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Travel and transport in London 
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Getting round London is very easy, and reasonably inexpensive, for those who know how London's transport system works
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Travel and transport in LONDON

LONDON is one of the biggest cities in Europe, and it has one of the world's largest public transport systems. Today's public transport in London includes buses, suburban trains, the Underground (also called the Tube), the DLR or Docklands Light Railway, and some modern tram routes.

London's public transport system is primarily managed in order to provide transport for people living and working in the city, who use travel passes and cards. It is not user-friendly for people who want to buy one ticket at a time, for each journey.  So even if you are a tourist in London, it is best to buy one of the different passes or cards available.

London travel tips for Tourists

1. Do not come to London by car, if you can avoid it.

   To travel into London from outside the city, take the train or a bus service ! Traffic is difficult everywhere in the British capital, and the streets of central London are paid access. Parking is expensive.
    Visitors touring Britain by car are advised to leave the car in the suburbs and take the train into town. Daily travelcards or "Oystercards" can be used on buses, underground trains, suburban trains and the Docklands Light Railway.  

2  Buy a travelcard or an Oystercard... or even a pass

What kind of ticket?
The choice of public transport tickets is very confusing for visitors; for tourists, the easiest solution - and if you plan to make several journeys in the day, the cheapest solution - is to buy a one day Travelcard (or a 1 week travelcard).  


Buy on the day. This is the easiest, and in many cases the cheapest solution.
Travelcards can be bought on the day at the London area station where you first start your journey.
   If you plan to come in by train from outside the London area transport zone (outside Greater London), you may be able to buy a travel card covering your journey to and from London, and transport within London for the day. Check with your local station.
Alternatively, arrange to reach London after 9.30 a.m, then buy a  travelcard when you reach London, for use in the London area .

  London daily Travelcard prices 2019

    Anytime - Zones 1-4, £13.10, 
    Anytime - Zones 1-6, £18.60
    Off-peak (for use after 9.30 am) - zones 1-6  £12.70
Zones 1-4 cover central London, and include such tourist destinations as Wembley, Wimbledon, the 02 arena, Greenwich and London city Airport.
There are a few stations, all of them to the northwest of London,  that are in zones 7-9. A daily off-peak travelcard covering zones 1-9 costs  £13.90


Buy in advance. Oystercards are prepaid travel passes. Journeys are charged one by one, at a discounted price compared to the single ticket price; there is a daily cap on charges, which will never exceed the cost of a daily travelcard, and may well be less..  Visitors can buy Oyster cards on the Transport for London website: but this may not be the best solution for visitors spending only a few days in London.
Travelcards are easier but slightly more expensive: contactless credit cards are simple and may be cheaper - but beware each person must have a different card, and there are no child concessions.

Use your contactless credit card

Contactless credit cards (ordinary Visa, Mastercard, Amex etc. ) can be used to pay for single or multiple journeys on London's buses and underground. Cards from over 150 countries can be used - and if your card works elsewhere in Britain, it should work in contactless mode on London transport. Note that if you use a card from another country, you bank or card company may charge a transaction or exchange fee. However if you use the same card for several journeys by bus or underground on the same day, they will all be charged as a single payment, which cannot exceed a total of £7 for a single day for travel within zones 1 - 2. (central London and near suburbs), and up to £12.80 for travel in zones 1-6.

  The amount charged for travel in London in a day is always capped, and will depend on the zones in which you travel

Combined London pass (attractions) with travel

Plan in advance:  London attractions + travel
You can add a travel card to the London Pass, if you order in advance. With 1, 2 or 3-day London Pass + travel, you get free use of public transport included in your Pass, as well as free access to lots of attractions.  Visit  the London Pass for more information

Single tickets

Traditional single tickets can be purchased for any journey, but this is not usually the best solution.
You cannot use cash, notes or coins to buy tickets on board London's buses.
You can use a contactless credit card.
See Warnings below, and credit card use above.


Taxis can be used all over  London: for people travelling together, they will often be cheaper than taking  single-journey tube or underground tickets. You can also use online services such as Uber.


Avoid buying single journey tickets.

Public transport in central London is NOT user-friendly  for visitors, tourists and occasional users, and is very expensive for them.
You cannot use cash, notes or coins to buy tickets on board London's buses.
You can use a contactless credit card.

Single journeys on the buses  in central London cost £1.50 each. and on the underground they cost a huge £4.30

   For two people travelling together, a short taxi ride (up to 13 minutes) will cost less than two single tube tickets.......  If there are three of you, you can take a 20 minute taxi ride for less than the cost of three single tube tickets.

  So unless you really plan to make a maximum of only three bus journeys in a day, or one journey on the Tube, buy a Travelcard. If possible, plan in advance ! 

Copyright : Texts and photos © 2009-2019

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Discover how to use the public transport system in London. If you follow these tips, travel in London can be easy and inexpensive. If you don't, you could be surprised at how fast the costs mount up.

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