You’ve done your research and now you know exactly where you want to go…but how do you get there?
If you’re lucky enough to be staying in the city centre, the chances are that you can walk to most of the places you want to go to. If you’re staying a little further away, you may need to take a bus, train, tram or tube. The travel options, prices and types of ticket vary from city to city, but the good news is that it’s usually simple wherever you go!
You may even want to explore some places that are outside of the city you’re visiting. In this case, you’ll definitely need to use some public transport…unless you have lots of money to spend on a taxi!
Wait! There’s more great news! You already know some of the vocabulary you need to use when you buy tickets for public transport.
Do you remember the vocabulary you used when you bought tickets for the bus or train from the airport to the city centre? It’s the same here. Can you remember the two different types of ticket you can ask for?
That’s right! A single ticket and a return ticket.
If you’re travelling outside the city on the bus or train, you will probably want to return on the same day using the same transport. In this case, you will need a return ticket.
If you are sightseeing in the city and you’re planning on using the bus or a few times to get around, you can ask for a day pass. This means you pay once and then you can use the buses in the city as often as you want for the rest of the day or for a 24 hour period.
If you will be staying for a few days and you think you will use the bus every day, you can ask for a multi-day pass. This means you pay once and then you can use the buses for several days as often as you want.
You should be able to ask for a day pass and multi-day pass for the tram and tube too.
Most cities offer a combined ticket to make travel more convenient. This means you can use all city transport as often as you want for one price. Again, you can have a day pass or a multi-day pass. The prices are different depending on how many days you want to use the pass for…but they are usually much cheaper than buying lots of single and return tickets. Combined tickets can usually be bought online, through an app, or at a ticket office.
Top tip: Check the public transport options for the city you’re visiting before you go on holiday. There is usually information online about the cost of different tickets in different cities. You can use these websites to decide which tickets are the best deal for you. Then, when you arrive, you know exactly which tickets to ask for without any stress.
Where can I buy my tickets?
Bus: Most of the time, you can buy your bus tickets from the driver when you get on the bus. For longer journeys that depart from the bus station, you may need to buy your tickets from the ticket office at the bus station. Some tickets can also be bought online using the bus website or an app. Just make sure you bring your phone with you so you can show the driver your tickets! It’s always a good idea to check the ticket-buying options before you want to travel.
Train: You can buy your train tickets from a ticket machine or ticket office at the train station. Sometimes you can buy them after you get on the train, but often there will be a fine for this. Most train stations now operate a ticket barrier system so it’s impossible to get on the train without a ticket. It can be cheaper to buy train tickets online in advance. If you are very organised and know which day you are going to travel on the train, it might save you a little money if you book online.
Tube/Underground transport: Not all cities have a tube system, but they are a very convenient way to get around a city. Tickets can be bought at ticket machines in every tube station. There are a few different options when it comes to tube transport:
- You can pay for each individual journey. This is great if you only use the tube once or twice a day.
- You can pay for a day pass. This allows you to use the tube as much as you want for a day within a specific area of the city.
- You can ask for a multi-day pass. This means you can use the tube as much as you want for several days within a specific area of the city.
- Travel card – You can put money on your tube travel card and tap it at the barriers each time you want to use the tube. This is convenient if you want to use the tube a lot for several days. There is a cap each day which means you pay for each journey until you reach a certain amount. After that, it’s free to travel.
- Credit/debit card – some tube systems allow you to use your bank card instead of the travel card. It works the same way as a travel card. It just means you don’t need to buy a separate travel card and add money to it when you want to travel.