Rail

For the visitor to London the Underground or Tube will probably be the transport of choice to get around town. The Underground is normally the fastest way to get around town, often much faster than any taxi.

 

There is invariably an underground station nearby where you want to go and also your hotel, (there are currently 12 underground lines) and finding yourself around the system really is very easy.

 

London Journey Planner

 

Use the TFL (Transport for London) journey planner linked from icon on the left to plan your journeys. The journey planner covers all public transport.

 

London Underground Fares

 

Fare Zones

 

The London public transport system is divided up into zones that radiate from the centre. Nearly all the hotels and the main sights are in Zone 1. Heathrow Airport is in zone 6 and the furthest zone out is zone 9.

 

For the vast majority of visitors you will only travel in the two most central zones 1 and 2.

 

The Underground Map (link above) has the stations and their zones marked.

 

Underground Fares

 

You can see from the table below there is big financial incentive not to purchase individual tickets and use an Oyster card.

 

The other main way of paying is purchasing a Travelcard, which is a pass giving you unlimited travel for a set time period. The cost goes up with the coverage of zones required. The more zones you require the more expensive the Travelcard.

 

There are no senior’s fares for visitors. If you reside in London and are over 60 you can get a pass that makes free bus and Underground travel available. If you have an English National Concessionary bus pass you cannot use it on the London Underground, (but you can use it on London's red buses).

 

The London Underground is closed from around midnight until around 5 a.m., getting started a little later on Sundays. In Central London there is a very good night bus network when the Underground is closed.

 

You will rarely have to wait more than 5 minutes for an Underground train at any time of the day.

 

Travelcards are an alternative to Oyster cards. Travelcards are valid on the same modes of transport as Oyster Cards but are unlimited travel passes for a fixed flat fee. Travelcards are available for 1 and 7 days, 1 month and 1 year durations.

 

You can purchase and subsequently top up Oyster cards and Travelcards from Underground Stations and a wide variety of other outlets throughout London including neighbourhood stores.

 

Oyster Cards - More Details

Travelcards - More Details

 

Seniors Concessions

 

There are no senior’s fares for visitors. If you reside in London and are over 60 you can get a Freedom pass or 60+ Oyster ID card that makes free bus and Underground travel available. You can apply on-line or get a form from your local Post Office.

 

Anybody with an English National Concessionary bus pass can use that on London's red buses but not the Underground.

 

Child Concessions

 

This is a very complex subject and is covered in detail at the foot of the page.

 

In crude terms a child is defined as under 16 years old, but in the last couple of years it has been possible to get child fares after jumping through a few hoops up to the age of 17.

 

Children under 11 can travel free on the London Underground, DLR and buses without a ticket. If a child is between 11 and 15 years old you require an Oyster 11-15 Photocard (which has a fee see below). This allows 11 to 15 year olds to travel at child fares on the Underground, DLR, Overground and some trains, free on the buses.

 

Child Fares - More Details

 

Group Tickets - 1 Day Travelcard Style Tickets for Groups of 10 or More

 

This ticket is for groups of 10 or more travelling together.

 

The ticket is very similar to a Travelcard Zones 1 to 6, but isn't valid on London's red buses.

 

The group day ticket is for one day only and you can only buy it in London up to 7 days before travel. For 3 days you would need a separate ticket for each day. You cannot buy this ticket in advance, before arriving in London.

 

If you are a group of 10 or more then you really should look at this product. Click through on the blog link right for more details.

 

London Underground Fares 2014

Zones Travelled

Single Journey Ticket

Payment by Oyster Card~

Adult

Child†

Peak*

Off Peak

Zone 1

£4.70

£2.30

£2.20

£2.20

Zone 1 & 2

£4.70

£2.30

£2.80

£2.20

Zone 1 To 3

£4.70

£2.30

£3.20

£2.70

Zone 1 To 4

£5.70

£2.80

£3.80

£2.70

Zone 1 To 5

£5.70

£2.80

£4.60

£3.00

Zone 1 To 6

£5.70

£2.80

£5.00

£3.00

Zone 2 To 6

£5.70

£2.80

£2.80

£1.50

No return fares.

† Children travel free if under 11 year old or are between 11 and 15 years with an Oyster 11-15 Photocard

~ Children’s fares (11-15 yrs. old) on Oyster for any trip within zones 1 to 6 is £0.75 off peak, £0.80 peak

* Peak fares apply Monday to Friday between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. except public holiday