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How To Get Around London

How To Get Around London

Want to know how to get around London? We share the best ways to get around the capital including how to use the Underground & buses.

Exploring London is an adventure, thanks to its extensive and varied public transport options. Whether you’re here to soak in the historic sites or just get to work, navigating this bustling city is easier than you might think. 

Here’s how you can travel smart and experience London to the fullest.

How To Get Around London

How To Get Around London

Underground System (The Tube)

The Tube is London’s underground lifeline. It’s fast, extensive, and gets you close to almost every major attraction or business district.

With 11 lines and over 270 stations, it’s your best bet for quick travel. But remember, it can get packed during rush hours, so plan your trip with a bit of wiggle room.

Using an Oyster card or a contactless payment method makes riding the Tube easier and cheaper than buying single tickets. 

Navigating the Tube is also about experiencing a piece of London’s history. Many stations have unique designs and stories, so look around.

Plus, there’s an unspoken Tube etiquette – stand on the right on escalators, and always let passengers off the train before boarding.  


Want to take a day trip from London or travel from one side of the city with ease?

London’s extensive train networks, including the Overground, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), and Thameslink, serve the heart of the city and its scenic outskirts. They’re ideal for both daily commutes and leisurely explorations.

While the Overground offers a panoramic view of outer London, the DLR provides a futuristic trip through the Docklands. Meanwhile, Thameslink serves as a vital link for early flights from Luton and Gatwick airports.

Utilizing platforms like Split My Fare can further enhance your journey, offering economical ticket options along with insights into popular train routes. Pairing this with the convenience of Oyster or contactless payments ensures a cost-effective and smooth travel experience.

Together, these services not only ease navigation but also immerse you in the diverse landscape and culture of London.

Red Buses in London

Buses in London

London’s red double-decker buses are more than just a mode of transport; they’re an institution. Covering routes that trains don’t, they offer a scenic view of the city from the top deck. Buses run all day and night, making them a reliable option for early risers or night owls. Plus, they’re a bargain, with flat fares across the city.

Riding a bus gives you a different perspective of London. You’ll pass through neighborhoods, getting a glimpse of everyday life outside the tourist spots. And with over 700 routes, there’s hardly a place in London that you can’t reach by bus. Remember to check live bus times and routes on the Transport for London (TfL) app, which can save you waiting time.

Another tip: sit at the front on the upper deck for the best views, especially when crossing bridges or passing historic buildings. And if you’re traveling late, night buses are a safe and affordable way to get back to your accommodation. Just make sure to keep an eye on your stop, as it’s easy to get lost in the views and miss it!

The bus is a great option to get out to those hidden gems in London too!


London’s black cabs are iconic, a classic symbol of the city. If you’re in a rush or prefer a private ride, hailing a taxi might be your best choice. They’re reliable, with knowledgeable drivers who must pass the rigorous’ Knowledge of London’ exam. Though pricier than other transport options, taxis offer convenience, especially when you’re laden with shopping bags.

Taxis can be hailed on the street, found at ranks, or booked via phone and apps. They can accommodate up to five passengers and provide accessibility for wheelchair users. When travelling by taxi, you get more than a ride—you get a slice of London life and, often, your driver’s take on the city. No need to tip unless you want to, as the fare on the meter is all-inclusive.

London’s streets are old and winding, and traffic can be unpredictable. Use taxis when you need direct routes or comfort after a long day of sightseeing. They’re perfect for late nights when the Tube has stopped running, ensuring you get back safely without the wait.

Walking around Little Venice in London

Walking in London

Walking is an experience in London. The city’s layout means many of its attractions are closer together than they appear on a map. Neighborhoods like Westminster, Covent Garden, and the South Bank are best explored on foot. Walking gives you the freedom to move at your own pace, discover hidden gems, and really feel the city’s pulse.

Safety is important, so stay aware of your surroundings, especially when crossing roads. London’s streets can be busy, and it’s easy to get distracted by the sights. Comfortable shoes are a must with London’s cobblestones and uneven sidewalks. As you explore, take in the architecture, street art, and shop fronts that tell the story of a city that’s constantly evolving.

London’s green spaces, like Hyde Park or Hampstead Heath, are perfect for strolls or picnics, offering a break from the urban hustle. Maps or apps can help guide your journey but don’t be afraid to wander off the beaten path. Sometimes, the best adventures are unplanned.

Can you Cycle in London?

Cycling in London has transformed in recent years. With more bike lanes, it’s becoming a safer and more popular way to get around. Aside from being good for your health, biking is eco-friendly and provides a unique view of the city. Central London is relatively flat, making for easy rides, and you’ll find cycle paths leading to quieter streets and scenic routes.

The Santander Cycles scheme allows you to rent bikes from numerous docking stations scattered across the city. This affordable option is perfect for short trips or leisurely explorations. Simply pick up a bike, enjoy your ride, and then dock it at any other station.  Remember, safety first: wear a helmet, follow traffic rules, and stay alert, especially around larger vehicles.

Cycling lets you explore London at your own pace. Ride along the Thames for iconic views, or find a quiet path in one of the Royal Parks. Just remember to check the weather and dress accordingly, as London can be unpredictable!

Hidden Gems of London

A London Water Taxi

For a different perspective, try the River Thames water taxis. Not only do they avoid the city’s traffic, but they also offer stunning views of London from the water. The Thames Clippers serve as a scenic and practical mode of transport, connecting major landmarks like the London Eye, Tower Bridge, and Greenwich.

Fares are comparable to other public transport, and you can use your Oyster card for easy payment. The boats are comfortable, with indoor and outdoor seating, and they run frequently throughout the day. It’s a serene way to travel, especially during sunrise or sunset when the city looks magical.

Using the water taxis, you can access areas that might be less connected by land transport, making them a great option for sightseeing. Plus, it’s an excellent way to rest your feet after a long day of walking, allowing you to continue exploring without fatigue.

Things to know before you go to London

London’s blend of historical charm and modern efficiency is reflected in its transport options. Whether you prefer the speed of the Tube, the scenic routes of buses and water taxis, the privacy of taxis, or the freedom of walking and cycling, there’s a mode of transport for every mood and need. 

Plan and stay flexible, and you’ll find that navigating this magnificent city is easy and enjoyable. Remember, each journey is an opportunity to discover something new, so embrace the adventure and let London unfold before you.

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