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London Underground Guide

London Underground Guide

A quick guide

Known as "The Tube" to locals, the London Underground opened in 1863 and serves around 5 million people each day.  Whether you're a local or simply coming for a visit, you'll want to read on to find out everything you need to know about the London Underground...

 

About The Underground

The London Underground, known as "The Tube" to locals is comprised of 11 lines that travel throughout 9 mapped out zones with 270 active stations.

Most lines run from about 5am until midnight, but there are also some lines that operate all night on weekends as part of the special Night Service.

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london underground guide about the metro
 

Tickets And Passes

You are required to have a ticket on you at all times while on the London Underground.  Not only are there ticket checks that will incur a £80 penalty if you fail to produce a ticket, but you'll also need a ticket to exit the station at the end of your trip.

1) Fares

Single fares for most destinations in London are £4.90 for adults.  If you're traveling further out of the city, your fare may be higher depending on the zone you travel to.  You should, however, consider buying an Oyster Card as fares are only half price when using the card.

2) Oyster Card

Almost everyone who uses the London Underground, tourists and locals alike, use an Oyster card.  It's a permanent reusable electronic ticket that can be topped up whenever needed.  Fares for most destinations in London are just £2.40 for adults when using the card.
london underground guide tickets and passes
 

Where To Buy Tickets

The easiest way to buy tickets or Oyster Cards is through the self service machines located in Tube and National Rail stations.  You can also purchase from ticket windows inside the stations.

Additionally, Oyster Cards can be purchased at Oyster Ticket Stops in many newsagents and hundreds of other shops throughout London.
london underground guide where to buy tickets
 

Euro Trip Kit

Speaking of buying things... did we mention we're selling a Euro Trip Kit?  It's a fantastic way to begin planning and dreaming about your euro trip.

Inside you'll find travel tips, a trip journal, adventure passport, language flashcards, inspiration and a whole lot more.

It's perfect for everyone from first time travelers to those who are already out there living the backpack dream.
Inside The Kit
 

Trip Planning

If you've never traveled on a foreign metro system, especially one as big as this one, it can be a bit daunting at first.  Just take a moment to relax and gather your bearings.  Before you know it you'll be navigating the metro system like a pro!

Before you're off to somewhere, take some time to plan out your route.  Figure out which line or lines you'll need to go on and which stations you need to transfer at in order to get to your final destination.  Also, figure out which exit you'll be leaving that station out of as some stations have many exits.

TIP
As with other major cities, pickpockets love working the metro.  Overcrowded stations and train cars give them ample opportunity to work their craft.  Just remember to be smart and protect yourself.
london underground guide trip planning

Navigating The Metro

1) At the station

Once you've paid, simply tap your ticket or Oyster Card on the gate to enter the Underground.

2) Find your train

To find your train line just follow the colored directional arrows and signs.  As each line has trains going in two different directions, check the directional map on the wall to make sure you're heading the right way.

3) Exiting the station

Once you've arrived at your final destination, find your desired exit, tap your Oyster Card or ticket at the exit gate to leave the station.
london underground guide navigating the metro
 

Transferring Lines

Most trips will involve transferring from one line to another.  When you get off at your transfer station, follow the colored directional signage leading you to your next line.  Again, make sure you're going in the right direction and off you go.
london underground guide transferring lines