London seems to be on the top of every traveler’s must-go list. It is a World City and a center of culture, economy, and history. Many just dream of visiting the city, wanting just a glimpse of Buckingham Palace or The Tower of London. The gloomy and overcast weather here tends to add the signature feel of London.
You can walk along boroughs and view trendy bars, chic boutiques, and historical landmarks. This glorious city has overcome plague, invasion, and fire. Nothing has been able to destroy it.
Greater London is the area of Central London in the lower Thames valley. It has 32 boroughs which are under it. The major ones are Bloomsbury, which boasts the British museum, plenty of literary history and University of London and Convent Garden, the theater district with shopping opportunities. Leicester square is where you will find both Piccadilly circus and the vibrant community Chinatown.
If you’ve seen Notting Hill starring Julia Roberts, you may want to pop into this neighborhood. There you can see a colorful market and friendly people. Soho is the fashion vista of the city. It has glamorous nightclubs and music bars for your entertainment. South Kensington and Chelsea both have many landmarks, like King’s road and Hyde park.
The City of London is the definition of balance, between the modern and medieval architecture. You will remember your time in the most developed part of the city.
The Paddington – Maida Vale region has comfortable hotel options. South Bank has the London Eye, where you can have a panoramic view of the city.
Westminster is a class of its own, with Buckingham palace, Westminster Abbey and the Palace of Westminster as fine examples of historical sights. The Inner Boroughs include Camden, a quaint English town, Greenwich, with the Greenwich meridian, Hammersmith and Fulham, the center of operations of the BBC and Wandsworth, which has plenty of open parks.
Hampstead, Lampbeth, and Hackney are Bohemian, Caribbean and in Vogue respectively. The East End is the television and movie hub with numerous cafes. The outer boroughs in the north are the prior counties of Hertfordshire and Middlesex. On the south, you can find green boroughs under Kent and Surrey. The eastern boroughs are in Upper Thames area with a huge shopping complex to sate your inner shopaholic.
The medieval region of the city is in this region. It is also home to the major airport of Heathrow.
How to Get Around in London
The best way to explore any city, especially if you are a budget traveler is, of course, walking. However, if you don’t feel up to a long walk but you still want to travel inexpensively, then you should try these ways:
This is what the Londoners call their subway, and another variant is the Underground. London metro is the oldest underground system in the world. It is also one of the biggest, containing 11 lines, leading from the center of the city to the distant suburbs. The subway in London is open from 5:30 am until midnight. Since 2015, the subway started working 24 hours on weekends (from Friday morning till Sunday night).
The cost of the ride depends on where you are going (there are six transport zones in London). For example, a ride in zone 1, where most of the touristic sights are, will cost you ₤4,70. If you are planning to use the Tube more than once, there are options to decrease the amount you’ll pay. You can get a travel card, an unlimited transport pass, for 1 or 7 days. The price varies from ₤7, 30 to ₤31, depending on the amount of days, transport zones and the time of the day you wish to travel.
However, the most economical way is to use an Oyster Pay As You Go card. You don’t need to buy tickets, just load it with cash and you are good to go. To use it, all you have to do is rub it on yellow dots at the turnstiles, and you will get the lowest fares possible: ₤2.20 for one Tube ride. It is even cheaper than the day travel card! You will have to pay an additional deposit of ₤5 when you get the card, but you can get it back when leaving the city. Plus, if you don’t use all the money that you have put on the card, you can get it back so long as the amount is less than ₤10.
Buses in London are cheaper than the Tube, and you will also get an advantage of some sightseeing while traveling from one place to another. Also, it is the only means of transport late at night. Like with the tube, you can buy a ticket for ₤2.40 or use an Oyster card and ride for ₤1.45. It’s your choice!
The London Overground is a suburban rail network. It runs through 21 of 33 London boroughs. If you are staying on the outskirts of the city, then the Overground train is your way to London.
Another great and cheap way to get around London is by bicycle from the Barclays Cycle Hire. You can pick one up at any docking station and leave it at any other. Fares are ₤1 per hour, ₤2 per day and ₤10 per week. You will need your credit card to pay the rent.
GETTING FROM THE AIRPORT
If you are on a small budget and can’t afford a taxi from the airport, there are other ways to get to and from Heathrow or Gatwick airports. There are trains, which run from and to the airports. They are called Gatwick Express and Heathrow Express. Getting from Heathrow airport will cost you ₤21, and from Gatwick, ₤17,70 per ride. However the cheapest way, although not the fastest, is taking a tube to the airport. It will cost you from ₤3 to ₤5,50, depending on the method of payment and the time of travel.
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September 3, 2016 11:31 am 4 Comments
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