How do I get around London using public transport ?
You’re about to leave for the British capital and you’re a little confused about how to get around London using public transport. Here’s everything you need to know to get around London without a care in the world !
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Getting around London isn’t actually difficult. The most complicated part, from my point of view, is understanding and knowing what type of ticket or pass to buy to use public transport in the British capital. Between multi-day passes and single-use tickets, it’s very easy to get lost and I agree with you, it’s not pleasant to waste time researching the subject.
In this article, you’ll find out what types of public transport are available in London, how to use them, how to get around and, above all, a brief comparison of the different means of payment and passes available on the market. But also whether it’s possible to visit London solely on foot, and much more.
How to move around London ? The ultimate guide
There are several ways to get around London:
- Use the public transport network, i.e. buses, subway trains and trains.
- Take black London cabs
- Discover London on foot
Using the public transport in London
The London Underground runs smoothly and frequently. You’ll find that some subways are very modern, while others date back several years. They’re super-easy to use. The best way to find your way around is to know the name of the line and its final destination. Then you’ll know which way to go. Then enjoy your metro ride and don’t forget to get off at your station.
In every metro station there are gates that you have to pass through to get to the platforms. At these gates, you can either use your pass or your credit card to buy your ticket after registering on OYSTER. Another option is to go to the ticket machines and buy your ticket there.
On exiting the metro, you’ll need to use your pass or credit card again, depending on your choice.
If you come to London without trying out the double-decker buses, you’re missing out! We tried them out several times, as they were on our itinerary, and it was quite fun. To take them, all you have to do is go to a bus station and get on the bus you want. On the front of the bus you’ll find the route number and the destination.
If you have a pass, simply pass it in front of a yellow terminal at the front of the bus at the entrance. If you need to buy a ticket, simply wave your credit card in front of the terminal. For the latter, you need to register in advance on the OYSTER app. I’ll explain this a little further down.
London’s famous black cabs, which we’ve all seen in the movies, are very easy to use. Just wave and they’ll stop and pick you up.
In my opinion, walking is the best way to discover central London. Virtually all of London’s major points of interest are within easy walking distance. Admittedly, Notting Hill and Camden Town are a little further from the center, but you can get there very easily by bus or subway.
The easiest way to find out London’s transport timetables is to use Google Maps. From the application, you can directly see which tube/bus to take to which station, and their timetables.
Which ticket / pass to choose?
The Visitor Oyster card
This is one of the most economical ways to use public transport in London. This card allows you to use buses, subways, Uber Boats, trains and more throughout London.
The visitor Oyster card can be ordered directly from home before you leave. It will be delivered to you by post. The second option is to buy it once you’ve arrived in London, at any TfL Visitor Centre or tube/train station.
The card costs £5, then you can add as much credit as you like.
Contactless payment – TFL Oyster
Contactless payment is possible after downloading and registering your credit card on the application. Once your account has been activated, you can go directly to the yellow terminals on buses and metro stations and swipe your credit card. The amount will be debited at the end of the day, according to the number of journeys made.
As with the Visitor Oyster Card, there is a daily limit. Once you’ve reached this limit, you won’t be debited again.
For me, this is the solution I use every time. It’s practical and means you always have credit!
Ticket prices vary according to the mode of transport you use, the time of day you travel, and whether you travel in more than one zone. For more information on specific prices, please visit the TfL website.
I hope this article has given you some tips for using public transport in London. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions !