Naturally, London is well served by airports, even if a pricey train ticket is needed to access the city from most of them. If you’re arriving late-night, know that the trains stop running around 11 p.m., so a night at an airport hotel may be more economical than an expensive taxi ride. The Heathrow and Gatwick express trains will get you into the city within 30 minutes, but if you’re looking to save money, and you’ve got the time, take the Piccadilly line from Heathrow or the Southern stopping service from Gatwick. Stansted and Luton airports are located in towns outside the city. London City Airport caters mostly to business and short-destination flights, but it can offer a spectacular low-flying approach over the city.
London’s public transportation may be the number-one topic of grouching for locals, but it’s still one of the best systems in the world. You’ll need an Oyster card, which you can pick up for a small deposit at any Underground station. The tube is good for most journeys, so long as you remember that trains stop running around midnight. Buses are plentiful, but it’s worth spending a quid or two on a London Bus Checker app to help you plan journeys and give you (live) waiting times. London taxis are as good as their reputation, although they can get expensive for long journeys. Mini-cabs should always be prearranged, and there are information lines and apps to help you find local companies—never get into a car with someone soliciting for business on the street. Cycling’s a good clean alternative; plan your route ahead and use the backstreets and bike lanes. Main roads are very busy, and you should be a confident cyclist to attempt them.