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Best way to get around London?

Springfield...
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Best way to get around London?

I'm planning a solo trip to London for August or September of next year. Hopefully for a week. It'll be my first time out of the country, so in between now and then I'm sure countless other questions will pop into my head. But for now I'm just wondering what's the best way to get around? I'm not looking for (or can even afford) anything too fancy, just the best way to get from point A to point B. I'm probably staying in the Bankside area.

Thanks for any suggestions!

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Best way to get around London?

You'll have the choice of Underground, buses, National Rail trains, the DLR and Overground services, not to mention pleasure cruises or commuter river services on the Thames.

A seven day Travelcard for zones 1 and 2 costs £30.40 but fares will very likely rise on 2 January next year. Buy the card on arrival at Heathrow and it will be sold to you loaded on an Oyster card. Oyster is a smartcard that holds Travelcards or Pay As You Go money, and often both, for those with Travelcards who wish to use them outside the paid for zones (eg Heathrow to central London).

tfl.gov.uk/assets/…standard-tube-map.pdf The Underground map is not to scale, but it's a good place to start; it's a step free journey from LHR to London Bridge and Southwark stations, very handy for Bankside. There are plenty of buses to and from the area as well. tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/…london-bridge.pdf tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/maps/buses/pdf/sout…

Dallas, Texas
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2. Re: Best way to get around London?

>>>I'm probably staying in the Bankside area.<<<

Why Bankside?

Springfield...
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3. Re: Best way to get around London?

Thanks for the feedback! At first I just went with Bankside because that's where two of the hotels I'm considering are right there, but after looking into it more and seeing what's nearby it seems like a good place to stay.

London, United...
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4. Re: Best way to get around London?

Don't know how fit you are but personally I would always try walking as first option. If walking isn't possible try using the buses. Both these options allow you to experience London in a way that the tube doesn't allow. Once you've got over the novelty of the tube you'll find its not particularly pleasant and actually getting from street-level to the platform can actually be quite time-consuming. Would always have an Oyster card handy though to give you the option of any form of public transport. Black cabs are good as a last option although be aware that fare isn't fixed so if you get stuck in traffic the meter will continue to tick.

London, United...
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5. Re: Best way to get around London?

Get an Oyster card, and if buying a 7day pass, don't buy a travel card deal that is beyond zone 2 as you will hardly / if at all, travel outside z1/2. Use buses if you can rather than tube, as at least you are seeing more or london than if on a tube - the bus stops have on them maps etc showing where exactly the bus will travel to and stop at so don't freak out thinking you are on a ride to the other side of the UK. Buses also are cheaper. Try to stay north side of the river where all the main tourist stuff is.

Solihull
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6. Re: Best way to get around London?

As has been said, also consider walking.

While London is a large city many of the main tourist sights are located in little "clusters" in the centre.

And London really is a GREAT city to walk round, as new discoveries can be made on every corner. One could argue the only way to REALLY get to know London is to walk it.

You can get an underground train (tube) from your hotel to the area you wish to go to, then spend the day walking around that area, and get the tube back in the evening (or get the tube to another area).

The tube really is wonderful (though it can be packed in the rush hour at the start or end of the day).

There are tube stations dotted close together all over the centre of the city, so it is very easy to pop into one tube station, get a train to another station just a few miles away, and come out in another part of the city. And trains run so frequently you rarely need to wait more than a few minutes for a train.

Yes it can take a while to walk from ground level to the right platform, but that is all part of the experience.

Solihull
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7. Re: Best way to get around London?

>>>>Try to stay north side of the river where all the main tourist stuff is.

While that is basically true, the South side of the river has really blossomed in the last 20 years or so.

And I would consider a walk along the South Bank of he Thames, from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge, one of the great walks in London.

You now pass the London Eye, The Globe Theatre, the Tate Modern, the Millennium foot bridge, the OXO building, the Golden Hind ship, Borough Market and so on.

London
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8. Re: Best way to get around London?

Get an Oyster card. There is a lot to see and walking in any one given area is fine but London is very spread out. Plus you will be standing/walking a lot at sites. Unless you want to turn your trip into an Ironman competition an Oyster card (with travelcard or PAYG or both) will allow you to get around cheaply and quickly so you will be able to fit more in.

Bankside is a perfectly OK spot with some good hotels and good access (particularly the extremely useful RV1 bus) and the South Bank is one of London's best bits esp for a solo traveller. with lots going on, cafes and restaurants and some of London's best theatre on the doorstep. And it the one bit you should definitely walk!

http://www.southbanklondon.com/

Useful discount site for solo travellers:

www.smartsave.com/uk/things-to-do-in-london

Edited: 13 July 2013, 11:27
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9. Re: Best way to get around London?

By using the bus, you will see things.

London, United...
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10. Re: Best way to get around London?

Bus and walk is best. Transport for london has a good tourist guide to locations and bus routes. You can download the pdf from their web site.