Posted on 01/04/2021

#Transport #United Kingdom

A guide to help you get around London

London is a ug city, it is home to almost nine million people. London is a blend of Roman walls, Victorian development, as well as post-WWII rebuilding and pockets of constant regeneration. This can make it difficult to navigate, with all the different Tube and train lines.although, thanks to apps, good mapping, signage and of course a little bit of patience, you will be able to visit all of London on public transport. Here's everything you need to know about each mode of transport in London but also the ticketing system.

London is a ug city, it is home to almost nine million people. London is a blend of Roman walls, Victorian development, as well as post-WWII rebuilding and pockets of constant regeneration. This can make it difficult to navigate, with all the different Tube and train lines.although, thanks to apps, good mapping, signage and of course a little bit of patience, you will be able to visit all of London on public transport. Here's everything you need to know about each mode of transport in London but also the ticketing system.

The London Underground

The London Underground © Tktktk / 123RF

The London Underground, also known as the Tube is the quickest way to get around London, despite the fact that there are never-ending upgrades and engineering works that require closures on weekends and out of order escalators. The tube is an underground train system (even though only 45% of it is underground) that is color coded into 11 colours. The tube runs from about 5am to 1am, but this depends on the day of the week. Lines like the Victoria and Jubilee lines, plus most of the Piccadilly, Central and Northern lines run all night on Friday and Saturday to allow people who've been out clubbing or such to get home, this is called the Night Tube, and fares are off-peak. For an easy way to visit London's key locations, use the Piccadilly Line you'll find Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden, Hyde Park Corner and Knightsbridge - and also runs from all Heathrow airport terminals.

Bus

Bus © Dmitry Naumov / 123RF

London is famous for its red double-decker buses. They offer great views of the city, but as you can probably guess, it may be slow, like in any big city, the roads are prone to traffic jams, but also there are other people on the bus who will be hopping on and off. The bus service in London usually runs from 5am to 11.30pm. Most bus stops have LED display systems that tell you when the next bus is due, but it is always handy to have an app such as Citymapper on your smartphone to help you track when the next bus is. If you want to ride one of the one of the old fashioned double-decker buses, look out for Bus Route 15, this line uses the classic Routemaster double-decker bus that connects the Tower of London, St Paul's, the Strand and Trafalgar Square.

On foot

On foot © Iakov Kalinin / 123RF

London is much too big to explore completely on foot, however, once you've found yourself in an area that interests you, be sure to walk around the neighbourhood, you never know, you might discover a hidden gem. We recommend you have a map of London on you, or use a GPS as the winding streets of London are maze-like. There are plenty of bridges that cross the river Thames, and there are two pedestrian tunnels that go under the river, one at Greenwich and another at Woolwich.

Bike

Bike © Chutima Chaochaiya / 123RF

The heavy London traffic can be intimidating for less confident cyclists, but cycling is a great way to get around the city. The city has slowly been improving the cycling conditions by introducing "cycle highways". There are also schemes such as Santander Cycles that are very useful for those who want to cycle through the city, there are also plenty of bike-hire docks, where you can hire a bike for £2 for 30 minutes and another £2 for each additional 30 minutes. Cycling is a great way to go along the Thames, canals and towpath, as well as exploring parks.

Boat

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For an amazing view while exploring, try Uber Boat by Thames Clippers. They offer commuter services. It is a quick and enjoyable ride, you can almost always guarantee a seat. The boats run regularly between Embankment, Waterloo (London Eye), Blackfriars, Bankside (Shakespeare's Globe), London Bridge, Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, Greenwich, North Greenwich and Woolwich piers. You can either buy your ticket from the piers, or you can pay-as-you-go with your Oyster or contactless card.

Taxi

Taxi © Martin Rottler / 123RF

Licensed black-cab drivers have 3 to 5 years training and must take a series of exams. Indeed they must know 25,000 streets within a 6 mile radius of Charing Cross and Trafalgar Square, but also the 100 most-visited spots of the moment, this includes clubs and restaurants. The cabs that are available for hire when they a yellow sign above the windshield is lit. all you have to do is stick your arm out and they will stop. Fares in black cabs are metered, the initial charge £3.20 which rises by 20p over distance traveled or time-taken. You can pay with credit or debit card. There are also minicabs, which are cheaper, but these have to be booked in advance via a cab office or an app, you can't hail one from the streets. The fares for minicabs are set in advance.

Transport passes, tickets and fares

When it comes to buying tickets, it is rather simple, depending on how long you're staying and what you are doing, you can either choose to use contactless, meaning you use your credit or debit card and just tap the card on the monitor to pay. You can also invest in a pay-as-you-go Oyster card. These you can fill up when you like, with the amount you like, you then just "touch in, touch out". For tickets, you can either choose an all day ticket (which for some attractions offers you a deal of buy one get one free), children under the age of five travel for free as long as they are accompanied by an adult.