Travelling in London

London is a big city and as such is easy to get lost in. Fortunately, London has a very useful transport network called the Underground, sometimes known as the Tube. There is also a very large bus network; you might find yourself hopping on one of the famous red Routemaster buses.

All public transport (trains and buses) in London is run by Transport for London or TFL.

The most important thing when you first arrive in London is to get yourself a map of the Underground and learn where you are going.

Oyster

The easiest and cheapest way of getting round on London transport is through an Oyster card. Have a look at our page for more details about this.

The Tube

The Tube runs on a number of different lines that criss-cross London. Where these lines meet are called interchange stations. Some stations, such as Bank, connect as many as 5 or 6 different lines. Have a look at the standard tube map‌ and get familiar with where you need to go.

The Tube is usually the best way of getting around London; it is relatively cheap, fast and trains are regular. Depending on the line you are on, trains run from early in the morning to around midnight; you can check the TFL website for the first and last train timetables. Trains tend to run every couple of minutes so you are never long away from the next train.

Peak periods run from around 6.00am - 10.00am and 4.00pm - 8.00pm

During these periods trains tend to be very busy as people commute to work. All lines are busy at these times, but the Central and Northern lines are especially busy. Remember that journey tend to be longer at these times so plan accordingly.

Tube Etiquette

The rules regarding use of the Tube are mostly the same as everywhere else, however there are some things that people are expected to observe as well. For example, people on the Tube tend not to talk, preferring to read, or if they do talk they will talk quitely, especially in busy carriages. Also, people give up seats for people who are unwell, pregnant (often wear a 'Baby On Board' badge) or elderly.

Buses

There are times when taking the Tube is not the best option for example late at night. Instead you can use the bus network to travel around London; buses are cheaper than the Tube but take longer to get to places as there is lots of traffic in London especially in the centre.

If you are travelling after midnight, there are special Night Buses that run.

For all the bus routes and timetables check the TFL Bus pages.

National Rail

As the UK's biggest city and capital, London is connected by train to most places in the UK directly. The big stations on the outskirts of the centre - such as Kings Cross, Waterloo, Paddington and Liverpool Street - are some of the places these traines arrive and depart from. These can also often be accessed on your Oyster Card and are sometimes quieter and quicker than the normal tube routes. Have a look at the London rail and tube services map‌ to see where the train lines run through London.