"On the buses" Top 5 Page for this destination Public Buses Tip by toonsarah
Public Buses, London: 183 reviews and 208 photos
Update April 2014: ticket information updated, link to Oyster tip added
Although you no longer see the iconic Routemaster buses on London?s streets, you see plenty of others, mostly in the traditional bright red. In recent years there has been a policy of introducing more buses, and encouraging a reduction in the number of cars through the congestion charge. This makes travelling by bus in the city an attractive option ? it?s reasonable value and unlike the tube you can see where you?re going and enjoy the sights along the way. But you?re still likely to encounter traffic jams, so I wouldn?t choose the bus if in a hurry.
If you do want to catch a bus in central London, look out for the bus stops where you should find plenty of information about the routes that pass that spot, and often about others in the area too. For complete route information though, download a map from the website below.
Once you know what route you want to take, you?ll need to buy a ticket, and these days that means buying one in advance (you can't pay the driver as you used to be able to do). There are machines at each stop but they don't all give change so make sure you carry some coins. It?s cheaper to buy an all-day pass if you?re going to be making lots of journeys, or even better, if you?re in town for more than a couple of days and plan to use the tube as well, get an Oyster (see my separate tip).
By the way, some of the routes pass so many famous sights they make a good value alternative to the sightseeing buses. Try the number 11 ? you can start in the west in Chelsea, travel the famous Kings Road, hop off in Victoria for a short detour on foot to see Buckingham Palace, then return to the bus and head east past Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, to Trafalgar Square. From there the route follows the Strand and another famous street, Fleet Street, to St Paul?s Cathedral and the City of London, where it finishes.
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