This is the third city of our Round-The-World Trip that we are working with Big Bus Tours. We previously did Big Bus Tours of Hong Kong and Dubai. Make sure you read about our amazing 7 day Unlimited Attraction Pass trip of Dubai!
I think most people feel that the first day of visiting a new city is overwhelming until you get your bearings. Even though I have visited over 50 countries, I find that my first day is all about orientation and familiarization. Then, the next few days, you can do more in-depth exploration. What better way to orient yourself than from the top deck of a Big Bus Tour!
In Abu Dhabi, we had 3 days, 2 nights so we did the 2 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour exploring the Red and Green Lines. We did the Red Line the first day getting off for a visit to the Corniche, Heritage Village, and the Dhow Cruise. The second day we did the Green Line with a visit to the Grand Mosque and Ferrari World. One of the awesome things about doing the Big Bus Tour of Abu Dhabi is they have a complimentary shuttle back and forth from Mall of the Emirates in Dubai to the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Plus, there is a Red and Green Line Bus waiting for you in Abu Dhabi when you arrive!
Here are some of the places I would suggest visiting:
1) Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque
The first thing we saw when we arrived in Abu Dhabi was the majestic Grand Mosque. This is one of the only mosques in the UAE that is open to visitors so I highly recommend doing the Free Guided Walking Tour (runs 3-4 times/day). You will learn a lot about Arabian culture, Islamic architecture, and Muslim religion. They have free garments for you to borrow during your visit. There is also a Recorded Commentary but I prefer a live person explaining things! Both the interior and exterior are breath-taking!!
2) Heritage Village
One of the best places to see the beautiful skyline of Abu Dhabi is from the Heritage Village. The kids loved playing in the sand while Anne and I relaxed and enjoyed the view. One of the tallest flag poles in the world is on location with the elegant UAE flag flying proudly above the Heritage Village. There are several shops as well as some small museums. We loved the delicious lunch buffet at the on-site restaurant where we hung out.
3) Dhow Boat Trip
One of the best things about Big Bus Tours is all the free add-ons including the complimentary Dhow Cruise that you can take with your Hop-On Hop-Off Tickets. The boat trip is only one stop away on the Big Bus Red Line from the Heritage Village. The Dhow Boats only run in the morning and late afternoon so make sure you plan ahead. There is no commentary onboard – you just enjoy the beauty from the open deck of the Dhow. Watch the video below to see how much our kids enjoyed the Dhow Cruise:
4) Corniche Beach
What better way to unwind than a day at the beach! It’s amazing that Abu Dhabi has such a gorgeous beach in the heart of the city. The hotel we were staying at was very near the beach so it made it convenient to go back and forth. You can rent Quad Bicycles to cycle along the beautiful coastline (either for 4 people, 2 people, or 1 person). The kids loved riding their own bikes. You can watch them riding along the Corniche in the video below:
5) Ferrari World on Yas Island
There is only one Ferrari World on earth so it is a must visit if you enjoy fast cars, fast roller-coasters, and amazing theme parks. I was able to ride the fastest roller coaster in the world as well as the Double Roller Coaster and the roller coaster with the highest loop in the world: Flying Aces. The Big Bus Tours Green Line stops right in front of the main entrance so make sure you plan ahead so you can catch the last Green Line Bus back to Abu Dhabi if you are staying there.
You can do all the above with the 2 day Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour. We are really impressed with the quality of service that Big Bus Tours offers. My wife and I love the commentary, our kids love watching the city from the top deck, and our whole family appreciates how convenient taking Big Bus is since it stops at all the major tourist attractions and the buses run regularly (every 30 mins in Abu Dhabi and every 15 mins in Dubai). We will definitely be doing more Big Bus Tours on our Round-The-World Trip so stay tuned!
Click here to get more info and purchase your own Big Big Tours ticket to both Dubai and Abu Dhabi: