Essential tips for travelling around London


Our easy guide to London travel will help you plan your trip and make it easy for you to get around when you arrive.

London is a well connected city with many modes of transport including bus, tram, riverboat, taxis, underground lines and cycle hire. 


Getting Around



The Tube (Underground and Overground trains)

The tube is split into nine zones and the central London areas predominantly lie in Zones 1 and 2. The colours of the lines represent each ‘tube line’ (e.g. The Central Line is red) and you will be able to plan your journey by tracing which lines go to your desired destination on the map (or by using TFL’s Journey Planner).

You may have to change lines part way through your journey and be careful to ensure you are travelling on a line in the right direction. (Some lines travel eastbound to westbound, while others travel southbound to northbound).


All travel can be paid in cash but buying an Oyster Card (cost £5) is valid on all public transport and allows you to buy pre-pay credit to fund your travel, giving you a discounted rate at the same time. Simply swipe it on the reader before and after your journey.




Docklands Light Railway (DLR)

Similar to the tube, the Docklands Light railway operates in the Docklands and south-east area of London and provides a vital connection between east London and the city.


Bus

Buses operate throughout London and each journey has a fixed fare of £1.50 which you can pay with a Pay-as-you-go Oyster card or a contactless credit/debit card.

You can also travel for the same fare which is known as the "unlimited hopper fare" for up to one hour across the bus and tram network, which is great value.

The night buses are a good way of getting home after the tube lines close (around midnight).



Taxis and Mini-cabs

The iconic black cab is a must when you first visit and is known for their skill in being able to get you to your destination via the shortest route. Find our more about fares, accessibility and how to book them here.

You can also use private minicabs or car-hire apps like UBER to book a ride.




Boat

The Thames Clipper is a boat service operated by the London transport network and runs between Putney and Greenwich stopping at iconic spots like Westminster and Tower Bridge. See the route and book your tickets here.




Cycling

Cycling has now been made more accessible in London due to the Satander Cycle Hire Scheme, allowing visitors and residents to self-hire bikes across the city from over 570 docking stations on a pay-as-you-go basis.


Walking

Most central areas are now lined with public wayfinder maps called ‘Legible London,’ which provide a map of the immediate area and walking distance times, making it easier for people to navigate their way round.




Getting to and from London

Airports

London Heathrow is the city's major airport, just 20 miles west of central London.

Other main airports include London Gatwick, London Luton and Stanstead (the furthest from central London at 35 miles). City of London airport predominantly just serves flights to European destinations.

All services to and from airports can be picked up upon arrival (Heathrow tube exempt), but for best rates and guaranteed availability it should be arranged prior to your visit.




Heathrow

The tube is integrated into all 5 of the Heathrow terminals and guests can hop on the Piccadilly line and reach central London within an hour for approximately £5.

Alternatively, the Heathrow Express train departs from Heathrow airport every 15 minutes to Paddington (approximately £21 for an single adult ticket). Taxis can be found outside but are often considerably more expensive (£50)

Gatwick
The Gatwick Express train runs from the airport to Victoria every 15 minutes, with a journey time of 30 minutes. Prices vary but the average price is £18 for an adult single and £30 for a return. Best to book online in advance.

Stanstead
The Stanstead Express train runs from the airport to Liverpool St every 15 minutes, with a journey time of 47 minutes. Prices vary but the average price is £23.40 for an adult single.

London Luton Airport
A shuttle can take you from the airport to London Airport Parkway station in 10 minutes, where you can get a train into central London in 25 minutes and for about £14 (adult single).

City of London
The DLR (Docklands Light railway) provides transport links from London City Airport to central London (approximately £2.80 for an single adult ticket).

*easyBus and / or National Express also run bus / coach services into central London on a regular basis which is the cheapest option but tends to take longer (Heathrow 45 minutes, Gatwick 60 minutes, Stanstead 90 minutes, Luton 60 minutes)





The Eurostar

The Eurostar is a fast international train service from London (Kings Cross St Pancras) to Paris / Brussels (and vice versa), departing and arriving only from / to city centre locations. Multiple journeys are available daily and the journey time is less than two hours.

Note: You still need a passport or I.D card to use the Eurostar.



Travelling by Sea

From Europe, the fastest ferry service is departs from France. Calais (North France) has ferries that depart to Dover regularly throughout the day and takes only 90 minutes. Trains from Dover to London then take around two hours.

Ferries can be booked from operators DFDS Seaways, P&O and Aferry


Travelling from within the UK

London is very accessible from most places in the UK. Trains can be booked from National Rail Enquiries.


Expert help

We are local experts and can help you with advice about travelling around the city from your serviced apartment address.

Give us a call or email us today to ask about a serviced apartment in London.

+44 203 189 1269

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