Getting Around London: The Best Ways to Explore the City

From the London Underground to buses, trams, riverboats and even black taxis - find out all about getting around London.

Getting Around London: The Best Ways to Explore the City

London is a vibrant and bustling city, and it's no surprise that it's one of the most visited cities in the world. With its iconic sights, rich history, and diverse culture, there's something for everyone in London. But with so much to see and do, it can be hard to know the best way to get around. From the London Underground to buses, trams, and even riverboats, there are plenty of options for getting around London. The London Underground, or 'the Tube' as it's known by locals, is one of the fastest ways to get around the city.

It operates in fare zones 1 to 6, with zone 1 in the center and zone 6 outside. The more areas you cross on your trip, the more expensive it will be. The Overground has the same rates as the Metro and follows the same rules depending on the area. In most cases, you don't need to enter and exit if you use Oyster or contactless payment to switch from Overground to Underground services. The DLR is also part of the general fare zone of London and some tube stations also contain DLR stations.

Trains that enter and depart from London are independent of the Transport for London system, so you'll have to buy a different fare for these services. However, all suburban trains in zones 1 to 9 are included in the Oyster system, as well as trains to Gatwick and Heathrow. London buses are another great way to get around. With more than two billion trips taken on London buses each year, they're a popular choice for locals and visitors alike. Bus fares are cheaper than other forms of transport, with a fixed price of £1.65 (as of February 2020) for a single trip for Oyster users, regardless of distance.

You can also take advantage of the “hopper” fare with Oyster and contactless cards, which allows you to change buses without having to pay more. Buses tend to be a little slower than train services because they have to deal with traffic, but there are plenty of bus services that run 24 hours a day so you can still get home after a night out. There are also hop-on hop-off buses which are great for visitors as they visit all the main tourist attractions and include commentary. In South London there is also a tram service known as London Tramlink. It has four lines and 17 miles of track so it's not a huge network but it's heavily used in the region. The tram works the same as the bus in terms of payment: you pay a fixed fare per trip and just have to click with your Oyster card or contactless card when boarding. Finally, there is Thames Clipper which is a riverboat service that runs from central London along the River Thames.

It's slightly more expensive than other forms of transport but offers point-to-point service and relatively fast speed plus views of London from the river. And then there's always the iconic black taxi which has been transporting people around London since 1662!.