London is one of the easiest places to get around with plenty of interconnected networks, majority of which can be done using just one travel card or using your contactless credit or debit card. Banks may require that your contactless credit or debit card needs permission and you may have to make a purchase requiring PIN entry first. You may also find that the contactless fails after a few uses in which case it's usually a small purchase at a shop requiring a PIN entry to activate it again or that you don't have permission to use the contactless facilities without first notifying the card issuer.
Transport for London (TfL) formally London Transport, is a flexible and very easy way to travel on all the transports links between Bus, Underground (Tube, Metro etc) and Trains within London.
TFL has London divided up into 9 Zones. We have a travel card called an 'Oyster card' which you can use to get around London on the buses, underground and train using the same card. However, be aware of travelling between zones. For example if you are travelling from any area that is in zone 6 and you want to get to another area also in zone 6, you may find out that you are traveling through other lower zones (1-5). You will be charged for crossing through those zones even though any station in zones 1-5 is not your final destination.
To save your money and you choose to stay in central London, the first day of travel will be from Heathrow airport if you stay for 4-7 days. However, we recommend that you buy a weekly card for zones 1-3 and only top up the extra money on the card just for travelling from the airport (which is in zone 6) to your hotel in central London. After that you can travel in central London with your Oyster card with unlimited usage (zones 1-3) since most of the London attractions are in Zone 1.
When you walk into the underground station at Heathrow, you will see ticket machines where you can purchase tickets with English Pounds (Sterling) or with your credit card. Just look through options on the machines displaying 'new card' then just following the instructions. There are TfL staff who can help you too.
For more details about prices, services and much more, visit Transport for London's website or goto www.tfl.gov.uk and for network maps visit https://tfl.gov.uk/maps
In addition, you can get around London by hiring bikes or goto https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/cycling/santander-cycles. Once known as Boris bikes as Boris Johnson introduced them to London as a way to help reduce traffic and pollution. They are cheap to hire from as little as £2.00 for up to 30 minutes use within a 24 hour period. If you time it correctly, you could ride all day for £2.00 providing you dock your bike within 30 minutes each time and of course first find a free docking station to dock the bike within the 24 hours. Charging rules apply so be very careful and read the instructions. There's an app you can download too. One useful part of the app includes notifying TfL if the docking station you have arrived at is full. Just enter 'No docking point free' at the terminal and follow the on-screen directions to get an extra 15 minutes. To find out how it works goto https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/cycling/santander-cycles/how-it-work.