Most people visiting London love using the underground to get around. Even the locals appreciate how efficient, cheap, and easy to use the underground can be. However, that doesn’t mean you’re limited to travelling below the surface of the city. There are tons of other ways to travel in London too, and some of them are excellent for stocking up on sights if you’re a visitor.
For instance, busses are some of the best ways to get around in London. Not only are bus tickets surprisingly cheap, but you get to see a lot more of the city this way, compared to travelling by tube. You don’t necessarily need to pay for a bus tour to see some great sights either. Here are some of our quick tips for getting around London by bus.
Check the Transport for London Website
The first step in a good bus journey when you’re in London, is figuring out which bus you need, and how often you’ll be able to catch it. The Transport for London is a great resource for tourists or people who aren’t used to getting around in London. You can download bus route information and timetables here, and even plan your journey with built-in tools. The website also offers updates on bus route changes when maintenance work is taking place.
Check the live travel news section of the website before you leave for the day to make sure nothing in your area has been delayed. If you don’t have access to the internet when you’re on vacation, you can check out the bus stops near the centre of London, which have their own electronic timetables. Alternatively, try speaking to someone on the first bus you see, if the bus isn’t too busy.
Buy a Ticket for the full Day
If you’re going to be going on more than one journey with a London bus, it’s usually a good idea to get a ticket for the whole day. You’ll save some serious cash this way. You can alternatively load up your Oyster card with cash and use this to get around on both the London busses and the underground tube trains too. It’s a great way to give yourself some extra options for public transport.
For those visiting London for several days, make sure you check out the offers available online for weekly bus tickets, as these can save you some serious cash, particularly if you also happen to be a student. You don’t have to buy your tickets online to take advantage of the savings. Most of the bus operators you encounter in the city will be able to help you too.
Plan Your Travel Carefully
Travelling by bus and by underground can be a wonderful experience for anyone exploring London – but it can also be seriously stressful if you’re not properly prepared. Remember that the commuting hours in London are often extremely hectic. Between 7am and 10am, as well as 5pm and 7pm, you’re likely to see a rush of people fighting for a seat on the same buses and trains.
If you don’t have a specific theatre showing to get to, or you’re not travelling somewhere with a deadline, it’s best to arrange your travel outside of the peak hours, just in case. You’ll find the experience a lot more comfortable this way, and you’ll be more likely to get a seat too. While you’re planning your travel, remember to think about the weather too. It’s a good idea to have a bottle of water with you in the summer when the weather’s hot. Crammed trains, busses, and trams in London can get pretty sweaty.