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Best Way To Get Around

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Dec 11th, 2015, 03:44 AM
  #1
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Best Way To Get Around

Hi.
what is the best way of getting around london and paris? are the hop on hop off bus okay or other ways can be more accessible?
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Dec 11th, 2015, 03:56 AM
  #2
 
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Use the metro, with which both cities are blessed and which in London is called the Underground or the Tube, and your feet, if only to get a feeling for where you are.
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Dec 11th, 2015, 04:48 AM
  #3
 
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For London transit information and maps its best to get familiar with this website: https://tfl.gov.uk/

I hate the hop on and hop off buses, especially in London. They get caught up in terrible traffic and just sit. Its more efficient and way cheaper to just figure out what you want to see and use the tube, buses or walk in some cases.
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Dec 11th, 2015, 04:53 AM
  #4
 
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The best way would be on horseback or scooter.

The cheapest way would be to walk.

The most convenient way would be a combination of The Tube, taxis, and your own two feet.
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Dec 11th, 2015, 05:15 AM
  #5
 
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In London, use the tube and bus. The HoHo is very expensive, and not convenient for getting around town.
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Dec 11th, 2015, 05:26 AM
  #6
 
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Essential tool for Paris subway (Metro), bus and streetcar travel: http://www.ratp.fr/en/ratp/c_21879/visiting-paris/
Its interactive functions will help you plan your routes. Buy a carnet of tickets (a package of 10 magnetic-strip paper tickets.) Push the ticket into a slot at the turnstile and keep it until you leave the system (there are spot checks.) No transfer between the Metro and bus lines but the regional trains, RER, are partly underground too and the ticket allows transfer with the Metro.
It is a good idea to get familiar with the RATP tool ahead of time so you will be comfortable when you arrive. Also useful: www.parisbytrain.com
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Dec 11th, 2015, 06:19 AM
  #7
 
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In London, if you use google maps for directions, public transport will appear with routes by tube and bus as well as walking and driving. You can follow the route on your smart phone as you go, including walking directions to and from the bus or tube stop. I found this extremely helpful. You should buy an oyster card at an underground station and load it with as much money as you expect to spend on transport. The buses do not accept cash, you must use a card.

In Paris, the metro routes appear on google maps, but not the bus routes. Still useful if you are not planning to use the bus.

In Paris, I ask for the free map with lines and streets (lignes et rues) from the information booth inside metro stations. I have always bought a carnet, or package of ten tickets, and bought more as needed, as described above.

There are taxis in both cities, and on my last trip I made use of Uber for the first time with excellent results.
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Dec 11th, 2015, 07:30 AM
  #8
 
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Here's a hint -- take the ££ and €€ you would have spent on the H-o-H-o buses and add that to your hotel budget. Believe me, if you can only afford £50-£60 per night in London, you can't afford the £25+ per person for the H-o-H-o. . . .
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Dec 11th, 2015, 07:37 AM
  #9
 
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I would use the metro and buses in Paris, also, if the goal really is just to get around, not to have an excursion. The bus takes a long time and sometimes waits in spots for a while. I took it once just for fun as it was a fine day and I liked the views in some areas, and I wasn't in a hurry, but it isn't really efficient if the main goal is to get around quickly. Of course it isn't always their fault, I presumed some spots they had to wait due to the schedule, or just were supposed to, but the traffic ios very bad in the real central area, so that slows them a lot. You could have walked just as quickly in some places (like around Opera, as I recall).
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Dec 11th, 2015, 08:20 AM
  #10
 
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Hi drmsms,

In Paris, I prefer using the busses. Yes, the metro might be faster, but it's not nearly as pleasant as the bus. The bus takes you through neighborhoods you might not otherwise visit (once I retraced my steps on foot to find a shop I had passed on the bus), and of course you always get views of beautiful Paris during the ride.

The metro usually involves a lot of steps and some walking, especially if you have to change lines.

Using the bus isn't as intuitive as the metro is, but it's not really difficult to learn. Just download the ratp app on your smart phone, and study the map of the bus lines. Figure out which lines are near your hotel and which lines pass the places you want to see. Then use the map of the bus line to see exactly where the bus stop is -- you can drill down on the map.

