Planning on visiting London and want to know the best way of getting around? Here are seven of the best ways to travel around the city.
The London Underground (AKA ‘the tube’) is often the fastest and most efficient way of getting around. There’s almost always a station in walking distance and you won’t have to deal with traffic. Of course, weekdays at rush hour should be avoided (especially if you’re in a rush, as you may have to queue to get on trains at some stations). The tube is generally quite cheap but prices can get more expensive if you cross zones. Most the locals have Oyster cards, which could save you time and money if you’re regularly visiting London, but may not be worthwhile investing in if you’re visiting for a short break.
There are a number of overground trains across London that you can also use. These include the DLR and suburban national rail services if you’re on the outskirt. Underground tickets may not always be valid on these trains – it’s something worth checking before you plan your journey.
There are bus services running across London – they are generally cheaper than travelling by train, but your journey will take longer. Many people want to experience going on a double-decker bus and it could offer a more scenic way of getting around London than taking the underground. There are also open-top buses with tour guides that you can take around the city.
London’s black cabs are famous around the world. Taking a taxi can be great if you don’t know where you’re going or if you’ve got a lot of luggage – when flying into London via Heathrow, a lot of families will opt for a Heathrow minicab out of convenience when getting to their hotel. Taxis are one of the more expensive options so you may not want to rely on them too heavily if you’re visiting London for a while.
There are a number of riverboats that can take you along the Thames. This is largely a scenic way of getting around London – with most of the landmarks situated along the river, it can be worth taking a Thames boat tour just to see all the major sights. Boat tours aren’t cheap, although some are more affordable than others.
Renting a car in London is generally not advisable due to the cost and congestion, but you could experience London’s roads and dodge the traffic by renting a bike. Because London’s roads can be somewhat chaotic, you’ll want to be a confident cyclist if you’re considering this option.
It’s possible to explore London on foot if you want to save money. Central London (where most of the sights are) is fairly compact and you can walk from Westminster to Tower Bridge in an hour and a half. There are also walking tours that you can take for learning about the history as you walk (some of these are free). Most of London is very safe to walk around – you may just want to be careful of non-touristy areas at night.
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