London's Underground Lines: What You Need to Know

Get to Grips With London's Tube Network

••• Matthew E. Maddock/Getty Images

The London Underground has 11 color-coded lines. It may seem confusing when you first try to find your way around the city on the tube but with practice, it can be quite straightforward. Pick up a free tube map at any station or visitor information office.

The tube operates from approximately 5am to 12:30am on most lines (7:30am to 10:30pm on Sundays). Services are frequent, especially in central London.

Most major attractions are within walking distance of a tube station. Trains can be busy during peak hours and visitors find it easier and cheaper to travel after 9:30am Monday to Friday.

The network is divided into nine zones with Zone 1 being the central area.

Be aware that as the transport system is old, it needs maintaining and this means that you can encounter frequent Weekend Engineering Works.

Buying tickets

Invest in a Visitor Oyster Card if you plan to make journeys via tube, bus, tram, DLR, London Overground, TFL Rail or River Bus. The fares are cheaper than purchasing paper tickets and are capped on a daily basis so that you can travel as many times as you like in a day for a maximum charge of £6.60 (compared to a paper Travelcard priced at £12.30). You can also take advantage of discounts and special offers throughout the city. Cards can be purchased and delivered to your home ahead of a trip to London.

 

Here's a list of London's tube lines with a handy guide to key stops on each route:

  • Bakerloo Line (Brown)
    FROM: Harrow & Wealdstone
    TO: Elephant & Castle
    USEFUL STOPS:
    • Edgware Road
    • Oxford Circus
    • Piccadilly Circus
    • Waterloo
  • Central Line (Red)
    FROM: Hillingdon
    TO: Epping
    USEFUL STOPS:
    • Shepherd's Bush
    • Notting Hill Gate
    • Marble Arch
    • Oxford Circus
    • Tottenham Court Road
    • Circle Line (Yellow)
      USEFUL STOPS:
      • Paddington
      • Baker Street
      • Liverpool Street
      • Tower Hill
      • Embankment
      • Victoria
      • Notting Hill Gate
      • Hammersmith (end of the extension)
    • District Line (Green)
      FROM:
      • Ealing Broadway
      • Richmond
      • Wimbledon
      TO:
      • Upminster
      • Edgware Road
      USEFUL STOPS:
      • Paddington
      • Notting Hill Gate
    • Northern Line (Black)
      FROM:
      • High Barnet
      • Mill Hill East
      • Edgware
      TO: Modern
      USEFUL STOPS:
      • Camden Town
      • Euston
      • Kings Cross St. Pancras
      • London Bridge
      • Tottenham Court Road
      • Waterloo
    • Piccadilly Line (Dark Blue)
      FROM:
      • Heathrow
      • Uxbridge
      TO: Cockfosters
      USEFUL STOPS:
      • Knightsbridge
      • Piccadilly Circus
      • Leicester Square
      • King's Cross St. Pancras