March 23, 2015

Getting In, Around and Across London

London is one of the most popular destinations for many first-time travelers, and in 2012, CNN reported that London was the World’s Greatest City, with 16.9 million people visiting and making it the most visited city in the world. 

The city strikes a wonderful balance between ancient and modern, with icons such as the Thames and the Tower of London bringing forth images of London’s past, and more modern structures such as the London Shard hinting at the city’s future, it’s a great place to visit if you want a little bit of everything.

Late last year, news broke out of how London had overtaken Hong Kong as the world’s most expensive city to live in. Rising property costs meant that it was now more expensive for locals to stay within the city, but there was some relief for travelers: traveling within London remained the pleasure it’s always been, with public transportation options being much less expensive and comfortable than in other parts of the world. If you’re heading into London, here are some tips to consider:  

Getting In: The World’s Greatest Airports 

While they don’t have the same sort of facilities as Amsterdam’s Schiphol or Singapore’s Changi Airport, London’s own airports are also quite accommodating to travelers. Heathrow, London’s busiest airport, even has its own dedicated train service called the Heathrow Express, which takes you into London or out into the airport. It’s even cyclist-friendly, as Parking4less says that there are dedicated cycle parking areas on the airport premises. There are even hotels partnered with the airport so you don’t have to worry about traveling so early in the morning or so late at night.  

Getting Around: The World-Famous Cabbies 

We all know how popular London’s cabbies are, and last year, more people became aware of the amazing skill of the drivers of these taxicabs. The brains and memories of these taxicab drivers rival a GPS, and it takes years and monumental amounts of training just to be able to pass the test to become a taxicab driver – which is way more than we can say about cab drivers in other parts of the world. With this in mind, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands when you’re taking a cab in London. Just ready yourself for the bill, because cabbie rates are among the world’s highest!   

Getting Across: The Legendary London Tube 

There’s probably no train system quite as popular and iconic as the London Underground, and this is where the city really shows how modern it has become. The Tube is constantly being improved, and all upgrades are posted on its dedicated page on the Transport for London website, with service times, fares, and expected downtime all updated on the page too. It’s also one of the most inexpensive ways to get across London, because you can use your Oyster Card to get on the train. 

Getting It All: The Convenient London Pass 

London knows it’s one of the greatest tourist destinations out there, and they live up to the reputation by welcoming all tourists with open arms. If you’re headed to London, one of your best options is to get a London Pass, a card that allows you entry to over 60 of London’s top attractions and comes with a free guidebook. You can even avail of an Oyster Card with your London Pass, so it really is a great travel buddy.

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