Verona is my favorite city in Italy. With dozens of attractions to see and buckets of information to gather, it can seem overwhelming to explore. The Verona Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour is a great way to get started.
4 Reasons to Choose a Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour
There are hundreds of Hop-On, Hop Off Bus Tours all around the world. Just about every major city has them. Sometimes they can seem like a lot of money or just a tourist trap. Perhaps they aren’t for everyone, but I find them quite helpful, informative and convenient.
Perfect for a Rainy (or Hot) Day
Every city in the world has bad weather days. Usually it’s a cold, windy, rainy day that’s threatening to ruin your vacation. Thanks to Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tours, I’ve been able to explore three different cities on days when I would have otherwise been enduring the wind and rain. Some of the buses have open decks on the top, such as in Bath, England, but you can always escape into the lower deck to enjoy the tour and see the city.
A Saving Grace for Those With Decreased Mobility
A bus tour will always be the best option for those who have difficulty moving about. Often I’ve traveled with my octogenarian father, and walking from one attraction in the city to another was out of the question. With Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tours, we were able to get to all the key attractions.
Good For Big Cities
Many Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tours operate in huge cities. Places like Los Angeles, New York, London, Rome, Paris, Dubai…the list goes on…just can’t be easily explored by foot, and the cost of public transportation can really start to add up. Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tours are a great alternative to public transportation. Some of the tours also include discounts or free entry to attractions around the city.
Informative and Fun
I think the main reason to take a Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour is for the information you get. Public transportation doesn’t tell you thinks about the city you’re driving around. With the bus tours, you get to listen to details along the route. The best Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tours are those with a live guide, like the one I had in Bath.
The Verona Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour
Verona isn’t the biggest city to get around. Thus, you might not think that a bus tour is worth it. I might have agreed, except that it was raining on the day that I did the tour and two of the attractions are far enough outside the city to warrant a bus. In fact, I never would have known about one of the attractions without the tour, and it turned out to be one of my favorite.
The Verona Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour doesn’t include tickets to any of the stops on the route, yet I still think it’s a great option for exploring Verona. There are two separate routes that the bus takes, both leaving from the same spot in front of the Gran Guardia Palace on the south end of Piazza Bra (the same square that has the Verona Arena on the north side).
You can either buy a 24- or 48-hour ticket. If you’re using the bus tour for mobility, I do not recommend the 24-hour ticket. Unless you’re only in Verona for one day, it’s not enough time. Each of two routes of the tour takes an hour. Between the 16 stops (8 on each route), there are about a dozen key attractions to visit. Many of those attractions take an hour or two to get through. So you’re looking at a good 20 hours to explore Verona, and thus the two-day ticket is worth it.
On the other hand, several of the attractions are in the city center and within easy walking distance. If you’d prefer to get a few more steps in, just take the Verona Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour for a single day to get all information from the audio guide and learn your way around Verona.
Which Stops to Get Off At
As mentioned, there are 16 stops between the two routes on the tour. A couple stops overlap, and others don’t really have attractions at them (like the train station). Here are my suggests for what attractions to see.
Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore
After the train station, this is the first stop on the red line of the tour. I don’t know why I wasn’t expecting to see churches like this in Verona, but San Zeno is huge! It reminds me of the cathedral in…umm…Ghent…Bath…gosh, I can’t actually remember where it was, but it has a big crypt under the main…okay, my knowledge of church terminology is rubbish. Anyway, it’s really gorgeous inside, but maybe I say that about most churches. C’est la vie.
Museo Di Castelvecchio (Castle Vecchio Museum)
This is one of my favorite attractions in Verona, but also one of the biggest to explore. The two levels of the castle are full of sculptures, paintings, frescoes and other works of art. It’s also a castle, so there are different corridors and towers to explore. If you’re really into the art, you could easily spend a couple hours here. You might want to schedule it for a different day than the bus tour, depending on what other attractions you get to. Then again, if you’re on the bus for mobility purposes, go through this attraction as part of the bus tour as it’s not clumped up with all the other attractions in the center of town. This attraction is on the red line which only comes every hour, so you’ll have to time your visit in order to keep from waiting a long time for the next bus.
Santuario della Nostra Signora Di Lourdes
This is the hardest attraction in town to get to without transportation. The bus will stop there for a few minutes. I’d recommend getting off the bus, going around the fence to the church, and getting the best panoramic shots of the town. The bus comes every half an hour so you’ll have no problem catching the next one to continue the route.
Museo Archeologico Theatro Romano (Roman Theater Ruins)
The next stop after the church on the hill is the Roman ruins and amphitheater. Yep, Verona has two amphitheaters, although there’s no comparison between their sizes. The museum here isn’t huge, but it has all the archeological finds from the Roman empire. You can also get some other good photos of the city. Plan to spend about an hour touring this museum. It’s on the blue line, which runs every half an hour.
Would I Recommend the Verona Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour
Yes. Even though I love walking and Verona is a small enough city to explore by foot, there are a couple attractions that are easily accessible only by bus. I also got information from the audio guide on the bus tour that I didn’t receive on any other tour in the city.
There are several attractions in the center of town that you don’t really need the bus to get to, such as the Cathedral and Church of Saint Anastasia, Juliet’s House, the Tower of Lamberti, the Scaliger Tombs and of course the Verona Arena. For all the rest, use the bus tour.
- Starting Location: Piazza Bra on the steps of the Gran Guardia
- Hours: Summer – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; winter – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Price: 1-day ticket – €20 ($22.60); 2-day ticket – €24 ($27.10)
- Website: Verona Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour
- What to bring: Walking shoes, a poncho if it’s raining, and your camera.
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Here’s some extra reading to save hundreds on your next vacation or stage of your journey.
- 5 Steps to Book Cheap Flights
- Hostels: To Book or Not to Book
- Is Workaway Worth it for the Traveler?
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