London Transport Guide
Here are the best ways to get around London:
The iconic red double-decker buses in London are a common sight, particularly in the central district. You can pick up an Oyster pre-paid smartcard from any Transport of London Information Centre as well as at many newsagents. A daily cap of around £7.50 has been introduced allowing passengers to effectively ride for free past this threshold within a 24-hour period. If you don’t have a card, don't worry. Look out for ticket machines located next to central bus stops. Trafalgar Square is the hub for night buses, which run less frequently and stop only on request (so be sure to stick your arm out to hail one!).
London's city bike scheme has 570 docking stations within the city and can be used on a pay-per-ride basis. Otherwise known as 'Boris’ Bikes' after the bike-riding Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, cycles can be picked up curbside by using a simple payment method. Simply find a docking station terminal, enter your bankcard, find the prompt to hire a bicycle and key the generated code to access a bike. Once you've finished your ride, dock your bike as soon as possible as journeys under 30 minutes are free.
The London underground network spreads across a vast area and is super efficient. The tube runs from 5am to midnight across 12 lines with frequent services making it the easiest way to dart about the city. Grab a free transport map to plot your course on the colour-coded routes that traverse London. To travel cheaply, use a pre-paid Oyster travel card, which can also be used on other transport services and topped up at most newsagents and travel information desks.
Taxis are incredibly handy if you’ve got to go somewhere in London within a specific timeframe and your destination doesn’t happen to be located near public transport. On entering a ‘Hackney carriage’, you'll notice the cost of your journey is a lot more than public transport. The official and famous London black cabs can be hailed from the street or at designated ranks situated in prominent public places or booked via telephone. If a taxi’s light is illuminated, it's available for hire.
If you are looking to travel outside of London and to the countryside, consider hiring a car. It isn’t particularly advisable to drive around the central area of London as traffic can be jammed for hours during peak times and a steep congestion charge is applied to all vehicles that venture into the area.