The award-winning Old Town Trolley Tours covers more major capital sites than any other. The attractions include the National ... More
Old Town Trolley Tours
The award-winning Old Town Trolley Tours covers more major capital sites than any other. The attractions include the National Mall , Georgetown , the National Cathedral , and Arlington National Cemetery . The trolleys travel in a continuous loop. Riders can join the tour at any of 19 stops. Stay aboard the entire two hours and listen to an informative narrative, or hop off for a closer look at an attraction. Trolleys roll by every 30 minutes, you can simply reboard and continue the tour.
I can see how the trolleys might not be a good idea during peak season, as there are not many seats (maybe 40?) aboard. Only two people can fit in each seat. We had no problem finding seats as we visited in February. We took reviewers' advice, and started by riding the full tour - that way we could mark where the stops are and not worry about being able to catch another trolley if we "hopped" off. We wanted to see sights we might not have time to walk to, anyway, in addition to getting the commentary.
We encountered several drivers during our three days. All were patient, polite, pleasant, and gave not only commentary, but suggestions, directions, and advice to tourists. A couple of the drivers picked us up or dropped us off when we were not quite at a scheduled stop (where they were able to).
On Saturday, the trolleys ran pretty often, more frequently than every 1/2 hour. We not only took the full tour, but were able to use the trolley the next day to get us to spots that were too distant to walk with small children. We would normally have found the ticket price pretty steep for just a one-time tour ride, but since we got three days through the online deal, and were able to use it for more than just one trip around the loop, I think it was worth it. I do wish they would run later than 5:30, so you could take the tour after the museums have closed. There is a moonlight tour, but that is a separate ticket price. It would be difficult to use it to hop on and off during just one day, as you have to wait each time for another trolley to come, and you only have until 5:30.
All in all, we were pleased with the Old Town Trolley tours. I can see how they might be less than satisfactory in the more popular months, due to overcrowding and traffic, and hot weather testing everyone's patience.
The waits were horrendous. We were in DC in October, hardly the summer tourist season, but we waited and waited and waited. At Arlington, we waited for the better part of an hour for the shuttle back to the pick up point near the monuments, then we took a cab. At least their refund policy is correct - we complained and were refuned our ticket prices, no question. And they included passes to be used the next time we were in any of the towns they service! That's weird customer service - we told them we thought their service was terrible, they apologized, gave us our money back and then we were offered free tickets for the same awful service!
My family of 4 purchased trolley tickets online thinking it was going to be a good way to get around town while learning about the city. We spent most of the time waiting for the trolley, and like others have expressed we had to wait for more than one trolley to come by to pick us up. The drivers were nice and fairly helpful, but having to hear the same info 2-3 times if you want to transfer from the main line to other lines for outlining attractions became boring. One trolley we were on sat at the transfer station, loaded with passengers while the trolley driver smoked a cigarette right out in front of the trolley. I would recommend using the Metro system instead. You come as close to the attractions as this does in a fraction of the time and hardly any waiting around for it. You think you are getting a great deal for your $$ when you are actually paying alot for nothing!!
We waited 45 minutes for a trolley but it was full so was told another trolley would come in 15 minutes to get us but it didn't show up so after 30 more minutes we took a cab to our next destination. Then we tried to catch a trolley at that stop but it was full. My wife sarcastically said to the driver, "You have a great scam going here" and he responded, "You're right." This company should be put out of business for false advertising if not outright fraud. Never, ever, ever, use Old Town Trolley in Washington, DC!
You waste more time waiting for a trolley than actually getting to tour the stops. We had to walk to the next stop because we were unable to get on 4 trolleys. Later that same day, we waited over an hour at the Arlington Cemetery because our shuttle bus never showed up. Missed our shuttle back to the hotel because the shuttle bus was so late and ended up having to pay for a cab to get back. WASTE OF MONEY.
This was a total waste of money. Booked this based on a web review since we had only one day in DC. Spent half the day waiting for the trolleys to come by. On many occasions we had to wait for 2-3 trolleys to pass by before we got a seat. These people wait for the demand to increase before they release all their trolleys. Their trolley frequency is 30 mins (sometimes 40-45 mins) which means that you would have to spend approximately 30 mins (or more if they have more people) at EACH venue i.e. if you wanted to visit 10 venues you would end up waiting for 10x30mins= 5 hrs waiting for a ride.
We ended up waiting in vain for half the day and then decided to cab it around DC. Turned out to be cheaper and a lot faster.
If you have to take a hop-on/hop-off I would recommend Grayline. They had buses come every 10 mins which was great.
Old Trolley talks about knowledgeable, friendly employees who can keep you entertained during the ride. But who really cares. All you need is a fast ride from one location to another so that you don't waste your time waiting.
My husband and I and our two teenagers took the old town trolley in DC in July. It was great. The drivers are knowledgable and the stops were interesting. We never waited more than 10 minutes for another trolley. We would definitely do this again.
During the blazing hot, crowded summer months, these can be miserable tours. The trolleys are hot, always crowded, and there is quite a bit of walking still required once you step off the bus.
During the cooler (less crowded) seasons, the Trolley is usually fantastic. Most of the guides do an excellent job narrating (mixing knowledge and humor), it's far easier than hopping on and off of public transport, and they come by regularly enough to minimize wasted time at the Trolley station. Usually high on our list of recommendations for guests that stop by for a visit.
The price of the tickets is far less than any other above-ground transportation and much easier and less crowded than the metro system and you actually get to go by and see many attractions whether you choose to get off or not. I have been to DC four times and used this tour on my first visit. I found that it served us well for first-timers to all the monuments and such wanting to get the most bang for our buck! The slight wait time between trolleys was a nice rest because you do a lot of walking in DC and the drivers gave good information about the sites as you went along. They did harp a bit about wanting tips though which annoyed me.
total disappointment! Drop off points are far walks from sights, company sells WAY oo many tickets for them to handle. We had to wait for serveral tolleys to come by before we could find one with enough room on it for our 6 person group to get on. Very bad customer service. Trolleys would go by stops that we were standing at and not even stop for passengers! Too much money for too little service!
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