How to get around London | Frommers (2023)

There are three practical ways to control the expansion of London: throughRohr(historic and charming, but expensive); ofBus(less expensive and less glamorous, but more uplifting and often faster); ANDwalking(the best method, but not always possible). Taxis are overpriced, Ubers charge for mobile data, and driving is insane.

One significant savings strategy is to choose a hotel that is within walking distance of many of the things you want to do. Fortunately, it is very easy to walk into the city. Subways are surprisingly slow (34 km/h/21 mph is average and has been for over 100 years); and in the center of the city, the stations are very close together and the stairs can make you tired. If your trip is only two or three stops, it is often less strenuous to walk.

The subway (also known as the subway)

Londoners call their 249-mile (402 km) tube system the Underground, its official name, or just as often "the Tube." Its elegant and distinctive logo, a red "round" with a blue bar through it, debuted in 1913 as one of the world's first corporate symbols and remains one of the city's most ubiquitous landmarks. The Tube is much more solid than most American systems. In fact, the seats are padded, that's because the British know how to take care of beautiful things. And yet there is no oldest subway system in the world: the first section opened in 1863, when the United States was fighting the Civil War, and it often behaves in keeping with its age, with frequent delays and stops. Check the posters and blackboards at the ticket office to see what "technical jobs" are planned.

The subway is an attraction in itself. It's fun to look for remnants of the early system (1907 flagstones on the Piccadilly line; the fronts of fake houses built at 23-24 Leinster Gardens to hide exposed tracks; derelict stations like Strand and Surrey Street). If you are fascinated by this "urban archaeology", visit itLondon Transport Museumin Covent Garden, one of the city's highlights for families.

Hay13 named lines, more himDocklands Light Rail (DLR), serving East London, and a tram line in South London.The lines are color coded.: The Piccadilly is a peacock purple, the Bakerloo could be considered a Sherlock Holmes brown, and so on. They were joined in 2019 by the newly excavated Elizabeth Line, valued at £14.8bn. It's impossible to overstate how excited the locals are to finally have a fast rail line connecting East London to West London; it has never existed before. In addition, they all have access without steps, something unprecedented in the metro. In total, the metro serves almost 300 stations.

HeThe metro is closed at night from Sunday to Thursday.. The exact times for the first and last train are given at each station (using the 24-hour clock), but the metro generally operates from 5:30am (05:30) to just after midnight (00:00). and on Sundays from 7:00 am (07:00) to 11:30 am (2330). On Friday and Saturday nights, many central London services run all night every 10 minutes: 'Night Tube' trains are the Piccadilly, Victoria, Central and Jubilee lines, as well as the Northern Line's Charing Cross branch and a little higher. land between Islington and New Cross Gate. However, if you plan to take the train after midnight, always check the Night Tube map and schedule beforehand. Transport for London (TfL) offers information 24 hours a day on 0343/222-1234.

What happens if you miss the last train? Don't worry, you're not stranded, although your trip may take longer or cost more. You just have to contact the city's 24-hour network. and night bus lines.

HOW TO FIND YOUR WAY ON THE SUBWAY:Navigation is mostly foolproof. Look for signs indicating the color and name of the line you want. Very soon more signs will separate you in the direction you want to go based on the subway map. Once you know the name/color of the line you want and the direction of your destination, the signs will lead you like an anthill to the platform you want. Almost all stations are interspersed with stairs. You'll navigate mazes of cylindrical tunnels, many lined with creamy-yellow tiles and packed with commuters, and up alpine escalators littered with advertisements. Stand to the right to allow the "climbers" to pass you.

The carriage may not open automatically on DLR (The Overground) and commuter trains. Press the lighted button and it will.

One of the best things about the metro are the electronic screens on the platforms that tell you how long it is until the next train. 24 hours The information service is also available on tel.0343/222-1234. The best resource isTfL trip planner, Online For specific travel information using a mobile device, you can text your start and end points, such as full zip codes (what tourist knows them?) or station/stop names in "A to B" format. , to [Tel]60835. TfL fires a text with the fastest route and the scheduled times. The best resource is the free ​​mapper, which tells you which metro, bus or train to take, how long it takes, and includes a map with walking directions to the nearest stop. UK Bus Checker app shows 3D maps of routes and where the next bus is.

(Video) How To Travel Around London and Buy an Oyster Card - Important Tips!

