Frequently Asked Questions

Our staff are more than happy to answer any and all questions you may have about the Tour and City Sightseeing Oxford in general. However, flick through our FAQs to see if your answer is already here! Alternatively, you can contact us via email or telephone.

Can I purchase my ticket in advance?

Yes – please click here to book and pay securely online, using your credit or debit card, or PayPal.
Advance purchase vouchers are valid for three months from the point of issue and can be exchanged for a ticket with any of our drivers or ticket sellers.
Please see our terms & conditions for more details.

What does the walking tour include?

A 30 minute walking tour of the areas you cannot see from the bus, which is included in the price of the bus tour ticket, but can also be bought as a standalone tour at £6.00 for adults and £3.50 for Children. The standalone ticket will be on sale at our railway office only. Tours will leave Stop 8 every 30 mins between 11.20 and 15.50. Due to the popularity of this, we cannot guarantee availability on any specific tour.

If you choose not to take the walk, the bus will continue on our normal route and a recorded commentary will be available in the Guides absence.

Can I cancel my tickets?

All sales are final and tickets cannot be exchanged or money refunded by City Sightseeing – please see our full T&C’s.

Can wheelchair users and buggies travel on your buses?

We endeavour to make our vehicles inclusive to all of our customers and this includes making them as accessible as we can for disabled people and those with buggies.  We are therefore working hard to ensure our entire fleet of buses meets the needs of those of our passengers who use wheelchairs or are in buggies. All of our vehicles are able to accommodate wheelchairs, approved mobility scooters, prams and buggies.  Whilst we welcome these on board for travel, it is at the discretion of the driver as to whether or not there is enough space available.  If you are unsure of the suitability of your wheelchair, mobility scooter or buggy, contact us and we can arrange for a test to take place at our garage.
Wheelchairs, mobility scooters, prams and buggies must not block the gangway of our buses or coaches at any time and the dimensions of any mobility scooter must be in line with the requirements according to the bus’s safety limits.  It is up to the driver to decide if there is sufficient space and his/her decision is final:  Your driver has the right to, therefore, refuse access if he or she feels that there is insufficient space or that there is a risk that, by letting on board such vehicles, this may be to the detriment of the other passengers’ safety.
We would kindly ask all of our customers, where necessary, to keep the wheelchair dedicated space free and, if you board with a buggy or pram and to the extent that it is possible for you to do so, to fold and store them in the luggage space.  We wish to ensure our services are as inclusive as possible and we do therefore appreciate your assistance in permitting those with wheelchairs, mobility scooters, prams and buggies to use our buses. Where it is reasonable to do so in the circumstances, the driver will require non-wheelchair users to vacate the spaces and require, for example, that such non-wheelchair users move to a different part of the bus or even refuse to drive on until space is made available for those persons in wheelchairs.
It goes without saying that we will ensure that our drivers and our vehicles comply with the laws applicable to those who are disabled or using buggies.  This includes ensuring our vehicles are equipped with appropriate bus lowering systems or the appropriate folding or retractable steps and these must not be operated by anyone other than the driver or conductor whenever they consider that a disabled person will need the system to get on or off our buses. Wheelchair users who wish to alight at the next stop can use the bell push near the wheelchair space which lets the driver know that the ramp must be lowered at the next stop.
Sometimes we offer free places, or discount travel, to disabled passengers and their carers.  These are judged on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us if you wish to discuss.

Do tours operate on Sundays?

Yes, we operate tours 7 days a week (with some seasonal exceptions)! Check our Timetable and Prices page for more information.

How do I recognise a City Sightseeing bus?

They will always be bright red buses with the City Sightseeing logo on the side, along with the tour location. In addition, the Green Guide Friday Buses are also included as part of our tour! Our tour buses seat 75 (45 upstairs and 30 downstairs). Most are wheelchair accessible and many offer half-covered upper decks – to guard against the traditional British Summer.

Are tours 'child friendly'?

Yes, children of all ages will enjoy the fun of an open-top double-decker bus. We also offer a very popular “kids’ commentary” with quizzes which many adults enjoy too!

How many different languages are offered?

Multi-lingual (13 languages) recorded commentaries are available on all tours, with selected departures also offering live (English-speaking) guides

Will there be a commentary?

Multi-lingual (13 languages) recorded commentaries are available on all tours, with selected departures also offering live (English-speaking) guides. Kids’ commentary is now also available!

Can I pay with a credit or debit card?

All of our buses are equipped with the latest contactless payment-enabled ticket machines, meaning we now accept all Visa, Mastercard and Maestro credit and debit cards with the contactless symbol, including those issued outside the UK, for transactions up to £30 in value. You can also use Google Pay or Apple Pay on your smartphone or smartwatch to make payment.

If you need to buy different types of tickets you can add these together and pay for them in a single transaction, as you would with cash. If you want to buy several tickets that add up to more than the £30 limit, you can buy these separately using your card or smartphone for each transaction, up to a maximum of three transactions.

