Getting Around London

London has a very extensive transportation system that makes it extremely easy to get around the city. The various modes of transport include the subway (or the “tube”, as it is called in London), bus, tram, train, boat, and taxi.

Dating back to 1863, the London subway service is the oldest in the world. It consists of 11 different lines that cover central London and various suburbs located in the northern part of the city. Maps of the various lines are available at all stations, and the service is open from 5:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.

London’s two-tier, red buses have reached iconic status the world over, and for short trips, taking the bus is often faster than taking the subway. Visitors will find bus stops generously scattered throughout the city, each with a sign indicating the route numbers for the buses that stop there.

The London tram service, Tramlink, is another transport option in the city. This service opened in 2000 and mainly serves south London.

Transport by rail is provided by the Docklands Light Railway, which serves east London, the National Rail, which serves south and central London, the London Overground, which serves north London, and the Airport Express Rail, which serves Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted airports.

There are also a number of commuter boats run by London River Services that transport visitors along the River Thames to various destinations. This method of transport may take a little longer than others, but provides a stunning view of the city and many of its major attractions, including the Tower of London, Big Ben and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

London is also famous for its unique, black taxicabs, and this is a smart option for visitors with a great deal of luggage or small children in tow. These cabs can be hailed directly from the street. They are somewhat more expensive than the city’s mini-cabs, which must be booked by phone or the Internet.

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