The most confusing lines for tourists are the Northern Line (black on maps) and the District Line (green). Largely due to the petty gossip of the Victorians who built these lines as sole proprietors, they broke off and went multiple ways. You Can Drive It Platform displays and signs at the front of the trains inform you of the final destination before you board so you can determine the direction. You won't go too far off course if you're wrong. If you ride the DLR (and you should, it offers a nice roof-level slide through the brickwork of the old East End and the monolithic towers of Canary Wharf), these lines split differently too, but there are plenty of ways to go. fix errors

The tube website has the excellent 'London Tube and Rail Services Map' It's a truer image than the subway map just because it shows all the places you can go by train with your ticket. (The buses are on separate maps). The site also has great simplified bus maps showing the routes for each neighborhood. Enter the address of your hotel, access Citymapper via WiFi and the choice is yours.

TUBE FRUSTRATIONS:The Tube lists everything about itself in, which contains more maps, planners, and FAQs than the average person can handle. As adorable as the tube is, it's not perfect. In fact, it can be so dehumanizing that he had to put up signs asking people not to mistreat his employees (sad, but true). Be prepared for a few things:

1. stages. Most seasons are as complicated as anthills. Passengers are sadistically herded up stairs, around platforms, down more stairs, and through more stairs. Even stations equipped with extremely long escalators (Angel has the longest in the system: 59m/194ft) perversely require passengers to climb one last flight of stairs to reach the street. So if you take luggage to the subway, you can take your stuff up at least 15 steps at a time. (Backpacks come in handy here, but don't leave them sitting on a crowded car.) For a list of accessible rail stations (there are only 66 so far), contact Transport for London Access & Mobility (; tel.020/7941-4600).

2. Delays. When entering a station, look for a sign with the names and colors of the subway lines. Next to each row you will see a status bar that says "Good service", "Serious delays" or something similar. Trust this sign - it updates every 10 minutes and the lines close without notice. If you notice "minor delays", don't worry. Worry about labor strikes: they're uncomfortably frequent.

3. Heat.The network may be covered. Health information is issued to passengers in the summer. Worst lines: Bakerloo, Central and Northern. The best: Circle and District. Air conditioning is being added, slowly.

4. A hellish rush hour. Shoulder to shoulder, shuffling silently through evacuated underground cylinders. It's memorable in the wrong way.

5. Hard weekends.Unlike modern systems, which typically have two sets of rails in each direction, the old London system has only one set, requiring entire lines to be shut down when maintenance is required. Weekends is when this happens. This is one of the main reasons why it is advisable to stay in central London, where you do not have to rely on a single tube line. Look at the box office to see what "technical work" is planned.

RATES, PASSES AND TICKETS:U-Bahn londinense ( offers 1.1 billion trips a year and each passenger apparently pays a different fare. Prices go up every January (these prices were current at the time of publication and will give you an idea of ​​the ratios). The UK system is so complicated that it has been accused of confusing travelers into paying more than they owe. But it all comes down to this: get an Oyster card and load it with money. I'll explain.

How much you pay: Downtown, basically everything around the Circle line, plus some padding, is zone 1. Driving out of town, in a concentric pattern, hits zones 2 through 6. Most of tourists are limited to zones 1 and 2; Very few popular attractions are outside of these (Wimbledon, Hampton Court, and Kew are the notable exceptions). Your fare is calculated based on the number of zones you travel through, and the lower the zone number, the less you pay. If a station appears to be between zones, pay the fare in the cheaper zone. One-way tickets are known as "single" and return tickets as "round trip".

Surprisingly, children 10 and under travel free when accompanied by an adult. Adults must purchase their own ticket and then ask the staff to direct Junior through the front gate. Ask an agent about ongoing child discounts.

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There are essentially three types of adult tour tickets.

1. Über Oyster Pay As You Go (PAYG). This is the best option and is used by the locals. Rub this credit card-sized pass on the yellow dots on the turnstiles and get the lowest fares. You load it in cash and it is debited as you go, without the need for tickets, for all public transport in the city. No matter how often you take the metro (loaded with£2.40 in zone 1 - that's much better than the £4.90 cash fare!) and bus (charge£1.50 - you can't pay cash on the bus), the maximum charge on your card in a single day is always less than what an equivalent day pass would cost (see below). Which makes it cheaper. Continued use of Oyster is always priced at £6.60 for anytime travel in zones 1 and 2 (£4.50 if you only take buses), compared to the flat rate of£12.30 you would have paid if you had bought an equivalent Travelcard. It's called "Price Capping" and it resets every day at 4:30 am. Getting an Oyster normally requires a £5 deposit, but you can pick it up at any tube ticket office before you leave the city (there's even one at Heathrow - ID may be required). The card will not be erased if you keep it next to your mobile phone. And if you don't use all the money, you can get a refund as long as there's less than what's available.£10 credits on your card. (Travelcards do not offer refunds for unused funds). So. Buy an Oyster card. They are sold in the vending machines upon entering the metro and can then also be used on the buses.

