Getting Around London on Public Transport

The capital city of Great Britain is one of the most famous cities in the world, with a huge range of landmarks that are recognized by people from across the world. Of course, with over ten million people in the Greater London area, it is no surprise that the city has a significant public transport network, and this incorporates a variety of different transport methods to help locals and visitors to get around the city. One of the best things about traveling in London is that not only can you use a travel-card to get around, but you can also use any debit or credit card with contactless technology, and the system automatically calculates the cheapest fares for you.

  • 01 of 06

    Traveling By Tube

    David Simonetti/https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidesimonetti//2.0

    The tube or subway for international visitors is an extensive network of mainly underground lines that crisscross the British capital, taking in all of the major sights and many of the suburban areas too. Although a fairly old network that has served the city for over a century, the trains are quite modern and developments over recent years have also seen cell phone signal introduced to many of the underground sections. It is worth noting that if you are traveling between 8 am and 10 am or 4 pm and 6 pm on a weekday, you will rarely be able to find a seat unless you are out towards the edges of the network, as it is often very busy during rush hour.

  • 02 of 06

    London's New Night Tube Service

    Cernavoda/https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidesimonetti//2.0

    Traditionally the underground railway in London has usually closed at around midnight, but one of the interesting developments is the introduction of less frequent tube trains during the night. This service has started with the Central and Victoria line in August 2016, while it is believed that by December 2016, there will also be night trains on the Jubilee, Northern, and Piccadilly lines. This is a great option if you are planning to head out into the nightlife areas of Central London, and want a convenient way of traveling quickly back towards your hotel on these key transport routes.

  • 03 of 06

    Buses And Night-buses In The British Capital

    Tim Spouge/https://www.flickr.com/photos/98714794@N08//2.0

    While the Tube is one good way to get around London, the ubiquitous red buses are another common sight in the city, and there are hundreds of different bus routes, ranging from short suburban ones to artery routes that travel across the city. Most of these routes will have at least a bus every ten minutes during the busiest periods, although this can be less frequent outside of the peak hours and on weekends. Night-buses are indicated with the letter N before the number of the route, for example, the number 8 route becomes the N8. These buses are not so frequent, and only the main routes will have a night-bus, so make sure you check before going out that your required route does have a night bus service.

  • 04 of 06

    The Docklands Light Railway

    Michael Day/https://www.flickr.com/photos/13706945@N00//2.0

    Serving much of the southeast of the city, and particularly the area around the business center at Canary Wharf, the DLR is a light railway system that is automated and operates without drivers and mainly travels above ground. These lines can be accessed using the same travel-cards as the tube services, and they connect to the tube network at the key stations of Bank and Stratford.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Suburban Trains In London

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    If you are intending to head further out of the city center into the suburbs, it can often be quicker and more convenient to use the overground lines, which travel much quicker than the tube trains over longer distances, particularly if you are heading out to Wembley or Crystal Palace. Separate fares will usually apply depending on the route, and one other situation where this can apply is if you are flying from Heathrow, with the tube journey taking quite a while, with the services of the Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect both operating from London Paddington.

  • 06 of 06

    Water Ferry Services Along The Thames

    Robert Pittman/https://www.flickr.com/photos/50144889@N08//2.0

    One of the most scenic ways to travel around Central London is to use the river bus service along the Thames, and this travels from Woolwich in the East, where you can get to The O2 Arena, to Putney in the west, with six different lines in total serving the different stations along the way. Although these journeys are not included in the standard travel-card, you will receive a 1/3 discount on fares if you have a valid travel-card for that day.