London Diaries: Top Five Thoughts on Getting Around

In a few days I will have been staying in London for a month now. Like many tourists, one of the bigger challenges that I had to face was how to get around in this amazing city.

With the number of things to do and sights to see, hopping from one place to another is inevitable.  To help out other travel bugs or business travelers who will be setting out for the UK sooner or later,  here’s a quick post to share my top 5 thoughts/tips on getting around in London.

“Why is everyone in a rush!”

I think it is the same as any other big city out there, but it is worth mentioning that people’s speed of walking here is more a purposeful trot than a leisurely stroll. Sometimes, particularly in rush hour, people will tend to go into a half-run kind of walk, with long strides and determined faces. This is important to know because Londoners can be unforgiving of tourists who are trying to take in the sights while walking. While taking out that camera to capture a travel moment is understandable, also understand that it can be inconsiderate. If you want to take your time or take a photo, find a spot that will not block pedestrians. Also, stand to the right side of escalators to give way to people who are rushing to get to the top.


“I love the tube!”

The London Underground, more known as the Tube, is a very efficient way to get around the city. It can take you from one side of the city to another within minutes, and without having to walk too far to switch routes. They are conveniently situated near landmarks and attractions. It is worth keeping an app on your phone to check the tube schedule, in case it is not available for your stop, since there are several rerouting and station repair advisories that happen from time to time. As it is underground, there is no reception. So make sure you know where you are going and which transfers you need to make before you go underground. From what I’ve learned the tube’s last trips are around midnight, so if you are on a night out, be aware of your other transport options in case you miss it.


“I hope there are still top seats left!”

Riding the iconic double decker bus of London is one of the best ways to see the inner streets of London. As a tourist, I really enjoy sitting at the front seats of the top floor of London buses because it showcases not just its must-see establishments but the city’s quaint lines of houses, bustling high streets, and many more. Its arrival and departure times are conveniently displayed in most bus stops. Be reminded that you can’t stand on the stairs and on the top deck. These buses are also wheelchair and baby stroller friendly, which makes them one of the most accessible ways of getting around the city. One thing to be wary about it that since it has many stops and can go through busy streets, it can take you a while to get to your destination.

“These cabs are expensive!”

Black cabs are the second most expensive cabs in the world (next to Tokyo!). If you are taking one, take one for the experience. Some of them offer guided tours of the city. I think that it is the driver’s knowledge of the city that you are paying for and not the transport. You can find these guided tours in sites like TripAdvisor. If you need a cab after a drunken night, go for Uber cars instead, which is far more affordable and convenient for worry free cab transport.

“A car would be awesome right now”

If you miss driving or taking cabs, or if you need to get around the city/countryside more often, it is worth looking into the option of renting a car. This is especially useful if you want to drive to other parts of the UK or if you are on a business trip and will be staying in the UK for longer.  You can hire a car in London which can guarantee you the convenience of driving your own car around town. According to the UK Department of Transport, if you are a visitor to London with a driver’s license that was issued outside of the UK, you can drive any small vehicle listed on your license for 12 months from when you enter the country. Here’s a caveat though: gas and parking is expensive, so make sure you consider these costs if you intend to use a car regularly.

Whatever you choose, figuring out how to get from one place to another in a foreign country is a fun way of getting to know it, so take your time and don’t be afraid to make some odd turns once in a while. Enjoy London!

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.