2. Via Abo. It is an unlimited metro, train and bus pass for 1 or 7 days aimed at tourists. "Day Anytime" Travelcards are for Zones 1 to 3 with no time restrictions£12:30 PM If you need to enter an area that is not covered by your card, please purchase an extension at the ticket office before you begin your journey. it is usually 1.50 to 2 pounds more. 7-day Travelcards cost adults £33 to travel in Zones 1 and 2. For Travelcard prices that include additional zones, You can load a Travelcard purchase onto an Oyster. Cons: Unlike PAYG, you may find yourself paying for rides you never use.

3. In cash, per trip. You could but don't. To travel one mile in Zone 1 on the tube, the cash fare is £4.90 (plus $7). I did the math: It costs 3.5 times more in cash to travel a mile on the subway than it does a mile on transatlantic first class. Also, the bus drivers don't even accept cash anymore. They eat oysters.

The Tube offers contactless payments at the yellow turnstile dots, the fees are exactly the same as Oyster, but it's unknown if your card issuer or bank will support this. Apple Pay and American Express, which come with contactless payments, should work. check with your issuer to make an educated guess about whether you can use this method. If you're using Apple Pay, fill out fingerprint recognition when you approach the turnstiles, or you'll stop everyone else. Honestly, for visitors, an Oyster card is more secure.

How to use the tickets: As fares depend on how far you've walked, you'll need to hold your Oyster card up to the big yellow reading dot both before boarding and after your journey, even if there are no turnstiles (so don't forget). On DLR, the point may be at street level. The same applies if you have a paper ticket for any train; Keep it handy because you'll need it to get back out at the end. If you can't find it, you must exceed the maximum rate. Inspectors regularly check passenger tickets and won't hesitate to fine you for running off electricity.

How to pay at a machine: If you are using a credit card to purchase tickets from a vending machine, please do not remove your card from the vending machine too quickly or you will be falsely informed that it has been declined. (Underground machines never hesitate to say there is something wrong with your card. Don't believe them. Try several times.) Vending machines generally accept cash and coins. If your credit card issuer offers a version of your card with an embedded SIM chip, request one before you travel; it facilitates many transactions in London, where chip cards are the norm.

Do you buy in advance?: Although TfL sends Oysters or Travelcards in advance, it is a waste. You can buy them at any metro station without shipping costs.


The metro and buses are considered one part, so the same payment systems work on both. Buses are what smart Londoners use. Your city buses may not be frequent, but London buses are frequent (every 5 minutes on weekdays), numerous (around 100 routes in central London and 700 in the rest of the city) and surprisingly fast. (many use exclusive lanes). ). Sitting on the second level of a candy apple red double-decker bus and watching the great monuments go by is one of London's priceless pleasures. The best thing is that the bus is cheaper than the metro.

The 1-day Oyster PAYG fare cap for coach travel is£4.50, it doesn't matter in which zone. Travelcards and oysters (per trip£1.50; buy in metro stations) are the best payment method. You can transfer between as many buses as you want within a 1 hour window for free. Don't drive without paying: surprise ticket checks are common. Please note that bus passes and travel cards expire at 4:30 am the day after purchase. TfL delivers 24 hours. information on tel.0343/222-1234.

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Drivers don't take money and very few bus stops have ticket machines (cash only and no change) so you must have an Oyster or Travelcard (get one at each tube stop). All stations have easy-to-read maps that tell you where to take the buses to get to your destination. Major intersections have multiple stops named with letters, with each stop serving different routes. Check the map at the bus stop to find the desired post office. Many shelters even have electronic boards that show the approximate arrival times of the next bus.

Board the bus ahead of the driver and tap your card on the big yellow dot to check in. An automatic voice announces the stops with multiple announcements. You press a button on a handrail to request a stop before the next. (Unlike the metro and trains, which charge by distance, buses are priced, so you shouldn't end up typing again.) Go down the middle door. Newer buses have reintroduced a rear door design with its own driver, so you can jump out of that rear entrance and break your neck on these buses whenever you want.

