Each year, London attracts over 30 million tourists, and is a top international destination with world-renowned attractions and sights. To an outsider, England’s capital can seem overwhelming at times, and learning how to get around the city is half the battle. The city offers a numbers of options such as car hire, black cabs, Thames cable car, buses, tourist buses and the London Underground System. Known as the ‘Tube’, the city’s network of underground trains is the most popular method of transportation for residents and visitors alike.
Driving is a less common method, but comes with the added benefit of privacy and security. Drivers wanting to navigate central London’s roads may want to brush up their skills by reading ahead and looking for UK driving tips on blogs like PassSmart’s, which will help when it comes to handling the city’s busy streets. Also keep in mind that in order to drive in the centre of London, all drivers must pay a congestion charge, and there are speed cameras in operation in some areas of the city. Once transportation is sorted, everything that London has to offer will be right at your fingertips. Here are some helpful dos and don’ts for your next trip into England’s capital.
Invest in an Oyster Card to receive discount fares on the underground. These can be purchased at London Underground Stations.
Avoid travelling on the underground during peak times (before 9:30 and between 16:00 and 19:00 each weekday) to avoid crowds and peak fares.
Carry a map with you at all times.
Take advantage of the city’s many wonderful free attractions such as the British Museum and Hyde Park.
Ride a boat along the Thames to get a different view of the city. Thames Clippers run regularly between Embankment and Greenwich 7 days a week.
Book tickets to popular attractions like the London Eye, Sea Life London, and London theatre shows ahead of time to avoid long lines.
Bring comfortable walking shoes. Many parts of London are best seen on foot.
Take note of opening times for shops, museums and other attractions. Many open late or are closed on Sundays.
Don’t rely on public transportation past midnight. The underground network closes at midnight, with the final trains making their routes from 23:30. If you’re out late, plan on using the night bus, driving or making cab arrangements.
Don’t plan trips on the underground without first checking for route closures. Stations and lines can often be closed for repairs on weekends.
Don’t confuse London Bridge and Tower Bridge. London Bridge is a fairly modern concrete structure whilst Tower Bridge is the famous bridge built in the late 1800s.
Don’t wait for a waiter or waitress at a pub. Instead, take note of your table number and order foods and drinks directly from the bar.
Don’t expect year-round access to Buckingham Palace, Big Ben or the Houses of Parliament. These are typically open on a seasonal basis or require advanced booking.
Don’t underestimate travel time. Underground delays, street construction and events can slow down travel, so plan an itinerary that leaves plenty of room for flexibility.