In a few weeks I'll be heading with my wife and kids to London and Paris, each for five days. I've done a little research on transit passes but am still confused which ones to buy.
In Paris is appears that buying a booklet (carnet) of 10 Metro tickets is the way to go versus a Visite card. If we board the Metro four times a day then we are ahead by purchasing the booklet instead of the Visite.
As far as London is concerned, it's a bit more complicated because no matter how much I put onto an Oyster card, the most I will pay for travel on any one day will be £8.40. To complicate matters a 7 day Travelcard costs £30.40, which comes out to $6.08 per day but that's based on a seven day card used for only five days.
Any wisdom will be appreciated.
it depends on how often you are going to use the public transport.
are you staying at county hall or another central located hotel? If you are then it is unlikely you would be using the tube everyday.
probably easier to just get Oyster card and only pay when you are using, I think this would save you money.
Also, as the other Insiders taught me,
1) fares are actually lower using the Oyster card vs. standard fares
2) if you do make a lot of trips in one day; a) you never pay more than the Travelcard and b) they have a daily price cap
3) good for buses (daily cap on those as well)
4) you can return your Oyster card at a ticket booth and get the 5 GBP deposit back, as well as any remaining credit.
Look at me, never been (going next week) and spouting off about the tube and Oyster
Thank you sg, jerrycoin, ark, et al
You have a wonderful trip!
Am in London right now, for the week. Weather was fantastic this morning, but started raining in the afternoon. Bring you umbrella and rain gear! The crowds were out today. The London Eye, Westminster Bridge area and everything I drove past was crowded on a Sunday!
We were on the south bank today. We visited the Lichtenstein exhibition at the Tate modern which was good.
Yes plenty of people out and about, it was certainly better weather this morning.
jerry just to brighten you up I saw this article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2323300/UK-Weather-Last-years-wash-summer-predicted-repeat-heavy-showers-cold-weather-forecast-rest-May.html
If you continue down the south bank you'll find Southwark Cathedral, a real gem, right before Tower Bridge. There is an excellent wine tasting place there. And I hope you don't miss the Tower of London on your travels. Hampton Court is also a short boat or train road away and you can enter into the Tudor lifestyle there... Enjoy!
Although I've been to the Tower several times, two in my family haven't so that is a must stop. None of us have been to Hampton Court and that has already been a set priority.
Not much I can do about the weather. All of my previous trips to the city have taken place during great, clear weather. My first trip there in July 1989 took place during a rare heat wave, and it was not pleasant. Not even our hotel had A/C.
Just got into London today!
Wow what a wonderful morning, but the weather turned bad as the day progressed. Really got taken care of at County Hall. Like you said, the crowds were out today!
Glad you had a wonderful day at The Tate.
Are you going to come by sometime this week? Would love to say hello in person and treat you to a refreshment!
No question about it, Mikieg -- the Oyster/Urster card saves you lots of money and you can use it on most forms of transport (I used from West India Quay on the light rail system and I think someone else said on buses. But the key is it's really cheaper, substantially. And don't give it to the impulse to surrender it when you leave -- that way you know you'll go back!
As a Londoner and a frequent visitor to Paris, may I add that the Metro tickets in Paris, bought in a carnet of 10 tickets, never expire, so they can always be used on another trip, or passed to someone else before you leave.
in London the Oyster Card can be used on ALL public transport, buses, the Underground, the a docklands Light Railway and on suburban mainline trains within 10 miles of Central London. You can't use an a Oyster Card on a taxi, that's all. You pre-load an Oyster Card with funds, using your credit card at any rail station. The minimum is £10.
Regarding the weather, get used to the fact the British have weather, everyone else has climate. Weather is totally unpredictable, however it also changes frequently in one day, so if it rains in the morning it may well be dry later and vice versa.
Alas, I can't afford cabs unless my health requires it, but I find the tube mostly to be very effective and punctual and they usually list and call out in the stations problems or stops that don't work. As for light rail, I thought it was great. And if you're looking to spend money in better ways (like for meals or theatre), you simply cannot beat the Oyster Card.
Thanks for the peace of mind leeclarke ( for both sharing the headache of an experienced local and providing a solution). As a first time visitor this week, I have just gotten used to the tube lines being titled names other than the terminus points or colors and the bus lines appeared to be a gamble, so this is good stuff. Thanks for the insight and welcome aboard.
