If you’re planning your trip to London and are wanting to find out the best modes of transport in the city, you’re in the right place! We’re here to discuss the best ways to make your way around London, including how to travel into London in the first place. No matter what you’re wanting to do when you’re in London, whether its seeing the beautiful London art or heading to London for business, you have fantastic transport options all over the city to make the most of. So, let’s get into it and find out how you should be travelling around London!
Tube (London Underground)
First up we have the Tube, also known as London underground, which is London’s rapid underground train system. This system is one of the most effective in the world, and we would always recommend it as being one of the best ways to travel into and around London. The Tube spans a huge area of both London itself and the surrounding areas, so your opportunities to explore are endless.
You can easily pay by contactless using your card for each journey and everything will be calculated for you, or you can top up an Oyster card, get the app and pay as you go so you know exactly how much you’re spending. It works out about the same price wise using both of these methods, so it’s really down to personal preference.
It might be quite overwhelming trying to figure out how to use the Tube to begin with, but if you simply Google, “how to get from Marylebone to St Pancras” for example and select the Tube method of transport, it will break the journey down fully for you, including which Tube line you need to use and how often they depart. If you’re still a bit stuck, ask one of the staff for some help.
Overall, the Tube is cost effective, very quick and simple to use once you know how, just try to avoid it during rush hours as it gets very very busy indeed!
Trains are a great option to get you into London itself, as they are efficient, very easy to use and trains go in and out of London very regularly. If you have been visiting other cities in the UK without a car, like Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester or Birmingham for example, it is a great way to travel across the country. You can get to London from anywhere in the UK (it may require a few changes in some cases), so this will be an important part of your journey if you are coming from further afield. We would recommend the Tube to actually get around London, as you won’t come across many trains in the city centre itself other than the Tube. However, as a means of getting into London without a car, this is definitely the way to go.
If you are travelling in a group and have a car, driving into London and parking can often be more cost effective than getting the train, so this is definitely worth looking into if you are continuing on your journey after London! Whilst we wouldn’t recommend relying on your car as a means of transport around the city whilst you’re visiting, as it can be very busy, it is a great way to get into the city and to keep your car secure whilst you’re there.
We’d recommend parking somewhere nice and central just in case you do need your car for something whilst you’re there, like a Marble Arch car park, so that you’re really close to all of the amenities. We’d definitely recommend staying around here too, as it is a great place to explore all of London from.
Hop On Hop Off Bus
We’ve all heard of the iconic London buses, but if you’re a tourist in London, then the Hop On Hop Off buses might be a better fit for you! You can buy tickets for either 24, 48 or 72 hours in most cases, with the ticket becoming more cost effective the longer it is. There are stops all over the city, so you can explore London’s most iconic areas and landmarks so easily. The buses come round very frequently, so you can simply hop back on whenever you want to. This can also be a romantic activity to do in London!
The beauty of this is that if you don’t fancy getting off somewhere, you don’t have to. You could also use the bus to get close to somewhere you really want to see if it isn’t an exact stop. The entire route usually takes around 2 hours (if you don’t stop), but usually people want to hop off and explore. You can also make the most of the commentary on board (sometimes an actual guide, sometimes its a virtual guide and you will be given earphones), where you will learn a bit about some of the iconic spots along the route, not just the places you’ll get off at.
Overall, the Hop On Hop Off bus is a fantastic means of transport that we would definitely recommend if you want a good overview of everything London has to offer.
Last but not least, we have the most eco-friendly, affordable and adventurous method of transport of all, which is walking! Walking around London can be a fantastic option, as you get to see the little nooks and crannies of London that you might otherwise miss. You can stop off anywhere you’d like or in any shop you want, you get your steps in whilst you’re away and it’s completely free. Just make sure you have a very comfy, worn in pair of shoes and something comfy like a fall jumpsuit and you’re good to go!
There are actually free walking tours all over the city if you’d like to join in on one and learn a bit more about the city, or if you don’t want to have to go with a group, you can find the routes online and do the tours yourself.
For us, the best way to do it is to decide an area you want to focus on that day, know the vague direction you’re going in and then just be spontaneous and enjoy the walk. This is the best way to explore London and going off the beaten track slightly will bring all kinds of wonderful surprises you might not find otherwise, from cute cafes to the best London souvenirs. Plus, you’ll be able to burn off the afternoon tea and fish and chips you’ll be eating during your time in this fantastic city!