Urban transportation is not available on Christmas day.
Maps with details of the over-ground and underground transport services are freely available at airports, railway stations, hotels and public places..
Urban transport services are provided by the characteristic Double Decker buses, the characteristic English buses on two levels. The buses run from 6 a.m. in the morning until midnight, except for certain night bus services (marked by the letter N followed by the route number).
The bus stops are divided into compulsory stops (signs with a white background) and request stops (signs with a red background and the word request written on them). For the latter stops it is necessary to signal the bus driver to stop.
It is the oldest underground network in the world. The Tube, as it is affectionately called, has 11 tube lines and approximately 300 stations. The underground services start at 5:15 a.m. and end at 11:30 p.m. or 0:30 a.m.; on Sundays the services start at 7:00 although some tube lines have shorter routes. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket offices or from automatic ticket machines.
It is worthwhile purchasing a Travelcard, a card which can be used on the entire underground network, on underground buses and for the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), as well as certain rail networks, with can be purchased for 2, 3, 4 or 7 days. Travelcards can be purchased in underground stations as well as the principal railway stations. You can also buy a One-day Travelcard, a Family Travelcard and a Seven-day Travelcard.
An Oyster card is another convenient way to use the underground and buses; it is a magnetic smartcard which can be recharged on-line, at certain shops or at ticket offices. You can chose how much to recharge it and use it any time; the cost of each trip is deducted from the amount on the card.
They are called Black Cabs by Londoners and are one of London’s symbols. Taxi ranks can be found in London’s main railway stations. You can tell if a taxi is for hire because in these cases they will display a yellow light with for hire written on the display. By using the following numbers you can call for a taxi by phone: Radio Taxicabs, tel. 0171-2720272, Computer-Cab, tel. 0171-2860286 or Dial a Cab, tel. 0171-2535000. For lost property you can use the following number: tel. 0171-8330996.
Navigations services on the Thames (River Buses) can be taken from Westminster, Charing Cross and Tower Piers for Greenwich, the Thames Flood Barrier, Putney, Kew, Richmond and Hampton Court. The routes and ticket costs are variable according to the required destination and the tickets must be purchased on the boats. Apart from the London Riverbus services there are also brief cruises along the Thames from Charing Cross and Greenwich
On a bicycle
Riding a bicycle around London is a pleasure and is also convenient. Cycle paths are indicated by white lines as well as the symbol of a bicycle pained on the asphalt.
You can hire a bicycle at the following: On Your Bike, 52-53 Toley Street, SE1, tel. 0171-3786669; The Mountain Bike and Ski Co., 18 Gillingham Street, SW1, tel. 0171-8348933 and Portobello Cycles, 69 Golborne Road, W10, tel. 0171-3576958.
You have to be at least 21 years of age and have a driving license for at least a year to rent a car. The principal rental companies are Hertz, Avis and Europcar, and they have rental locations in the major tourist centres, hotels, airports and railway stations; it is possible to book from Italy as well. Check that insurance is included in the car rental cost.
Attenzione: Quasi tutte le compagnie di autonoleggio richiedono una carta di credito come garanzia al momento del noleggio dell'auto, senza la quale non viene rilasciato il mezzo!
Distances from then Main Cities:
London - Portsmouth: 135 Km
London - Dover: 123 Km
London - Southampton: 132 Km
London - Bristol: 191 Km
London - Birmingham: 191 Km
London - Liverpool: 342 Km
London - Manchester: 337 Km
London - Paris: 415 Km
London - Milan: 1219 Km