Getting Around London on Public Transit

Getting Around London on Public Transit
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London’s street plan is considered by many as some of the most complicated in the world, but that doesn’t mean that the city is impossible to navigate.

With a complex transport system to complement the England capital’s intricate urban layout, you’d find that getting around London is not as intimidating as it seems.

After all, being a metropolis dotted by green spaces, architectural masterpieces, and centuries-old establishments, the city is a maze you’d be glad to explore.

Trains
Londoners call their subway the Tube, whose 11 lines transport thousands of passengers every day from the business hubs to the far suburbs. It is the biggest underground train system in the world, but you’d be surprised at how easy to follow the lines are once you get hold of a Tube map.

Aside from the lines and stations, the map will tell you which zone you are in and what tourist attractions are near each stop. Zones 1 and 2 can be an ideal start to wandering around, as many or the city’s top attractions are within these areas.

You can get on the train through a single-journey paper ticket, but if you’re in for a longer stay, it’s best to save money with an Oyster card. It’s London’s version of the smart travel pass that you can use for a week’s worth of subway travel or more.

The London Overground, as you might have guessed, is a suburban rail network the runs above ground. The Overground is your best way in and out of the outer zones where lodging is more affordable. Many also use its services as shortcuts for going across the city without stopping at the busy centre.

Another above-ground rail network that you can try is the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), which can be an exciting experience because its trains often operate without a driver. Riding the DLR also offers a picturesque view of London, particularly the Docklands, where you can have a good trace of the skyline.


image source: http://tinyurl.com/zhz8cd5image source: http://tinyurl.com/zhz8cd5

Buses
A great alternative to the Tube when the trains are packed is the bus. Not only will it let you see the city better, it can also take you to your destination faster than the tube if it’s just within a few stops.

The red buses have become an iconic part of London’s identity, so you should consider riding one while there since it’s also cheaper than a single-journey subway trip. The traditional open-rear double-decker has been phased out, but you can still catch one on the Heritage Route 15 between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

London has made bus ticketing electronic, so make sure to have a loaded Oyster card or any accepted travel pass before hopping on the bus. Once inside, you can rely on the iBus system installed on-board to view and hear information about your stops and time of arrival.

Trams
Trams were put in place to serve the areas that are not well-covered by the Tube. Since it was completed, it has become easier to travel between the southwestern parts of the city to the south-east.

Tram services are frequent and accessible, so it won’t be a problem to take luggage or wheelchairs with you. With connections to the Overground, Tube, and the National Rail, transfers and payments are also convenient.

What's your favourite way to travel around the city? Let us know in the comments below! 

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