Routes beginning with N are night buses that take clubbers home after the subway stops around midnight; Many gather hard in Trafalgar Square, so pee before you head out. London also has trams, which are similarly priced to buses, but are in areas where tourists are unlikely to go.

DOUBLE DECK RED LETTER:Some routes are truly world class and connect iconic locations. With routes like these, you don't have to mess with those pesky hop-on hop-off buses:
* He15 buses, which runs through the city from northwest to southeast, includes Paddington, Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Fleet Street, St Paul's and the Tower of London. And he has vintage Routemaster vehicles.

* He10it passes the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gardens, Knightsbridge (one block north of Harrods), Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch, Oxford Street, Goodge Street (for the British Museum) and King's Cross Station.
* He159conecta Paddington, Oxford Circus, Trafalgar Square y Westminster.
* HeRV1you run into Covent Garden, Waterloo, Tate Modern and as a bonus you can drive to the Tower of London via Tower Bridge.

national railway

These are the train lines that are not operated by the metro. These comfortable, full-size trains travel to suburbs, remote towns, and neighborhoods where the Victorians did not tunnel for the subway, and operate on a regular, reliable, published schedule, marked on maps by two parallel red lines with a zigzag line. connecting them. These lines, which are actually preferable to the tube for convenience reasons, are covered by Travelcards and Oyster PAYG for about the same price as the tube, as long as you stay in the zone system. (The main stations have information desks if you're not sure if Oyster is valid on a trip.) You must tap Oyster at the beginning and end of each journey or you will be charged as if you had taken the train all the way you would have taken the line. If you accidentally catch a wrong or missed train, please notify the staff. You can make sure you don't get penalized.

There are many terms, but you don't have to search by trial and error. Check website or app, call the 24-hour hotline. Operators at National Rail Inquiries (; tel. 08457/48-49-50) or upload your journey to your favorite mapping app such as Citymapper. Alternatively, each station publishes schedules. Times are listed by destination; Find where you are going and the departures will be listed within 24 hours. Time.

National train stations (not Eurostar or the metro) accept discount cards for certain people. Each card requires proof of entitlement (passport, ISIC student card), but since they can be used for trips to distant cities, they pay off quickly if you travel a lot by train. Pick them up at the train stations:

*the elder card(; £30 per year): discounts of around 33 percent for people over 60.
* He16-25 train map(; £30 per year): discounts of 33 per cent for 16-25 year olds and full-time students of all ages. Requires a passport photo that can be uploaded from a computer. If you are applying in the UK please bring a passport photo for this purpose.
* Hefamily and friends card(; £30 per year) applies to at least one adult and one child aged 5-15, with a maximum of three adults and four children on one ticket; At least one child must travel at all times. It offers adults a 33 percent discount and children a 60 percent discount. However, please note that two children up to 4 years old can always travel for free with an adult, even without this card.


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Thanks in part to the dedication of several mayors, London's river ferries are now one of the most convenient ways to get around. Nicknamed River Bus, the boats cover a surprising amount of ground quickly. Some of its most useful stops are right outside the London Eye, Tate Modern, Tower of London, Greenwich, and the O2. The drive from Greenwich to the Embankment takes an idyllic 45 minutes. (But on weekends you may have to wait 30 minutes for the boat to be returned to you). You can cruise right under the famous Tower Bridge, and since it's meant for travelers, it's a fraction of the price of a tourist boat.

Fares depend on how far you travel, but expect a one-way fare of around £8.40 (£6.50 with Oyster) for a trip from Westminster to Greenwich. You will always save money by buying one return journey instead of two return journeys and always ask if your Oyster or Travelcard offers a discount. The fast catamarans ofThames cliffs
(; tel.020/7930-2062; usually 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. m. to 10:30 p.m. m.; can be booked via their app) they run every 20 minutes during the day and are much cheaper and more plentiful than the mentioned excursion boats. The RB1 route is particularly useful as it serves most of the major tourist stops, as well as Greenwich and the O2.a catch: On weekends the queue for the return from Greenwich can be 40 minutes. for an hour. River Roamer passes, which allow you unlimited rides after 9 a.m. m. for a single day, they cost £18.50 for adults and £37 for a family of two adults and up to three children. You can buy at the docks or buy in advance for a few pounds off via the Thames Clippers Tickets app, which can be downloaded on the River Thames(; tel.020/7930-4097) is a tourist version of the Clipper and offers a £12.75/£16.75 (£8/£10.50 for children) return journey from Westminster to Greenwich. Call these tours "sightseeing" but keep in mind that you're not fully guided and the clippers are just as good. You can pay with Oyster.


