How to get around London efficiently

I love London! It’s such a diverse and multicultural city where everyone can find something live either: history at the British museum, modern art at Tate Modern, the world’s most famous paintings at the National Gallery, street art in Shoreditch, sky bars at the top of City’s skyscrapers, wildlife spotting in Richmond Park, boat cruises on the canals of Camden, adrenaline rush at Thorpe Park and much more.

It is impossible to see all the main attractions of London in one trip and if you don’t plan very well you may end up spending a lot of time commuting from one place to another, as a study made by LogMeIn GoToMeeting revealed.

 

How to save time when visiting London

Did you know that an average commute in London lasts 45 minutes on average? You would be surprised on how much time of your holiday you can lose because of transport. Below you can find some advice on how to best maximise your time in London.

 

Which airport are you flying to?

When booking flights to London, keep in mind that some airports are further than others, and it takes longer to reach the city. For example, if you are on a budget and land on Stansted, remember that the bus into city takes at least 2 hours, if not more (the traffic in that part of London is horrendous). Luton is another far away airport. The best airports to fly into are Heathrow or Gatwick, both very well connected by trains to central London.

 

Choose to stay at a central hotel

When visiting London, many tourists prefer to choose a hotel outside of zones 1-2-3 because of a cheaper cost per night. London is known to be very expensive regarding accommodation and staying in zones 4-5-6 can seem like a cheaper solution but not if you take in consideration all the extra costs that occur.

Sure, staying at a central hotel will cost more but it will save you a lot of time in traffic and money on transport. However, not all central areas are as expensive as you may think. Every time I visit London I chose to stay in Victoria where the prices are very reasonable. Other affordable areas in central London can be: Whitechapel, King’s Cross, Paddington or Bayswater.

 

Plan your itinerary based on the proximity of the attractions you want to see

When visiting London it is very important to plan your itinerary very well because the city is huge and the distances between places of interest are very long. If you plan to see the British Museum, the Natural History Museum and enjoy a ride in the London Eye in the same day, you might find yourself losing a lot of time commuting from one place to another.

A more realistic itinerary would be to start your visit at the Tower of London, walking down towards Westminster, visiting in between the Tower Bridge, Shakespeare’s Globe, Tate Modern, St Paul’s Church, Trafalgar Square, The National Gallery and Westminster Abbey, finishing with experiencing the sunset with a bird’s eye views from the London Eye.

 

Avoid the rush hour

Did you know that the busiest tube lines are Central, District and Piccadilly lines? If you travel on one of these lines you should be prepared to expect delays, especially at rush hour. London is one of most visited cities in the world and in summer, the number of tourists is so high that you will rarely find yourself in an empty tube.

Avoid at all costs traveling at rush hour, where local commuters are moving around the city as well to go to work. You can expect the train to be overcrowded between 7:30 – 9:30 in the morning and 17:00 – 19:00 in the evening, when locals commute to and from their work places.

You can find out more about how much time you can lose just by commuting in this great infographic designed by LogMeIn GoToMeeting:

 

Citrix tube delays - Infographic

48 thoughts on “How to get around London efficiently

  1. Swati & Sam (The Tales of a Traveler) says:

    The best part of London is its public transportation and the ease to travel to different places for sure. We travelled and covered a lot of places during our trip with a Oyster Card 🙂 Great tips on accomodation , wish I had read your article before the trip. We shelled out a lot on stay 🙁

  2. Victoria says:

    The statistics based around the tube is interesting. I didn’t know that many people head to central london in the morning. That is ALOT of people. Great tips about accommodation. I was planning a visit to London last December and accommodation was one of the things that stalled my trip because it was so expensive since I was looking so close to major sites

  3. divsi says:

    Some fabulous advise there. Super useful. Especially on the commuting. Thanks for sharing. Completely agree with centralised location of the hotel. It is a life saver really!

  4. Indrani says:

    I have always dreamed of touring London, but the huge number of things to see and do always left me confused how to plan it out. This post of yours gives a good direction to start and prepare and plan. Well presented.

  5. Whatlauraloves says:

    Loads of fab tips here- I travel to London regularly for work and agree with loads of your points, especially on the central hotels. Sometimes you’ll pay less to stay out of the centre but end up paying more in travel! xxx

  6. Shane Prather says:

    These tips are so helpful! I thought the public transportation in London was manageable but staying in a central location is crucial.

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