We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

City SightSeeing Hop on/Hop off

3 posts
Save Topic
City SightSeeing Hop on/Hop off

Yay or Nay?

9 replies to this topic
Thousand Oaks...
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
13,660 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: City SightSeeing Hop on/Hop off

Yay or Nay ....what?

2. Re: City SightSeeing Hop on/Hop off

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post has been removed at the author's request. The author may post again if desired.

Posts on the TripAdvisor forums may be edited for a short period of time. Once the edit period has expired, authors may update their posts by removing and reposting them.

To read more about editing your posts, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/help/how_to_edit_your_posts

Removed on: 24 March 2018, 01:31
 
Level Contributor
2,312 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: City SightSeeing Hop on/Hop off

Here's a response I posted on 3/14 on the same topic:

There are a number of small shuttle van/VW van guided tours which I would recommend rather than a HOHO. In 4-5 hours you can cover most of the sights (SF is a small town, geographically speaking) and probably have a more personal experience. Check Dylan's or Vantigo.

Depending on time of year, HOHOs have some big disadvantages. They run on designated routes and cannot vary from them even if they're stuck in gridlock traffic. Which they can be. I've been side-by-side with a HOHO while on a city bus. A 15 minute ride was 45 minutes on a Sunday afternoon. Didn't matter to me ... but I would have been put out if I was trying to see my way around the city. The guided tours can deviate around traffic. And there sections of neighborhoods where large buses are not allowed.

Mentioned in this post
Dylan's Tours
Dylan's Tours
2,559 Reviews
San Francisco, CA
Vantigo Tours
Vantigo Tours
1,372 Reviews
San Francisco, CA
West Hollywood...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
Level Contributor
32,865 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: City SightSeeing Hop on/Hop off

There is no easy answer. It depends on what you like. The hop on hop off (hoho) Tour has advantages and disadvantages. It covers tremendous number of attractions and gives you the freedom to design your own itinerary.

On the other hand, because our metro area is so large, designing such an itinerary requires quite a lot of thought and planning – Something that you might not want to do it in favor of taking an organized tour where all of the planning has been done for you

Edited: 24 March 2018, 01:32
Level Contributor
2,312 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: City SightSeeing Hop on/Hop off

HSJ: The OP is asking about a HOHO for San Francisco. We're very petite up here compared to LA!

Mentioned in this post
San Francisco
San Francisco
California
Pacifica, California
Destination Expert
for Pacifica
Level Contributor
10,945 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: City SightSeeing Hop on/Hop off

https://www.yelp.com/biz/city-sightseeing-sa…

I second Maddy's suggestion regarding Dylan's or Vantego.

Mentioned in this post
Dylan's Tours
Dylan's Tours
2,559 Reviews
San Francisco, CA
Thousand Oaks...
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
13,660 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: City SightSeeing Hop on/Hop off

I’m still trying to figure out what this person would like to know.

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
2,864 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: City SightSeeing Hop on/Hop off

Chocolate? Sushi? Liver? Which is good? It comes down to taste.

The hop on hop off tours aren't really my taste. I've briefly considered one in other cities, but then decided on things I wanted to see and just planned and gone myself.

Have you read the reviews, both good and bad?

I've never been on one, but based on routes and reviews, I think they may be useful for someone that mostly wants to get an overview of San Francisco, save a bit of money compared to a guided tour, go around the city and maybe stop off a couple or few places.

In the reviews, one of the more common complaints is that the next bus coming was either delayed or completely full so people couldn't move along on the tour as quickly as they like after getting off somewhere. Probably not always a problem, but more at busy times.

Hop On, Hop Off

---

Pros:

- cheaper than a private or smaller tour

- less planning required, just go around the loop(s) and get off where you're interested

- some have open top if the weather is good

Cons:

- hopping off might sometimes mean waiting a while to get back on

- can't go directly from one point to another, have to go around the loop

- you'll drive by everything in the loop, even if some things don't interest you

- less personalized attention than a smaller tour

Smaller van-style tours (some aspects also apply to larger traditional tours*)

---

Pros:

- no planning of what to see needed*

- more personal attention or answering questions by guide

- guide may modify tour slightly if all people on tour are not interested in something, or adjust stop lengths

- you'll always have a seat when time to re-board*

- may be able to route around traffic or change tour order if advantageous to do so*

Cons:

- more expensive than larger tour or HOHO tour

- you'll stop off at all locations on the tour, whether interested or not (though many companies offer different-length tours you can choose from)*

- defined amount of time on stops, may be shorter or longer than you wish*

Planning and getting around yourself

---

Pros:

- see exactly the things you want and only spend the time you want at each place

- often less expensive than tours

- may do more walking or taking public transit like a local (could also be con)

- often faster, more direct route between stops, though it depends on options and planning

Cons:

- often lots of time planning what to see and do

- more walking or public transit if you go that way (could also be pro)

- getting lost (could also be a pro, sometimes)

- no running commentary, you'll need to read or get info about things yourself

One mistake some visitors make is using a HoHo tour as public transportation. I've seen some people book tickets and then only want to see a few things or go directly to a location that takes a long time to get to by going around the loop. Using the tour buses only as transportation isn't usually very optimal and may waste a lot of time. The hoho buses often do not run in the evening or require a separate ticket for the night tour. The wait for a hoho bus is often longer than a muni vehicle on most of the main lines.

There are also some other tour options in between, such as walking tours (more focused in depth on an area) or phone apps or audio tours that are more DIY.

Edited: 24 March 2018, 16:20
Mentioned in this post
San Francisco
San Francisco
California
Santa Cruz...
Destination Expert
for Santa Cruz
Level Contributor
33,247 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: City SightSeeing Hop on/Hop off

I would go with Dylan or Vantigo. Smaller group, more comfortable, information can be customized for you. In other words, more of a personal tour.

There are some cities where we have enjoyed an HOHO, Barcelona, for example, but I would not choose it for San Francisco.

Mentioned in this post
Dylan's Tours
Dylan's Tours
2,559 Reviews
San Francisco, CA
Vantigo Tours
Vantigo Tours
1,372 Reviews
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco
San Francisco
California
Reply to: City SightSeeing Hop on/Hop off
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted