Top Tip number one. Travel around London with a Visitor Oyster card. A Visitor Oyster card is a smartcard with pay as you go credit that allows you to travel on most public transport in London. Buy a Visitor Oyster card online before you leave, and have it delivered to your home. Pay as you go fares with a Visitor Oyster card are cheaper than buying paper single tickets. Your card is ready to use as soon as you arrive in London, which means you won’t have to queue to buy a ticket. Plus you can enjoy special offers and discounts at restaurants, galleries, and shops across London. You can also use your contactless debit or credit card to pay as you go on London’s public transport. Overseas transaction fees may apply. For airport transfer services you can also use Gatwick Airport Shuttle Service in very reasonable price.
Top Tip number two. Touch in and out on the yellow card readers. Always touch your Oyster or contactless payment card on the yellow card readers using the same card at the start and at the end of your journey to pay the right fare. If you don’t touch in or out, you will be charged a maximum fare. When travelling on buses or trams, only touch in with your card on the yellow reader as you get on. Don’t touch out as you get off.
Top Tip number three. Travel outside of the busiest times if you can. The busiest times to travel in London are between eight and nine in the morning and five thirty to six thirty in the evening, Monday to Friday. If you are able to travel outside these times, you could enjoy a quicker and more comfortable journey, especially if you’re carrying heavy luggage or a rucksack or travelling in a group.
Top Tip number four. Stand on the right and move along the platform. When using the escalators at stations you should always stand on the right and hold onto the handrail, leaving as much space as possible for people in a hurry. Once you get onto the platform always stand behind the yellow line and move along the platform, where more space will be available and it will be easier to board the next train.
Top Tip number five. Travel differently. Create special memories by discovering London by bike, from the air, by river, or on foot. See a different side of London by cycling for as little as £2 with Santander Cycles, London’s self-service, bike-sharing scheme. Take to the air with Emirates Air Line, London’s cable car, offering spectacular views of the city, and only 15 minutes from central London. Or take a scenic boat trip along the River Thames and cruise through the heart of the capital. Alternatively, walking in central London is a great way to get around and experience the city. You’ll find that there are plenty of street maps to help you get around, and it could be quicker than taking the Tube or the bus.