Transportation in London

Transportation in London is anything but easy to understand. There are several different ways to get around in the city. The most important one is without any doubt the London Underground, but taxis and buses play an important role as well. Moreover, there are different ferry and rail services which are of huge importance, too. Surely, the fare system is complicated. There’s definitely a need for an extensive transportation guide!

London has several train stations which are located in different areas of the city. The most important ones include Waterloo Station, Victoria Station, Paddington Station and many more. Due to the sheer size of London and the extensive transportation network, it needs some time until you understand the whole transportation network map. When it comes to trains, it is recommendable to check at which station it departs or arrives and then use public transportation from this station to reach the final destination. Nowadays, the metropolitan rail services consist of the London Underground, the London Overground and the Docklands Light Railway. There’s also a system called Tramlink which operates in Croydon in the South of London.

London Underground and London Overground

The backbone of transportation in London are London Underground and London Overground. There’s also the Docklands Light Railway, but as this one is only operating in a selected part of the city, it is left out in this guide. The London Overground has several stations in the city center, but mainly connects the city with its suburbs, while the London Underground is not only the most important means of transport to connect London with its suburbs, but also for all rides inside the city center.

Underground London

The London Underground operates extremly frequent

Currently, there are six lines of the London Overground and eleven lines of the London Underground. Five of the London Underground lines got more than 200 million passengers a year and though operate extremely frequent. Due to the integrated Oyster Card fare system, the London Underground and all other means of transportation are quite easy to use. Yet, you should be aware that taking the tube in London is anything but cheap!

Overviews of the London Underground lines:

  • Bakerloo Line
  • Central Line
  • Circle Line
  • District Line
  • Hammersmith & City Line
  • Jubilee Line
  • Metropolitan Line
  • Northern Line
  • Piccadilly Line
  • Victoria Line
  • Waterloo & City Line

Buses in London

The well-known red double decker buses are one of the most important means of transport in London till today. When visiting the city, you’ll spot these in the city center as well as is in the suburbs. Especially in the city center, the lines operate extremely frequent. While the metro is rarely accessible due to being so old, most buses are accessible and so can be used by the disabled as well.

Bus London

Buses may not be the fastest option in rush hour

Due to the sheer number of buses in London, it’s always recommendable to use the journey planner by TfL (Transportation for London) which shows the fastest way to get from one point to another. Due to the integrated fare system, you won’t have any problems changing from buses to the London Underground, London Overground or any means of transportation.

Taxis in London

Besides the red double decker buses, there’s another popular means of transport in London which is known throughout the world. It’s the often old looking taxis which roam through the city. While all are very comfortable and extremely safe, the price is a real issue for many visitors of London.

Taxi London

Taxis in London are way more expensive than the public transportation

The general fare (Monday to Friday from 6 am to 8 pm) for taxis in London is 5.60 to 8.80 GBP (~ 7.65 to 12 Euro / 8.20 to 12.90 US-Dollar) for just the first mile. The following miles get a little bit cheaper, but taking a taxi in London is extremely expensive regardless of the duration of your ride.

  • The minimum fare for taking a taxi in London is 2.40 GBP (~ 3.30 Euro / 3.50 US-Dollar)
  • Rides from Central London to London Heathrow cost between 45 and 85 GBP (~ 60 to 115 Euro / 65 to 125 US-Dollar)
  • Overview of all taxi fares in London

Other means of transport in London

Travelling to London, you’ll instantly spot several more than the mentioned means of transport. Not only are there private operators of train systems and buses, but also other means of public transportation like ferries on the river Themse.

City Bikes London

There are also city bikes available in London

Not to forget about all the touristic means of transportation which are including, but are not limited to sightseeing buses, horse carriages and rickshaws. Whatever means of transportation you’ll choose in the end, be sure to bring a lot of money as transportation in London is not only truly complicated, it is also extremely expensive.


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7 Comments on “Transportation in London”

  1. I’m headed to the UK in two weeks and we’ll be going around London for sure. I do have someone who’s more familar in London’s transportation who’ll be holding my hand; I tend to wander off lol especially when I’m in a new scene. 🙂

    • Haha, it’s always good to have a guide on hand while in a new city. Maybe the guide can also help you a little bit. I hope you’ll have a stunning time in the UK. It’s such an interesting country 🙂

  2. Pingback: Looking Back | travelux

  3. If you use the red buses in London be aware that they no longer accept cash. You can use your Oystercard or contactless debit card. Individual cash fares are expensive on the Underground for a reason. TFL is trying to discourage cash fares. Pick up an Oystercard when you arrive. Fares are much cheaper . Day Travelcards are also available, and are good value if you intend to be moving around a lot. You can use the Underground , Overground, Docklands Light Railway, National Rail, Red Buses. The Tram Network and you get discounted rates on Thames Clipper Ferries and the Emirates Cable Car.

    • Hey Liam, thank you for providing such amazing information! This will defintiely be helpful for anybody reading this guide 🙂 I’ve been using my CC for transportation in London lately, which I also found quite comfortable (and you don’t need to pick up yet another plastic card, which fills up the purse)

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