Getting around London

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London is an amazing city to spend a holiday in. It has an incredible number of places to visit and explore, from the modern to the medieval. Apart from its myriad of attractions there are a number of other factors which make it one of the most visited holiday destinations in the world. From shopping to entertainment, culture to sports there is an abundance of activities and events to enjoy, in this beautiful city. It is these unique features that attract millions of tourists to its shores every year.

While the city can be very expensive, it also offers a number of options for those travelling on a tight budget. From discount hotels in Heathrow to free tourist attractions to visit, there are a lot of opportunities for those who are budget conscious.

One such fine hotel that offers value for money is the BW Plus Park Grand London Heathrow, which offers luxury at a very affordable price. Another way of economising in London is by making use of its efficient and convenient public transport system. London has a well connected network of transportation which includes buses, the tube, trains, taxi cabs, trams, cable car system and cycles for hire etc. Travel in the city is never a problem with so many modes of transport available and one of the best ways to accomplish this is by buying an Oyster Card, which can be topped up and used to swipe on a number of modes of public transport. The benefit of using an Oyster card is that is ensures you get lower fares and it is very convenient. It can be bought from any tube station or outlet across the city or can be purchased online in advance.

The Tube:
The city’s underground train system is one of the most popular methods of travel, with millions using it every day. It is a massive network of lines that are spread across the city and beyond into its suburbs. There are pocket tube maps which can be got from any tube station which could help to plan your route. The tube stations are divided into zones, with the centre of the city designated as zone 1 and zone 6 being the city outskirts. The cost of travel is subject to the zones travelled and the time of travel. Preferably try to avoid the rush hour when there is maximum traffic and highest rates. The Tube generally stops operating around midnight.

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Emirates cable car:
This is a cable car system that facilitates travel over the Thames from Greenwich Peninsula to the Royal Docks area. It was built in 2012 for the London Olympics to ease traffic congestion. The trip lasts for approximately 10 minutes and offers spectacular aerial view of the city.

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Train & the Overground:
There are numerous train terminals spread across the city, which makes using the rail system very convenient for longer journeys into the city suburbs and further. May central London stations are also connected to the tube. The Overground is a relatively new system that offers an above-ground rail network, which serves parts of east and west London that were previously not properly connected. And Oyster Cards can be used for travel.

Bus:
Another excellent way to travel is by boarding the iconic red buses of London. It is relatively cheap and also offers an opportunity to look around at the surroundings while on the bus. There are practically buses for all routes in London which makes it all the more convenient. The bus stops can be recognized easily, as well as the routes they travel and their frequency (5-10 minutes).There are also options for night travel, when special buses with the alphabet N (placed before the bus number) ply the many routes of the city.

135252275Taxi:
London is famous for its ubiquitous black cabs which can be seen all over the city. When the yellow light with the words ‘taxi’ is lit, it can be hired. There are taxi ranks where you can hire them or just hail them while they pass by. The only drawback is traffic in the city can be congested and using it to travel is far more expensive and time consuming.

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The Docklands Light Railway (DLR):
Another efficient mode of public transport is the DLR (Docklands Light Railway), which as the name suggests connects the docks of the city to other parts of London. It also is linked to the tube and can be used to travel with an Oyster Card.

89500351River bus:
Definitely one of the more scenic ways to travel along the waterfront. There are a number of piers to be found along the river stretch within the city. The river bus connects with quite a few transport hubs and also at some popular tourist locations.

Tram:
The tram system in the city currently only operates in areas limited to the boroughs of Merton and Croydon in London. For visitors in these areas, it’s a rather convenient way to travel and the fares are attractive as well. And the trams are linked to major train stations which makes it easy to catch a train to the centre of the city.

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Cycle:
One of the most convenient and exciting ways to travel around the city is by hiring a cycle to peddle from one place to another. There are numerous bicycle docks to be found across London which are a self-service system. All you need is to use a credit or debit card to hire it from the docking station. The rates are also pretty economical and the first half an hour is free. They can be returned to any bicycle dock across the city. Of course keep an eye out for the traffic and always wear a helmet.

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