Getting around London by public transport

London’s public transport system makes it easy for you get around the city – whether you choose to overground trains and buses or the famous underground train network, known as the tube.

London zones

Train and underground fares are priced according to London zones. There are nine in total but Zone 1 and 2 are considered to be Central London.

Tickets and travelcards

  • Oyster card is the most convenient and cost effective way to use London public transport, giving savings of up to 50% on paying by cash.
  • A Visitor Oyster card costs £3.00 and you can top it up to travel on buses, trains and the underground.
  • You can use it to ‘pay as you go’ or to buy daily, weekly or monthly travelcards for unlimited travel in the chosen zones for the given period.
  • You can also use your contactless payment card  to pay for travel and enjoy the same savings as using an Oyster card. 

London Underground

The London Underground, known as the tube, is one of the best city transport systems in the world – clean, frequent and fast. Download the tube map app free or pick a paper version up from any underground station. It’s all colour coded to make it easy to follow and find where you want to go!

By overground train

Some areas of London are better served by overground trains and travelcards, Oyster cards and contactless payments are also accepted on these trains. The TFL website will help you to plan your journey.  

By bus

Cheaper than the tube, London has one of the best bus networks with buses running every 10 minutes and many services running through the night (night buses). You’ll find all the bus routes and times on the TFL website.

Please note that buses no longer accept cash so you must use either your Oyster card, travelcard or contactless payment card instead. 

Travelling with kids (for free)

Up to four children aged 0-10 can travel free with one adult on tube, bus, tram, DLR and London Overground trains.

If your children are aged between 11-15, they can travel free on buses and trams and half price on the tube, DLR and overground if they have a Zip Oyster card. You can apply for this between 4 weeks and 3 months in advance of your visit and pick it up from a travel information centre. Alternatively you can buy a child travelcard at half price for one to seven days and this is valid for all London public transport.

Buggies and wheelchairs

If you’re travelling with a buggy or a wheelchair and are worried about steps or access, you can find a step-free station map for the London Underground, or every kind of map for all of Transport for London at TfL.

When travelling, all Tube trains, buses and local trains have designated areas for buggies and wheelchairs, but travel will be easier if you avoid peak times, when transport can become very crowded.