London: A Visitor’s Guide
Have you seen our guidebook? We explain how to ride the buses, boats, taxis and trains, with all the fares and ticket options
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Get information about a particular station:
Plan a journey between two different stations:
Or find the best route to a tourist attraction:
The London Underground typically operates from 5 AM to 00.30 AM (Mon-Sat), and 7 AM to 11.30 PM (Sun). The Docklands Light Railway runs from 5.30 AM to 00.30 AM (Mon-Sat), and 7 AM to 11.30 PM (Sun).
The long-awaited 24-hour service will start in late 2016, but only on Fridays and Saturdays, and only on the Jubilee, Piccadilly, Victoria, and most of the Central and Northern lines.
But this is where it begins to get a bit complicated: because the Central line will only operate between Ealing Broadway and Loughton. It will not operate from North Acton to West Ruislip, from Loughton to Epping, or from Woodford to Hainault (although it will go between Leytonstone and Hainult). The Northern line will only operate from Morden to Edgware, and Morden to High Barnet (both via the Charing Cross loop). It will not operate on the Bank loop. The Piccadilly line will run all the way from Cockfosters to Heathrow Terminals 1-3, and Terminal 5, but not Terminal 4. It will not operate between Acton Town and Uxbridge.
Each underground line has its own special colour, which is shown below.
The coloured lines can be seen on the tube map, which you will find pasted up at every station. Here is a part of it.
Stations which only serve one line are shown by a little stub protruding from the coloured line. For example, Covent Garden, which only serves the Piccadilly (dark blue) line.
Stations which serve two or more lines are said to be
interchanges, and are shown by a large white circle. For example, Blackfriars, which serves the Circle (yellow) and District (dark green) lines.
Stations which also serve mainline (above-ground) trains are accompanied by a little red rail symbol. For example, Charing Cross and Cannon Street.
Buy an Oyster Card (more info)
Buy a Visitor Oyster Card (info)
Buy a Travelcard (more info)
Buy a Travelcard + London Pass
Contactless payment cards National Rail tickets Buy from Trainline
Buy from Raileasy
You can print off paper timetables at tfl.gov.uk/travel-information.
You can also get paper timetables at a Travel Information Centre. There are six of them in London: Euston station, King’s Cross station, Liverpool Street station, Piccadilly Circus station, Victoria station and Heathrow airport.
Always stand on the right-hand side of escalators. The left-hand side is reserved for people who want to walk up the escalator.
When entering or exiting the platform, you won’t be able to use every single ticket barrier… only the ones with green or yellow arrows on. If a lane has a red or yellow cross on it, then it won’t accept your ticket.
If you’re carrying bulky items and can’t fit through the barrier, look for an extra wide gate to the side. If there are none, just show your ticket to the member of staff, who will let you through a side gate.