1.Travel around London with a Visitor Oyster card
A Visitor Oyster card is a smartcard with pay as you go credit that allows you to travel on most public transport in London. Buy one online and have it delivered to your home so that it’s ready to use as soon as you arrive in London. That way, you won’t have to queue to get one.
Pay as you go fares are cheaper than buying paper single tickets. You can also use your contactless debit or credit card to pay as you go on London’s public transport, although overseas transaction fees may apply.
2. Touch in and out on the yellow card readers
Remember to touch your Visitor Oyster card in at the yellow card reader at the start of your journey and to touch out at the end on Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and most National Rail services in London. On buses and trams, just touch your card on the yellow reader at the start of your journey – you don’t need to touch out when you get off.
3. Travel outside the busiest times
The busiest times to travel are 08:30 – 09:00 and 17:30 – 18:30, Monday to Friday. If you are able to travel outside these times, you could enjoy a quicker, more comfortable journey, especially if you’re carrying heavy luggage/a rucksack, or travelling in a group.
4. Stand on the right
Always stand on the right when using the escalators at Tube stations, leaving enough space free for passengers in a hurry. Once you get onto the platform, always stand behind the yellow line and move along the platform where more space is available so it’s easier to board the next train.
5. Travel differently
See a different side to London. You can hire a bike for as little as £2 with Santander Cycles, London’s self-service, bike-sharing scheme, take to the air with Emirates Air Line, London’s cable car or take a scenic boat trip along the River Thames. Alternatively, walking in central London is a great way to get around and experience the city. You’ll find that there are plenty of street maps to help you get around and it could be quick than taking the Tube or the bus.
Other travel tips
- Luggage and rucksacks
When carrying luggage on the Tube, look out for the raised platform areas to board and, where possible, avoid travelling during the busiest times: you may have an easier journey. Although staff will be present they may not be able to assist you with luggage as a result of carrying out other duties. If you’re carrying a rucksack, remove it when you board a train and place it by your feet
- Travel by bus
Try travelling by bus; it’s one of the cheapest and most scenic ways to travel. Use our Central London bus and attractions map to help you plan your way around the city and its landmarks. Remember, you cannot pay for your London bus fare in cash. You will need an Oyster or contactless payment card, or a valid ticket, to pay for your bus journey.
- Don’t rush for the train
The Tube operates a very frequent service, so there’s no need to rush for the first train. This allows you time to move down the platform where more space might be available.
- Get expert advice – go to a visitor centre
Visit a TfL visitor centre to plan your London visit. There you can buy tickets for travelling around London, getting to the airport or tickets for many of London’s major attractions and shows.