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Dec 11th, 2015, 10:14 AM
  #11
 
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in London the no 11 bus will take you from Victoria, along to Parliament Square, up Whitehall, round Trafalgar Square, along the Strand, round the Aldwych and past Temple Bar, along Fleet Street, up Ludgate Hill and past St Pauls - and beyond.

for the price of a one day travel pass you can hop on and off to your heart's content.

no need for an expensive HOHO bus.
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Dec 11th, 2015, 10:26 AM
  #12
 
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HoHo buses are tours - not transit. They are very expensive and don't run very often (you may wait 30 minutes for the next bus versus 5 minutes for a local bus or tube/Metro).

For shorter distances just walk - and get a feeling for the city - for longer distances around London use the tube and for Paris the Metro. there are stations everywhere, they're much faster and much less expensive.
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Dec 11th, 2015, 10:32 AM
  #13
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thank you guys for the feedback. very much appreciated.

janisj , I will try my best. money a bit tight and I am not targetting to stay in 5 4 star hotel. i hope you understand.
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Dec 11th, 2015, 10:35 AM
  #14
 
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>>I am not targetting to stay in 5 4 star hotel. i hope you understand.<<

Most Fodorites also don't stay in 4 and 5 star hotels. It is just that your budget - especially for London - is totally inadequate. You are not going to find a triple room for £50. And if you do it will not be a 4 star -- it won't be a 2 star, it won't even be a 1 star.
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Dec 11th, 2015, 10:59 AM
  #15
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ok thank you . much appreciated.
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Dec 11th, 2015, 11:04 AM
  #16
 
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See the post I just did on your other thread . . . I did a hotel search for your dates on londontown.com . . .
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Dec 11th, 2015, 10:20 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
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You can use the Metro. It is one of the most convenient ways to get around the country. I'd also recommend having a road map of the city to have detailed insight about all the streets, hotels, and important places.
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Dec 12th, 2015, 02:18 AM
  #18
 
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Just adding what many others are saying:

Metro/Tube and buses are the way to go...with lots of walking.

London has many double-decker buses that make for great sightseeing while moving about the city. It's tube system is fantastic. Within the center of the city, you'll never have to wait more than 2 or 3 minutes for a train...unless there is a problem on the tracks.

Paris is a little more compact than London, so you'll probably walk more. The Metro system is also excellent.

You didn't say how many days in each city. Both have 7-day passes that can be worthwhile.

London - one-week "Travelcard: for zones 1 & 2 where nearly all major sights are costs £32.40 for 2016.

Paris - also has a 7-day "Passe Navigo Découverte" card, but it only goes from Mon-Sun...not any seven consecutive days. It costs 21.25€ and now (I think) includes zones 1-5...pretty much all of the sights.

Do the math based on your likely number of trips over the course of your visit--as well as the convenience of not having to buy/use individual tickets. We use metro/tube/buses a lot, so usually it's worth it for us if our stay is four days or more. Your "mileage" may vary.

ssander
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Dec 12th, 2015, 02:32 AM
  #19
 
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Another tip:

As long as you know at what tube/Metro stop your hotel is, it's pretty hard to get lost in the center of either city.

Bus stops generally have line maps posted. In London many also have "Spider Maps"...which show line maps radiating out form that stop for every line. You can also download all the spider maps near your hotel from the TFL website:

https://tfl.gov.uk/maps_/bus-spider-maps

For instance, here's a list of the spider maps in the Westminster area:

https://tfl.gov.uk/maps_/bus-spider-...ry=Westminster

The Paris RATP website has individual line maps to download...though you have to know the line number:

http://www.ratp.fr/informer/pdf/plans-bus/plans_bus.php

When all else fails, just jump on any bus and keep your eye out the window for a tube/Metro sign. In the city center, it won't be more than a few minutes' ride. Once inside the tube/Metro system, the posted maps will get you back to your hotel...or anywhere else you want to go.

There are also phone apps available with real-time info.

ssander
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Dec 12th, 2015, 02:08 PM
  #20
 
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The official (and free) RATP Visitor app is very good. The route finder feature works even when offline.
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