The first thing I do when I’m going to a new city is check out the subway system to see how I’m going to get everywhere I want to go in the allotted time. London’s underground system is rather famous, so I knew I would be using it to get around quite a bit. I ordered an Oyster card, preloaded with starting funds so I could blend in with the natives.
At no time did I ever feel like I was in a shifty neighborhood. Maybe I was just in the wrong neighborhoods, but I did quite a bit of underground travel while I was in London.
I didn’t want to limit myself to the tube, though, so I took a taxi ride. The taxi was black with a really roomy interior, and quite nice. (Nice in this instance means clean, not smelly, and driven at a reasonable pace which did not make me wonder if I would arrive intact at my destination.)
But the biggest surprise for me was the excellent and incredibly convenient bus system. I had never researched the double-decker red buses of London, and that’s my bad. If you want to see a lot of the city without spending a lot of money, hop on a bus. They are as frequent as the underground, and the view from the upper deck is great.
I fell in love with the bus system. It’s almost as easy to figure out as the tube. The schedules might seem daunting, but there’s an app for that. I used one called Journey Pro, but there are several more from which to choose. The greatest thing is that an Oyster card works whether you’re riding the tube or a bus.