4 Tips to Using London Public Transport

3 July, 2009

1. Use an Oyster Card

How to use Oyster Card

No.  You don’t get discounts for oysters with this card.  The name – Oyster, is a metaphorical reference to security (shell of an oyster) and value (the pearl within).

Compared to paying single fares for each trip, Oyster card users enjoy savings of more than £1 per trip and depending on your travel periods (peak or off-peak), the daily price cap ensures you never spend more than £6.70 per day – in other words, you can make 1000 trips on London Underground, buses, trams in Zone 1-2 and still spend at most £6.70 a day.

2-for-1 National Rail Offer 2.  Use a National Rail Day Travelcard/Ticket with Daysoutguide 2 for 1 London Offers

London attractions e.g. Tower of London can be very expensive (£17 per person).  Thankfully, there are 2 for 1 offers for National Rail customers.  To enjoy this offer, all they have to do is produce a ticket/travelcard with the National Rail logo and a printed voucher to effectively halve the admission ticket price.  See DaysOutGuide 2 for 1 offer website for details.

3.  Take a Bus (especially a London Routemaster Heritage)

The London Tube can be a very confusing network of train lines for those not familiar with it.

london tube mapChanging lines can involve quite a fair bit of walking too. Some stations also don’t have lifts – a major obstacle for those with luggage.  The bus services in London is usually on time and can bring you to your destinations more directly. For a more retro feeling of London’s buses, you can also take the Routemaster Heritage buses 9 and 15 which ply most of the tourist areas.  Instead of tapping your Oyster card on card readers like other buses, a conductor stationed on board will check your card on his mobile reader.

London routemaster heritage bus

4.  Take note of Service Closure

London Tube Service UpdateCheck the Transport for London website regularly for updates on train service, especially if you are travelling on a weekend – lots of train lines are usually closed during weekends for maintainence.

Also keep an eye out for predicted strikes notices.  Strikes can close the Underground lines for days.  Just two days after we left London, there was a strike by London Underground lines, disabling most of the train lines.

Zhiqiang & Tingyi

Comments (10)

  • AmerReply

    29 July, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    I’ve never been to London ,
    but this Topic its really helpfull !
    .-= Amer´s last blog ..El Caminito del Rey (The King’s pathway) =-.

  • Chris FernandesReply

    14 September, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Well, I travelled to london the last december for vacation and I prefered to book a taxi for my travel rather than going by tube because i find it very confusing one If anyone like me is over there than they can try to book a Taxi with Hummingbird Cars http://www.airportransfers.net. for London airport Transfer and they are pretty good and Affordable. They Provide Transfers from all the five London Airports: Gatwick, Luton, London City, Stansted and London Heathrow Airpots. They have very well behaved Drivers who respect their customers. They also provide a MEET and GREET Service. They have well maintained Saloon, Estate, People Carriers (MPV’s) and large Public Carriers.
    They also dont hike their prices anytime they have standard prices throughout the year. They also provide good discounts on bookings.

    Highly Recommended

    Chris Fernandes

  • Souvenir Shopping in LondonReply

    18 September, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    […] be prepared for huge crowds everywhere, especially at Tube stations (see picture below).  Also check train service availability before leaving your accommodation – some Tube lines are closed for maintenance during […]

  • MarioReply

    30 September, 2009 at 7:50 pm


    Even i agree with Chris that HUMMINGBIRD CARS http://hummingbirdcars.co.uk is the best London Airport Transfer company in the town at present.
    and to add to the above comment they provide 5 % Discount on all return journeys.



  • TomReply

    20 October, 2009 at 1:09 am


    I think you’ll both missed one point they allways on time.



  • meleReply

    15 June, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    thank you for the information you gave on london, prague and budapest. it was very helpful as we just visited in may 2010. we’ve stayed 4 times at base2stay in earl’s court. it has small kitchenette (frig, microwave). easy to get from heathrow and one block from subway. in budapest we stayed at royal corinthian. the concierge can give out metro tickets and directions. they have their own cabs that charge decent prices. but the best was the newly renovated spa that was free to guests. only saw 4 other people in there at any time. prague was small enough that we walked everywhere. best guide was rick steve’s books. aloha, mele

  • SamReply

    18 November, 2010 at 1:53 am

    You can travel from Heathrow or any other London Airport in a luxury car like a Mercedes Benz for a lot less than a black cab/taxi from the airport. the only thing you have to remember is to book in advance before your arrival date, you can go to the website http://www.chauffeursonline.net and book online. You can also book a regular car which is even cheaper.

  • VictoriaReply

    24 May, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    This is a great article for visitors coming to London for the first time!

  • AlbertaReply

    1 June, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Hi there, simply changed into aware of your blog via Google, and found that it’s really informative. I am going to watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you proceed this in future. Many people will likely be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!

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