London Transportation Tips by Gypsystravels
London Transportation: 1,801 reviews and 1,623 photos
I love traveling on the "Tube" in London. It's the easiest and most economical way of getting around.
Recently on a day layover from a business trip I discovered this very ingenius way of traveling, the "Oyster Card". Its a refillable smartcard that never expires. Determine the amount you want to put into the card and use is as you wish.
For more indepth information about the Oyster Card, check out their website.
The Travelcard can be used on the DLR, London Overground and buses, trams (where your Travelcard would include Zone 3, 4, 5 or 6), National Rail (excluding Heathrow Connect between Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow, and on Heathrow Express).
The Travelcard must be valid for the zones you’ll be traveling through. You have a choice of pruchasing a 1 or 3 day Travelcard for peak or off peak times.
The off peak Travelcard can be used from 9:30 am Mondays to Fridays, all day Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, on the day you validate the card and for journeys that starts before 4:30 am on the following day.
I decided to purchase an off peak Travelcard for the one day I was going to use the public transportation as I found it to be the most economical way to get around London.
The Travelcard was £5.30 for Zones 1&2.
Please note that you can use the vending machines to purchase your cards. Some machines only accept coins, while others accept bills and credit cards.
Waiting area gate monitor
At some point or another, if you are making any connections in Europe, you will most likely connect through London Heathrow, Europe's largest airport!!
With that said, it is crazy, mad at the airport!! I fly American Airlines and when I am flying on a conncetion, it is always from one terminal to another which can take up to 1 hour just getting there. I do like the fact that Heathrow has a fantastic waiting area with some of the best shops, espeicaly if you find yourself with some extra £s and need to buy some last minute items.
The Harrod's shop always has the items you find at the store for a few £ less, which I found out after paying the Harrod store prices. The signature Harrod's bags were £11.95, while at Harrod's I paid £14.95 for them...makes a big difference when you are purchasing more than one.
There are plenty of places to eat and to sit at while waiting for your connection. Make sure to check the monitor for you gate, as it does take some time to reach your gate from the main terminal waiting area.
Lodnon's Double Decker
If you manage to get a seat on the bus then you will have a very enjoyable.
Avoid the morning and evening rush hours (8-10 am and 4-7 pm). Buses always halt at designated stops unless they are labeled "request" only.
You must purchase your ticket before boarding the new-style buses at the ticket machines which are located at most central bus stops.
Phone: 020-7222 1234
The large station
Situated in the north west section of London, Paddington station has regular trains to destinations in the south west which include Bath, Bristol, Windsor, Warwick to name a few. The Heathrow Express departs every 15 minutes in both directions and takes approximately 15 minutes to Terminals 1, 2, 3.
It is this reason alone why I decide to find a hotel and base myself in this area. My plan was to visit Warwick and Oxford on day trips.
The Paddington Tube is located here as well. There are plenty of shops and kiosks selling your usual goods like coffee, water, drinks and quick bites to eat like baguettes and pizzas.
There is also a left luggage area if you need to leave your bags behind.
Stopping for a quick pic
I will always explore a city on foot because it gives me the best option to wander and just stop wherever I want. London is a fantastic city to wander around in because most of the major attractions are located in close proximity to each other. If my hotel is located further away from the attractions I would like to see, I will take the public transportation to a central area and explore on foot from there.
During this most recent trip I decided to walk from Waterloo Station to the London Eye, Dali Museum, along the banks of the River Thames to the Tate Modern, across the Blackfriar’s Bridge to Victoria Embankment to the Temple Inn and Temple Church then walked along the Aldrych to Trafalgar Square where I visited the National Gallery then walked to Westminster Abbey.
Phew, my feet were begging for some relief, so I decided to take the tube back to the hotel to get ready for an evening out.
Heathrow Express is the most convenient and fastest way to get in and out of London Heathrow. There are a few ticket options and depending on your need varies by price.
I purchased the Express Class Return for £29. The service runs about every 15 minutes and starts in T5 then goes to T1-T3 (one stop), where you can switch to another train to get to T4. The ride is approximately 20 minutes from T5 and 15 minutes from T1-T3 to and from Paddington Station.
Rinding in a "Yellow" Cab
The well-known Black Cabs of London are almost as famous as the red buses. They are also being modernized and you may see more green, blue, red or even white cabs. I read that the cab drivers in London are considered among the safest drivers, so you are in good hands.
They can be quite expensive, I should know, I spent a bomb on my last trip.
Finding a Cab: You can ring them, hail them or find them at ranks (stands).
Ladycabs (women drivers only) 020-7254 3501
Radio Taxis: 020 7272 0272
Computer Cabs: 020 7286 0286
Lost Property: 020-7941 7800
Complaints: 020-7941 7900
Type: Car/Motor Home
Traveling by "Tube" is the easiest and fastest way to travel in Central London. There are 12 underground lines, each color coded and maps (called Journey Planners) are posted in all the stations. If you plan to make more than two trips a day, purchase the Travelcard. Single tickets are also sold. The tickets are sold by destination which fall within 6 specified London zones.
Phone: 020 7222 1234
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