Thinking allowed — 13 March 2018

London has undeniably got one of the most developed transportation systems in the world, boasting the famous London Underground train service, as well as the iconic black cabs that can get you from A to B seamlessly. However, when visiting London for the first time, it can be challenging knowing what public transport to use for your needs. With no need for an EHIC card renewal meaning you have one less thing to worry about when in London, we’re here to sooth your public transport worries too to give you a stress-free city break! As you’d expect, they all differ in price, efficiency and accessibility, but we’re here to give you the final verdict!

Taxi
It wouldn’t be a proper tourist visit to London without a ride in the classic black cab, so you simply have to utilise this mode of transport at some point. They’re easy enough to use – when the yellow TAXI sign is lit up, the taxi is available for hire. However, it’s worth knowing that London isn’t just home to the standard black cab, but also the minicab, which is often cheaper regarding you ask for prices in advance as they’re not equipped with a meter. What’s more is that London taxis are perfectly accessible for disabled passengers for no extra charge. Taxi drivers in London are highly knowledgeable about the city, so if you want to get somewhere without the fuss of working out your route, the taxi service is perfect.

Underground
London’s underground service, also known as the ‘Tube’, is one of the most innovative and intelligent underground transportation systems around the globe, covering the entire scope of London and then some. These underground trains are a fast, convenient way to get around the city on your travels, and you’re certainly never far from a station. One of the biggest criticisms of this transportation method, however, is that it can cost quite a lot of money, especially when travelling during peak times. Usually, the cheapest way to use the underground service is to opt for an Oyster card, but even then you can find yourself paying far more compared to the bus service, for example.

Bus
The red bus is another iconic mode of transport in London and is definitely best used when touring around the city’s stunning sights. What some people don’t expect when catching a bus in London though is that you’re no longer able to pay in cash, and thus will need an Oyster card or contactless payment in order to board, which can be inconvenient at times. Having said that, the bus routes often run on a 24-hour basis and cover the entirety of London, so you can rest assured that you’ll be able to reach your target destination on a bus, however, it could take much longer than the underground or taxi service.

Trams
Introduced in 2000, London’s ‘Tramlink’ is perfect for those touring around parts of South London, as the service covers Wimbledon, Croydon, New Addington and Beckenham. The tram services are just as accessible as the other methods; however, their main downfall is clearly the lack of routes across the entire city. In short, if you’re looking to marvel at the city’s historical sites such as Big Ben or Buckingham Palace, the tram isn’t likely to be the travel solution for you.

When in London, the best mode of transport for ease has to be the black cab. Iconic, fast and cost-effective, the black cab isn’t just the best mode to get you to your destination for less in a short amount of time, but you can also ensure you’re doing it in style. However, for the true London experience, it’s worth giving each option a try to see which you prefer and which suits your needs the most.

 

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Featured image: A London bus passes a telephone box on Haymarket by EO1 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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