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Learning how to navigate London before visiting is vital for any tourist. With so many major sights in London to see, the last thing you want is to get lost and lose time. Finding places like Big Ben, Madame Tussauds and St. Paul’s Cathedral is very simple if you do your research beforehand. So learn all about London transportation before you depart from your flat or estate. The time and hassle you save will be well worth it.
Getting to London
Tourists have a variety of ways for getting to London. There are several airports travelers can land at. The Heathrow Airport is roughly 15 miles from Central London and has flights that come and go from all over the world daily. Gatwick Airport is about an hour’s drive to London and also has flights arriving from places as far as Kuala Lumpur and Orlando. Luton Airport is another nearby international airport that is accessible within 30 minutes from many London areas. Stanstead Airport, which is about 40 miles from London, has coaches running all the time into the city and is a smaller airport used mainly for domestic flights and inter-Europe flights. London City Airport is a smaller airport that specialises in flights to other major financial cities like New York, Luxembourg and Munich. Transportation into the city of London from all these airports is simple. Buses, trains, shuttle services, trains and taxis are all available.
Getting to London by ferry offers travelers views of the great Atlantic Ocean. Ferries from other cities in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Europe and even North America head to and from London daily. If you are a lover of the high seas, this is a fitting way to touch down in London. Once you arrive in London, you will have to take public transport to enter the actual city.
Getting to London by train is very possible if you are coming from other places in Europe or from another city within the United Kingdom. Trains to Dublin and Manchester are especially popular and fast. So have a seat. Order a cocktail or pint. And enjoy some countryside scenery.
Getting around London
Once you get to London you still have to worry about getting around London. A lot of work has been put into the transportation systems here and its efficiency has been improving each year. Plan your travel around the city’s sights according to your time, wallet and personal needs.
The London bus system, with 24 hour service, is the cheapest way to get from place to place. If you buy an Oyster Card, fares are even cheaper. The buses, which are double-deckers, move at a surprisingly quick rate. If you go out to enjoy some London nightlife, it’s also good to know that you can use the night buses to get back to your hotel.
Walking and biking in London is a greener way for getting around. Hampstead Health in North London and other parks in London are great places for recreational cycling, running and walking. If you are biking for transportation, be sure to pay attention to cars and other riders. There are also a variety of designed cycling and walking routes within London. The Princess Diana Memorial Walk, tranquil and reflective, gives visitors a chance to meditate and remember the beloved late Princess.
The Tube in London has 11 different lines. It is a bit more expensive than the London buses, but money can also be saved by using the Oyster Card. Seniors and students pay less. And children under the age of 10 do not have to pay a fare. If you are visiting London with a family, remember this. Whether you want to go to Euston or Notting Hill, the Tube has routes that lead directly there.
Another method to transport around the city is to use London taxis. This is by far and away the most expensive mode of transportation. However, taking a taxi in London is typically quicker and more convenient than other methods. Note that taxi rides to locations outside the city of London have to be bargained with the driver.