Life In London
Transport in London
When you're new to London, it can seem like a massive maze of trains, underground lines, buses, taxis and even boat services…
For the average Londoners, there is are always a way of finding the right way around the city. However, exploring London as a lost tourist can bring you many nice surprises - beautiful architecture, leafy squares and quirky cafés, so it isn't always a bad thing!
Transport for London
This should be your first place to go to learn more about the transport network in London should always be the official Transport for London website. You will find a lot of useful, first-hand information about the Underground, Overground, buses, trains and more.
If you look at the London Underground (aka the Tube) map, it's a bit confusing but once you’re in London you’ll start making sense of the Tube in no time. There are clear signs everywhere that help you out and will tell you exactly where you have to go too.
Here are our top tips for the Tube:
- On the escalators stand on the right and walk on the left.
- Get your tickets, Oyster or contactless cards, phones ready before the gates. If you need to find it, step aside and let other people pass.
- The lines always go in one of the 4 directions: Northbound or Southbound and Westbound or Eastbound.
- Not all the stations have trains going in both directions departing from platforms opposite each other, so sometimes you may have to walk for a while.
- There are a few lines that branch out (take a look at the Nothern, Picadilly and Central lines) so you will have to check the screens at the station to make sure you're getting onto the right train. Drivers always remind passengers which branch the line is going to so you can always get off and wait for the right train.
- Always check before you travel, especially if you have to be somewhere for an exam or a date! There are always lots of works going on (especially at weekends) and sometimes big lines are shut down.
- A lot of the lines are open 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays; double-check if the station you need is open before you get there as some of them are not serviced at night.
There are LOTS of buses in London but they're great. They will get you anywhere at any time of day or night. Every area in London has buses that move around it and some will even go much further than that area.
We're sure that you've used a bus before, but here are our top tips for the buses in London:
- You always have to get through the front door and touch-in on the reader next to the driver and get off in the back to avoid blocking other people from getting on.
- Every bus journey has a fixed cost; however, you can take unlimited bus journeys within an hour of when you first touch-in.
- To stop a bus while you're waiting at a bus stop wave at it. If there's no one getting off the bus, the driver will not stop if you don't wave it down.
- To stop it when you want to get off, simply push the Stop button.
- Think twice about taking a bus during the rush hours. London can get extremely busy and if you need to be somewhere urgently the Tube might be a better option.
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