Going to London, I was a bit scared as I am not familiar with public transportation. I drive 100% of the time. I am comfortable in my little pod. I like to know that I am in full control of getting to my destination without waiting and trying to figure it all out. BUT I quickly realized London was pretty easy to navigate. Yes, we got “lost” a few times but made our way to where we were going easily. Lost as in ended up in a different area than we wanted to be in, but it was still somewhere we were planning on going, just not that time or day haha.
First, download the app citymapper. LIVE SAVER! I love this thing. Used it in both London and Paris. Before I went, I set the hotel as home. From there, I mapped out various places we were planning on going. It tells you exactly which bus/train to take, how much the fare will cost, guides you as you walk to the destination or as you are driven. Tells you when the next bus/train will arrive, how long to get to your destination. AND it alerts you when it is time to get off at your stop. All this, free! I loved it so much.
We mainly used the bus to get around. We used the tube (The London Underground) a few times, like getting from the airport to the city centre.
Get yourself an Oyster card. Load it with a few days. If you will be there 4, 7 days. Add that amount of days. Then travel those days unlimited amount of times. So much easier than stopping to pay every time and works out much cheaper.
Children under 11 travel free on buses and trams. Children under 11 also travel free on Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and some National Rail services when accompanied by a fare-paying adult (up to four children per adult). Over 11? You can save on your kids too. children aged 11-15 can score a discount. The Young Visitor discount gives your child half adult rate pay as you go discount for up to 14 days.
Using city mapper, you can easily navigate the city by typing in where you want to go and following the app. Really fool proof. I was a fool, once and turned the map upside down so went in the wrong direction hahaha, got off the train before it alerted me because I just KNEW I was at the right place, NOT. So listen to citymapper, trust me.
Walking is so easy to do in most places too. We walked A LOT. it is just as easy, lots of sites are close to together which makes walking a breeze. And there is so much to see and do you could walk for an hour and not realize you just did. Because you are stopping in shops, museums, eating etc.
Of course, there are taxis and uber if you prefer. Those will be way more pricey and slower because of the amount of traffic on the streets. To grab one, just flag one down by waving at them if the light is illuminated indicating thy are available.
What we did? Underground, walking and bus coming out on top.
Happy travels. Be safe, have fun and take in the beauty of the city while you are there.