Getting Around London
Getting around London can seem quite confusing but here are some of my favourite ways of getting around that may help you.
I always use Google Maps when I am trying to get somewhere in London, it’s brilliant because it has all the times and routes for public transport so I can see if it’s easier to walk, get a taxi, get on the tub or bus it.
Although this is one of the fastest ways of getting around, it can also be one of the most confusing ways, especially if you have to change lines during your journey but if you get one of the tube journey apps or Google Maps, it will tell you everything you need to know.
Paying has got a lot simpler as well, if you have a debit or credit card which is contactless, you can use it like a Oyster card. Just touch it to the blue pad as you are going in and out of stations, then at the end of the day, the cheapest fare will be worked out and that is the amount that will come off of your card. No need for buying tickets from ticket booths or ticket machines, you just go straight through. You can still use Oyster cards if you have one or would feel better not having to use your bank card.
There are some major pros and cons with getting the bus. Cons are that you could get stuck in traffic or the buses aren’t running on time but the pros are that you get to see so much more of London during your journey and you can still use your contactless card or Oyster card. Just make sure that you tap it on the card sensor when you get on the bus and when you get off.
Open Top Bus
This is one of my absolute favourite ways of getting around London, especially if I am having a sightseeing trip. Check out my post all about my adventures on open top buses. You get to see everything that London has to offer and if you see something you like, you can just get off and then get back on once you have finished having a look around. There are stops by all major landmarks and depending on the company you use, you could get discounts on entrance tickets to attractions and sometimes a river boat tour as well.
The best company I have used is Big Bus Tours, they are more reliable, have cleaner buses, better drivers and better offers. They have 1, 2 and 3 day passes which includes a one way boat trip that is a lot of fun as well.
This is a great way of getting around but you need to be careful of taxi drivers who take advantage of people from out of town and take you on the longer route so you end up paying more. I have had it a few times and have refused to pay the whole fare, I go to London a lot and know some of the routes that a taxi would take. For example, my husband and I went to a signing convention but got a taxi to the hotel so we could drop off our bags. The taxi driver took us on a longer route, he didn’t like it when I asked him what way he was taking us, he must of realised I knew where we needed to go. He tried to take us to the wrong place even though I had been very clear on where we needed to go, I even told him the tube station the hotel was next to. Normally the route was £14 but this time it was £25 and I refused to give him all the money. I wasn’t going to pay extra when he had tried to con us out of money and taken us to the wrong place so that our journey had been made longer.
The best thing that I can suggest doing is to use MiniCabIt, you can book taxis in advance and they can be quite cheap. I’ve used them quite a few times and had no complaints at all.
If you don’t mind walking, this is a great way of seeing the city. A lot of major attractions are within walking distance of each other and you get to see a lot more sights that you may not see on public transport.
If you are planning a trip to London, it might be a good idea to get a hotel so that you can see so much more