Travel Tips

Getting Around London By Bus

Buses in London England

getting around London by bus is a convenient and affordable way to explore the city. With a little planning and preparation, you can easily navigate the bus network and see all the sights that London has to offer.

A London Bus. Photo Credit: Stock Photo

London is a vibrant and exciting city with endless things to see and do, from the iconic Big Ben to the bustling markets of Camden. One of the best ways to get around and explore all that the city has to offer is by bus. With an extensive network of routes, getting around London by bus is not only convenient but also an affordable way to travel. Here is a guide on how to get around London by bus:

Understanding the Bus Network:

The bus network in London is extensive and covers the entire city, with over 19,000 bus stops and 700 routes. The buses are operated by Transport for London (TfL), and they run 24 hours a day, making it a convenient mode of transport even at night. Each bus route is assigned a unique number and color, and there are several different types of buses, including single and double-decker buses.

Planning your journey:

Before setting off on your journey, it’s always a good idea to plan your route in advance. You can do this by using the TfL website or app, which allows you to enter your starting point and destination and then provides you with the best route options and estimated travel times. You can also use Google Maps or other similar apps to plan your journey.

Buying your ticket:

To use the bus in London, you will need to have either an Oyster card or a contactless payment card. You can also buy a paper ticket on the bus, but this will be more expensive than using an Oyster card or contactless payment card. You can top up your Oyster card or contactless payment card online, at a ticket machine, or at a local shop that displays the Oyster card sign.

Getting on the bus:

When you approach the bus stop, look for the electronic display board that shows the upcoming bus routes and their arrival times. Make sure to wait at the designated bus stop, as buses will not stop if you try to flag them down on the street. When the bus arrives, wait for it to come to a complete stop, and then board the bus using the front or middle door. If you are using an Oyster card or contactless payment card, simply tap it on the yellow card reader located near the driver. If you are using a paper ticket, you will need to hand it to the driver.

Getting off the bus:

When you are approaching your stop, make sure to ring the bell located above your head, which will signal to the driver to stop at the next stop. When the bus comes to a complete stop, exit the bus using the front, middle or rear door, depending on the bus type. Be sure to thank the driver and make your way to the pavement.

Tips for getting around London by bus:

  • Always carry an Oyster card or contactless payment card, as this will save you money and time.
  • Avoid traveling during rush hour (7 am-10 am and 4 pm-7 pm) if possible, as buses can get crowded and delays are common.
  • Use the top deck of the bus for the best views of the city.
  • Consider taking a hop-on-hop-off bus tour if you want to see the city’s top attractions.
  • Be prepared for the weather, as buses can get hot in the summer and cold in the winter.
  • Look out for the free bus routes, including the RV1, which runs from Covent Garden to Tower Gateway and the 388, which runs from Stratford to Blackfriars.
Buses in London England Getting Around London
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