London is one of the most interesting and magic cities in Europe, as the Capital city of United Kingdom, this place had important influence in the history of the country and the entire continent. Thanks to London culture, you can feel its magnetism as soon as you arrive; whether if youíre traveling for vacations or business, London will show you why itís the largest metropolitan area in United Kingdom.
London, as an important city, offers all facilities for visitors and locals; youíll see many options to arrive to the city, by air that is the quickest and more comfortable way to arrive, by sea, which is a great experience and easier too depending on the weather, by rail, with a great rail network and numerous services and by car or by bus, great ways to meet new people and contact good friends for your trip.
The following are some of these media of transportation and useful information.
London By Bus
Buses are by far the cheapest way to arrive London, but journey times are longer, if you are coming from a major city, the cheapest alternative is to travel on the Mega Bus.
Most international and domestic long distance bus arrive and depart from a complex of coach stations such as the Victoria Coach Station (164 Buckingham Palace Road), about 10 minute walk south of the Victoria Railway Station and the underground Tube Station. The Victoria Coach Station must not be confused with the Victoria Bus Station which serves London Buses.
The following are amongst the main coach operators:
National Express: Operates the largest coach network in the UK. Advance ticketing is usually required and recommended.
Telephone: +44 (0) 087 178 18181
Eurolines: Associated of National Express, is a major method of travel between neighbouring countries.
Telephone: +44 (0) 087 178 18181
Megabus: Operates coach services from/to London to/from several major regional cities.
Telephone: +44 (0) 087 055 05050
Eurobus Express: Operates coach services to London from Paris and Calais in France and from Poland.
Telephone: +44 (0) 087 060 88806
London By Car
Main roads are designated by a letter, followed by up to four numbers:
Motorists and their cars can travel by train through the Eurotunnel from Calais, France to Folkestone, southeast England. Once you arrive on the English side of the Channel Tunnel; take the M20 to go directly to London. Two roadways encircle London: the A406 and A205 form the inner beltway. The M1, M11, M20, M23, M3, M4 and M40 radiate from the capital to the rest of the country. The M25 encircles Greater London.
- 'M': Motorway
- 'A': Major Road
- 'B': Minor Road
Traffic drives on the left side and drivers must be at least 17 years old. Seat belts are obligatory for drivers, front-seat passengers and rear-seat passengers. The highest legal alcohol to blood ratio permitted for driving is 0.08%. Insurance is compulsory. Overseas visitors bringing their own cars should bring their property documents. International driving permits are valid for up to one year.
Getting around London by car is not a recommendable option; there are many parking inconveniences and heavy traffic, plan to leave your car in a garage and use public transportation or taxis.
London By Sea
London is easily accessible from different UK ports such as Dover, Folkestone, Harwich, Ramsgate, and Newhaven. If youíre thinking of sailing over to England you can take a ferry from France or Spain to the white cliffs of Dover, which is just about 90 minutes from Central London.
Arriving by ferry is an easy way to get to England from France, the quickest ferry-crossing is from Calais, France to Dover, England; crossings time take between 70 and 90 minutes. Ferries are operated by Sea France and P&O Ferries, and run habitually throughout day and night.
Norfolkline operates ferries to/from Dunkirk from/to Dover, crossing time take two hours. SpeedFerries also run ferries to/from Boulogne-sur-Mer from/to Dover, taking 50 minutes to cross the Channel.
London By Rail
Arrival by train is one of the fastest ways to get to London. As the hub of the Englandís rail network, London has numerous services to all corners of the country. Most rails services offer First and Standard Class services. Always be sure to be on board you train al least two minutes previous to departure time as many trains have mechanical doors that shut forty seconds before departure.
There a high speed international rail route operated by Eurostar from/to Paris and Brussels to/from London via the Channel Tunnel. St Pancras International is the London terminus for Eurostar. Additionally, the Eurotunnel operates a rail shuttle service for cars, buses and other vehicles from/to Folkestone, England to/from Calais, France.
London has numerous major stations, each one connected directly to the city bus and train network. The major national stations are Victoria, Paddington, Euston, King Cross, Liverpool Street, Waterloo, Fenchurch Street, Waterloo and Charing Cross
National Rail Enquiries, provide railway information 24 hours a day.
Telephone: +44 (0) 087 120 04950
Telephone: +44 (0) 087 051 86186
London By Air
The quickest route to London is by plane, its major airports are efficiently linked to the metropolis; some of them are more than half an hour by train from the centre.
London is served by six international airports: Heathrow, flights arrive here from all over the world; Gatwick, there are Gatwick Express trains running to Victoria station; Stansted, is the main airport for Low Cost Airlines from Europe; Luton, mainly handles European flights; London City Airport, receive flights from UK and Europe only; and Southend. All of them are less than hour from the city centre, travelling between the airports and the city is easy by the large number of public transport links.
British Airways is the national flagship carrier. Other top airlines flying to London include: American Airlines, Continental, Delta, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, and Virgin Atlantic.