Despite its size, travelling around London is actually really easy, it’s the amount of options that are available to you that can make things a bit confusing.
Luckily, hotels in London city are plentiful, meaning that wherever you stay, you’re sure to be close by things that you want to see and do, and you should also be near to most sources of travel too.
Travelling into London itself
As we mentioned, there are several ways to travel around the city but there are also a range of ways to get into London itself, depending on the airport into which you have flown.
There are five or six different airports for London but the main three are Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted and each have their own travel options for heading into the city.
Other airports include London Luton and the City of London Airport, but the three mentioned above tend to have the best transfer routes.
London Stansted airport runs a Stansted Express train, which operates between the airport and London Liverpool street – at £8 each way it’s quite a bargain. Stansted also runs a reliable shuttle bus service, which is slightly cheaper at £6 each way and leaves you at Victoria Station, which is more central for hotels in London city.
Gatwick has a Gatwick Express train that runs between the airport and Victoria Overground Station. As with most trains it is subject to delays but it runs fairly reliably and should only take about half an hour.
For the fastest travel into the city you should arrive into London Heathrow as it has a tube station, served by the Piccadilly Line, which opens up more options for your choice of hotels in London city. This is also one of the easiest travel options for you to take because it’s virtually impossible to get lost.
Of course you can jump in a taxi from the airport straight to the door of your hotel, but this will be more expensive than any of the public transport options. You can prebook a taxi service, which is likely to be cheaper, but don’t forget about the added congestion charge, which will rack up the price of your taxi by £11.50. This charge is applicable Monday-Friday between 7am and 6pm every day.
Travel around the city
As you’ll see when you get into the centre of London itself, you’re never short of public transport or taxis, the whole place is booming with traffic.
One of the easiest ways to travel around London is on the tube, it is fast, cheap and there are over 250 stations that are conveniently located next to attractions and hotels all throughout the city.
As this is a train service, from time to time it will have issues with maintenance, but overall the underground system is an extremely reliable way to travel around the city.
There are several ticket options for travelling on the tube, some people prefer buying daily tickets which cover all of London’s nine zones. However, it isn’t likely that you will need to travel so far outwards as these areas are mostly suburban and populated by commuters and the like.
Most activity for visitors is between zones 1-4 or through to zone five, however if you have flown into London Heathrow then you will need to be able to head back into zone six when you depart.
Choosing to buy a three-day or five-day ticket for the underground will be a good way to save money, ensuring that you don’t need to spend money on travel every day – but just be careful not to lose your ticket! However, one of the best money-savers is for you to buy an Oyster card on your arrival – or if you prefer you can order one from the Oyster card website beforehand.
This plastic travelcard is extremely helpful as you will be able to top it up at any tube station, even more handy is that you can add more money to your card via machine, which can be faster than queuing to speak to an attendant.
Tube stations also have free maps, which show you the entire underground network, or you can download mobile apps that can even work out your route for you.
If you are looking for something to make your trip even easier, then you can buy The London Pass, which is a card that gains you entry into over 60 different London attractions and has the option to add an Oyster card to cover all your travel too.
The London Pass prices start from £55 for one day for an adult and go up to £207 for 10 days for an adult’s ticket including an Oyster card.
Never underestimate the power of walking in the capital – despite the fact that the city is sprawling, attractions and hotels in the centre of London are easily reached on foot.
You might even find that you enjoy taking in the scenery of the city as you walk around, there is much beautiful architecture and many views for you to enjoy, that you simply cannot appreciate from a cab or a train.