able to ask questions easily about what you're seeing.

Long waits between buses (unless you get a guided bus tour!)

Washington DC Travel Tips and Hacks

And much, much more

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Gray Line DC specializes in Washington DC Tours. Our DC tour guides will bring the nation’s capital alive with stories and events that will inform you, entertain you and leave you with cherished memories.

Since 1974, Gray Line DC has been known for providing outstanding traveler experiences and we offer a wide range of sightseeing tours as well as first-class charter bus service in the Greater Washington, DC, area. We also provide charter service throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

Gray Line DC are experts in creating custom trips to theme parks, amazing shopping experiences, and fantastic sightseeing opportunities. We cater to churches, schools, and business groups. Our tour guides will bring the nation’s capital alive with stories and events that will inform, entertain and leave you with cherished memories and experiences.

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You’ve arrived! Now, get the insider’s view of the city aboard Old Town Trolley! Our DC Tours show you the best spots first, giving you the most comprehensive sightseeing experience of The Nation’s Capital.

Less stopping, more sightseeing

We may not be as old as the monuments, but as DC’s oldest tour company we know this city better than anyone else. We also know that the quality of your tour doesn’t depend on the mere number of tour stops, so we’ve carefully crafted our tour route, selecting the right amount of stops at all the right places with minimal interruptions.

Every seat is the best seat with our state-of-the-art stadium trolleys.

Monuments by Moonlight Tour

Rated as one of the Top 20 Best Kept Secrets in Washington DC by FOX News. Experience The Nation’s Capital in a different light with our DC Night Tour .

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Visiting with friends and family that don’t speak English? Our new exclusive foreign language app is here to help! Now you can enjoy live narration in 7 different languages. Sit back, relax, and enjoy all the sights and sounds via a fully-narrated tour through our nation’s capital.

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787 reviews

Old Town Trolley Tours Washington DC 4.2

Choose Your Adventure

Whether you’re just breezing through or enjoying an extended stay, we’ve got several options to choose from to help you maximize your time in DC and still see the best first! Buy Your Tickets Online and Save!

“Hop aboard one of our trolleys and you’ll experience Transportainment ® , a delightful combination of transportation and entertainment.”

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1-Day Old Town Trolley Tour

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  • Hop On & Off at 15 Old Town Trolley Stops
  • Fully Narrated Tour of Washington DC
  • Our trolleys are all weather - rain or shine
  • BEST VIEW! Tallest vehicles allowed by law with stadium seating
  • Over 100 points of interest

Old Town Trolley Tour & Arlington National Cemetery Tour

Left picture: Washington DC Trolley driving by the Museum of the American Indian; right picture: Arlington National Cemetery grounds with Arlington House in the background

  • 50%* Discount on Arlington Tour Included In 1-Day Package
  • Includes separate ticket to Arlington National Cemetery Tour*
  • Trolley Tour and Arlington Cemetery Tour do not have to be taken on the same day

Monuments by Moonlight

monuments by moonlight lincoln memorial

  • See the city’s most popular monuments in a different light
  • Stops at FDR, Lincoln, Vietnam Veterans, Korean War and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorials
  • Hear historical tales and anecdotes

Arlington National Cemetery Tours

picture of arlington national cemetery vehicle driving past arlington house and tombstones in foreground

  • Learn about cemetery's history and heroes from knowledgeable guides
  • Be transported to notable graves and memorials
  • Tours depart every 30 minutes
  • Relax on our comfortable tour vehicles

Why use Old Town Trolley Tours in Washington DC

  • Riding around the Beltway for over 30 years as DC’s longest-running city tour!
  • All our DC tours are 100% live in real time - No pre-recorded narration
  • The finest, most highly-trained and knowledgeable guides
  • Unlimited hop-on & hop-off as often as you like all day long
  • Proudly owned and operated in the United States
  • The only tour authorized to enter the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery*
  • Exclusive foreign language tour app offered in 7 languages

The best way - Washington DC

Sun, Rain or Snow...

We’re dc’s best all-weather touring experience.

  • Best view! State-of-the-art stadium trolleys
  • Every seat is the best seat!
  • All-weather trolleys - rain or shine! Our vehicles get the job done
  • Onboard monitors display historical imagery
  • Comfortable padded seats for a pleasant tour

Your Vacation… All Mapped Out For You!

  • Trolley Routes & Stops
  • Helpful information
  • Points of Interest
  • Shopping & Entertainment
  • Restaurants & Bars
  • And much more!

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OLD TOWN TROLLEY TOURS

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Old Town Trolley Tours

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March 1 – January 1: Daily. January 2 – February 28: Thursdays – Sundays only. Closed Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays.

Hours: 9am – 4pm.

Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas.

For more information go to Old Town Trolley Schedule  information.

Schedules for our Washington DC tours are subject to change. Please call for the most current information: (202) 832-9800

Arlington Tours vehicle driving past Arlington House in background and grave sites and trees in foreground

Arlington National Cemetery is open 363 days a year.