Scattered around the city you will see racks with identical red bikes on the shelves. You can borrow them day and night! They are called Santander cycles (, but Londoners call them Boris Bikes, after the fanatical former mayor who brought them here (or Barclays Bikes after a previous sponsor), and they offer more than 10.3 million rides a year. Interestingly, this has been reported to be the only part of Transport for London to make a profit.

Here's how it works: You choose one and remove it from the luggage rack by lifting up the seat. You drive it to any other docking station in town with an open space and park it by plugging in the front wheel until a green light appears at the dock. When you're ready to ride somewhere else, just get another bike. You buy the right to loan bicycles for 24 hours. for £2, and that gives you 30 minutes (payments on your credit card) each time you take a bike off the rack. Drop by and you'll pay the same price: £2 for every additional 30 minutes. The idea is that you use a bike as you need it, not that you carry it with you all day. You have to obey the same traffic rules as cars, which won't be easy, although the city's vast parks are safer places to ride a bike. Each pylon lists the locations of nearby docks. Use the free Santander Cycles or Citymapper apps to find nearby stations with space.


Even Londoners find taxis incredibly expensive. It's not the taxi driver's fault. You are the best in the world. Before putting on their wheels, all London taxi drivers (there are around 24,000 of them) must go through a grueling training period so extensive it's simply called 'The Knowledge'. On Sundays, trainees can be seen zipping around on mopeds with clipboards attached to the dashboard. The taxi drivers arrive with directions to all the alleys, stalls, avenues, shortcuts and squares of the city, and if they don't know, they find the answer so discreetly that you don't notice the slip. They're even trained in first aid, childbirth, and post acid attack help, so breathe easy. And then there are those adorable vehicles: bulbous like Depression-era Jalopies, spacious as a studio, but capable of complete U-turns in a single lane.

But you'll be paying at least £2.60 for this certainly unbeatable promotion. Journeys of up to 1.6 km (1 mile) during business hours cost between £6 and £9.40; Journeys of 3.2 km (2 miles) cost between £9 and £14.60; Long journeys of 6.4 km (4 miles) cost £16 to £23; and journeys of around 9.6 km (6 miles) will cost you between £24 and £31. Prices go up when you're most likely to need a taxi: about 10 per cent from 8pm to 8pm. m. to 10:00 p.m. m. or all day on weekends, and about another 20 percent from 10:00 p.m. m. at dawn. Journeys from Heathrow cost an additional £2.80 and journeys around Christmas and New Years are £4. Fortunately, there is no additional charge per passenger or baggage. It has become customary to tip 10 percent, but most people just round up to the nearest pound. Some taxis accept credit cards (don't count on them) but most are cash only.

Taxis are often referred to as "black cabs" when in fact 12 colors are registered, including "blue thistle" and "night fire red". mini-cabs, d. h Rental cars that operate separately from the traditional black cab system are easy to find using apps. Do not accept a ride from an unsolicited one. Among the best free apps that can announce the upcoming trip:split cab(, which finds people who follow its path to share the cost (and gives women the chance to drive cars driven by women);Kabbee(; tel.0203/515-1111) that looks for fleets of taxis at the best fixed price;he will threaten(; taxi call appMeinTaxi(formerly called Hailo;; standalone ride sharing appOn(, which comes into conflict with the city authorities and may not last; and London's reigning minicab operator,Addison Lee(, which generates over £100m in bookings a year from its free app alone.

Rent a car

You're crazy? Rare is local driving in central London where there is a mandatory daily 'congestion charge' of £11.50 (don't you believe me? and where parking fees are similar to renting your house. The streets were narrow enough when people rode horses and now they are riddled with one-way rules and police cameras that even punish you for honest mistakes, which you will definitely make while visiting. You're going crazy and broke, so why do that? Driving out of town for a tour of the country is fine, but don't rent a car for a London vacation.

use: This information was correct at the time of publication, but is subject to change without notice. Please confirm all fares and details directly with the relevant companies before planning your trip.

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