Visiting London can seem daunting given the city's massive size. Understandably, you want to know how to get around quickly and efficiently to see as many sites as possible. The best tip for tourists is to figure out what you want to do and where it is located. Base your transportation off of that. Read on for some London travel tips on how to choose the best method of transportation for you.
Obtaining a Visitor Oyster Card before you arrive in London is highly recommended. Oyster Cards are the passes used to pay for public transport in the city and are the cheapest way to travel. They come fully charged, but you can always add on more money if you travel a lot. From londonconnection “You can ride the bus, tube, or national rail system for this same fare — and can even mix them up on the same day.” The cards have a daily credit limit so that you will save money on multiple trips. Just touch your card to the reader and get on with the day's adventures. Visitor Oyster Cards even come with discounts to popular stores and attractions of interest to tourists. Get one. You will be thankful later.
The most recommended transportation method in London is taking the Tube, London’s subway/train system. It is fast, convenient and inexpensive. Like taking public transportation in any major city, however, try to avoid taking it during rush hours. From londonpass “You can expect the trains and stations to be overcrowded between 07:30 and 09:30 in the morning and between 17:00 and 19:00 in the evening.” With 11 Tube lines, the metro system in London is extensive, yet rides are relaxing. You might even find you smile when you are reminded to "mind the gap."
London's iconic red buses are not hard to spot. Take a ride on one using your Oyster Card, and watch the city go by. Bus services run all day, so taking one is convenient. It is also a uniquely London experience. Bus tours are also a common appearance, with the most common being a hop-on, hop-off tour. From freetoursbyfoot “The most popular kind of bus tour here in London is a hop-on, hop-off tour. This means that the buses are continually driving around pre-defined routes in London and visitors can use their ticket to jump on at any stop, and can get off at whichever stop they choose.”
Is the Tube not your cup of tea? Take cabs. London's taxi drivers are some of the most knowledgeable in the world; drivers must pass an exam to be licensed. Be aware there are several different kinds of cabs with different prices and levels of service.
Some places, especially in Central London, are close by and can be accessed on foot. For example, Harrods and the Natural History Museum are so close together that taking the Tube is inefficient. There are several different path ideas depending on where you are located and what you want to see.
Keep these tips in mind, and you should enjoy your trip. Pick up some yummy English food, and you will be sure to have an experience for a lifetime Happy traveling!
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