Operating Hours: 8:30am – 4:00pm.

Special Operating hours: Memorial Day – Tours will begin at 2:00pm. Veterans Day – Tours will begin at 2:00pm.

Closed on Wreaths Across America: Wreaths In Day (December 2024 date coming soon) and Wreaths Out Day (January 2025 date coming soon).

GENERAL INFORMATION: (866) 754-9014 GROUP TOURS: (202) 832-2008

Lincoln Memorial at dusk in Washington DC

Daily. 7:15pm – 8:00pm.

Closures: Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. July 4: Closed. Closed for Army Ten Miler.

For more information, go to Monuments by Moonlight Schedule .

Reservations are required. Call for availability prior to making your e-ticket purchase:

(202) 832-9800

What are the most popular stops on the DC tour route? + -

We take great pride in providing an itinerary that showcases all the great aspects of each city during our tours. The most popular stops on our DC tour include the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Arlington National Cemetery, the U.S. Capitol, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and the Lincoln Memorial.

How long is the DC tour route from start to finish? + -

In total, the day tour route is approximately one hour and 45 minutes long.

What neighborhoods does the tour visit? + -

The Old Town Trolley Tour offers a comprehensive experience of the following neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.:

Downtown D.C.: Explore the heart of the nation’s capital, where iconic landmarks such as the White House, National Mall, and Washington Monument are located.

Capitol Hill: Discover the historic neighborhood surrounding the U.S. Capitol, known for its charming row houses, Supreme Court, and Library of Congress.

Lincoln Memorial: Visit this iconic memorial while enjoying scenic views of the Reflecting Pool and the National World War II Memorial.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial: Pay tribute to the civil rights leader in West Potomac Park.

Smithsonian Museums: Explore the area around the National Mall, home to numerous Smithsonian museums, including the National Museum of American History and the National Air and Space Museum.

Tidal Basin: Enjoy the beauty of the Tidal Basin, known for its cherry blossoms and the Jefferson Memorial.

FDR Memorial: Delve into the history of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s era at this memorial, located near the Tidal Basin.

Arlington National Cemetery: Cross the Potomac River to visit this renowned cemetery, where you can witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

These neighborhoods offer a diverse range of attractions and historical significance, making the Old Town Trolley DC Tour an ideal way to explore the nation’s capital.

Does the tour run on holidays and holiday weekends? + -

Go to the Old Town Trolley Schedule for more information.

How often do tours run throughout the day? + -

Old Town Trolley Tours of DC operates the city’s largest fleet of sightseeing vehicles, and this allows us to pick up and drop off more frequently than any other trolley company. The frequency of the trolleys depends on the time of the year, as well as traffic and weather conditions.

Which DC tours give me access to Arlington National Cemetery? + -

1. Old Town Trolley Ticket – Every Old Town Trolley day tour ticket offers a shuttle from the Lincoln Memorial stop to Arlington National Cemetery. Visitors can enter and walk Arlington at their leisure.

2. Old Town Trolley + Arlington Cemetery Tour Package – This package includes guided-tour access to Arlington and 10 unique stops at the most notable landmarks, including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the John F. Kennedy gravesite, and Arlington House. A loop gives visitors the chance to hop on and off at a variety of key points of interest.

3. Monuments by Moonlight + Arlington Cemetery Tour Package – This package includes a nighttime tour of DC’s monuments, which offers a unique perspective of the monuments, and a separate ticket for Arlington National Cemetery tours for use at another time. With the Monuments by Moonlight Tour, you can cover many of these sites in one night, and the package allows you to visit Arlington National Cemetery during the day. Take advantage of the package and enjoy a special discounted rate. Transportation to Arlington is not included in the Monuments by Moonlight package.

What is the National Mall, how large is it, and does Old Town Trolley cover it all? + -

Our DC tours cover a majority of the National Mall, with stops at several Smithsonian museums and National Monuments and Memorials, such as the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, and the FDR Memorial.

In what order should I see the monuments in DC? + -

It’s important to realize that there is no “best” order to see the monuments in DC. It’s really up to you and what you want to see first. However, if you’re looking for a logical and efficient route, an Old Town Trolley Tour is a fantastic way to see all of the best monuments in Washington. By following the tour, you will be able to see all of the important monuments in a logical order. Start with the National Mall, home to some of the most iconic monuments in DC, such as the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Continue your monument tour with a visit to the World War II Memorial. This memorial honors the 16 million Americans who served in World War II and the more than 400,000 who gave their lives. It’s a beautiful and moving tribute that will leave you feeling very patriotic.

You can finish up with a stop at Arlington National Cemetery, where many of our nation’s heroes are buried, such as John F. Kennedy and the unknown soldiers from various wars.

How long does it take to visit the National Mall? + -

The National Mall is home to several monuments, including the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, among others.