Credit and debit cards can also be used to purchase tickets at our sales outlets at Oxford Railway Station and Carfax Tower, and at the Oxford Bus Company Travel shops at Gloucester Green coach station and the High Street.

You can also use your credit or debit card, or your PayPal account with our online booking system. To book online now please click here.

Do I need to keep my ticket?

Yes, your ticket gives you unlimited hop on, hop off travel on our tours for either 24 or 48 hours from the date of issue. When re-boarding simply scan the QR code on your ticket on the bus ticket machine and wait for the green light.

Your ticket also gives you discounts!

  • 20% discount on your food bill when you eat at The Alchemist in Westgate Oxford
  • £1 off entry to Oxford Castle Unlocked
  • 10% discount off your next City Sightseeing tour anywhere else in the world over the next 12 months.

Are any attraction entry tickets or added benefits included in the cost of the tour ticket?

Yes! We have an exclusive City Sightseeing discount of 20% at The Alchemist in Westgate Oxford. Hop-off at Stop 5 to redeem your voucher.

Your ticket also gives you a £1 discount on entry to Oxford Castle Unlocked in the historic Castle Quarter. Hop off at Stop 4 to explore the attraction and, of you’re feeling energetic, climb the 900 year old castle mound!

What are the start and finish times of the tours?

Individual times are shown on our Bus Timetables & Prices page, but typically, our city tour lasts approximately 1 hour and departs every 10 – 15 minutes in the summer and every 20 – 30 minutes in the winter. The first tour begins at 9 30am and our last tour starts at 6 30pm.

Will we be able to recognise the bus stops?

Yes, all bus stops are clearly marked with the City Sightseeing Oxford logo and carry timetable information for the open top tour service.
Download our map for more details on where our stops are located.
If you are unsure just ask one of our drivers or ticket sales staff who will be very happy to assist you.

How is it best to use the hop-on and off feature?

If you are unfamiliar with Oxford or its attractions, we recommend you take one complete circuit and listen to the commentary. You can then decide which places of interest you may want to visit, so you can Hop-off to see them up-close to then hop back on the bus. You can take as many loops on the bus as you wish within your valid ticket period!

Will we receive a full tour commentary if we join at any stop?

Yes, the tour commentary is associated to the stops, so if you stay on the bus you will always hear the full commentary. The main departure point for our tour is Oxford Rail Station but customers are welcome to join and leave us at any of our 20 stops.

Can we join the tour at any stop?

Yes! Because of the beauty of our Hop-on Hop-off policy, you are able to board the bus at any stop on the route to begin your tour.

Do all tours operate all year round?

Yes, although we do run a slightly reduced service between September and March. For full details please check our Bus Tour Timetables & Prices page.

Are tour buses very frequent?

Yes. Our city tour lasts approximately 1 hour and departs every 10 – 15 minutes in the summer and every 20 – 30 minutes in the winter, see our timetables.

What are hop-on hop-off stops?

City Sightseeing tour operate on fixed routes, arranged in such a way they go through key points of interest and attractions in Oxford. Our Hop-on Hop-off stops are carefully selected to enable you to visit these places of interest. You can simply Hop-on or Hop-off at any of the 20 stops on the tour – keep a hold of your ticket for reboarding!

Does City Sightseeing Oxford travel from one city to another?

No, the open top tours only operate within Oxford City.
If you are staying in Oxford for longer and looking to travel further afield why not try some of the following:
Oxford Bus Company operates bus service 500 from Oxford Rail Station to Woodstock and Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill. The service operates every 30 minutes, 7 days per week and we have  combined bus and entry tickets which offer great savings on the walk-up price available at our rail station sales point. For more details and prices please click here.
Thames Travel operates the famous “River Rapids” bus service from Oxford, offering “Terrific Trips along the Thames” to the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside. Explore the mysterious town of Wallingford, the birthplace of Agatha Christie and made famous in TVs Midsomer Murders, or stroll by the river at Henley-on-Thames, one of England’s most beautiful and historic riverside towns. For more details, times and prices please click here.

The airline coach service links Oxford to London Heathrow and Gatwick airports, 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. It’s the quickest and most comfortable way to travel between Oxford and the airports, so why not start your journey in style? For more details and to book online please click here.
Or why not combine a stay in Oxford with a trip to the capital? The X90 coach service connects Oxford to London with luxury coaches operating up to every 20 minutes, 7 days per week. The service calls at Hillingdon, Baker Street, Marble Arch and Victoria and is great value – a day return ticket is £18 and kids go free! For more information please click here.

What is the duration of the tour?

Our city tour lasts approximately 1 hour and departs every 10 – 15 minutes in the summer and every 20 – 30 minutes in the winter, see our timetables (please be aware of potential traffic delays around the route after 4:30PM.)

Will we get to see all the major attractions?

Our tour route is the most comprehensive way to see Oxford’s dreaming spires and iconic historical buildings. Some of the narrower streets in Oxford can only only be accessed on foot and so, if you wish to see these please join our optional walking tour from stop 8.
Check out our map page to see the tour route in more detail and to identify the closest stop to your chosen attraction.