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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > United Kingdom > England > Southampton

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Local time Southampton

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Getting around Southampton

Public transport

First Southampton (tel: +44 333 014 3480; www.firstgroup.com/southampton) operates a comprehensive network of buses linking all parts of the city. Blue Star (tel: +44 1202 338 421; www.bluestarbus.co.uk) and UniLink (tel: +44 23 8059 5974; www.unilinkbus.co.uk) also offer comprehensive services throughout the city.

Discounted fares, day travelcards and passes are available for some services. For full details about fares, routes and discounts, contact the relevant bus company directly.

Solent Go (www.solentgo.co.uk) is a smartcard which allows you to travel on buses and ferries throughout South Hampshire.

Taxis

Taxis can be hailed on the street or at ranks at the railway and bus stations. To pre-book a taxi try Abbeytax (tel: +44 23 8032 2480), Radio Taxis (tel: +44 23 8066 6666) or Streamline Taxis (tel: +44 23 8022 3355).

Driving

Prices for metered parking vary according to location. You can usually park for a maximum of either two or four hours in the city centre. See www.southampton.gov.uk/roads-parking/parking for a map of car parks and street parking spots.

Car hire

There are numerous car hire firms operating in Southampton, including Alamo (tel: +44 23 8065 3700; www.alamo.co.uk), Avis (tel: +44 844 544 6095; www.avis.co.uk) and Europcar (tel: +44 371 384 3418; www.europcar.co.uk).

Bicycle hire

Southampton is relatively small and, for the most part, flat, so a bike is a great way to get around. There's bike hire from Coastal Leisure (tel: +44 23 8033 2323; www.cyclehiresouthampton.co.uk) on the Town Quay.

GA Cycles, 65 Shirley Road (tel: +44 23 8063 6648; www.gacycles.co.uk), sells a good selection and is just a short walk from Southampton Central railway station.

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Premier Inn Southampton City Centre

A neat, clean and comfortable budget option well placed for exploring the city. It might not be the most exciting place to stay in Southampton, but if your priorities are location and price then this central Premier Inn can't be beaten.

Jury Inn

Book early to get the best prices at this city centre hotel, which overlooks East Park and is within walking distance of the main rail station. With 270 rooms, Jury Inn is the largest hotel in the city. Plus points include flatscreen TVs and supremely comfortable beds in all rooms, as well as free Wi-Fi.

Novotel Southampton

This hotel has a central location near the main railway station and West Quay shopping centre. It has 121 rooms, including four for disabled guests, and there is a swimming pool with exercise area and a sauna. Wi-Fi access is available. The hotel has a bar and restaurant.

Mercure Southampton Centre Dolphin Hotel

This large chain hotel has clearly spent a lot of time agonising over the finer details, including individually designed headboards created by artists in each of the 65 rooms. The buildings date from 1790 and 1890, and Jane Austen attended a ball in the hotel's Assembly rooms on her 18th birthday. A hotel with genuine character.

The Mayfair Guest House

Most of Southampton's best budget options are chain hotels, but this neat little guesthouse is a nice exception. Set in an elegant Edwardian building, it owes its excellent reputation to warm service, a cosy lounge area with free Wi-Fi and award-winning breakfasts based on locally sourced ingredients.

Grand Harbour Hotel

Bearing more than a passing resemblance to the Louvre, this iconic hotel stands out both for its architectural style and for its facilities. Many of the 173 rooms have sea views, there are suites with Jacuzzi baths and double balconies for luxury lovers, and the in-house fitness centre has a state-of-the-art gym and a pool as well as several therapy rooms.