We suggest deciding which monuments and memorials you want to visit and planning your itinerary accordingly. However, with over 2 miles of history to explore, it can be a daunting task to see everything efficiently. Old Town Trolley Tours has a special package that includes unlimited hop-on, hop-off access to their trolley system for one day. That means visitors can take their time exploring the National Mall at their own pace. The trolleys cover most of the area’s main attractions, including the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the Smithsonian museums. In total, the trolley route is approximately one hour and 45 minutes long, meaning visitors can take advantage of the unlimited access to create their own itinerary through the National Mall.

Can you tour the National Mall at night? + -

Many monuments on the National Mall are open 24/7, which makes it possible to experience them at any time of the day or night. However, visiting them during the night provides a unique opportunity to see them at rest. The memorials and landmarks are lit up, creating a mesmerizing contrast against the dark sky. The National Mall at night is peaceful and calming and sets an entirely different mood than during the daytime. There are fewer crowds, which makes the experience more intimate and allows you to take your time to appreciate the structures’ details and beauty.

The Monuments by Moonlight Tour will take you on a journey through history and showcase the stunning beauty of the monuments when they are illuminated. Embark on an exciting journey through DC’s historic neighborhoods. Once you reach the National Mall, you will experience the incredible beauty of the monuments at night. You’ll tour famous landmarks such as the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and, as you explore them in the evening, you will get fascinating insights into their history and significance. The monuments and memorials are beautifully illuminated at night, giving them an almost ethereal look, which adds to the experience.

How long does it take to visit Washington? + -

You can experience the best of the city in two days, especially if your group chooses Old Town Trolley for your transportation needs. You’ll be able to see the most popular sites without getting lost or spending too much time figuring out the city layout by yourself. The trolley stops at various landmarks across the city, including the U.S. Capitol and the Smithsonian museums. That way, you get more out of your time and an immersive experience!

What are the most famous attractions in Washington, D.C.? + -

There are a few Washington landmarks that definitely cannot be missed:

1. The National Mall is the first attraction that comes to mind while visiting Washington. It is essentially a walkable park that connects the White House to the Lincoln Memorial. The park is adorned with some of the most impressive monuments and memorials, including the Jefferson Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and the Washington Monument, which serves as the centerpiece of the park.

2. The White House is the official residence of the President of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and was built in 1800. Visitors can take guided tours of the White House but must secure their bookings months in advance. The White House gardens are open to visitors every day of the year.

3. The 19 Smithsonian museums have something for everybody, from space exhibitions at the Air and Space Museum to the hidden stories of African-American history in the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

4. The United States Capitol Building is the home of the U.S. Congress. Visitors can take guided tours of the Capitol that include visits to the House and Senate galleries and an overview of the U.S. Congress’ history and workings. A new addition is the Capitol Visitor Center, which offers interactive displays that showcase the Capitol’s history.

5. Arlington National Cemetery is America’s most famous military cemetery. It was founded during the American Civil War, and several thousand service members and their families have been laid to rest here over the years. The cemetery features exquisite headstones of service members and families, notably the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which is guarded by the soldiers of the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment.

Can you see everything in Washington, D.C. in one day? + -

With so many landmarks, museums, and monuments, it can be overwhelming to see everything D.C. has to offer in just one day. But, don’t worry — we have a solution! Start your day early with a hop-on, hop-off tour of the city. With Old Town Trolley, you’ll have access to the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial, Capitol Hill, and more. Take advantage of this opportunity to immerse yourself in U.S. history, admire iconic buildings, and learn about the city’s vibrant political culture.

Before you hop off the trolley at each stop, make sure to listen to the onboard narration. This will provide you with a wealth of historical and cultural information about the landmark or museum you are visiting. You can always hop back on the next trolley when you’re ready to move on to the next destination.

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    Here are just a few reasons why Old Town Trolley is the Best Sightseeing Tour in town: 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. 15 convenient stops. Most frequent hop on & off all day tour of Washington DC. Ride up high without worrying about the weather. Start your Washington DC tour at any of our convenient stops. More than 100 Points of Interest.

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    Washington DC Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour. Duration Approx.: 1 day. Enjoy panoramic views of Washington DC from an open-top bus. Visit the city's main sights and attractions including The White House. Hop off at any of the 15 conveniently located bus stops across the city. Book Now.

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    From. $59.70. SAVE UP TO 14%. Book This Tour. 50%* Discount on Arlington Tour Included In 1-Day Package. Hop On & Off at 15 Old Town Trolley Stops. Fully Narrated Tour of Washington DC. Our trolleys are all weather - rain or shine. Over 100 points of interest.

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    Briana A. Thomas is a local journalist, historian, and tour guide who specializes in the research of D.C. history and culture. She is the author of the Black history book, Black Broadway in Washington, D.C., a story that was first published in Washingtonian in 2016.