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MAIN Arrow to Travel Travel Arrow to UK Travel UK Travel Arrow to London London Arrow to London Underground London Underground

Getting Around the London Underground

London Underground sign
Underground stops are
easy to spot on busy
London streets.

The London underground system is more than just a public transportation system - it is a cultural landmark with a storied history, a symbol of England's strength and a feat of engineering that defied all logic at the time it was built.

The first-ever electrified underground railway, the London Underground has been in service since 1863, when the Metropolitan Line launched.

Since then, the system has expanded to include 12 lines and 275 stations.

Today, the London underground or "the Tube" is one of the quickest, most efficient metropolitan railway systems in the world. The Underground marker - a red circle with a blue line running through the middle - might as well be the official logo of London and of tourist paraphernalia, with the phrase "mind the gap" almost a catch-phrase for getting around the city.

Where do you get off? Famous London attractions & nearest London Underground stations

central london underground map

It doesn't take long to become an expert London underground-hopper. Just follow the color-coded lines to well-known stops along the way. One stop at the Westminster station (green or yellow line), for example, will bring you to a treasure trove of London's famous sites including Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament.

For Hyde Park, follow the blue line to Hyde Park Corner station, or the red line to St. Paul's station for St. Paul's Cathedral. For other stops at top London attractions, see this helpful list below:

Big Ben - Westminster
Bond St. - Bond St.
British Museum - Russel Square
Buckingham Palace - Victoria
Carnaby St. - Carnaby St.
Covent Garden - Covent Garden
Downing St. - Westminster

Harrods - Knightsbridge
Houses of Parliament - Westminster
Hyde Park - Hyde Park Corner
Kew Gardens - Kew Gardens
London Eye - Waterloo
London Bridge - London Bridge
Madame Tussauds - Baker St.
National Gallery - Embankment
St. Pauls Cathedral - St. Pauls
Tate Gallery - Pimlico
Tower of London - Tower Hill
Trafalgar Square - Charing Cross
Westminster Abbey - Westminster
Westminster Cathedral - Victoria

Getting around the London Underground


London Tube map
London Underground maps

Follow the color-coded rail lines
to get around the entire city.

 

Riding the London underground is simple. There are stops at nearly every corner, and Transport for London offers easy-to-read tube maps and a convenient Journey Planner on its website so you can plan ahead. The lines are color-coded, and, as with most public transport systems, the directions are named after the last station stop.

There are several options for purchasing tickets, including single fares, 1- and 3-day passes and season tickets. Most locals purchase a refillable Oyster card, a cheap, reliable option that offers deep discounts on all public transport. For instance, an adult single fare within Zone 1 would cost £4, but with Oyster it only costs £1.50. Plus, Oyster uses electronic price capping to ensure that you never pay more on individual journeys than you would on a day pass.

Oyster Cards are available for purchase from London Overground ticket offices; London Travel Information Centres and Oyster Ticket Stops at independent retailers like newsstands or convenience stores. Train fare depends on how many zones you plan to travel across; most tourists will generally stay within Zones 1 and 2.

Once you have your ticket or Oyster, you can gain access to the platforms by passing through the electronic barriers in the station. Either insert your ticket into the slot or swipe your Oyster over the yellow reader, find the correct platform and direction for your desired destination and there you have it! Just be sure to mind the gap.

London Underground basic information

The London underground consists of 12 lines and 275 stations. Trains run between 5:30 and 3:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Sunday.

For more information on the London Tube:
Transport for London official website


"Mind the gap!" - Riding the London Tube


About the Author...
Jessica Arriola Marati


also see -> A Guide to Cockney Slang | UK Luxury Hotels | Historic UK Beer & Pub Crawls



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