Are you in London?
Would you like to come by Marriott County Hall and join a few of us as my guest in the CL, on Wed. 5/15? We will get together in the lobby at 5:30 and head to the CL on the 4th floor. Will only have a few of us, but would enjoy hearing about WDC, and other travel stories you may have!
You can get here by going to The Westminster tube station, walking across the bridge and you can't miss the hotel!
When you get across the bridge, this should be what you see. That is the Marriott on the right. Keep walking till you see the entrance on your left. It is a peaceful, circle drive!
Thanks for the invite, no unfortunately I don't get there until the weekend, but since I'm staying at County Hall, your picture has good travel value for me, I'm hoping I get a room at the Big Ben viewing end, but anything looking at the Thames will please me. Give my regards to sg, he essentially bought me a few meals with the savings from shows and attractions and with your expert advice, I'm ready to rock and roll; "put me in coach, I'm ready to play". Enjoy the week.
You are arriving at the right time. This weather is terrible and should improve on Saturday. Will have some more pictures for you soon!
Good news, Chrisf and his Mrs. is going to join SG and me tomorrow night! Will look forward to sharing some MRI "Tales"!
BTW, if you like I will let the hotel to "Look out" for you on Saturday!
jerrycoin lifting erc to big boy status
As Sarah would say, "You betcha!" I'm at the Heathrow Ren on Saturday and will be taking the tube into County Hall (thus the value of your visual aid in your earlier post) Sunday morning, I'm there five nights on points, checking out Friday (back to the Ren). I just sent the virtual concierge e-mail telling them, that because of the praises sang by Insiders about their property, we're celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary there, (which, although possibly effective as a ruse, is actually true) asking for a view of the River Thames. I didn't need any executive suite, I just wanted to look out and see Big Ben and Parliament (as opposed to the London Eye riders gazing in on me and the Mrs. celebrating our anniversary ). Any juice you can apply would be greatly appreciated, but like I told the property folks, we'll have a blast either way (as a result of all the great Insider contributions of deals and ideas). Be sure to have a fine time yourself and tell ark to drag his cricket loving bum out there and join the gang! Thank you for the consideration.
I don't want to get ahead of myself, but let me share a few other photo's with you! Sure i will have more after tomorrow, but what a wonderful staff awaits you!
Yes, there are newer and less expensive places to stay, but this place has "Soul"
Teddi J,Senior Guest Relations Manager, and Anna, at The Front Desk, are wonderful at taking care of guests needs! Professional and courteous, make sure you say hello to them and the fantastic Concierge Staff!
They and the others make this a "Special Occasion" each and every time!
When I was there in 2010, we did the carnets, and it worked out to our advantage (over Paris-Visite), and also because we didn't visit a lot of the attractions that the Paris-Visite pass gives discounts for (so didn't need that functionality). Last year, we did do a zone 1-5 Paris-Visite pass, but that's because we stayed out at Paris Disneyland, and used the local bus system while there (zone 5, and the pass works on the busses out there). It just depends on your itinerary within the city. Sounds like you've done your homework. Don't forget that while at the Ren. La Defense, you can take the RER A train over the Metro Line 1 for a much faster ride into central Paris.
We were in Paris in July 2011 for 3 days, and bought the metro passes - we just had a card we used for each train. Since we had to switch trains many times, and had a long ride from the city to the Marriott resort by Euro Disney (it's a very long ride to/from the city, and to anyone thinking of going to Paris, staying at Marriott's Frenchmen's Cove or whatever it's called is way out of the way if you don't plan to go to Disney and want to spend more time in the city), the passes were a great buy for us.
With the passes, you can ride any train on any of the metro or RER lines and don't have to worry about purchasing individual tickets. It's definitely the way to go if you plan to ride to/from the city. Also, you can purchase a one-day pass to take boat up and down the Seine and visit some attractions that way too. You can get the train passes at the CDG airport. There is a ticket center for the boat near Notre Dame. Also, unless you want to pay a hefty price to climb hundreds of stairs to the top of Notre Dame and have your legs be sore for many days afterwards, if you plan to see Notre Dame, just get in the line that goes in the FRONT of the church. The line moves quickly, and entrance is free. Didn't find out till later that we could have saved ourselves alot of time buying tickets for the Eiffel Tower if we'd purchased them online.