Navigating London's Transport: A Guide for Short Stay Travelers

Navigating London’s Transport: A Guide for Short Stay Travelers

April 30, 2024


London is a huge, sprawling city, and getting to grips with it can be mind-boggling, especially if you are coming to it from a small town. But London is very well served with transport links and you will find getting around easy enough once you’ve mastered the various systems and as long as you leave enough time for your trip. 

London Transport Links


Driving around London in a car is probably the worst way to travel. Many Londoners don’t bother to learn to drive: it’s expensive, incredibly inconvenient (finding parking, navigating awkward roads that are not much wider than they were in mediaeval times, not to mention understanding the various emission zones and the fees for using those), and invariably takes longer than public transport.

Tube and Train

Tube and overland train are the go-to methods of transport for most Londoners, especially those with business or leisure pursuits in the middle of the city. Tube stations pepper the city and often you can get within reasonable walking distance of your desired destination without any fuss. NB: do note that wheelchair users might have a less smooth experience, as some Tube stations are not yet geared for easy accessibility.

If you get a hotel or serviced apartment anywhere within the six zones of the London Tube layout, you can easily and relatively inexpensively get about – the Tube map, once understood, is almost intuitive to use. (Click here to find out about serviced apartments in London:


For those who don’t like to use the Tube – it can be noisy and a little claustrophobic for those with anxiety – there is an excellent bus network. Traffic issues often do not affect buses which have their own dedicated lanes that are often free-flowing when cars are bound up and frustrated. The real beauty of London’s transport network is that it is fairly well integrated and you can buy passes that allow seamless travel between buses and trains and Tubes to make your journey as swift and painless as possible. 

Navigating London's Transport: A Guide for Short Stay Travelers

Black Cabs and Other Taxis 

If you are going to a special event and don’t want to risk your best clothes on public transport, you can opt for a taxi. There are a number of taxi firms that operate alongside the traditional Black Cabs, the latter of which are held in extremely high regard for their excellent understanding of London roads and traffic – the famous Knowledge.

Minicabs and other taxi firms have strict rules about where and when they can pick up fares, with most needing to be booked by phone or, more usually these days, app, whereas the Black Cabs can be hailed in a satisfyingly big-city way! 

Boris Bikes 

These bright red bikes, known as Boris Bikes because Boris Johnson was mayor when the Santander scheme was rolled out, to the somewhat annoyance of many other road users. Despite these early hiccups, the bikes are now a familiar sight in London, and there are enough ranks spread throughout the busiest parts of the city for users to get about fairly handily. 

Navigating London's Transport: A Guide for Short Stay Travelers

Thames Clipper

As the river Thames runs through London there is no surprise that the final contender in the public transport for London is boats! There are some water taxis that will carry small groups up and down the river, and there are also larger ferry-type boats that chug back and forth, for example running groups of tourists to Greenwich from Westminster and back again.

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