Best way to get around in London

June 14, 2023
How To Get Around London

Navigating London, one of the world’s most bustling and dynamic cities, requires a good understanding of its extensive and varied transport network. With a myriad of options ranging from historic trains and buses to modern bicycles and pedestrian-friendly routes, getting around London can be both efficient and enjoyable. Whether you’re a daily commuter, a tourist exploring the city’s landmarks, or simply looking to experience the best of what London has to offer, knowing the best ways to travel is essential. This guide covers the main modes of transport in London, detailing their routes, accessibility, and unique features to help you make the most of your journey.


London Rail manages several key services including the London Overground (LO), London Trams, the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), and the Elizabeth line. The London Underground, commonly known as the Tube, operates between 5am and midnight from Monday to Saturday, with slightly reduced hours on Sunday. Some lines offer 24-hour service on weekends, known as the Night Tube. Here are the main Tube lines and their routes:

  • Bakerloo (brown): Harrow & Wealdstone to Elephant & Castle via the West End.
  • Central (red): Epping to Ealing Broadway and West Ruislip.
  • Circle (yellow): Hammersmith to Edgware Road, looping around central London.
  • District (green): Upminster to Edgware Road, with branches to Wimbledon, Richmond, and Ealing Broadway.
  • Hammersmith & City (pink): Hammersmith to Barking.
  • Jubilee (grey): Stratford to Stanmore via the Docklands.
  • Metropolitan (purple): Aldgate to Amersham and Chesham with branches to Watford and Uxbridge.
  • Northern (black): Two routes with branches to Edgware, High Barnet, and Battersea Power Station.
  • Piccadilly (blue): Heathrow and Uxbridge to Cockfosters.
  • Victoria (light blue): Brixton to Walthamstow Central via the West End.
  • Waterloo & City (light blue): Shuttle service between Waterloo and Bank.

The London Overground covers a vast area from Reading to Watford, passing through numerous boroughs. The DLR provides direct connections between Canary Wharf and the City of London. Notably, only a third of Tube stations are wheelchair accessible, but the Overground, DLR, and other services offer better accessibility. The Elizabeth line, originally Crossrail, has significantly increased capacity across the network, stretching over 100km from Reading and Heathrow to Shenfield and Abbey Wood.

For cost-effective travel, use contactless payment cards or an Oyster card, which can save both money and time. Peak fare times are Monday to Friday from 6:30-9:30am and 4-7pm.


London’s buses are a reliable option, with many routes operating 24 hours a day. Night buses, marked with an “N” before the number, cover times when the Tube is closed. Buses accept contactless payment and Oyster cards, with a single fare costing £1.75 and a daily cap at £5.25. The city’s 8,600 buses are all low-floor and wheelchair accessible, providing an inclusive travel option.

Walking in London

Walking is often the fastest and most enjoyable way to get around central London. Not only is it free, but it also allows you to discover the city’s unique streets, boutique shops, and charming eateries. London’s bridges, such as Tower Bridge and Millennium Bridge, offer beautiful river crossings. With 40% of the city designated as green space, London is a walker’s paradise, featuring over 3,000 parks.


Cycling in London is increasingly popular, thanks to dedicated cycle lanes and abundant bike racks. Santander Cycles, commonly known as “Boris Bikes,” offer a convenient and affordable way to cycle around the city. Download the Santander Cycles app to access bikes, including new e-bikes, with flexible payment options. Non-folded bicycles are allowed on public transport during off-peak hours, while folded bikes are welcome anytime.

Whether by train, bus, foot, or bicycle, London’s diverse transport options cater to every need, making it easy to explore and enjoy this vibrant city.

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