London is one of the world’s most famous cities and millions flock there every year to take in everything that it has to offer. However, visiting this great city isn’t cheap and if you’re on a limited budget, then you might be concerned about allocating your money effectively. Luckily for you, we have put together a guide which will tell you the cheapest ways to travel around London.
1) Standard buses
Local transport in London is mainly served by an extensive bus network, with over 70 different routes across the city. In most cases, you can either purchase a ticket from a machine or, if you have an Oyster card, from the driver when boarding the bus. A journey on a single bus route costs £1.45 and a journey on an express route is around twice as much. However, it is only necessary to pay the full amount if you ‘must’ travel in a single direction and not return: if you plan to make multiple journeys with buses, then it will be far cheaper for you to purchase several day tickets or even consider getting an Oyster card.
2) The Underground
Another very popular method of travel in London is the Underground, better known as the Tube because of its iconic double-decker carriages. This system consists of 11 lines and there are maps located at each station, so it’s easy to find your way around. Like buses, you can purchase a ticket from the ticket office or use an Oyster card, with off-peak travel costing £2.30 and peak travel costing £4.90 (Monday to Saturday between 06:30 and 09:30) or £3.70 (all other times).
It is for those of you who want a bit more speed and luxury for their money. You could always try taking a taxi. A journey in a black taxi will set you back around £10 (for 3 miles) and the majority of taxis charge by time and mileage rather than distance traveled. You can hail a taxi on most busy roads or request one from an established rank, although getting one at night can be quite difficult, so it is advisable to phone ahead if you need one.
4) Oyster card
One of the cheapest ways to travel around London is with an Oyster card, where you pay for each journey automatically whenever you are traveling by bus, Tube, or rail. These can be bought from any Underground station and they are topped up at the same time, so you will never have to worry about losing them. You can even register your oyster card with TFL to protect it in case it is lost or stolen.
Finally, one of the cheapest ways to travel around London is by mini-cab. They are much less expensive than black taxis and offer convenient service for residents living outside the city center who cannot get home thanks to the night-time restrictions on local buses and the lack of 24-hour service on the Tube. A mini-cab costs about £2 per mile for night journeys (after midnight) but only 80p per mile during daylight hours, making them a great budget option.
These five methods are all good ways to get around London without spending too much money. If you are traveling on a budget, then the cheapest method of transport in London is clearly by bus. For £2.30 (off-peak) or £4.90 (peak), you can travel anywhere in the city and because there are over 70 different routes, the system is also very versatile and easy to navigate.
The Underground is a close second as it’s just as versatile, but you will need an Oyster card or ticket, purchase of which costs £1. That said, if you frequent London, then getting an Oyster card could help you save money in the long-term and offer other benefits, such as being able to use it for travel on the buses and the tube. Finally, taxis are a last resort if you have no other choice, but they are by far the most expensive option at around £10 for 3 miles.
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